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  • Antidepressants, Sleep Aids, and Allergy Drugs Linked to Alzheimer’s DiseaseMarch 4th, 2015

    For many years, consumers have taken Benadryl as a sleep aid, assuming that it is a safe and non-habit forming solution for occasional insomnia. A recent study, however, led by Dr. Shelly Gray of the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and published in JAMA …

  • The Right to Jury Trial in Civil Cases: Reasserting the Importance of the Seventh AmendmentFebruary 25th, 2015

    The right to a jury trial in criminal cases is well known, but the right to a jury trial in civil cases is also a sacrosanct right under the United States Constitution. The Seventh Amendment is under attack, argues Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center …

  • Campaign Finance Threatens Political and Judicial ImpartialityFebruary 18th, 2015

    Back in November, we argued that in recent years campaign finance–especially among potential judges–has undermined Americans’ faith in the judicial branch. Thanks to ThePopTort.com, we’ve got more bad news on that front after only a few months’ time. The legal blog mentions the recent case of …

  • 39 Pennsylvania Hospitals Fined for Preventable MistakesFebruary 11th, 2015

    A few months ago we wrote about a program called Leapfrog, whose goal is to assign letter grades to the country’s hospitals in an effort to establish their safety in a quantifiable, easily understandable way. Writing for PennLive, David Wenner reports that the Affordable Care …

  • Drug Companies Spend Millions Marketing Redundant and Potentially Dangerous TreatmentsFebruary 4th, 2015

    The investigative journalism website ProPublica, in conjunction with the New York Times medical blog The Upshot, recently published an article analyzing drug companies’ spending over the past five months in order to ascertain what drugs and medical devices they were promoting most heavily. The answer, it …

  • Further FDA Failures: Diabetes MedicationsJanuary 28th, 2015

    When it comes to regulation, there are many areas in which the FDA could improve its practices–compounding pharmacies, energy drinks, herbal dietary products, generic drugs,testosterone supplements, plastic water bottles, and cancer treatments–but we can now add diabetes medication like Januvia, Byetta, and Victoza to this list …

  • Caps on Damages Keep Wisconsin Family from Suing GM, Potentially Saving LivesJanuary 21st, 2015

    In 2006, eighteen-year-old Natasha Weigel was killed (along with a close friend) when the Chevrolet Cobalt she was driving left the roadway and struck several trees. It was clear immediately that the vehicle’s air bags did not deploy as they were supposed to, but the …

  • Contamination Rampant in Meat Processing PlantsJanuary 14th, 2015

    What do pharmaceuticals, automobiles, reusable plastic water bottles, and roller coasters have in common? All are manufactured or operated under conditions that are inadequately regulated by the federal government, whose job it is to protect consumers from corporations valuing their bottom lines above individuals’ safety. As …

  • Pharmacy Linked to Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Faces Criminal ChargesJanuary 7th, 2015

    Back in October 2012, this blog began covering a fungal meningitis outbreak originating in Massachusetts that eventually killed sixty-four people and injured over 750 more across twenty states. Authorities traced the debilitating outbreak to the New England Compounding Center, a pharmaceutical company that provided personalized …

  • Caps on Non-Economic Damages Disproportionately Affect Women, Children, SeniorsDecember 31st, 2014

    Last week’s post ended with a tentative prediction that over the next few years we will see a push at the national level to enact caps on damages in civil cases. To explain it simply, a cap on damages is the equivalent of denying a …

  • New Congress Expected to Take Aim at Asbestos VictimsDecember 24th, 2014

    Now that the dust has settled after this year’s midterm elections–in which thirty-three Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for grabs–both the House and the Senate will be in the hands of Republicans (for the first time since …

  • Generic Drugmaker Makes Potentially Dangerous Product, Sues FDA for Slowing Its SaleDecember 17th, 2014

    This blog has been covering issues related to generic drugs–warning labels, FDA oversight, and legal immunity–for more than a year, but this industry is nothing if not persistent. One of the largest manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals in the world–Ranbaxy Laboratories, with net revenue of $2 …

  • $15 Million Herbalife Settlement Raises Questions about Dietary Supplement RegulationDecember 10th, 2014

    In the past few months, this blog has explored ways in which class action lawsuits and FDA regulation affect the lives of everyday Americans. Today we will discuss the corporation Herbalife–which sells “nutrition, weight-management, energy and fitness, and personal care products”–in a story that combines …

  • More Evidence Tort Reform Doesn’t Lower Healthcare CostsDecember 3rd, 2014

    One of the issues this blog has covered tirelessly is tort reform, which (in states that have passed such legislation) has neither created more doctors nor lowered overall healthcare costs. Writing for the New York Times’ healthcare blog The Upshot, medical school professor Aaron E. …

  • More Seniors Means More Falls, More DeathsNovember 26th, 2014

    Americans are living longer due to advances in medicine, but the physical safety of the elderly population is becoming even more precarious. According to a New York Times article published in late October, “The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly …

  • Understanding the Dangers of Trucks in the Wake of the Berks County TragedyNovember 20th, 2014

    Over the past few years, this blog has discussed the dangers of trucking from various angles, covering the government’s efforts to keep drivers off their cell phones and reporting about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s findings that tractor-trailers killed nearly 3,800 people in 2011. …

  • Campaign Finance Undermines Americans’ Faith in Judicial BranchNovember 19th, 2014

    Tort reform is hardly a headline-grabbing subject, and it’s not all that often that a high-profile news outlet runs a thorough and insightful piece on the subject. The magazine Mother Joneshas done so, however, in an article targeting interest groups’ financing of judicial elections called …

  • Takata Air Bag Recall: Worse Than We ThoughtNovember 12th, 2014

    Back in July of this year, we published an article about a recall that happened at the same time as the 20 million-vehicle GM recall, which despite being nearly as dangerous was not as well-chronicled. While GM was trying to deal with cars that powered …

  • How Class Action Lawsuits Help All AmericansNovember 5th, 2014

    In the past, this blog has covered the issue of forced arbitration (through contracts of adhesion), a practice that enables corporations and other businesses to avoid lawsuits from consumers in favor of mediation with a company-appointed arbitrator. The consumer has no idea that he/she is …

  • Are Punitive Damages in Texas Punitive Enough?October 29th, 2014

    In mid-September of this year, a jury in Texas awarded Martha Salazar $73 million dollars–including $50 million in punitive damages–after she brought a lawsuit against Boston Scientific, the company responsible for manufacturing the Obtryx transvaginal mesh sling. Salazar, who received the pelvic implant to clear …

  • Missouri Cap on Punitive Damages OverturnedOctober 22nd, 2014

    Punitive damages–monetary amounts designed to be a deterrent for reckless behavior against defendants–are important to the civil justice system in this country. However, they are also often attacked by critics in the so-called “tort reform” movement for being disproportionately large and arbitrarily assigned. The headlines …

  • Texas Hospital Misses Ebola DiagnosisOctober 15th, 2014

    By now it is common knowledge that there is an outbreak of the infectious disease Ebola in West Africa. Having killed thousands there, the disease has also spread to the United States, where one patient just died (at the time of this writing). Thomas Duncan, …

  • Drive-By Doctoring: The Hidden Costs of HealthcareOctober 8th, 2014

    Since the summer of 2013, journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal has been publishing articles in theNew York Times in an ongoing series called “Paying Till It Hurts,” which investigates the incredibly high price of healthcare in the United States. Her most recent entry, which ran on the …

  • Medical Malpractice: It Isn’t Limited To HospitalsOctober 1st, 2014

    Over the years, many in the medical profession have pushed for so-called tort reform measures, which would alter the country’s civil justice system so that it is tilted in its favor. Lobbyists have made efforts to limit liability for medical negligence claims. But when it …

  • Under Increased Scrutiny, Cracks Appear in Federal Auto RegulationSeptember 24th, 2014

    The last time this blog posted an article on the massive (20 million cars and counting) recall issued by GM earlier this year, it was to report that federal regulators were beginning to suspect a cover-up among executives at the automotive company. More troubling, from …

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