$2,500,000 Verdict Involving Product Liability

posted on:
January 15, 2008

author:
Staff

February, 2000 – The Plaintiff in this case was killed when a Gold Kist agricultural delivery truck backed over him. This incident occurred on the farm property while the employee was backing the truck. This truck did not have a functioning backup alarm mechanism, which is recognized to be a needed safety feature for all large trucks. This requirement is federally mandated for construction and off-road equipment. In this case, a backup alarm would have saved the life of a good family man. The jury awarded this verdict to try to stop this type of accident from happen in the future.

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Products liability law, access to justice crucial to consumer protections

posted on:
March 22, 2017

author:
Staff

While much of today’s political discussion involves social issues, most people rarely consider a critical category of laws that protect us all each day. Beasley Allen has litigated numerous product liability cases through the years and has found, undoubtedly, that product liability laws protect millions throughout our country.

Too often, cutting corners costs innocent lives, and many more companies would cut corners if these laws and our ability to seek justice by enforcing them in the courts did not exist. These laws establish an equilibrium of sorts because they protect the assumptions we all make in our everyday lives – that the products we use are safe and will work as we intend. We rarely think about these assumptions because to think otherwise would be too scary to consider.

Unfortunately, product liability law, and the right to a trial by jury, are under attack. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, oftentimes mistaken by the public as a branch of government instead of the corporate special interest group that it is, constantly seeks to erode products liability law and the right to a trial by jury. They are not concerned with safety, but instead with further increasing corporate profits. We see in our practice on almost a daily basis the cost of these efforts – in money, pain and, many times, human life.

Lawyers in our firm see this pain and heartbreak on a daily basis, and, more often than not, the results can be catastrophic. They include instances where:

  • Takata airbags explode and maim or kill occupants;
  • Airbags fail to deploy;
  • Defective seatbelts cause injury or loss of life during an accident;
  • Tire defects cause blowouts, and ultimately, deadly rollovers;
  • Poor automobile roof design leads to catastrophic roof crush;
  • Sudden, uncontrolled and unintended acceleration of vehicles occurs;
  • Ignition switch defects cause vehicles to stall at the worst possible times;
  • Defective cab guards on heavy-duty trucks cause loads to obliterate drivers’ cabins;
  • Compromised automobile reinforcement structures result in serious injury or death;
  • Poor automobile fuel lines or lubricant storage design causes a vehicle to burst into flames;
  • Pressure cookers, heaters and dishwashers burst into flames due to cheap component parts;
  • Fire alarms fail to alert;
  • Poorly designed hot tubs and baths trap and drown the elderly;
  • Children’s toys contain toxic substances, including lead paint;
  • E-cigarettes and cell phones explode due to cheap parts or defective batteries;
  • ATVs and golf carts roll over and kill occupants (many have no roof reinforcement);
  • Guardrails impale vehicles and their occupants instead of protecting them;
  • Automobile occupant seats collapse or break;
  • Automobile door latches fail, causing belted occupants to be ejected;
  • Diseased food severely sickens or kills;
  • Firearms unexpectedly fire without being triggered;
  • Toxic cosmetic products, such as talc, cause cancer, though users were told the products were safe;
  • Drugs, like Vioxx, cause negative side effects, such as strokes, heart attack or death;
  • Defective medical devices, like transvaginal mesh, fail and painfully affect the lives of tens of thousands of people;
  • Defective heavy-duty equipment, such as a blowout preventer, contributed to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;
  • Products emit dangerous levels of radiation and cause cancer.

In our world of global commerce and trade, one defectively designed product can touch thousands – if not millions – of lives. Most of the time, recalls and corrective action can stop defects in new devices and, sometimes, catch older defective devices before they injure consumers. However, we find instances where products have slipped through the cracks and hurt people far too often. As a result, the best defense against product liability heartbreak is prevention via product liability law and enforcement, which hinges on a strong, fair and independent judicial system.

The American people should be able to assume the products they use are safe. The water we drink, the food we eat, the automobiles we drive, the planes we fly, the air we breathe, the safety devices we believe will protect us, and the consumer products we use all depend on the assumption they are safe. We must never take those assumptions (and the laws that allow us to make those assumptions) for granted.

For more information about products liability laws, or if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury because of what you believe is a defective product, our lawyers would be happy to talk with you. You can fill out the contact form on this page, call us at 800-898-2034 or email web@beasleyallen.com.

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At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Beasley Allen works to break industry standard with more female lawyers in leadership roles

posted on:
March 21, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

Temple University’s Beasley School of Law released a study earlier this month analyzing the gender breakdown of leadership in multidistrict litigation (MDL). Law360 cites the study, noting that 98 percent of all MDLs between 2011 and 2016 had a least one man in the highest leadership position and nearly half the cases “had no women at all in the upper levels of case leadership.” The study notes that gender equity is more likely as lawyers begin their careers, yet the gap between male and female lawyers with regard to leadership opportunities widens as they move further into their careers.

Beasley Allen is pleased to break with this antiquated industry standard. The firm is committed to providing a workplace where all of our attorneys and staff can grow and reach their full potential.

In March, Beasley Allen was recognized for its efforts to provide an inclusive environment that fosters female attorneys’ leadership and success. The Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) selected the firm as the Leading Workplace for Women. Promoting a positive and inclusive environment allows the firm to attract tremendously talented female attorneys like Danielle Mason, who was awarded the GSSA’s inaugural Leading Lady award in March, and Leigh O’Dell, who has exhibited leadership throughout her career. Both lawyers serve in leadership roles for MDLs.

In January, Danielle was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee that will help lead the consolidated MDL pending in New Jersey federal court concerning diabetes drug Invokana’s link to kidney damage and diabetic ketoacidosis. She is a member of the trial team that has secured nearly $200 million in verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in litigation alleging the company’s talcum powder products significantly increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer when the products are used in the perineal area. In 2016, Danielle was named Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Lawyer of the Year.

Last fall, Leigh was appointed as co-lead counsel in an MDL pending in New Jersey federal court on behalf of plaintiffs suing Johnson & Johnson for the development of ovarian cancer after using its talcum products. Leigh also handles litigation involving complications from transvaginal mesh. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted motions to create consolidated MDLs against seven transvaginal mesh manufacturers and Leigh was selected to serve on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for all of these MDLs. Leigh also was part of the trial team for five of the 17 bellwether trials against Vioxx maker, Merck & Co. In 2014, Leigh was named Beasley Allen’s Litigator of the Year.

Danielle, Leigh and all of our other female lawyers distinguish themselves daily by demonstrating leadership, striving for excellence and maintaining compassion for our clients. The Beasley Allen law firm celebrates the diverse perspectives of our attorneys who come from different backgrounds with varied experiences.

In the coming weeks we will highlight the contributions of the firm’s female lawyers with a series of stories about our “Leading Ladies.” For the next six weeks, these stories will highlight the unique ways women are contributing to the legal profession, and the opportunities that exist for young women interested in law as a career.

Source: Law360

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Truck driver fatigue increases crash risks

posted on:
March 16, 2017

author:
Chris Glover

While driving down the road, you may have witnessed someone’s car swerve from its lane. You hold your breath, hoping it returns safely back to its place in the traffic pattern. But what happens when that vehicle is larger than a car? What if it is a heavy truck, hauling freight hundreds or thousands of miles? It might not make it back on the road due to truck driver fatigue.

Truck driver fatigue is becoming a more apparent issue, but efforts to protect truck drivers and other travelers on America’s roadways are often thwarted. In December 2011, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a new federal rule that reduced the maximum workweek for truckers to 70 hours and required drivers to take 34 hours off duty before starting another workweek, according to FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations. It also required the off-duty time to include two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The New York Times reported the regulation received pushback from the trucking industry, where time on the road translates directly to profits. Critics said the new regulation placed more drivers on the road during heavy traffic times without addressing safety concerns, and the specific off-duty time periods have been suspended pending further research.

However, fatigued heavy truck driving is undoubtedly a safety concern. In the explanation of its December 2011 regulations, the Department of Transportation wrote: “Additionally, new research available on the subject demonstrated that long work hours, without sufficient recovery time, lead to reduced sleep and chronic fatigue. That fatigue leads drivers to have slower reaction times and a reduced ability to assess situations quickly …Too often, fatigued drivers fail to notice that they are drifting between lanes.”

Safety investigators told The New York Times that sleepy or drowsy driving is far more problematic than it is perceived to be. The exact number of accidents caused by heavy trucks is difficult to determine.

For example, a 2007 FMCSA Large Truck Crash Causation Study found, “Fatigue, drinking alcohol, and speeding are major factors in motor vehicle crashes overall,” but lumped falling asleep with being physically impaired for other reasons, such as a heart attack, all under the “non-performance” causes of crashes.

Drivers falling asleep at the wheel is cited as the specific cause of crashes involving tractor trailers, though. The New York Times cites a 2009 crash that killed 10 people in Missouri due to a 76-year-old truck driver falling asleep at the wheel at 2:30 a.m. as an example.

Certainly making a profit is a crucial goal for the trucking industry and the merits of potential regulations should be evaluated, but doing so at the expense of the safety of truckers and the public is cause for concern. Truck drivers need rest, and guaranteeing them that rest saves lives.

* * *

Beasley Allen attorney Chris Glover handles cases of personal injury involving heavy trucks, log trucks, 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. For more information about these types of claims, contact him by email at Chris.Glover@BeasleyAllen.com. Chris also recently wrote a book about trucking litigation, An Introduction to Truck Accident Claims: A Guide to Getting Started. This book is free to lawyers. To get your copy, visit www.chrisglover-law.com/book.

Sources:
The New York Times
U.S. Department of Transportation
FMCSA – Large Truck Crash Causation Study
FMCSA – Hours of Service Regulations

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals legal battles over Risperdal continue

posted on:
March 15, 2017

author:
James Lampkin

Although Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen), recently settled two lawsuits over the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, they are still facing several thousand lawsuits. The pending cases in Philadelphia alone involve more than 2,000 plaintiffs.

As of January, the juries that have heard the cases have awarded a total of just over $74 million in damages against Janssen in four of the six trials, according to the Jere Beasley Report. Two other Risperdal cases have settled on the eve of trial. However, the drug makers say the recent settlements do not indicate plans to settle additional lawsuits in the future.

Plaintiffs contend Janssen concealed the risk of Risperdal’s most devastating side effect, gynecomastia, or the abnormal growth of breast tissue in young boys.

The drug went on the market in January 1994, shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for treating schizophrenia in adult patients. Four years later Janssen requested, but was denied, FDA approval of Risperdal dosing information for pediatric use.

Despite the fact that Risperdal was not approved for pediatric indications, Janssen aggressively marketed the drug for off-label uses in children and adolescents for the next nine years until it was ultimately approved for pediatric use, according to the Jere Beasley Report. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $2.2-billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over these and other deceptive marketing practices involving Risperdal.

Risperdal-induced gynecomastia often requires invasive surgical procedures such as liposuction or mastectomy to remove the tissue. Righting Injustice explains that elevated levels of prolactin, the hormone that women produce while pregnant and just after childbirth to trigger lactation, is believed to cause gynecomastia.

Medical tests have revealed high levels of prolactin in patients taking Risperdal. Tender and painful breasts and nipple discharge often accompany the disfiguring condition, which also causes emotional and psychological problems.

* * *

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of taking Risperdal, contact James Lampkin, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at James.Lampkin@beasleyallen.com.

Sources:
Jere Beasley Report (February 2017)
Righting Injustice
Jere Beasley Report (October 2012)

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Beasley Allen lawyer Danielle Ward Mason, firm recognized by Girl Scouts organization for female leadership

posted on:
March 14, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Community

Danielle Mason Leading Ladies 250x140 Beasley Allen lawyer Danielle Ward Mason, firm recognized by Girl Scouts organization for female leadershipBeasley Allen received a double helping of recognition from the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) today, as the group celebrated the impact of women leaders in the community and applauded organizations and businesses that support girls’ and women’s leadership and success. Danielle Ward Mason, a lawyer in the firm’s Mass Torts Section, was presented with the inaugural GSSA Leading Lady award, and Beasley Allen was named the Leading Workplace for Women.

“Thank you Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama for selecting me as your first Leading Lady,” said Danielle. “I am honored by this recognition and humbled to be included in such an amazing group of successful local women. Success does not come easy and I am thankful for organizations like the Girl Scouts that prepare young girls for leadership and empower them to succeed.”

The award recognizes the accomplishments of women leaders and celebrates them for being outstanding role models in their local community. Danielle was selected from among 12 nominees who have made special contributions to the community through civic, academic or professional efforts.

“We congratulate Danielle on this well-earned recognition of her leadership in the community,” said Beasley Allen Founder Jere Beasley. “Danielle is representative of a number of female attorneys Beasley Allen is fortunate to include among our ranks. She and her female law partners distinguish themselves by demonstrating leadership daily, striving for excellence and maintaining compassion for our clients.”

Danielle joined Beasley Allen in 2009. She is a member of the trial team that has secured nearly $200 million in verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in litigation alleging the company’s talcum powder products significantly increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer when the products are used in the perineal area.

In January, Danielle also was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee that will help lead the consolidated multidistrict litigation pending in New Jersey federal court concerning diabetes drug Invokana’s link to kidney damage and diabetic ketoacidosis. She also leads the firm’s Reglan litigation, fighting to keep clients’ claims alive in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 generic preemption decision in Pliva v. Mensing.

“I am proud of Danielle and proud to be one of her law partners,” said Leigh O’Dell, who was selected as co-lead counsel in a second multidistrict litigation regarding talc use. “It is challenging to successfully lead multiple litigation efforts, maintain a full case load and remain an active leader in your community.”

In addition to honoring Danielle, the Girl Scouts also selected Beasley Allen as the Leading Workplace for Women, recognizing its culture of promoting leadership and success among girls and women. The firm was among four area businesses nominated for the award.

“Beasley Allen is honored to receive the Leading Workplace for Women award and, more importantly, to be recognized as a workplace that fosters an inclusive and positive environment,” said Beasley. “We are committed to providing a workplace where all of our attorneys and staff can grow and reach their full potential.”

Related News:

Montgomery Advertiser – Beasley Allen recognized with ‘Leading Ladies’ awards

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Home Depot agrees to $25 million settlement resolving banks’ data breach claims

posted on:
March 10, 2017

author:
Staff

category:
Fraud

Home Depot has agreed to resolve a putative class action brought against it by financial institutions with a proposed $25 million settlement and a promise to strengthen its data security practices following a monumental data breach responsible for compromising nearly 56 million credit and debit card numbers in 2014.

According to a memorandum in support of its preliminary approval, the proposed settlement claims the money would be required to go into a non-revisionary fund for distribution to financial institutions that have not already released their claims against Home Depot for losses linked to the massive cyberattack. An additional settlement up to $2.225 million would be for institutions with claims released by a sponsor, such as a card processor, in relation to a card brand recovery program available through MasterCard.

“Credit unions and their members have unfortunately borne the brunt of lax merchant data security standards,” Jim Nussle, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and a plaintiff in the class action, told Law360 in a statement announcing the settlement. “This settlement would be a step toward making them whole again.”

As for strengthening its data security, the settlement will require Home Depot to “implement enhanced security measures to reduce the risk of a future data,” as well as pay the costs of notice to any eligible financial institutions and attorneys’ fees.

Lastly, the proposed settlement agreement states Home Depot must finance a service award of up to $2,500 for each of the 50 financial institutions, including 16 state credit union associations and CUNA, listed as plaintiffs in the consolidated class action complaint.

“We’re hopeful credit unions will see more victories in data breach suits going forward,” Nussle said to Law360, adding that in the meantime, “CUNA will continue pursuing a legislative solution that will result in stricter merchant data security standards, making it much harder for merchants to compromise payment card information.”

The Home Depot data breach occurred in December 2014 when hackers managed to install malware on the company’s self-checkout kiosks around the nation. The scheme worked and allowed the hackers to get away with approximately 56 million Home Depot customers’ personal financial information, such as full names, card numbers, expiration dates and security credentials.

Dee Miles, head of Beasley Allen’s Consumer Fraud section, was appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee (PSC) for the multidistrict litigation (MDL) surrounding the Home Depot data breach back in 2015. Miles’ leadership experience with similar class actions ranges from the Target data breach MDL to the BP oil spill MDL.

“This is very important litigation that exposes the critical flaws in the way credit and debit card systems operate in the United States,” Miles said. “Because Home Depot failed to maintain adequate computer data security, it exposed millions of people to the risk of fraud and identity theft, and violated their privacy rights. Unless something is fundamentally changed, consumers will continue to be at risk.”

Sources:
Law360
Beasley Allen

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Bristol-Myers Squibb top-selling antipsychotic Abilify linked to users’ compulsive gambling

posted on:
March 8, 2017

author:
Melissa Prickett

The top selling antipsychotic drug in the U.S., Abilify, raked in nearly $6.9 billion in 2013, according to a recent Jere Beasley Report. Originally approved in 2002 to treat adults with schizophrenia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved Abilify to treat symptoms of a variety of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder and depression – purportedly to make life better for those using the drug.

Yet, many patients say its devastating side effects have ruined their lives.

Righting Injustice explains that when the FDA reviewed Abilify’s adverse events reports, 184 of them linked the drug with the impulse-control problems that developed in adults and children taking Abilify. The most reported impulse-control problem was pathological gambling.

One patient who used Abilify spoke anonymously with Denver, Colorado’s, KDVR saying she never desired to gamble until she was prescribed Abilify. She believes she gambled between $1 million and $2 million while she was taking the drug. She lost her house, lost custody of her children and damaged her relationship with her parents while suffering from the compulsion. The compulsion to gamble ended after stopping the drug.

In December, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Japanese pharmaceutical company, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., agreed to pay $19.5 million to 42 states and Washington D.C. to resolve lawsuits filed against them. The states sued the companies for improper marketing practices, including promoting off-label use by children and elderly patients with symptoms consistent with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, in 2006, the FDA issued a black box warning not to use antipsychotic drugs to treat elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis because of an increased risk of death. Yet, the companies continued to market Abilify to elderly consumers.

Additionally, the agreement bans the companies from continuing to misrepresent findings of scientific studies conducted on the drug and to stop falsifying the risks Abilify poses.

* * *

Lawyers in Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Section are currently investigating cases involving Abilify and compulsive gambling. If you have any questions regarding the litigation, or if you would like us to review your potential claim, please contact Melissa Prickett, a lawyer in the Mass Torts Section. She can be reached at 800-898-2034 or by email Melissa.Prickett@BeasleyAllen.com.

Sources:
Jere Beasley Report
KDVR
Righting Injustice

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Controversial FACT Act headed to House floor for vote

posted on:
March 7, 2017

author:
Rhon E. Jones

The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017 (FACT Act) or H.R. 906, claims to “weed out unmeritorious class action claims,” according to Forbes. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) reintroduced the act, which met tough opposition from veterans, teachers and first responders during its last run, hoping this year a Republican majority in both houses of Congress will see the bill signed into law.

The FACT Act passed the House Judiciary Committee by a 19-11 vote Feb. 15. Though it has managed to slip back onto the docket, all of the previous opposition still applies, as Legal Newsline confirmed it was the same version as last year’s bill.

The bill is designed to limit plaintiffs’ ability to “double-dip” into the asbestos injury trust system, according to a press release by the Judiciary Committee. The system was created when about 100 companies that were frequently named defendants in asbestos lawsuits filed bankruptcy to create trusts to compensate victims without having to go through the civil courts, according to Legal Newsline.

Asbestos exposure, in even the smallest amounts, has been linked to the development of asbestos-related diseases including asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen and, rarely, the heart. There is no known cure for mesothelioma.

The bill claims to reduce abuse by requiring asbestos trusts to file quarterly reports “that shall be made available on the court’s public docket,” according to the bill, and contain information about the demands of and payments from the trusts. It would require “each demand the trust received from, including the name and exposure history of, a claimant and the basis for any payment from the trust made to such claimant.” The act, therefore, would require a person’s name, last four digits of his or her social security number and certain financial information that was once private to be made public.

While the bill uses the guise of transparency, in reality it poses identity risks to mesothelioma victims and burdensome new requirements that will delay justice for and drain funds from those suffering from asbestos exposure. In letters opposing the most recent legislation, six privacy groups and 16 consumer groups echo concerns over invasion of privacy and delays of justice.

“The FACT Act would create conditions that are ripe for scam artists and identity thieves to prey on all victims of asbestos exposure who have filed claims with trusts established to ensure compensation for harm caused by asbestos corporations,” the letter from privacy groups reads.

The issues addressed in those letters are compounded by letters of opposition from last year’s failed attempt to pass the bill, which eventually stalled in the Senate. “The bill is a cynical ploy by the asbestos industry to avoid compensating its victims who are seeking justice in court – many of whom are veterans who were doubly exposed; first while in uniform and when they went on to work for companies that knowingly exposed them to the deadly fiber,” more than 15 veterans groups wrote in a letter opposing the act last year, according to MyMeso.

Consumer groups, including the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Alliance for Justice, contend the call for transparency is completely one-sided and violates the name and premise of the act: “Far from being even-handed, this bill allows defendants – and only defendants – to do an end-run around state rules of discovery that place limits on information-gathering. The bill would tip the scales of justice in favor of asbestos defendants by giving defendants access to information about victims’ settlements with asbestos trusts while allowing defendants to continue hiding information about their settlements with other victims.”

The FACT Act has been rolled into H.R. 985 as the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, and is scheduled for a House vote on March 9, 2017. Opponents of the FACT Act are urged to call their congressional representative to express their opposition to the bill.

* * *

Rhon Jones is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts section, handling matters involving workplace exposure to hazardous substances as well as environmental pollutants and other toxic exposure. You can contact Rhon for more information about asbestos and mesothelioma at 334-269-2343 or email Rhon.Jones@beasleyallen.com.

Sources:
MyMeso
Forbes
Legal Newsline
U.S. House of Representatives – Judiciary Committee
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Center for Justice & Democracy

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Sleep deprivation can increase risk for workplace injury

posted on:
March 2, 2017

author:
Kendall Dunson

Some fall asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows, while others are often left counting sheep. But regardless of where a worker falls on that spectrum, chances are they are still not getting enough sleep.

A study released by RAND Europe late last year estimated, according to EurekAlert, lack of sleep among U.S. workers costs the economy $411 billion a year, with an estimated 1.2 million working days lost each year due to missed work or a lack of productivity.

And while losing money is a definite negative, sleep deprivation can also have adverse effects on safety. After all, sleep deprivation likely would not help prevent safety violations, like a missed inspection or forgotten safeguard. Lacking sleep can be as dangerous as alcohol impairment. Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) reports lack of sleep can impede judgment, manual dexterity, and alertness, all increasing safety risks.

According to a 2010 study reported by ISHN, Canadians who worked night and rotating shifts were almost twice as likely to be injured at work when compared with those working regular day shifts.

If one in three adults does not get enough sleep, which is considered at least seven hours each night, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2016, then the problem of industries sacrificing safety due to sleep deprivation is likely widespread.

Sleep deprivation can also affect safely getting to and from a job, not just at the job itself. Drowsy driving directly results in an estimated 100,000 vehicle crashes and 71,000 injuries each year, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

No regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) directly address sleep deprivation, but knowing who is fit for duty and encouraging employees to be well rested can help them better adhere to safety regulations and make for a more productive work environment, a win-win situation.

* * *

If you have any questions about whether a serious work-related injury could qualify for compensation, please contact Kendall Dunson, an attorney in our Personal Injury section, for a free and confidential evaluation of your claim. He can be reached at 800-898-2034 or email Kendall.Dunson@beasleyallen.com.

Sources:
EurekAlerts
Industrial Safety & Hygiene News
CDC
National Sleep Foundation

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.

Lawsuits increase as research linking Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) heartburn drugs and kidney damage mounts

posted on:
March 1, 2017

author:
Liz Eiland

In October, six federal-court plaintiffs asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) cases, according to the Jere Beasley Report. At that time, there were 15 pending federal cases. Righting Injustice reports the number of lawsuits have grown to more than 100 and plaintiffs’ attorneys continue reviewing thousands more potential cases.

Why?

PPIs are heartburn drugs that entered the market in the 1980s to treat acid-related disorders like stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and acid reflux. The most commonly prescribed PPIs are Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium. They were designed as an alternative to the histamine H2-receptor antagonists or H2-Blockers (such as Pepcid and Zantac) that had been used to treat heartburn since the 1960s.

Yet, in the 1990s, researchers began observing adverse effects linked to PPI use. Some side effects are not very serious, but others can be life threatening. A 1992 study first linked PPI use to Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN), inflammation in the spaces between the kidney tubules. Later studies linked PPI use with an increased risk of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI or Acute Renal Failure) and Chronic Kidney Disease.

In December 2014, the Jere Beasley Report explained that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring warnings regarding the risk of AIN associated with PPIs. However, it stopped short of issuing black box warnings.

Research showing adverse side effects of PPI use continues to grow. Last week, CBS News detailed findings from a recent study in the journal Kidney International. The study linked long-term use of PPIs with a higher risk of Chronic Kidney Disease and Acute Kidney Injury than use of H2 blockers such as Zantac or Pepcid.

Lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section are currently investigating cases involving PPI use and Acute Interstitial Nephritis, Acute Kidney Injury or Acute Renal Failure, and Chronic Kidney Disease. If you would like more information, contact Liz Eiland at 800-898-2034 or by email at Liz.Eiland@beasleyallen.com.

Sources:
Jere Beasley Report (December 2016)
Righting Injustice
Jere Beasley Report (December 2014)
CBS News

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