The Texas woman who identified herself only as “Barbara” hasn't had it has bad as some women. For many vaginal mesh lawsuit plaintiffs, there have been numerous revision surgeries, disabling pain and complete inability to engage in the sex act.
“Barbara” had her first vaginal mesh implanted in 1996 to treat urinary stress incontinence. She was informed that the procedure would help her deal with the problem for ten years before another surgery would be necessary. She experienced mild discomfort over that time, but says it was “nothing I couldn't live with.”
It's a hugely profitable business. Helping guys to “T it up” has been making a few people very, very rich as an aging male population looks for quick and easy ways to preserve their youth and virility – despite compelling evidence that taking such supplements unnecessarily can greatly increase the chances of stroke and heart attack.
There are arguably some men who can benefit from TRT, or “testosterone replacement therapy” - but their numbers are far smaller than the total number of men who have heeded Big Pharma's call to “T it up.” According to data from the American Medical Association, some 13 million men are using supplemental testosterone – and as many as a quarter of them have not undergone any medical testing beforehand.
While men – encouraged by a clever marketing campaign – have been lining up around the block in order to “T it up,” the drug companies pushing this alleged “fountain of youth” have gotten more bad news this week.
In the wake of FDA investigations in to the overuse of testosterone supplements – increasingly supported by the medical profession – at least one manufacturer of these supplements is starting to feel pain as a result.
Just before Thanksgiving Day, company director Rhonda Stryker – granddaughter of founder Dr. Homer Stryker – unloaded 14,000 shares of her own stock to the tune of more than $1.04 million. Of course, she still holds $12.3 million in company stock, and her own net worth – like those of her siblings – is in the billions. $1 million in comparison is pocket change. While there was nothing illegal or even unethical about it, given what is going on Stryker lawsuits and other company woes, one must wonder about the timing.
In recent months, the German pharmaceutical firm Frenesius has been taken to task over its dialysis drug, Granuflo, over allegations that the drug has caused patients to suffer heart attacks. This is caused by a number of conditions due to the fact that Granuflo contains a higher concentration of sodium diacetate than similar medications. Frenesius apparently failed to make doctors outside its own network of dialysis clinics aware of this. This “failure to warn” is at the heart of Granuflo lawsuits that have been filed over the past few years.
It's not good news for Big Pharma, which has been making a killing (literally) with their slick ad campaign warning guys about the hazards of “Low T” and encouraging them to “T it up.” But it's high time it happened.
PENSACOLA, FL, Feb. 18, 2014 – The Sacred Heart Foundation has announced its upcoming “Healing Hands” Gala Fundraiser for 2014, sponsored by the attorneys at the Levin Papantonio Law Firm. This event is for the benefit of the Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart, and will be held Friday, March 28, 2014. The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart cares for over 5,000 critically ill and injured infants and children annually – from one-pound micro-premies struggling to grow to teens beating cancer. The hospital turns away no child.
When a prominent reporter for a major national magazine, known for his defense of “Big Pharma” starts criticizing that same industry for its behavior, you know something is definitely wrong.
If you were to discuss low testosterone (or “Low T” as some clever Madison Avenue huckster has dubbed it) with a medical professional, he or she would likely tell you that it is a normal part of aging. Unlike women, who experience a relatively sudden shutdown in the production of estrogen around age 50 (menopause), the decrease of testosterone in males is gradual, starting around age 30. By age 45, approximately 40% of all men are effected.
There has been continued litigation between BP and the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee regarding the interpretation of the Settlement Agreement and its effect on the claims process. With the exception of seafood compensation fund claims, coastal real property claims, and individual claims, all of the business economic loss claims have been stayed pending the outcome of the issues before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Toward the end of last week, Nicholas Scorsch, announced that his company RCS Capital intends to purchase Cetera Financial Group. Together the new organization will make one of the largest networks of independent broker-dealers in the U.S.. Scorsch has made his fortunes by renovating a section of the real estate economy know as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
Nontraded REITs come in a variety of packages and many financial advisors push the sale because of the large commissions.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the anti-coagulant dabigatran – sold by German pharmaceutical firm Boehringer-Ingelheim (BI) under the brand name Pradaxa – it was determined that the danger of potentially fatal hemorrhaging was no greater than it was with the old standby, warfarin (Coumadin). Furthermore, there were far fewer drug interactions to worry about, so doctors, especially those specializing in geriatric medicine, hailed the new medication as a near-miracle.
4/14/14 - IMPORTANT REMINDER: The releases and dismissals stipulations are due for all claimants on April 30, 2014. This is each counsel’s individual responsibility. The forms required are attached at the bottom of this webpage. Please fill these out for each of your clients and, no later than April 30, 2014, submit to Merck’s counsel: Stephen E.Marshall, Esq., Venable LLP, 750 E. Pratt St., Suite 900, Baltimore, MD 21202.
4/11/14 - Judge Keenan has issued an order appointing the settlement special masters and administration officers. The order is posted below. The information specific to the lien resolution administrator will be posted by separate update in the next week.
4/7/14 - DECEASED CLIENTS UPDATE: The PSC has decided that an alternative small estate procedure proposal could not be reconciled with the Master Settlement Agreement in place, particularly since Merck would oppose the requested relief. Therefore, please be advised that the PSC will NOT be filing any motion to establish an alternative small estate procedure excusing the lack of appointment of a personal representative for cases with deceased clients. As a result, please make sure to have the properly named representative with the proper authority ready to execute the settlement paperwork for those claimants who have died during the pendency of their Fosamax case.
4/3/14 - DECEASED CLIENTS INFORMATION: PSC Lead Counsel Tim O’Brien reminds everyone that, as of the current time, if your client is deceased, it is important for you to have either an executor/executrix or an appointed personal representative with authority to execute the release on April 30, 2014. While the PSC will file a motion with the Court this week asking the Court to employ an alternative personal representativead litem process (similar to the Avandia MDL) for small claims, Merck has indicated it will oppose the requested relief and therefore you should not assume this relief will be granted and should prepare your claims for deceased clients accordingly.
3/31/14 - The PSC has posted to the www.fosamaxmdl.com website the Description of the Fosamax Jaw Settlement Program for Claimants’ Counsel’s use with their respective clients. Additionally, the PSC has prepared a model cover letter which Claimants’ Counsel may use as a privileged communication forwarding the Release/Certification and Description of the Jaw Settlement Program to their respective clients. Due to its attorney-client privileged nature, the model cover letter is not available on the www.fosamaxmdl.com website but may be requested by emailing Tim O’Brien at tobrienlevinlaw [dot] com. Only counsel who have claimants listed on the Master Settlement Agreement Exhibit A will have access to the model cover letter. The fully executed Master Settlement Agreement will be posted to this website later this week.
3/28/14 - The Fosamax Allocation Committee has posted to www.fosamaxmdl.com the settlement participation forms that must be completed and returned by Claimants Counsel to Merck no later than April 30, 2014 to Merck’s counsel: Stephen E.Marshall, Esq., Venable LLP, 750 E. Pratt St., Suite 900, Baltimore, MD 21202. For each participating claimant, Claimants’ Counsel will have to submit the filled out Certification/Release of Claims and, if litigation is pending, a Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice. The Certification/Release must be filled out where indicated and the Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice must follow the appropriate form provided below. Next week, the Fosamax Allocation Committee will post a model settlement plan disclosure document and cover letter to the claimants’ which counsel are free to use in their own cases. The executed Master Settlement Agreement will be posted next week as well.
Regarding the Claims Process, the Eligibility and Allocation Committee will begin receiving claim packages on April 30, 2014, through May 30, 2014. An online portal will be established for the completion and submission of the Claims Form and upload of materials in support of the Claims Form and the instructions and address for that website will be provided by separate update.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THE SUBMISSION OF THE RELEASE/CERTIFICATION AND THE STIPULATION OF DISMISSAL DOES NOT END THE CLAIM PROCESS. RATHER, IT SIMPLY PUTS THE CLAIMANT INTO THE PARTICIPATION STATUS FOR THE SETTLEMENT. IF NO CLAIM FORM AND PACKAGE IS RECEIVED BY THE ELIGIBLITY AND ALLOCATION COMMITTEE THROUGH THE SEPARATE CLAIMS PROCESS FOR A PARTICULAR CLAIMANT, THAT CLAIMANT’S CASE WILL STILL BE DISMISSED AND CLAIMS AGAINST MERCK WILL BE RELEASED. THUS, IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THE SETTLEMENT VALUE FOR A CLAIMANT’S CASE, CLAIMANT’S COUNSEL WILL HAVE TO COMPLY WITH TWO SEPARATE SUBMISSION PROCESSES: (1) THE SUBMISSION OF THE CERTIFICATION/RELEASE AND DISMISSAL TO MERCK’S COUNSEL NO LATER THAN APRIL 30, 2014; AND (2) THE COMPLETION OF THE CLAIMS FORM WITH SUPPORTING MATERIALS BETWEEN APRIL 30, 2014, AND MAY 30, 2014.
3/24/14 - PSC Lead Counsel Tim O’Brien announces that the following updated deadlines apply to the settlement administration:
04/30/14: Releases and Dismissals Due to Merck for Each Participating Claimant
05/15/14: Merck Walk-away Deadline
05/30/14: Claim Packages Due
We are working with this ethics advisor, Prof. Lynn Baker, to provide each claimant’s counsel with a settlement summary document and cover letter to send to each counsel’s clients. Once those documents are complete, the release forms, dismissal forms, cover letter form, and settlement summary document will all be posted to this website for counsel to download and prepare as necessary for each of his/her clients.
3/10/14 - PSC Lead Counsel Tim O'Brien announced today that the Master Settlement Agreement forms have been finalized and will be posted within the next week. Also, MERCK HAS AGREED THAT ALL DEADLINES UNDER THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT ARE EXTENDED BY 30 DAYS. Therefore, the deadline to put Fosamax clients into the settlement does not arise until April 30, 2014. Stay tuned to this message board for further updates, as well as the settlement forms and disclosure documents which will be posted next week.
2/21/14 - The Fosamax MDL No. 1789 Settlement & Allocation Committee has posted to the www.fosamaxmdl.com website a worksheet for counsel to use in gathering the information that will be needed to submit with the final claim form. Please note: THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL FOSAMAX SETTLEMENTCLAIM FORM. THIS WORKSHEET IS PREPARED BY THE FOSAMAX MDL NO. 1789 PSC SETTLEMENT & ALLOCATION COMMITTEE SO THAT CLAIMANT’S COUNSEL CAN IDENTIFY AND BEGIN COLLATING THE INFORMATION THAT WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED WITH THE FINAL CLAIM FORM, WHICH WILL BE POSTED AT A LATER DATE.
2/20/14 - PSC Lead Counsel Tim O'Brien reports that the settlement participation documents are in the final stage of revisions with Merck and will be posted as soon as they are complete. There will also be a cover letter summarizing and explaining the settlement for all Claimants Counsel to send to their clients. What will be due in March 31, 2014, will be the signed Releases and Stipulations of Dismissal, which will be held in escrow pending the eligibility determinations. The actual claim packages will not be due on March 31, 2014. The claim packages will have a due date of May 31, 2014.
02/07/14 - PSC Lead Counsel Tim O’Brien reports that the master settlement agreement will require deceased plaintiffs’ claims to be handled by a duly appointed personal representative or estate administrator. Therefore, if you have claims for now-deceased plaintiffs still pending where the personal representative of the Estate or administrator has not been appointed, please take the steps necessary to secure those appointments prior to the March 31, 2014.
01/29/14 - PSC Lead Counsel Tim O'Brien reports that the Fosamax jaw settlement claim forms are close to finalization and will be posted on this web page once finalized, likely by the end of next week. To get these message updates automatically, Subscribe to our RSS feed
01/13/14 - PSC Lead Counsel Tim O’Brien reports that the first master settlement deadline has been met and satisfied. The Allocation Committee delivered to Merck today the list of participating firms with 100% of firms participating. Stay tuned to this page for further updates and settlement claim forms, which should be posted by the end of January.
Fosamax MDL 1789
The Fosamax Examiner
If a medical device is implanted in a patient, and afterward, someone at the company determines there are defects and issues a written memo suggesting improvements, can those memos constitute evidence against the company in a lawsuit for that patient's pain, suffering and medical expenses?
With the last of three vaginal mesh lawsuit bellwether trials set to begin shortly (the first one resulted in a $2 million award to the plaintiff, while the plaintiff in the second one was granted an undisclosed amount), the question of “lawsuit funding” has been raised in the media.
If you are a plaintiff in a pending vaginal mesh lawsuit, chances are that you have already been approached by one of a number of companies offering “pre-settlement lawsuit funding.” Essentially, these companies are offering vaginal mesh lawsuit plaintiffs advances on their settlements.
The litigation firm representing Michigan plaintiffs in one of over a thousand Stryker hip lawsuits, as well as its Howmedica division over the latter's defective hip replacements reported a victory at the beginning of December.
DePuy’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, has announced that it will enter into a $2.475 billion DePuy hip settlement agreement with plaintiffs in MDL 2197. The DePuy hip settlement covers patients who have undergone a revision surgery as of August 31, 2013. Individuals who have not undergone a revision as of August 31, 2013, still have legal rights available to them and should contact our firm to discuss them.
Various media sources recently announced that an experimental antidote for Pradaxa – an anticoagulant implicated in bleeding deaths – has successfully reversed the effects of the drug in healthy subjects during early trials. One might expect that Pradaxa’s manufacturer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, would be jumping for joy – but the jury is still out. A remedy for serious uncontrolled bleeding brought on by Pradaxa is still sorely needed.
PENSACOLA, FL, OCT.