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Mass Torts, Mass Torts Update - Oct 1, 2014 15:36 - 0 Comments

Judge Upholds $9 Billion Actos Damage Award Against Takeda and Lilly

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty has rejected the attempt by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. to get the combined $9 billion punitive-damage award returned by a jury thrown out. As you will , the verdict was returned in a case involving claims that the drugmakers hid the cancer risks of their Actos diabetes medicine. Judge Doherty ruled that jurors properly considered evidence showing officials of Osaka, Japan-based Takeda and Indianapolis-based Lilly knew Actos was linked to bladder cancer and failed to properly warn patients and doctors before assessing damages in the case. Continue…

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Transportation - Oct 2, 2014 10:08 - 0 Comments

Nevada Jury Awards $16 Million To Helicopter Victims’ Families

A jury in Nevada has awarded $16 million to the families of four passengers who were killed in a December 2011 helicopter crash near Lake Mead. The jurors found against Sundance Helicopters Inc. in a wrongful death case filed by the families. Sadly, the people killed in the crash included a honeymooning couple from India and a couple who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. The 31-year-old pilot was also killed.

 

Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board () cited “inadequate maintenance” for the December 2011 crash of the helicopter owned by Sundance Helicopters Inc. The crash occurred during a scenic twilight tour of Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead reservoir on the Colorado River. Investigators found a crucial bolt may have been reused too many times and improperly installed, with the mistake having not been found during inspections.

 

Source: Claims Journal

 

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Fraud - Oct 1, 2014 15:31 - 0 Comments

Are Physician-Owned Distributorships Anti-Kickback Traps?

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently instituted False Claims Act allegations against spinal implant company Reliance Medical Systems, its owners, and two Reliance distributorships because the company allegedly made improper payments to surgeons to induce them to use Reliance devices in their procedures. Assistant General Stuart F. Delery for the Justice Department’s Civil Division stated:

Improper payments to physicians can alter a physician’s judgment about patients’ true health care needs and drive up health care costs for everyone.

Reliance is what is known as a “physician-owned distributorship” (POD) – a type of company that has garnered attention from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General as “inherently suspect” under the Anti-Kickback Statute. PODs are physician-owned entities that derive their revenue from selling medical devices ordered by their physician-owners for use in the procedures that the physician-owners perform. Patients are put at risk by PODs because they allow doctors to financially profit from the medical devices they use in their patients. Continue…

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