Lawsuit Loan Lending Companies

May 31, 2007,

A relatively new area of consumer lending has sprung up, in the wake of big insurance's often used tactic of 'delay, deny, defend'.These 'Lawsuit Loan' lending companies extend loans to plaintiffs in injury cases as a way to not only financially assist the plaintiff, but to fight back against insurance company's delay strategies.

Many times plaintiffs in injury actions are unable to work, and have medical bills that pile up and remain unpaid.This may force a plaintiff to take a settlement that is far less than what his/her case is worth.The 'lawsuit loan' allows the plaintiff to financially survive while his/her claim is brought to a full, and just, resolution.

There are many companies out there, but be careful.Many of these lending companies have very high interest rates and fees.Our firm recommends Preferred Capital Lending in Chicago.They are a licensed lending company in Illinois and offer fair and reasonable rates.

Fighting Back Against State Farm

May 29, 2007,

Below is an ad found in Bloomington, Illinois, the corporate headquarters of State Farm Insurance.It was paid for the the Scruggs Katrina Group, who is helping Katrina victims put their lives back together.The ad is in response to a marketing campaign by State Farm along the Gulf Coast, flying their 'Like A Good Neighbor' slogan while denying thousands of Katrina related claims.

Illinois Judge Wants To Light Up Dimissed 'Light' Cigarette Case

May 26, 2007,

"EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A judge whose $10.1 billion judgment against Philip Morris USA in a lawsuit over light cigarettes was thrown out on appeal is asking a court whether he can revive the case.

Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron asked the Mount Vernon-based 5th District Appellate Court of Illinois this month to rule whether he has authority to reopen the lawsuit. Byron cited potentially new evidence stemming from a separate tobacco case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Byron ruled in favor of smokers in March 2003, saying that Philip Morris -- now the nation's biggest cigarette maker -- had misled customers into believing they were buying a less harmful cigarette....

But the attorney in that suit, Stephen Tillery of St. Louis, now says his original argument is supported by the U.S. solicitor general in a separate case before the nation's high court. Paul Clement -- the Bush administration's top Supreme Court lawyer -- said in the new case that the FTC had never authorized or ordered Marlboro Lights to be labeled as "lights" or use the words "lower tar and nicotine."

Read the full article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

$2.8 Million Settlement for Illinois Bed Sore Case

May 24, 2007,

"CHICAGO - A $2,325,000 settlement was reached April 19 in a pressure sore and wrongful death action against Senior Lifestyle Maplewood's Kingsley Place nursing facility, a woman's treating physician and a home health agency (John Mozenter, Personal Representative of the Estate of Marilyn Mozenter, v. Senior Lifestyle Maplewood Ltd. Partnership, d/b/a Kingsley Place At Lincoln Square, et al., No. 2 L 16293, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.)."

Read more at Lexis.com

Avandia Linked to Heart Attack Risk

May 22, 2007,

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported a studyindicating a 48% increased risk of heart attack with the diabetes drug Avandia.Avandia is taken by more than over 1 million people and generated sales of over $3 billion for GlaxoSmithKline last year.

Could this be another Vioxx?Well, not to the same scale, but the author of the recent study, Dr. Steven Nissin, was one of the main critics of Vioxx.We will have to wait to see just how much Glaxo new before this study came out.

Read more at WSJ.com.

3 Docs Caught In Health Insurance Scam

May 20, 2007,

"Likened to "body snatchers" by Orange County's top prosecutor, three doctors were arrested Wednesday for their alleged roles in an elaborate insurance fraud scheme in which hundreds of patients across the U.S. were recruited to undergo unnecessary procedures in exchange for money or low-cost cosmetic surgeries.

The arrests bring to 17 the number of people named in the "rent-a-patient" scam allegedly operated out of Unity Outpatient Surgery Center in Buena Park.

Michael C. Chan, a Cerritos obstetrician, William W. Hampton, a Seal Beach surgeon, and Mario Z. Rosenberg, a Beverly Hills gastroenterologist on staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, are accused of performing more than 1,000 unneeded procedures on 940 patients, then billing insurance companies an estimated $30 million for the work."

Read the full article in the LA Times.

TYCO Settles Investor Class Action for $3 Billion

May 16, 2007,

"Tyco International, whose two top executives were imprisoned for fraud, has agreed to pay almost $3 billion to settle class-action lawsuits brought by investors, the company announced yesterday.
The settlement, described as the largest payment ever by a company in such litigation, seeks to help put to rest one of the nation’s most notorious cases of fraud. Tyco investors may be in a position to recover even more money because they would also share in any proceeds from litigation still outstanding against L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former Tyco chief executive, and two other former executives, and against the company’s former auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers."

Read the full article in the NY Times.

Putting A Price On Life

May 14, 2007,

Here is a moving story printed at cbs2.com:

"In a shocking report, more people die from medical mistakes each year than from highway accidents, breast cancer or AIDS. And in California, a little known law puts a price tag on what the state says your life is worth. Now, a Simi Valley family blames a local hospital's errors for robbing their daughter of her young and innocent life.

"She died in my arms," Jodi Gonzalez said. "The doc kept coming over and putting the stethoscope to her heart. 'Why do you keep doing that?' She said, 'The heart is still beating and we have to record the time of death.' See, she didn't want to die."

In the very same UCLA hospital Delaney Lucille Gonzalez was born in, just 16 months later, the toddler would die in.

"The next thing you are at the mortuary, you are picking out little coffins for your daughter… little coffins for your daughter," said Delaney's father Daniel Gonzalez.

Delaney was with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes physical abnormalities of the head and face.

The Gonzalez family never treated their bouncing baby girl, they lovingly nicknamed "Laney the ladybug," any different."

Purdue Pharmacuetical Settles Oxycotin Claims

May 11, 2007,

"Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and Washington, D.C., to settle claims that the company promoted its painkiller OxyContin for off-label uses, the company announced on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports (Wall Street Journal, 5/9). According to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and state Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Purdue also allegedly violated FDA rules by promoting OxyContin for use every eight hours, rather than the approved dosage of every 12 hours (Hathaway, Hartford Courant, 5/9).

The states allege that Purdue violated FDA rules by promoting the drug as the painkiller "to start with and the one to stay with" for a variety of pain, including from surgery and broken bones, even though the drug was approved by FDA for limited use in people who need long-term pain management. In addition, the states allege that Purdue tied the pay of its sales representatives to how much OxyContin doctors prescribed, while playing down the addictive properties of the drug (Jadhav, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/9). The cumulative effect of such practices has led to "misuse, diversion and abuse" of OxyContin by increasing the amount of the drug in circulation, according to Blumenthal."

Read the full article at MedicalNewsToday.com

Blue Cross Settles Doctors Claims for $128 Million

"The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and more than 30 Blue Cross health plans across the country agreed yesterday to pay $128 million to settle lawsuits brought by doctors who said that they had been underpaid on insurance claims.
The settlement, which resolves class-action claims filed by more than 900,000 doctors, requires Blue Cross plans to revise claims-payment procedures and set up independent review boards to decide billing disputes, according to court documents.

Archie Lamb, a lawyer in Birmingham, Ala., who represented doctors, said in a statement that the accord would “leave doctors with more time for patient care instead of dealing with what was a complex, cumbersome system.”

Read the full article in the NY Times.

Payouts in Medical Malpractice Claims Flat For Last 20 Years

" An umbrella activist group calling for insurance reform released a study Wednesday in an attempt to refute the claim that out-of-control litigation prompted medical malpractice insurance rates to skyrocket in recent years.

Americans for Insurance Reform says annual insurance industry numbers show that the amount of money paid for medical malpractice settlements, verdicts and legal defense has remained relatively flat for almost two decades, when adjusted for inflation and accounting for the growing number of doctors nationally.

According to the study — which based its findings on information from A.M. Best & Co., an insurance industry analyst firm — the total amount of money paid was almost $4.9 billion in 2005 nationally. The study calculated that to be a payout of $5,400 dollars per doctor, the lowest since 1981 when adjusted for inflation.

The study's author, a former government official, said those numbers indicate that the rising insurance rates that drove doctors to leave Madison and St. Clair counties can't be the result of the active trial bars of the Metro East area. Instead, market-related forces — poor performance in investment bonds — and bad insurance company management are to blame, said J. Robert Hunter, a former federal insurance administrator during President Gerald Ford's administration. He is now with the Consumer Federation of America.

"The insurance companies have incentives to blame the lawyers," Hunter said. "Otherwise they'd have to blame themselves for mismanagement of economic cycle."

Read the full article in the St. Louis Dispatch.

Widow of Welder Awarded $18.5 Million

"The widow of a Waxahachie man killed in an explosion at a Texas Industries Inc. plant in Midlothian was awarded $18.9 million by a Dallas jury Friday.
The verdict was the culmination of a monthlong trial in which the Dallas-based company was accused of negligence and recklessness in the death of 34-year-old Gordon Rutherford, who was working for Circle 4M Welding, a TXI contractor.

Mr. Rutherford was killed in January 2003, when a fire broke out involving a pollution-control device called a scrubber that contained "extremely hazardous and flammable materials," according to the wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Mr. Rutherford's widow, Amy."

Read the full artilce in The Dallas Morning News.

FDA Places Suicide Warnings on Antidepressants

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today proposed that makers of all antidepressant medications update the existing black box warning on their products' labeling to include warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment (generally the first one to two months).

The proposed labeling changes also include language stating that scientific data did not show this increased risk in adults older than 24, and that adults ages 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidality. The proposed warning statements emphasize that depression and certain other serious psychiatric disorders are themselves the most important causes of suicide."

Read the FDA's full press release here.

Jury Awards $2.8 Million Against Allstate in Katrina Coverage Case

April 28, 2007,

"Attorneys say a federal jury that awarded more than $2.8 million to a man who lost his home to Hurricane Katrina sends a strong message to insurers who refused to pay thousands of other homeowners for damage from the storm.

"Insurers should worry about taking any case to a jury," said David Rossmiller, a Portland, Ore.-based attorney who writes a Web journal on Katrina insurance cases and other industry issues.

The U.S. District Court jury decided Monday that Allstate Insurance Co. did not pay Robert Weiss, of Slidell, enough money to cover the wind damage to his home.Allstate had claimed that most of the damage was due to storm surge, an event not covered in its policy."

Read the full article in the Boston Globe.

Texas Judge Threatens Viability of All State Vioxx Claims

April 24, 2007,

A recent ruling by Texas state court Judge Randy Wilson may be the end of nearly 1000 Texas Vioxx cases. The ruling was based on a recent FDA Administrative Rule which effectively preempts all state law failure to warn claims.

Read more at WSJ.com.