One of the U.S.’ Big Pharma giants is opening the checkbook over an old drug, but this time the investors are getting the payout. Merck feels pain of securities settlement over now-recalled Vioxx pain reliever. The $830M settlement brings to a close a federal class action suit in which Merck’s investors claim the company didn’t adequately inform them of the risk of heart disease caused by Vioxx.
Lawsuits & Litigation
A plumber in Texas recently sued AutoNation for failing to remove his business decal from a truck he sold to a dealer. Sounds silly, right? Not when you consider that the vehicle – decal intact! – somehow made it to Syria and was repurposed as a tool of jihad and captured in a photo that was subsequently tweeted to the world. To be clear: the truck’s former owner Mark Oberholtzer is NOT sympathetic to terrorists.
Comedian Bill Cosby sued seven sexual assault victims for defamation. That’s right, Pudding Pops is fighting back using the oldest trick in the book: women who speak out against celebrities who rape them must be doing so only for the money. Way to perpetuate the rape culture, Cos!
Flint residents are seeking class action status in a suit against the city and the state of Michigan alleging that cost-cutting measures put their health in danger. When Flint was put under emergency financial management, the city’s water supply was switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River. The pipe corrosion that followed exposed residents to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water.
A consumer-driven lawsuit against Ford Motor Company alleging fraud in advertising will go forward. The judge ruled that the suit claiming that Ford over-estimated fuel-efficiency numbers on the Fusion and C-Max hybrids had merit.
GM’s luck ran out as a federal bankruptcy judge ruled that plaintiffs in the faulty ignition suits could collect punitive damages if they could prove that “New GM” knew about “Old GM’s” defect and covered it up. Gone are the previous protections afforded the automaker by its 2009 bankruptcy.
C.R. Bard finally exhausted its appeals in the first case to go to trial involving its Avaulta transvaginal mesh product. The jury awarded plantiff Christine Scott $5.5M, split 60/40 between Bard and the operating surgeon. Bard immediately appealed. The last chance for reversal came in February 2015 and Bard broke out the checkbook in March. This was kept quiet; a reporter following the case discovered the payment by reviewing Bard’s public SEC investor reports.
As more customers report illness after eating at certain Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon, the company is facing more than just negative publicity. One Washington customer is suing the chain for over $75,000 after her burrito bowl allegedly caused her nausea and diarrhea. Her suffering was so severe, she sought treatment at an area hospital.
The U.S. government recently announced a settlement for $850,000 over claims that a routine prostate surgery at an government hospital left the plaintiff blind, impotent and incontinent. The surgery took roughly three times the usual duration of two and a half hours and the plaintiff was never informed that if it took longer than five hours, blindness may result.