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August 2014 Archives

Legal Malpractice Claim of $20 Million, Decision Soon

Decision due this year on $20 million legal malpractice fine threat to Chicago law firm. The claim dates back to 1991. Extraordinary.

If the court decides against the firm, Barack Ferrazzono Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, the 24 partners named on the lawsuit could also be involved in making substantial payments. The case relates to the decision of the firm not to represent a potential client, Morton Goldfine, who claimed that he had lost nearly US$5m in a securities fraud. But Mr Goldfine had asked the firm to protect his interests for six months under a 'blue sky law' which would have involved notifying the broker Shearson Lehman Bros of a possible action against them. The law firm did not make such a notification within the six months period. Barack Ferrazzano has been successfully sued by Mr Goldfine. The Supreme Court is to decide the total amount, how far it dates back and how to calculate the interest charged and other ingredients in the damages claim. A friend of the court brief from the Illinois State and Chicago bar association states that the 'well-being' of lawyers is threatened by 'the long pendency of these types of claims. Thanks to Neasa MacErlean for her post on chicagobusiness. Original article appeared in Crains. Ball and Bonholtzer legal malpractice attorneys.

Pharmaceutical Litigation: $9 Billion Actos Verdict

Highest award ever in pharmaceutical lawsuits and seventh largest punitive award in U.S. history. Could this be a trend?

Takeda Seeks New Trial After $9B Actos Lawsuit Verdict

JULY 24, 2014 Drug giants Takeda Pharmaceuticals and partner Eli Lilly say that a jury acted with passion and prejudice, rather than reason and evidence, to grant a pharmaceutical litigation award of $9 billion to a married couple in a landmark Actos bladder cancer lawsuit verdict.In April, after only a few hours of deliberation, a jury awarded the plaintiffs, Terrance Allen and his wife, $1.5 million in compensatory damages and a staggering $9 billion in punitive damages in the first of 3,000 Actos lawsuits pending in the federal court system. Mr. Allen had been taking Actos, a Type 2 diabetes drug for several years when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The Allen's verdict came in the first in a series of "bellwether" cases scheduled in the federal courts to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to similar evidence and testimony that will be offered in other Actos cases.

Testosterone Products, National Lawsuit Possible

The prescribed use of testosterone products has been linked to serious injury and deaths. Now, according to the latest press release below,  the number of cases has reached a magnitude where a national lawsuit against the manufacturers seems likely.

August 19, 2014 via Business Wire. A law firm is investigating filing the first nationwide class action lawsuit against the makers of testosterone as a result of serious injuries and deaths linked to the products. Users prescribed with low testosterone or "Low T" therapy are claiming testosterone is to blame for dangerous side effects such as:
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
... leading to serious injuries and death.The suit would claim that manufacturers knew of these risks and failed to warn the public. It would also claim that manufacturers aggressively marketed testosterone by misleading potential users about the safety and efficacy of low testosterone treatments; ultimately failing to protect users from serious, life-threatening, adverse medical events. Recent studies indicate that men over 65 have a double risk of a heart attack within 90 days of starting hormone therapy. Among men under the age of 65 with a history of heart disease, there is a two-to-three fold increased risk of heart attack. Another study was discontinued due to a high rate of heart attacks. In June, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that testosterone products can cause dangerous blood clots in the legs and lungs and required drug makers to warn of the risks on testosterone product labels. Testosterone is often administered as a gel, patch, or injection and may include the following products: Androderm (Watson Laboratories), Androgel (Abbott Laboratories and Abbvie, Inc.), Axiron (Eli Lilly and Company), Fortesta (Endo Pharmaceuticals), Striant (Auxilium), Testim (Prasco), Testoderm (Ferring Pharmaceuticals), Testopel (Auxilium), and Vogelxo (Upsher-Laboratories) The Low Testosterone Therapy litigation will seek compensation for those who have died and been injured as a result of their use of testosterone and also seek to establish a medical monitoring fund for those that seek testing. If you have a low testosterone therapy issue or case and would like a  confidential evaluation from Ball and Bonhltzer please contact us.    

Traumatic Brain Injury: NCAA Settles Serious Brain Injury Lawsuit

Current and former NCAA athletes can sign up for neurological monitoring. Future individual lawsuits possible for damages relating to traumatic brain injury.

August 17, 2014, Chicago, IL: These days, it seems as though certain sports may be in the news more for brain injury lawsuits than for actual sporting events. The NCAA is the latest organization to announce a settlement of traumatic brain injury lawsuits, following the NFL.
According to The Wall Street Journal (7/29/14), the NCAA settlement will see the organization provide $70 million for medical monitoring. Any current or former athlete who participated in any of the NCAA's contact sports will be able to have neurological testing to check for any signs of brain damage linked to contact sports. The settlement, however, does not offer compensation for former players who suffered brain injuries. It only covers the cost of screening for brain injuries. Players who seek to recover damages would have to file an individual lawsuit against their school for treatment of concussions. As part of the settlement, schools that are members of the NCAA will have to adopt policies that govern when athletes can return to play after suffering a concussion. One of the criticisms of the NCAA, according to ESPN (7/29/14), was that individual schools have had discretion over when players could return after suffering a head injury, putting players at risk of further injury. According to ESPN, plaintiffs provided evidence that between 2004 and 2009, more than 29,200 NCAA athletes suffered concussions. In agreeing to the settlement, the NCAA admitted no wrongdoing and denied that it understated the danger of concussions. Among the sports affected by the settlement are football, ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse. The agreement must still obtain the approval of the federal judge.
As the NCAA lawsuit seems to be reaching its end, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the NHL. The lawsuit, filed by Jon Rohloff, a former player with the Boston Bruins, alleges that the NHL concealed the dangers of concussions and did not pass rules to mitigate the risk of brain injuries in a timely manner. The lawsuit acknowledges that players in the NHL recognize there is a risk of injury, but should not be put at risk of brain damage.
"Over the course of an NHL season, a player will sustain hundreds of hits to the head during games, contact in training camp practices, and from contact in some regular season practices," court documents state. The lawsuit alleges that although there is evidence of concussive and sub-concussive effects being linked to both Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries, the NHL "deliberately ignored the information to the detriment of Plaintiff and other members of the Class."
Orignal posted in lawyersandsettlements.com by Heidi Turner.

Large Legal Malpractice Verdict Award Reversed

$250K legal malpractice verdict reveresed for a woman who wasn't a client Aug 14, 2014 by Martha Neil, originally viewed at the California Legal Malpractice

An appellate court has reversed a legal malpractice jury verdict of nearly $250,000 against attorney Nigel L. Scott and the Yallery and Scott Law Firm by a woman who was not a client of the firm.

Pharmaceutical Litigation: Xarelto Lawsuit, Misleading Satements

Pharmaceutical litigations growing as the number of serious injuries reported mounts.

Xarelto Lawsuit Alleges Manufacturers of Blood Thinner Made Misleading Claims to Promote Medication

August 13, 2014 via Prweb Newswire.  Xarelto lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who were allegedly harmed by the blood thinner continue to mount in U.S. courts.  Court documents pending in the U.S. District Court, Eastern Districtof New York indicate that a woman from Texas has filed a case against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer HealthCare that accuses the companies of making misleading claims in order to market Xarelto.

Taking Xarelto For Just Four Months resulted In Serious Injury

According to the July 29th filing, the Plaintiff took Xarelto for just four months starting in March 2012, and suffered a life-threatening bleed that left her with severe and permanent injuries. Among other things, the complaint alleges that Johnson & Johnson and Bayer failed to warn doctors and patients about the irreversible nature of Xarelto bleeding. It further alleges that the companies wrongly touted the drug as a superior alternative to warfarin, a blood thinner that has been in use for decades. Among other things, the Xarelto lawsuit also points out that the Defendants received a letter from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) Office of Prescription Drug Promotion in July 2013 that characterized a Xarelto print ad as "false or misleading" because it minimized risks associated with the drug, and made a misleading claim regarding dosage adjustment.
A nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices reported "Our firm has heard from a number of Xarelto patients who claim to have experienced life-threatening episodes of internal bleeding similar to the injuries alleged in this lawsuit."   People have described suffering serious injuries from the blood thinner including intracranial hemorrhage, spinal and epidural hematoma, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, adrenal bleeding, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or death.

Xarelto Litigation

According to a recent Reuters report, this claim is just one of several Xarelto lawusits pending in U.S. courts.* The Plaintiff in the New York case alleges that the manufacturers of the drug failed to warn that there is currently no approved antidote to reverse Xarelto bleeding. The complaint points out that while both warfarin and Xarelto can cause internal bleeding, this occurrence can be halted in warfarin patients via the administration of vitamin K. In June, the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices reported that adverse events associated with the use of Xarelto are on the rise. According to data from the FDA, the agency received a total of 680 Xarelto adverse event reports in the first quarter of 2013. For the first time, reports of Xarelto complications outpaced those associated with Pradaxa, another blood thinner in the same class, according to the ISMP.** *reuters.com/article/2014/06/14/us-bayer-suit-idUSKBN0EP0HW20140614, Reuters.com, June 14, 2014. **ismp.org/quarterwatch/pdfs/2013Q1.pdf, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, May 7, 2014

  This post originally appeared in the digital journal.

Large Legal Malpractice Verdict Award Reversed

$250K Legal Malpractice Verdict Reveresed For A Woman Who Wasn’t A Client

Aug 14, 2014 by Martha Neil, orignally posted at the abajournal.com

An appellate court has reversed a legal malpractice jury verdict of nearly $250,000 against attorney Nigel L. Scott and the Yallery and Scott Law Firm by a woman who was not a client of the firm.

ACTOS Pharmaceutical Litigations are Being Heard in 2014

Aug. 11 2014 .  It was reported today by MT Services, a company that reports on lawsuit news, that this year there continues to be claims filed, lawsuits are being heard, and possible settlements are in discussion for patients of the reputed bad pharmaceutical drug Actos. 2014 has seen roughly 2,500 lawsuits and there remain approximately 4,000 active lawsuits taking place in State and Federal Courts of Louisiana, Illinois, and California. 

Possible Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Target Officers and Directors

What did the officers and directors at Target know regarding the enormous data breach at Target, and when did they know it?

March 11, 2014.  Via groundreport.com.

The Shareholders Foundation announces that an investigation on behalf of current long-term stockholders of shares of Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) was initiated concerning whether certain Target officers and directors were responsible for a breach of fiduciary duty in connection with certain statements.

Possible Pharmaceutical Litigation - Sexual Enhancement Supplement, "O.M.G"

A supposedly "all natural" supplement may contain Viagra which may turn this FDA warning into a class action pharmaceutical litigation.

August 8, 2014.  "O.M.G." is a sexual health supplement that can be found online and in some retail shops. According to the FDA website it's even available on the Sears website.  The FDA has just issued a warning that O.M.G., which does indeed stand for Oh My God!, contains sildenafil, the generic version of Viagra. The product is marketed as "all natural" and "no side effects", claims that run contrary to marketing a supplement that contains an undeclared ingredient that could have dangerous interactions when consumed with nitrate based prescriptions.

Pharmaceutical Litigation: Surge of Lipitor Lawsuits Against Pfizer

Sales of Lipitor since the 1990s have exceeded a staggering $130 billion - the current all time high for prescription drugs, yet a number of diabetes related lawsuits are being filed related to the drug.

August 7, 2014.  The big pharma giant corporation Pfizer, is facing a large number of pharmaceutical litigations, i.e.,  lawsuits by women who allege that the drug manufacturer knew about serious diabetes side effects of its anti-cholesterol medication Lipitor but failed to warn the patients and doctors.

Pharmaceutical Litigation: Xarelto Bleeding Side Effect Lawsuit

Bayer and Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical companies, makers of the anticoagulant Xarelto sued relating to potentially inadequate warnings about the bleeding risk associated with the drug.

Texas Woman Files Pharmaceutical Litigation Regarding Side Effects Of Xarelto

August 7, 2014.   A Texas woman is the latest to sue Bayer and Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical companies, claiming that the anticoagulant Xarelto has inadequate warnings about the bleeding risk associated with the drug. Jeanne Jeffcoat filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, she claimed that Xarelto caused life-threatening bleeding event that left her permanently injured.

Whistleblowers, Business Frauds, the SEC - Update

Companies and their attorneys need to properly and diligently investigate whistleblower reports of business frauds.

SEC waives voluntary requirement, awards $400,000 to whistleblower

August 5 2014. By Kevin McCart and Kelly Schulz via lexology.com

An announcement by the SEC of a $400,000 award to a whistleblower highlights the need for companies to properly investigate and address complaints raised internally.

Fraud Settlement For Former COO

Fraud, lying and failure to seek proper legal advice lead to COO's downfall.

Former chief operating officer settles SEC fraud claims

August 1 2014. By William M. Regan via lexology.com

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that Peter Jenson, the former chief operating officer of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, agreed to pay a $200,000 civil penalty to resolve charges that he aided the firm and its owner, Phillip Falcone,

NCAA Head Injury Lawsuit Settlement

NCAA $70 million fund created to determine if athletes suffered traumatic brain injury from head injuries while playing college sports.

New Precedent With Lawsuit Settlement

July 29, 2014 via espn.com. CHICAGO -- The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.College sports' governing body also agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who received head blows, according to a Tuesday filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Critics have accused the NCAA of giving too much discretion to hundreds of individual schools about when athletes can go back into games, putting them at risk. Unlike a proposed settlement in a similar lawsuit against the NFL, this deal stops short of setting aside money to pay players who suffered brain trauma. Instead, athletes can sue individually for damages, and the NCAA-funded tests to gauge the extent of neurological injuries could establish grounds for doing that. Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, told ESPN's Tom Farrey that the NCPA objects to the settlement because it includes no money for players who have been concussed, forcing them to sue their schools to pay for any treatment related to concussion symptoms. "There's also no support for players actually suffering from those conditions, from effects of TBI [traumatic brain injury] from that sport," Huma said. "They should have gotten support for players as part of the settlement rather than forcing players to fend for themselves." Huma told ESPN the settlement also falls short of protecting current players because it does not mandate new return-to-play protocols. Instead, the NCAA and the plaintiffs agreed that remaining guidelines for schools and the implementation of those guidelines are subject to the NCAA's rule-making process. More details here -  story.

Hedge Fund COO Admission in SEC Business Fraud Lawsuit

Whether an attorney, an accountant, or other business professional, this fraud settlement shows that the SEC is holding not only perpetrators responsible for a fraud scheme but also those that enable them.

Hedge fund COO makes admissions in SEC settlement

July 28, 2014. This post first appeared in the California Legal Malpractice blog

COO Admission in Fraud Settlment - Attorneys Take Note

Whether an attorney, an accountant, or other business professional, this fraud settlement shows that the SEC is holding not only perpetrators responsible for a fraud scheme but also those that enable them.

Hedge fund COO makes admissions in SEC settlement

July 28, 2014. By Stephen Quinlivan via Lexology.com.

The SEC announced that the former Chief Operating Officer at Harbinger Capital Partners LLC has agreed to settle allegations

Zeek Rewards $850 MIllion Ponzi Scheme, Legal Malpractice Lawsuits

Legal Malpractice lawsuits also part of ZeekRewards Ponzi Scheme case involving $850 million.

Federal Judge Gives Approval To Pay ZeekRewards Claimants

August 1, 2014, Original post appeared on the California Legal Malpractice Blog according to the Winston-Salem Journal. In August 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Rex Venture Group LLC, Zeekler and , and Paul Burks, their principal owner, of raising $850 million through unregistered securities. The companies were shut down and their assets frozen.

Legal Malpractice Lawsuits, ZeekRewards, $850 MIllion Ponzi Scheme

Legal Malpractice lawsuits also part of ZeekRewards Ponzi Scheme case involving $850 million.

Federal Judge Gives Approval To Pay ZeekRewards Claimants

August 1, 2014, via Winston-Salem Journal.

LEXINGTON, N.C. — A federal judge has given the receiver of defunct  permission to begin making the first round of distributions to

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