Del. Stephen Heretick and Portsmouth judges diverted millions owed to sick and injured people

Portsmouth judges rubber-stamped agreements that let out-of-state firms represented by a Virginia delegate buy millions of dollars worth of payments owed to sick or injured people, sometimes for a fraction of their value, according to a federal lawsuit.

Del. Stephen Heretick and his clients say the deals were legal, approved after court hearings held in accordance with state law.

But in the lawsuit, a Southwest Virginia man and his attorneys allege the large number of cases filed in Portsmouth and the scant court review they received show a conspiracy between Heretick and “complicit judges” who sometimes approved dozens of agreements on a single day.

The case revolves around “structured settlements” that let people collect lawsuit payouts over many years. Sometimes, however, recipients decide they don’t

Pradaxa vs Xarelto: Comparing Blood Thinners

Until the last decade, the only option available for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation to help control blood clots was Coumadin (also known as warfarin). While effective in preventing intracranial bleeding, patients on Coumadin have to endure regular blood tests and risk major bleeding complications. Now there are new drugs known as non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs).

The two anticoagulants at the forefront of the blood thinner market are Pradaxa (dabigatran), made by¬†Boehringer Ingelheim, and¬†Xarelto¬†(rivaroxaban), manufactured by¬†Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals division. Both of these¬†blood thinners¬†are considered by some doctors to be¬†safer and more effective¬†than Coumadin. But they still come with¬†increased risk¬†of severe¬†bleeding¬†that have resulted in patients filing both¬†Xarelto¬†lawsuits¬†and¬†Pradaxa¬†lawsuits¬†by the thousands. Additionally, they are more expensive and may impact the renal system with prolonged use.

Because of these issues, we decided to do a head-to-head comparison between the two biggest rivals in this class of new blood thinners. Patients trying to choose the right blood thinner should consider the following things when weighing their options.

Judge tosses $27.8M Xarelto verdict

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday overturned a $27.8 million verdict against the makers of the blood thinner Xarelto in a lawsuit by an Indiana woman who claimed the drug caused severe gastrointestinal bleeding.

Judge Michael Erdos issued a judgment notwithstanding the verdict because of testimony by the prescribing doctor for plaintiff Lynn Hartman.

Erdos rejected an alternate ground for overturning the verdict that was based on an Instagram photo by a lawyer for the plaintiff that used the hashtag #killinnazis. Erdos nonetheless scolded and punished the lawyer for the post.

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