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Wednesday Last Day to Sign on to Knauf Chinese Drywall Lawsuit

This is a make-or-break week for Chinese drywall claimants whose homes were built with wallboard made by Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.   They only have until Wednesday, December 2, to  sign on to an omnibus class action lawsuit if they want to avoid some onerous international lawsuit requirements.

Knauf Plasterboard has agreed to waive its rights under The Hague Convention for the Service of Process Abroad for homeowners who sign on to this lawsuit by the December 2 deadline.  The Hague Convention for the Service of Process Abroad requires claimants to pay approximately $15,000 per lawsuit, which allows for the translation of legal documents into Chinese and to have them presented to the appropriate authorities in China to obtain service on the Chinese drywall manufacturers. These requirements are obviously a huge obstacle to Chinese drywall claimants, and Knauf’s offer to waive them will greatly streamline the litigation process for plaintiffs who make the deadline.   (more…)

Another Infuse Bone Graft Study Under Fire

A study involving Medtronic Inc.’s  Infuse Bone Graft conducted by a doctor already under fire for his financial ties to the device maker is raising questions and criticism.  According to a report in  the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dr. Charles Rosen, president of the Association for Medical Ethics, has written a letter to the U.S. Army Surgeon General expressing concerns about the way the Medtronic Infuse study, which was conducted at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, was handled.

The Walter Reed Infuse study detailed by the Star Tribune was conducted by Dr. David Polly. Incidentally, one of  the co-author on Dr. Polly’s Walter Reed Infuse study was Dr. Timothy Kuklo.  As we’ve reported previously, Dr. Kuklo has been accused of falsifying data in another Infuse study done at Walter Reed.   Dr. Kuklo’s study was published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in August 2008, but retracted last March.  (more…)

Chinese Drywall Lawsuit Deadline Set for Next Wednesday

An important Chinese drywall lawsuit deadline is fast approaching – in fact, it’s only a week away.  By December 2, 2009, Chinese drywall claimants  whose homes were built with wallboard manufactured by Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. must join an omnibus class action lawsuit if they want to avoid some onerous requirements faced by plaintiffs in international lawsuits.

Knauf Plasterboard has agreed to waive its rights under The Hague Convention for the Service of Process Abroad for homeowners who sign on to this lawsuit by the December 2 deadline.  The actual lawsuit will be filed in federal court on December 9. (more…)

NSF Lawsuit Names Missouri Hospital

A kidney disease patient has filed a lawsuit against St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Mo., claiming the hospital was negligent in administering contrast dyes to him during MRI and MRA procedures.   The plaintiff was diagnosed with  nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), a deadly disorder that affects people with kidney impairment who have been exposed to gadolinium agents.

According to the lawsuit,  the plaintiff was administered a gadolinium agent at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Mo. in January 2005 in conjunction with an MRI.  The plaintiff was administered a contrast agent and underwent magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) on Oct. 10, 2007, at St. Luke’s. On Nov. 6, 2007, another MRA, again requiring the use of a contrast agent, was performed on the plaintiff at the hospital. (more…)

$103 Million in Punitive Damages Ordered in Prempro Lawsuits

Pfizer Inc. has gotten hit with two more big damage awards in  Prempro lawsuits.  Yesterday, a pair of  Philadelphia juries  ordered the drug maker to pay punitive damages totaling $103 million to two women who blamed Prempro for their breast cancer.

A legal expert told the  Philadelphia  Inquirer that the punitive damage awards in the Philadelphia Prempro lawsuits could indicate that “jurors are sending a message that they are angry about the corporate conduct in the cases.” (more…)

Chinese Drywall Trial Date Set

The federal judge overseeing the massive  Chinese drywall litigation in New Orleans has set January 25, 2010 as the date for the first Chinese drywall trial.  Seven Virginia homes built with drywall manufactured by Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., a company controlled by the Chinese government, will be the focus of the trial.  Earlier this fall, Taishan was issued a default judgment by Judge Eldon E. Fallon for failing to respond to Chinese drywall lawsuits.

In the days leading up to the trial, lawyers for both sides will be assessing the homes to determine a remediation protocol and evaluate the cost of repairs.  Judge Fallon will then make a ruling on how much Taishan is responsible for paying.   That determination could be used to determine damages in other Chinese drywall lawsuits. (more…)

Recall Issued for 2.1 Million Stork Craft Cribs

A whopping 2.1 million defective drop side cribs made by Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc. have been recalled in the U.S. and Canada.  According to the  U.S Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the cribs have been implicated in the suffocation deaths of four children.

According to the CPSC, the recalled Stork Craft cribs’ drop-side plastic hardware can break, deform, or parts can become missing. In addition, the drop-side can be installed upside-down, which can result in broken or disengaged plastic parts. All of these problems can cause the drop-side to detach in one or more corners. When the drop-side detaches, it creates space between the drop-side and the crib mattress. The bodies of infants and toddlers can become entrapped in the space which can lead to suffocation. Complete detachment of drop-sides can lead to falls from the crib. (more…)

Jury Awards $6.3 Million to Plaintiff in Prempro, Provera Lawsuit

A Philadelphia jury awarded $6.3 million to a woman who claimed the use of  Prempro and Provera caused  her breast cancer.

According to Bloomberg.com, the Philadelphia jury spent about 5 hours deliberating the Prempro-Provera lawsuit.  The plaintiff, a 66-year-old woman, had a double mastectomy in 2002 after taking the hormone-replacement drugs for 11 years.  The verdict, which was handed down on Friday, was the largest compensatory damage award handed down in cases tried in Philadelphia so far.  (more…)

CPSC Says Metal Corrosion in Homes Linked to Chinese Drywall

Homeowners plagued by defective Chinese drywall finally have some answers today.  According to the results of a  Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) study, the smelly Chinese drywall is tied to metal corrosion seen in homes built with the material.  However, the agency said that more investigation is needed to determine what long term hazards the defective Chinese drywall may pose.

The CPSC said it will be using the results from this study and other information to design a cost-effective screening protocol to identify homes with problem drywall.  Its Identification and Remediation Protocol Team will also look at remediation protocols, to see what cost-efficiency improvements to current remediation practices, if any, may be available, and what guidance should be issued on doing the work safely, the agency said. (more…)

CPSC to Announce Massive Crib Recall Tomorrow

Parents can expect another recall of drop side cribs tomorrow.  The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has not announced what cribs will be involved in the recall, but media outlets are already reporting that it it will  be one of the biggest crib recalls in U.S. history.

A safety expert told CBS News that parents should check the CPSC Web site to determine if the crib they are using has already been recalled, especially if it has drop sides.  The CPSC has also cautioned consumers to double check the hardware on their cribs, to insure that side rails can’t move back and forth.  Finally, the agency is urging parents to no longer move the side rail up and down on any drop side crib. (more…)

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