Month: June 2019

How Lawsuit Structured Settlements Work

Unless you’ve been involved in a lawsuit, you may not know about structured settlements. You may have heard of them on late night TV. “It’s your money,” some TV ads will exclaim. “Cash in your structured settlement and use your money now!” These TV ads are from factoring companies that buy up lawsuit structured settlements, but how do you get one in the first place?

If you are a successful plaintiff in a lawsuit, your contact with structure settlements may be personal. You may have received one, be evaluating one now, or have considered one but opted for cash. Even if you already have a structure, you may not know how they operate and why they’re set up in the way they are. Structured settlements

Johnson & Johnson faces multibillion opioids lawsuit that could upend big pharma

Oklahoma is suing Johnson & Johnson in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit to hold the drug giant responsible for its opioid addiction epidemic.

Day after day, the memos flashing across screens in an Oklahoma courtroom have jarred with the family-friendly public image of Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant best known for baby powder and Band-Aid.

In one missive, a sales representative dismissed a doctor’s fears that patients might become addicted to the company’s opioid painkillers by telling him those who didn’t die probably wouldn’t get hooked. Another proposes targeting sales of the powerfully addictive drugs at those most at risk: men under 40.

As the state of Oklahoma’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson has unfolded over the past month, the company has struggled to explain marketing strategies its accusers say dangerously misrepresented the risk of opioid addiction to doctors, manipulated medical research, and helped drive an epidemic that has claimed 400,000 lives over the past two decades.

Groundwork Is Laid for Opioids Settlement That Would Touch Every Corner of U.S.

Every city, town and county in the United States could receive a payout in a settlement with the largest makers, distributors and retailers of prescription opioids, if a judge approves an innovative proposal made Friday in an Ohio federal court by lawyers for hundreds of local governments.

The plan, which legal experts describe as “novel” and “unorthodox,” could potentially expand the number of municipalities and counties eligible for compensation in the federal litigation from 1,650 to about 24,500 and open the way for a comprehensive national opioid settlement with the pharmaceutical industry.

“We have an epidemic caused by pills that have wheels, and different areas of the country get targeted at different points in time,” said Joe Rice, one of the lead lawyers, explaining a major obstacle to settlement in the rapidly accumulating cases. “So if you solve the problem in New York City, it doesn’t get addressed in Albany. And everyone recognizes this is a national issue.”

Supreme Court Sends Merck’s Fosamax Product Liability Case Back to Appeals Court

The US Supreme Court vacated and remanded a products liability case involving claims alleging a failure to warn about risks of stress fractures related to the use of Fosamax, which is manufactured by Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp. (“Merck”).

Fosamax is a drug that treats and prevents osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Merck argued that the claims should be dismissed as they submitted “clear evidence” that FDA regulations prohibited them from changing the Fosamax label to include the stress fracture risk warnings. The Supreme Court held that the Third Circuit incorrectly determined that “clear evidence” is a question of fact for a jury; rather, the Court held that “clear evidence” is a question of law as it involves a legal determination about an agency decision.

The FDA approved the sale of Fosamax in 1995. At that time, the Fosamax label did not warn of the risk of atypical femoral fracture, a type of stress fracture in the thigh bone. However, through post-market surveillance, Merck later concluded that the use of Fosamax was associated with an increase risk of these fractures. In 2008, Merck submitted to the FDA a labeling change proposal that would have included the risk of “stress fractures,” however the FDA rejected that proposal. Merck contends that FDA would also have rejected a labeling change proposal with the more specific language warning of the risk of “atypical stress fracture.”

500 individuals who took Fosamax between 1999 and 2010 and suffered atypical femoral fractures sued Merck under state tort laws with the theory that state laws imposed on Merck a duty to warn of the risk of these atypical femoral fractures. In the District Court, Merck argued that the respondents’ state law claims should be dismissed as pre-empted by federal law, as it would have been impossible for Merck to comply with both state law (which requires risk warnings) and federal law (which prohibits labeling changes unless approved by the FDA). The District Court agreed with Merck, and granted summary judgment dismissing the suit.

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