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Achieving Closure for the Families of Flight 3407

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The wreckage of the crash of Continental Airlines Connection Flight 3407 outside Buffalo, New York continues to be felt by the families of the 50 people who died that night last year. Husbands, friends, sisters, and neighbors were lost that icy evening, and a year later their loved ones are still struggling to pick up the pieces.

As time has gone on, much has been learned about Flight 3407 and the senseless mistakes that could have easily been prevented. Many cite the drastic slashing of required flight hours from over 1,000 to a mere 250 by regional airlines as a large part of the problem. Others blame pilot fatigue and decreased pay to be the source of crashes like Flight 3407. While others still see the lack of properly staffed smaller regional flights to be an issue as well.

Now in an attempt to achieve some kind of resolve or closure, the families have sought damages from Continental, claiming that corporate decisions and policies forced the pilot and co-pilot to make a series of mistakes that ultimately proved deadly. In addition to targeting Continental, the suit also names regional carrier Pinnacle Airlines and Colgan Air. Seeking steep punitive damages sends the message to Colgan and other regional air companies that poor safety practices and insufficient training are not to be tolerated by travelers. Because most insurance policies do not cover punitive damages, they hit companies where they hurt, and therefore make the damages a very powerful statement.

Although over a year has gone by since the tragedy of Flight 3407, the questions of who or what was really the cause of the crash are still very much on travelers' minds, especially on those who rely on regional commuter planes. While tougher regulations for regional aircraft are being discussed and debated, it is up to the families of the victims to seek some justice and resolve.

Study: Avandia has Double the Risk of Heart Attack Compared to Other Drugs

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Product liability lawyers, who have for long known the effects of GlaxoSmithKline’s anti-diabetic drug Avandia’s effects on cardiac health, now have new information that proves its detrimental effects. A new study by Harvard researchers shows that the number of heart attacks among diabetic patients who took Avandia was twice that compared to those who took a different medication.

Earlier studies sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline found that persons who used Avandia had an increased risk of a cardiac arrest that was between 35 and 41 percent greater than non-Avandia users. The Harvard study focused on 26,375 diabetic patients between 2000 and 2006, who took the Glaxo drug. These patients were compared to diabetic patients who took a different medication. The researchers found that Avandia users had their heart attack risk doubled over persons who used Avandia’s main competitor, Actos.

The study is to be published by the American Diabetics Association. This study only strengthens the case against GlaxoSmithKline - that the company failed to warn patients about the heightened risk of heart attacks with Avandia use. The company already faces dozens of lawsuits by former Avandia users who have suffered serious cardiac injuries, including heart attacks, strokes and heart failure from the use of the drug.

Heart disease is one of the most serious complications from Avandia use, but far from the only one. Other studies have indicated greater risk of bone disease and bone fractures, liver disorders, eye injuries and anemia from the use of the drug. In spite of all these harmful effects, Avandia continues to be sold in the market. The Food and Drug Administration has required GlaxoSmithKline to post a black box label on Avandia packaging, cautioning users about the increased heart attack risks, but to the dismay of product liability lawyers in California has fallen shy of pulling Avandia off the market all together.

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