Thursday, March 24, 2011

Health Law Pulse - March 24, 2011

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Health Law Pulse Newsletter

March 24, 2011 FindLaw.com Health Law Newsletter

Table of Contents

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HEALTH CARE ROUNDUP:

RADIATION FEARS MAKE PILL POPULAR IN HAWAII
(FindLaw's Common Law) - The chance that radiation from Japan's malfunctioning nuclear reactor will travel 4,000 miles to the coast of Hawaii causing widespread radiation poisoning is virtually nil. And if it did, there'd be ample warning. This may placate most of us on the mainland, but it's not doing much for Hawaiians, who sit a few thousand miles closer to the tsunami-hit country. Instead of taking comfort in these facts, locals are out looking for protection.

TEXAS TO REQUIRE ULTRASOUND BEFORE ABORTION
(FindLaw's Law & Daily Life) - Texas is moving ahead with a controversial Texas abortion law that would require women to have an ultrasound before they can receive an abortion. The bill already passed the Texas Senate. It has now been reconciled with the Texas House of Representatives, which had significant differences in their version. Republican Governor Rick Perry called passing the Texas sonogram bill an emergency priority, after Republicans failed to pass the sonogram proposal in 2007 and 2009.

PUBLIC DATABASE FOR SAFETY COMPLAINTS GOES LIVE
(AP) - The government has launched a public database that allows people to report and search safety complaints on thousands of products - from cribs and toys to power tools. SaferProducts.gov is overseen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It went live as scheduled Friday over the loud objections of manufacturers and a stalled effort on Capitol Hill to withhold money for the project. The database allows people to file reports of injury or potential harm about household products, baby gear and more. In the coming weeks, as consumers file reports with the agency, people will be able to search for a specific item to see if there have been safety complaints.

SPRING PEDICURE: DOCTOR WARNS OF FOOT RISKS
(FindLaw's Injured) - A new craze has hit the nation! Or at least the nation's nail salons. Lacquer nail polish, also known as shellac nail treatments, has women flocking to salons for pedicures designed to last two to three weeks. Though a lacquer pedicure only promises busy women pretty feet, it may just come with an unsolicited gift: Skin cancer.

5 WAYS TO PROTECT TEEN ATHLETES FROM SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH
(FindLaw's Common Law) - Sudden cardiac death has become a growing concern regarding teen athletes. The tragic case of Wes Leonard in Michigan once again brought the issue to the surface. Leonard was 16 when he died of cardiac arrest during a basketball game last week. After an autopsy, it was discovered that he had an enlarged heart. While cardiac arrest cannot be prevented entirely, here are five ways that you can help protect teens...

WOMAN INFECTED WITH HERPES GETS $6.7M, BMW
(FindLaw's Injured) - Patricia Behr was awarded $6.75 million by a California jury last month in a lawsuit against her ex-lover. Her claim? He gave her herpes and knew about it. As the instance of sexually transmitted diseases rises, sex torts have become a more focused point of legal inquiry and litigation. Some states have even codified the cause of action, named Wrongful Infection of a Sexually Transmitted Disease. Though the lawsuit by Patrica Behr is not unique, it provides a good explanation of sex torts and just what makes an infected person liable.

LEAN CUISINE RECALL: SPAGHETTI WITH MEATBALLS MAY HAVE PLASTIC
(FindLaw's Common Law) - Are you a fan of Lean Cuisine? The brand of frozen entre├ęs and dinners is sold in the United States, Canada, and Australia by Nestle. The brand was created in 1981 as a low fat, low calorie spinoff of Stouffers. Low calorie options are nice to have, but not if the food has plastic in it. According to a Nestle recall over 10,000 pounds of Lean Cuisine frozen spaghetti and meatball dinners were recalled due to the possible presence of foreign materials, the Department of Agriculture said.

EXXON ASBESTOS VERDICT: $25M TO VIRGINIA MAN
(FindLaw's Injured) - A Virginia jury awarded a man $25 million last week in a suit he brought against Exxon alleging that the company's practices had caused him unnecessary exposure to asbestos. The Exxon asbestos suit is just one in a line of thousands of lawsuits brought against employers every year. However, the case is particularly notable for two reasons. Not only was is it one of the largest verdicts in state history, but evidence presented at trial demonstrated just how much Exxon, and probably other employers, knew about asbestos in the 1930s.

SOUTH DAKOTA ABORTIONS: MANDATORY 3-DAY WAIT
(FindLaw's Law & Daily Life) - For the last five years, South Dakota abortion law has been at the center of the national reproductive health debate. Lawmakers have continuously passed laws banning most abortions, even when state residents disagreed with their choices. Well, the state just got even more strict. Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a bill that requires women to attend a "pregnancy help center" and then wait an additional 72 hours prior to having an abortion. This is the most restrictive law in the country.

MONTANA MEDICAL MARIJUANA STORES RAIDED BY FEDS
(FindLaw's Law & Daily Life) - wenty-six Montana marijuana dispensaries were raided earlier this week by federal authorities after an investigation into potentially illegal activity. Montana marijuana law permits medicinal use, meaning that the dispensaries were legally operating under state law. If distributing for medicinal purposes, then why exactly were the dispensaries shut down?

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FDA ACTIONS:

JAPAN FOOD BAN: FDA HALTS MILK, VEGETABLES IMPORT ON RADIATION RISK
(FindLaw's Common Law) - Radiation fears have led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban certain milk and food imports from Japan. The FDA has banned imports of dairy products and produce from the area of Japan where a nuclear reactor is leaking radiation, reports MSNBC.

FDA CRACKS DOWN ON J&J SITES LINKED TO RECALLS
(AP) - Federal officials said Thursday that the consumer health unit of Johnson & Johnson will be barred from resuming operations at a Pennsylvania manufacturing plant linked to millions of bottles of defective medicines until it meets quality standards. The Food and Drug Administration said it signed a formal consent decree with the company designed to improve operations at three manufacturing sites linked to multiple recalls of medications last year, including Children's Tylenol, Benadryl and Motrin.

RECENT CASE SUMMARIES:

UNITED STATES FEDERAL CIRCUIT
(U.S. Fed. Cir.) - In a case involving the proper calculation and award of attorneys fees under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 300aa-10 to -34, denial of motion to review award of attorneys fees by plaintiff is affirmed, where special master did not err in not applying a Laffey Matrix rate and in awarding attorneys' fees at a lower rate.

CACCHILLO V. INSMED, INC., 10-4630
(U.S. 2nd Cir.) - In a section 1983 and breach of agreement dispute arising from the refusal of defendant to support an FDA compassion application, denial of motion for a preliminary injunction is affirmed where plaintiff has standing to sue on a ripe claim, but has not shown the requisite likelihood of success on the merits.


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