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Seeger Weiss Blog: Legal News and Analysis

Archives : 2011 : January

J&J Hip Replacement Plaintiff Lawyers Named by Judge

January 31st, 2011

From Bloomberg:

Six plaintiffs’ lawyers will lead federal litigation against Johnson & Johnson over recalled devices used in hip-replacement surgeries.

U.S. District Judge David A. Katz in Toledo, Ohio, appointed the plaintiffs’ executive committee on Jan. 26 after dozens of lawyers vied for the positions. The group will make major decisions on the litigation, which has been consolidated before Katz for pretrial proceedings.

Lawyers for patients said they expect thousands of lawsuits over the ASR XL Acetabular System, which J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit recalled on Aug. 26.

New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J, the world’s largest health-care products company, and Warsaw, Indiana-based DePuy said they recalled the devices because researchers found some patients needed a second operation, or “revision surgery,” after five years at rates higher than the company expected.

“There is no doubt there will be thousands of cases,” said the committee’s co-lead counsel, attorney Ellen Relkin of Weitz & Luxenberg in New York. “The damages will be in the billions of dollars.”

The group includes Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP in New York.

FDA Orders Lowering Pain Reliever in Vicodin

January 27th, 2011

Vicodin, Percocet Avoid Ban Over Acetaminophen Risks

January 26th, 2011

From Bloomberg:

Acetaminophen was the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. from 1998 to 2003 with almost half of cases tied to accidental overdose. About 458 deaths, 26,000 hospitalizations and 56,000 emergency-room visits were tied to acetaminophen overdoses each year from 1990 to 1998, according to the FDA.

FDA weighs skin risks of Bayer imaging drug

January 20th, 2011

From Reuters:

U.S. advisers will be asked to focus on the potential for overdoses and a serious skin disorder when they review a Bayer AG imaging drug on Friday.

Food and Drug Administration staff, in documents released on Wednesday, said they wanted input from the panel of outside experts on risks of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), a potentially fatal skin disorder seen with similar drugs.

Bayer’s product, gadobutrol, is a stronger version of products in a class called gadolinium-based contrast agents, or GBCAs, used with magnetic resonance imaging scans.

Certain Painkillers Appear to Boost Odds for Heart Attack

January 19th, 2011

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

Common painkillers taken to treat inflammation, such as Celebrex and Advil, can raise the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, a review of existing research suggests.

Swiss researchers analyzed the results of 31 trials involving seven non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as these medications are called, and concluded that cardiovascular risk needs to be considered before prescribing any of them.

Which Is Worse, Vioxx Or Avandia?

January 18th, 2011

From Forbes:

This is more than just a race to see whether Merck or Glaxo gets hit with the biggest legal settlement for its controversial drug. The two companies had radically different defense strategies, and the cost of those strategies will determine how the next drug safety crisis is handled.

Although Merck tried to argue away the Vioxx result for years, it did an abrupt about-face when clinical trials didn’t go its way. Then it fought every single case that came its way, fiercely. Glaxo denied the problems and kept selling Avandia until regulators put restrictions on the drug, which allowed it to book billions of dollars in additional sales.

Bad Medicine: The Glaxo Case

January 12th, 2011

On 60 Minutes, drug company whistle-blower Cheryl Eckard tells Scott Pelley about her experience trying to fix problems at a pharmaceutical factory that made her a key figure in a federal lawsuit and a multimillionaire.

Letters to Santa 2010

January 11th, 2011

For the past last 3 years, Seeger Weiss and 5 other law firms have become “Santa’s Helpers” for an elementary school in Brooklyn. The children write letters to Santa and Seeger Weiss staff each take a letter and fulfill that child’s wish. The requests range from sneakers and clothing to Barbie dolls and trucks. Seeger Weiss’s Newark office has provided 23 kids with a toy, art supplies or books for Christmas, with several people buying for 2 kids. In New York, 10 kids have new warm coats, with 2 partners supplying 6 of the coats. 13 kids have received pairs of shoes or sneakers and 4 beautiful dresses. Seeger Weiss staff included Barbie’s, puzzles, art supplies, hats, scarves, mittens, hot wheels and books so that kids got what they needed plus something fun. Check out more photos of this year’s “Letters to Santa” program here.