Pfizer to Pay $190M in Class Action Settlement over Generic Neurontin


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This article originally appeared on www.bigclassaction.co

A $190 million settlement has been reached in New York in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against Pfizer which alleges the pharma giant engaged in tactics to delay market entry of generic versions of its epilepsy drug Neurontin.

The lawsuit was filed by purchasers of Neurontin in 2002, claiming Pfizer undertook campaign of sham patent infringement lawsuits and promotion of the drug for unapproved uses in order to maintain market exclusivity. The case is In re Neurontin Antitrust Litigation, No. 02-1390, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.

In 2004, Pfizer pleaded guilty to criminal charges of illegal marketing of Neurontin and paid $430 million to federal and state governments.

40-year-old English Professor Wins $27.5 Million in Rare Secondhand Asbestos Case

A Cleveland, Ohio, instructor has won $27.5 million in a lawsuit claiming that he contracted mesothelioma after coming into contact with asbestos on his father’s work clothes.  Doctors diagnosed John Panza, Jr., 40, with mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer, in 2012.  His father died in 1994 from lung cancer after working at Eaton Airflex brake company for 31 years.

The $27.5 million verdict is believed to be the largest of its kind in Ohio.  The jury awarded Panza $515,000 in economic damages and $12 million in non-economic damages. His wife, Jane Panza, was awarded $15 million for loss of consortium for a total award of $27,515,000.The only defendant at trial, Kelsey-Hayes Company, successor to National Friction Products Corp., was found 60% liable. The verdict was handed down on December 18, 2013.

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Gary Paul, partner at Waters, Kraus & Paul in San Francisco and lead trial attorney for the Panzas, said “I am so proud to represent John and his wife Jane. True justice happened today.”   Paul was assisted by Demetrious Zacharapolous, also an attorney at Waters, Kraus & Paul.

Attorney John Mismas, who served as local counsel, says “I’m just happy for the family.  Which for me, it’s not about me winning this award.  It’s not about the money for me.”

John Panza, Jr., an English instructor at Cuyahoga Community College, has undergone four separate surgeries, including the removal of his right lung.  The plant where his father worked from 1963 to 1993, owned by the former National Friction Products Corp., manufactured brake pads which contained asbestos. Panza’s father regularly came home covered in the cancer-causing material after working in the receiving and shipping department. He delivered materials all over the plant and was a frequent bystander to other employees who drilled and abraded National Friction products, which released asbestos.

The jury assigned 60 percent of the liability to Kelsey-Hayes, after finding that the brake pads made at the factory were defective and were the primary cause of Panza’s cancer.  40 percent of the liability was assigned to Eaton Airflex, which was protected from liability under Ohio law.  Kelsey-Hayes will be held responsible for the damages, and is expected to appeal the verdict.  There will be a second trial at a later date set by the court with a different jury to determine whether punitive damages should be awarded and in what amount.

Family of Virginia Man Killed by His Own House in a Tornado wins $1.7 Million Jury Award

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Path of tornado Surry Co. to Mathews Co., including Gloucester Co., VA. April 16, 2011

A jury in Virginia awarded $1.7 million in a construction defect case to the family  of a Gloucester, Virginia man who was killed when a tornado dropped his own modular house on him.

Richard Ingram, 53, was killed on April 16, 2011, when a tornado lifted his home off of its foundation and crashed it into a nearby garage where he was working.  Robert J. Haddad, the attorney representing Ingram’s estate, argued that Ingram’s modular home had not been properly anchored to its foundation.

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Circuit Court Judge Frederick B. Lowe instructed the jury that the contractor which installed Ingram’s home, Custom Builders Express, had violated several portions of the building code.  Judge Lowe said the only thing for jurors to decide was whether the contractor’s negligence was a proximate cause of Ingram’s death.

The tornado had a nearly continuous damage path ranging in width from around 200 yards to as much as a half mile wide in Gloucester county, according to the National Weather Service. Over 200 homes were damaged with many of these homes severely damaged. Numerous trees were downed or sheared off.

Defense attorney C. Jay Robbins IV, representing Benchmark Insurance Co., argued that the EF-3 tornado was so powerful that Ingram’s home would have been ripped from its foundation even if it had been anchored.  Robbins also told jurors that the garage where Ingram was working had already been destroyed by the tornado, and that Ingram was likely killed before the house was blown onto the garage.  After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ingram’s estate, which had sought $2.4 million in damages.  Robbins has appealed the verdict.

 

A Lawyer and Partner, and Also Bankrupt

New York Times; January 24, 2014

Anyone who wonders why law school applications are plunging and there’s widespread malaise in many big law firms might consider the case of Gregory M. Owens.

The silver-haired, distinguished-looking Mr. Owens would seem the embodiment of a successful Wall Street lawyer. A graduate of Denison University and Vanderbilt Law School, Mr. Owens moved to New York City and was named a partner at the then old-line law firm of Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood, and after a merger, at Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Today, Mr. Owens, 55, is a partner at an even more eminent global law firm, White & Case. A partnership there or any of the major firms collectively known as “Big Law” was long regarded as the brass ring of the profession, a virtual guarantee of lifelong prosperity and job security.

But on New Year’s Eve, Mr. Owens filed for personal bankruptcy.

To read the complete article, please click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/business/partner-in-a-prestigious-law-firm-and-bankrupt.html

Neiman Marcus Hacked, Class Action Claims

Courthouse News Service; January 14, 2014

BROOKLYN (CN) – Neiman Marcus waited for weeks to tell its customers their credit and debit card information may have been stolen, a class action claims in Federal Court.
Lead plaintiff Melissa Frank claims her debit card information was stolen in December and fraudulent charges were run up on it-but Neiman Marcus did not tell its customers about the hack attack until Jan. 10.
And, as in the well-publicized Target fiasco , Neiman Marcus did not publicize the attack, but a blogger was the first to alert the public, Frank says in the lawsuit.

To read the complete article, please click here: http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/14/64502.htm

Insurer Wants No Part of Attorneys’ Brawl

Courthouse News Service; January 14, 2014

CHICAGO (CN) – State Farm wants no part in defending a public defender who allegedly jumped on a prosecutor’s back, twisted his neck, slammed him to the ground and sat on him.
State Farm Fire & Casualty Company sued Henry Hams and Michael McCormick in Cook County Court.
The insurer claims policy exclusions allow it to bow out of the affair that began 3½ years ago between Hams, a Cook County public defender, and McCormick, an assistant state’s attorney.

To read the complete article, please click here: http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/14/64499.htm

Slain Dad’s Texting to Daughter Cited as Motive in Shooting

ABC News; January 14, 2014

A retired Tampa police captain is expected to appear in court later today, accused of fatally shooting a man and injuring his wife during an argument over cellphone texting in front of horrified moviegoers.

“Someone throws popcorn,” eyewitness Charles Cummings said Monday after the shooting inside the theater, according to ABC News Radio. “I’m not sure who threw the popcorn and then bang, he was shot. He staggered two seats over and fell on my son and I.

“The guy who was shot said something; ‘I just was texting my … three-year-old daughter,'” Cummings added.

To read the complete article and watch a video report, please click here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/slain-dads-texting-daughter-cited-motive-shooting/story?id=21523732

NCAA’s Supreme Court Petition Is an Air Ball

Courthouse News Service; January 13, 2014

WASHINGTON (CN) – The Supreme Court battle over college athletes’ image rights may be over before it even started after the justices rejected key motions Monday.
Brewing since 2009, the case at hand involves a group of former student-athletes challenging the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s use of their images in video games, merchandise and other promotional materials.
Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon filed the first complaint in the case, alleging that the NCAA violated his and other athletes’ right to make money off their likenesses.
The NCAA’s licensing arm, Collegiate Licensing Co., and the video game company Electronic Arts were also named as defendants.

To read the complete article, please click here: http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/13/64478.htm

Two Drugs Linked to Stevens Johnson Syndrome


Lawyersandsettlements.com; January 13, 2014

Toronto, Canada: Two drugs have recently been linked to a potentially fatal condition known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome. One of the drugs, capecitabine, was linked to SJS in a letter by Hoffman-La Roche and Health Canada (similar to the US Food and Drug Administration) following reports by the drug’s maker that Stevens Johnson syndrome symptoms had been seen in patients using the drug.

Capecitabine (Xeloda) is a drug used to treat certain cancers. In a Dear Healthcare Professional letter dated December 3, 2013, and sent out by the drug’s maker Hoffman-La Roche, with an endorsement by Health Canada, the pharmaceutical company noted that “very rare cases of severe cutaneous reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), in some cases with fatal outcome, have been reported during treatment with XELODA.”

To read the complete article, please click here: http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/sjs/stevens-johnson-syndrome-sjs-85-19421.html#.UtRd8rRiCmE

Investigation Confirms Water Contamination in PA, OH, WVA & TX linked to Fracking

News Inferno; January 8, 2014

An Associated Press (AP) investigation has confirmed complaints about well-water contamination from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other oil and gas drilling in four states.

The boom in hydraulic fracturing in the last ten years has produced an accompanying increase in concern about water contamination and other forms of pollution. The AP examined data on drilling-related water-contamination complaints in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas, states with numerous fracking sites, Aljazeera America reports.

To read the complete article, please click here: http://www.newsinferno.com/investigation-confirms-water-pollution-in-pennslyvania-ohio-west-virginia-and-texas-linked-to-fracking/