Month: September 2018

The prescription opioid epidemic: an update

Since a previous contribution to this journal in 2012,2 the epidemic of opioid abuse has become increasingly frightening and tragic. That contribution focused on the relevance of OxyContin to prescription opioid diversion and abuse, the marketing tactics employed by pharmaceutical companies to promote products, and the associated economic medicalization of substance abuse and addiction. This update details dramatic changes in the epidemic and explores attempts being made to combat the rising opioid overdose death toll. Important legal developments arising from the marketing and distribution of prescription opioids are overviewed. Specifically, the proliferation of legal actions against firms involved in the epidemic has resulted in the consolidation of claims in a multidistrict litigation (MDA). The difficulty of stemming the epidemic through legal avenues shifts attention to recent attempts by regulators to stem the epidemic. The paper concludes with some pessimistic observations about the difficulties of using “harm reduction” solutions to address substance abuse and addiction problems with deep societal roots.

NYC has shelled out $384M in 5 years to settle NYPD suits

New York City has shelled out $384 million in taxpayer funds to settle cases of police misconduct over the past five years — and more than half of the suits brought against officers didn’t even go to trial, a Post analysis has found.

Some of the settled cases involved allegations of wrongful imprisonment or police brutality.

But others were seemingly nuisance suits of the kind that Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed in January 2015 to crack down on.

Hizzoner said then that he would aggressively challenge “ambulance-chasing lawyers” who “try to make a buck by gaming the system.

“The court process is long, it’s complicated, it’s costly. But we’ll do that to send a clear message that this has got to stop,” he said.

Several lawyers who regularly file misconduct suits against the NYPD said de Blasio’s edict has led the city’s lawyers to take a tougher stand during negotiations.

But data made public by the city Law Department show the city still struck 530 settlements for $5,000 or less, amounts that plaintiffs’ lawyers described as payments to make “nuisance” cases go away without litigation.

Don’t Put Your Feet On The Dashboard, And Here’s Why

After I started driving as a teen, and into my 20s, I had a horrible habit I didn’t even realize was dangerous. Whenever I was driving, I’d put my foot up on the seat so my knee was bent. It was a way for me to stretch out on my long commute to work, and felt so much better than just having my foot on the floor. The problem was that my knee was smack dab in front of the airbag.

And if I was a passenger, my feet would always end up on the dashboard while I read, which is even worse.

I never put two and two together until someone told me how dangerous this was. Because airbags deploy at between 100 and 220 miles per hour, if you’re in an accident, you could end up with broken legs — or worse. Last year Tennessee’s Chattanooga Fire Department warned that driving with your feet on the dash could “send your knees through your eye sockets” in the event of a crash.

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