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Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Continue to Pile up

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The number of personal injury lawsuits claiming that the use of the anti-diabetes drug Actos caused bladder cancer, is fast increasing. There are currently hundreds of such lawsuits that have already been filed across the country, and the number is only likely to increase. At the core of each lawsuit is the complaint that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactures Actos, failed to ascertain the safety of the drug before promoting it, or failed to warn the public about the risks of Actos.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration warned that prolonged use of Actos or accumulated dosages of the drug have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The agency stopped short of warning against the use of Actos, but for patients already scared off by the health risks of other anti-diabetes drugs like Avandia, the agency’s statement was a chilling one.

The agency's warning came after it reviewed data collected by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The data was collected over a period of five years. The question that Actos lawyers want to know is - when did Takeda Pharmaceuticals first become aware of the link between Actos and bladder cancer?

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon to find pharmaceutical companies rush to introduce a drug into the market without adequate studies to confirm the safety of the drug. With new drugs being introduced on a regular basis, the Food and Drug Administration, which is already strained for resources, has been unable to confirm the safety of the drugs it approves. The agency depends heavily on pharmaceutical companies to conduct sufficient safety analyses of drugs, before applying to the agency for approval.

In this case, Takeda Pharmaceuticals had a duty and a responsibility to confirm the safety of Actos before promoting the use of the drug for the management of type II diabetes, and clearly failed to do so.

California Man Enlists in Spinal Injury Study

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A California man from the Bay Area became the fourth person to enroll in a study into the effectiveness of embryonic stem cells in treating spinal cord injury. The man suffers from paraplegia, and is paralyzed from the waist down. The clinical trial is being conducted by Menlo Park's Geron Corporation, and is the world’s first embryonic stem cell spinal cord injury study. The man has already received the stem cell injection at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

At this point, the study is not looking at the effectiveness of stem cells in treating a spine injury. The focus is on determining whether the treatment will be safe for patients. However, it is a big step forward for stem cell research and spinal cord injury treatment in general.

The study was kicked off in October 2010, when the first patient was enrolled in the study. The company plans to enroll ten patients. In order to be eligible for the study, a patient must have had a recent spinal cord injury in the upper back that resulted in paralysis below the waist.

Geron Corporation already has some good news for California spinal cord injury lawyers. The first three patients who were injected with the stem cells are reported to be doing well, and there are no side effects from the stem cell injections. Over the next year, the researchers plan to increase the stem cell dosages, and try the treatment on a broader variety of patients.

Stem cells may play a crucial role in treating spinal injury, because these cells have the ability to replicate into any type of cell in the body. Researchers are hoping that the stem cells will replicate cells in the spine that have been damaged due to an injury.

San Diego Settles Business Lawsuit Filed by Computer Software Contractor

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The City of San Diego has settled a lawsuit filed by a computer software contractor who allegedly missed deadlines, causing the city’s audits to be delayed. The City will pay the company, Axon Solutions Inc., $1.9 million as part of the settlement.

Axon Solutions Inc. was contracted by the city in 2007. It was an $18.8 million contract for the installation of a software package, replacing the city’s outdated financial systems. However, in November 2008, the city fired Axon Solutions because of an 8- month delay in the 2010 audit. The city hired the manufacturer of the computer systems in Axon’s place. In 2009, Axon filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego. The lawsuit alleged that the state had not paid the company’s invoices, and claimed $5.9 million in unpaid invoices.

The settlement between Axon Solutions and San Diego came after a federal judge refused to dismiss the case. The judge allowed Axon’s case to proceed on three claims, including copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation. Axon had alleged in its lawsuit that the city continued to use the company's copyright-protected materials and trade secrets without paying for them. The city insisted that it should not have to pay, considering that Axon‘s delays caused the city to delay its financial statement to be delayed by eight months.

California business litigation lawyers have found widespread public criticism of the city’s decision to settle. After all, after the city fired Axon, it spent millions of more dollars to complete the accounting system. Even though the decision to settle came because advisors to the city believed there was a possibility that a jury would find in favor of Axon, there has been severe criticism of the money that the will have to pay in a difficult economic climate.

DOT Launches Bus Inspection Initiative

Monday, September 26, 2011

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled several initiatives that it believed would keep American bus passengers safer. As part of those initiatives, the Department of Transportation is launching a massive bus inspection effort. Over the next few days, thousands of surprise bus inspections will be carried out around the country.

The initiative involves federal, state and local law-enforcement officials and is sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The initiative is called the Passenger Carrier Strike Force, and will continue through October 7, 2011.

This inspection blitz couldn't come at a more opportune time for Los Angeles bus accident lawyers. Recently, Anne Ferro, the chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration called 2011 one of the worst years for bus safety. This year there have been several serious bus accidents that have resulted in multiple fatalities.

The last time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a massive bus inspection initiative like this, it resulted in inspections of more than 3,000 buses. The agency found at least one out of ten buses deficient in some way. In all, about 289 buses and drivers were removed from the streets.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been trying to improve its bus safety record. It is currently convening a Motor Coach Safety Summit in Washington, and has also substantially increased its inspection record over the past few years. Since 2006, it has increased the number of inspections by more than 100%. It has also increased the number of safety reviews of the approximately 4000 bus companies in the country.

The Department of Transportation is also looking to hand power to bus passengers to determine the safety of a carrier. The agency will soon unveil a smartphone application that passengers can use to examine a bus company’s safety record before they buy a ticket.

Broken Trim Tab & Blackout Blamed for Reno Air Show Crash

Friday, September 23, 2011

A week after the Reno air race plane crash killed at least 11 people, a number of theories are emerging about the possible causes of the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that it will focus on the plane’s tail assembly. Additionally, pictures of the modified World War II P-51 Mustang plane taken seconds before the crash, seem to show a piece of the plane's tail assembly missing. Some portions of the plane's tail section have been recovered from the crash site. There is likely to be increased scrutiny of a faulty elevator trim tab as a factor in the crash.

More pictures taken of the plane in the air just before the crash show the trim tab was detached. In some of the photographs, the pilot cannot be seen inside the plexiglass canopy. Malfunctioning of the trim tab may have caused the plane to go out of control, exerting excessive gravitational forces, and causing the pilot to black out. The failure of the trim tab could have caused the plane to suddenly jerk upwards with severe force, exerting severe gravitational forces on the 74-year-old pilot. He was likely knocked unconscious by these forces.

So far, California plane crash lawyers have no reason to believe that the pilot was manipulating the plane's controls when the plane finally nosedived into the ground. Other pilots and aviation experts believe that the pilot was likely incapacitated when the plane jerked upwards in the seconds before the crash. According to the Wall Street Journal, mechanics at the National Championship Air Races in Reno where the crash occurred, said that the pilot’s team had been concerned about trouble with the trim tab on the plane before he flew the aircraft.

Caution Advised before Deciding to End Life Support after Brain Injury

Thursday, September 01, 2011

One of the most devastating aspects of a serious traumatic brain injury is that a victim is not in a position to speak for himself or herself, including the decision to end life. Care must be taken before making the decision to end life support for patients who have suffered a brain injury. According to an investigation that has just been published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, large variations in death rates of traumatic brain injury victims appear to be partly due to how trauma centers deal with withdrawal of life support.

The Canadian investigators analyzed death rates of brain injury victims. There were a total of 720 patients in the study. Out of the, 77 were male patients. A majority of these patients or 56% had suffered a traumatic brain injury in motor vehicle accidents. Thirty percent had suffered brain injury as the result of a fall accident. Eight percent had suffered a brain injury after an assault.

Researchers noted that most of the deaths due to withdrawal of life support. They also noted that the rate of withdrawal of life support differed substantially among various hospitals and centers. Researchers are therefore concerned that physicians’ practice patterns and their perceptions of a patient's long-term chances of recovery could impact their decision to withdraw a person with a traumatic brain injury from life support.

California brain injury lawyers suggests that physicians pay careful attention to each individual case before making a recommendation to withdraw life support, until more accurate diagnostic tools are available to determine a person's prognosis more reliably.

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