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Mass Torts, Mass Torts Update - Apr 2, 2014 10:22 - 0 Comments

Endo Faces Multistate Inquiry Over Pelvic Mesh Products

It has been revealed that Endo Health Solutions Inc. is under investigation relating to its pelvic mesh products. The company has received subpoenas from states including California in the investigation. The device maker revealed this information in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing last month that warned investors that the “strain of pelvic mesh litigation” threatens its unit’s women’s health business. Endo, whose American Medical Systems Inc. unit is facing thousands of lawsuits in multidistrict litigation over the products, said in the filing that the company is now facing investigation by a number of states. Endo did say that it is cooperating with the investigation.

The investigation, according to the filing, includes transvaginal surgical mesh products that are meant to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Endo said it received a subpoena from California in November and that other states followed suit. Currently, there are more than 20,000 lawsuits pending against American Medical Systems claiming that the company’s vaginal mesh products are defective and have caused chronic pain, incontinence and other injuries. As we have previously reported, the suits are in multidistrict litigation in West Virginia, as well as state and Canadian courts. Endo has said recently that it expects to spend at least $520 million to settle or otherwise end the product liability litigation it faces, which primarily consists of thousands of vaginal mesh injury cases.

The company increased its product liability reserve to about $520 million as of the end of last year, according to a securities filing. But the company said a loss in excess of that amount remains a “reasonable possibility.” Endo agreed in June to pay $54.4 million to settle an unspecified number of vaginal mesh claims. If you need additional information on this matter, or about the litigation generally, contact Leigh O’Dell, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Leigh.Odell@beasleyallen.com. Leigh is involved in all of the (TVM) Litigation. She will be glad to answer any questions that you might have.

Source: Law360.com

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Transportation - Apr 2, 2014 10:00 - 0 Comments

Injuries Related To Texting And Walking Are Increasing

We have written in several previous issues about the hazards created by texting and driving a vehicle. It’s now well recognized that texting and driving simply don’t mix. But texting and walking is also a known danger. Dietrich Jehle, professor of emergency medicine at the University at Buffalo, says distracted walking actually results in more injuries per mile than distracted driving. Consequences include bumping into walls, falling down stairs, tripping over clutter or stepping into traffic. Dr. Jehle, who is also an attending physician at Erie County Medical Center, a regional trauma center in Western New York observed:


When texting, you’re not as in control with the complex actions of walking. While talking on the phone is a distraction, texting is much more dangerous because you can’t see the path in front of you.


Although injuries from car accidents involving texting are often more severe, Dr. Jehle says that physical harm resulting from texting and walking occurs more frequently. Dr. Jehle explains that pedestrians face three types of distraction:





Dr. Jehle says he has seen first-hand in his practice the rise of cell phone-related injuries. Tens of thousands of pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms across the nation each year. Dr. Jehle believes as many as 10 percent of those visits result from accidents involving cell phones. He says the number of mishaps involving texting and walking is likely higher than official statistics suggest. That’s because patients tend to underreport information about themselves when it involves a behavior that is somewhat embarrassing. An injury occurring while a person is walking down a street and texting would certainly fall into that category.



Source: Claims Journal


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Employment and FLSA Litigation, Fraud - Apr 2, 2014 10:23 - 0 Comments

Record-Breaking Recoveries in Health Care Fraud Cases for Whistleblowers

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released their annual Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program report. The good news is that courageous individual whistleblowers are helping the government recover unprecedented amounts in the war against health care fraud. The bad news is that fraud continues to run rampant in the health care industry, costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year, as well as depriving health care services from those who need it most.

In 2013, the federal government recovered $4.3 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2012, against companies who defrauded federal health care programs. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the government has increased health care fraud recoveries. Additionally, the DOJ opened 1,013 new criminal health care fraud investigations and 1,083 new civil investigations against 1,910 potential defendants. As these investigations progress, 2014 should continue the record-setting trend.

The government’s successes came largely as a result of the bravery and diligence of individual whistleblowers who reported fraudulent activity they witnessed in the health care industry. Without the assistance of these men and women, the massive recoveries of taxpayer dollars would not have been possible. In short, we need to raise the awareness of health care fraud because you can make a difference.

If you, a family member, or someone you know has information concerning health care fraud or any type of fraud against the government, lawyers at Beasley Allen would welcome the opportunity to assist you. Lawyers in our firm have played a significant role in the campaign against health care fraud in the last decade, and have obtained unprecedented recoveries for both individual and governmental clients. For more information, you can visit our website at www.BeasleyAllen.com or you can call 800-898-2034 and ask for Chad Stewart (Chad.Stewart@beasleyallen.com), Larry Golston (Larry.Golston@BeasleyAllen.com), Lance Gould (Lance.Gould@BeasleyAllen.com), Archie Grubb (Archie.Grubb@BeasleyAllen.com), or Andrew Brashier (Andrew.Brashier@BeasleyAllen.com). Each of these lawyers is actively involved in ongoing whistleblower litigation.

Sources: www.whistleblower-insider.com; www.compliance.com; and www.hhs.gov

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