Archive for October, 2007

Silicosis

Pneumoconiosis is a form of lung disease caused by inhalation of mineral dust.containing crystalline silica (alpha-quartz or silicon dioxide), or its polymorphs (tridymite or cristobalite). Quartz, a common form of crystalline silica, and is present in granite, slate, and sandstone.

Silicosis has been a problem for stone workers and miners throughout the ages. Doctors cutting through the lungs of stonecutters in the 1700s stated they “found heaps of sand that in running the knife through the pulmonary vesicles he thought he was cutting through some sandy body.” In the late 1800s this was given the name silicosis, derived from Latin silex, or flint.

Although silicosis has been a recognized ailment for centuries, its presence has become more obvious since the development of mechanized mining. Industrial hygiene measures in the western world have resulted in a decline of silicosis in recent years.

Article

Silicosis, Mesothelioma and Asbestosis are all three occupational related cancers that are preventable.

Silicosis is a respiratory disease caused by the inhalation of silica dust, which leads to inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue. Similar to Mesothelioma and Asbestosis, Silicosis silently caused millions of industry related health issues and deaths before it was discovered and could be properly diagnosed.

The main cause of Silicosis is long-term exposure to silica. Silica is a common, naturally occurring crystal. It is found in most rock beds and forms dust during mining, quarrying, tunneling, construction and work with many metal ores. Silica is a main component of sand, so glass workers, sand-blasters and construction laborers also receive heavy exposure to silica.

Risk factors for Silicosis include but are not limited to any work that includes exposure to silica dust. Mining, stone and concrete cutting, quarrying, road and building construction, work with abrasives manufacturing, sand blasting and many other occupations and hobbies involve exposure to silica.

Intense exposure to silica may result in symptoms of or full blown Silicosis in a year or less, but it usually takes at least 10 or 15 years of exposure before most symptoms of Silicosis develop. Silicosis as well as Mesothelioma and Asbestosis have become less common since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) instituted laws and regulations requiring the use of protective equipment, to be provided by employers, that limit the amount of a worker’s hazardous material exposure. Now, in most cases, it is legally and lawfully the responsibility of your employer to protect you by providing personal protection equipment (PPE).

The three different types of Silicosis are:

* Acute Silicosis — results from short-term exposure to very large amounts of silica. The lungs become very inflamed and may fill with fluid, causing severe shortness of breath and low blood oxygen levels.

* Accelerated Silicosis — occurs after exposure to larger amounts of silica over a shorter period of time (5 – 15 years). Inflammation, scarring, and symptoms progress faster in accelerated silicosis than in simple silicosis.

* Simple chronic silicosis — results from long-term exposure (more than 20 years) to low amounts of silica dust. Nodules of chronic inflammation and scarring provoked by the silica dust form in the lungs and chest lymph nodes. This disease may feature breathlessness and may resemble chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

If you feel that you are in an industry with a high risk of exposure to silica dust, or any other hazardous material, you should take it upon yourself to use every method necessary to protect yourself from exposure. It is important to discuss any health concerns that you may have with your employer and have your employer provide you with the personal protective equipment required by law to minimize your exposure to hazardous materials such as silica. It is legally your employer’s responsibility to provide you with safety devices that will protect you but it is ultimately your responsibility to protect your health and the health of your family.

If your employer is lax or refuses to provide for your safety, it is important that you contact your local, state or federal agency that oversees health and safety law and compliance to report it right away. In most situations you can report any negligence anonymously to prevent being singled out and demoted or fired by your employer. Many times your employer will be forced to comply with the laws by the governing agency and your problems will be solved. As an employer myself, I see the need to protect my employees at any cost because they are not only my most valued assets they are people with families and simply deserve to live and work in the safest environment possible. If your employer does not feel this way, you should not feel one bit of remorse if you have to report abuse to the proper authorities.

If you feel that you have been negligently exposed to Silica, or any other hazardous material and are now experiencing health related issues from it, you should contact a competent lawyer or law office immediately and discuss your situation with them. You may be entitled to compensation due to your employer’s negligence. There are lawyers and attorneys that specialize in Silicosis, Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and a vast array of other occupational health related diseases.

Mesothelioma

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Class Action Lawsuits filed against companies that exposed individuals to asbestos.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a flame resistant product used in the past for lagging and fireproofing. When the fibers are absorbed by the body, usually by inhalation they can cause severe medical problems.

Side Effects

Risks from exposure to asbestos include asbestosis, cancer and mesothelioma.

Plaintiffs

People with have worked in environments in the past where they were exposed to asbestos.

History

For many years asbestos was used in the manufacture of certain building products including roofing shingles, insulations, felt and certain types of paint. Because of its fire retardant qualities it was used extensively in the construction industry from 1940 – 1980. Millions of people working in the manufacture and installation of these products were put at risk during this time. Also at risk after this period were workers involved in the removal and renovations in areas that used these products. Often the diseases associated with exposure are not diagnosed for up to 40 years after exposure.

Who Qualifies for a Class Action Claim?

People suffering from the following conditions who have been exposed to asbestos. The conditions include: asbestosis, cancer and mesothelioma.

Victims and their families have a right to take part in the class action suit. If you believe there has been harmed caused you may be entitled to compensation. Class action lawsuits are brought about to protect the public from corporate wrong doings.

Article

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly type of cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products. The mesothelium is a thin mucous membrane that covers most major organs, and provides the moisture the organs need to move properly. Lubrication allows organs to move in order to circulate blood in the heart, or infuse it with oxygen in the lungs, or process food properly in the gastrointestinal tract.

There are several different kinds of mesothelioma, but by far the most common is pleural, or lung-related mesothelioma. As asbestos enters the body through respiration, the microscopic shards pierce the lungs and lodge in the delicate pleural mesothelium. The shards irritate and fester in the mesothelium, and over time will most likely develop into mesothelioma. Most cases of this cancer take decades before any symptoms begin to appear, but by the time they manifest they are too advanced to treat.

Other kinds of mesothelioma include pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the lining around the stomach and digestive tract; and pericardial mesothelioma that affects the lining of the sac that contains the heart. Most mesothelioma prognoses are not positive; victims rarely live longer than five years after their first diagnosis, and most succumb between six and 12 months.

Many experts call mesothelioma the “silent epidemic”, because virtually every person in the United States has been exposed to asbestos at some point in time. Asbestos is naturally heat and flame resistant, pliable, durable, and was made into everything from baby’s clothing to brake pads to insulation to potting ceramics. Many of the current victims of the mesothelioma epidemic worked in or around military installations, as asbestos was a critical part of shipbuilding and other large scale manufacturing industries, but mesothelioma can strike anyone of any age.

Part of the tragedy of mesothelioma is that many asbestos companies or industries that used the material refused to acknowledge it is dangerous. Civilizations around the world used asbestos for thousands of years, and even peoples as early as the ancient Romans knew that people who worked with the mineral died of lung ailments. Even into the 20th and 21st century these companies denied or covered up the evidence that linked their product to not only mesothelioma, but lung cancer and asbestosis as well.

In order to address the mounting concerns about the legacy of asbestos, Senator Arlen Specter proposed a bill that would remove the ability of victims of mesothelioma to pursue legal settlements against the companies or industries that may be responsible. The government expects thousands of new cases of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in the years to come, and so the bill will establish a $140 billion trust to compensate victims or their families. Ostensibly, this is to relieve the stress on the courts of thousands of lawsuits, but it in fact would severely limit the amount of financial restitution the companies would owe their victims. Furthermore it would disallow many types of asbestos suits, and would potentially extend legal proceedings far beyond the expected lifespan of the people afflicted with this deadly disease.

Tobacco

A federal judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit that could result in up to $200 billion in damages against the major tobacco companies, wire services reported Monday.

The Associated Press and Reuters reported that Judge Jack Weinstein of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn approved class-action status in the Schwab case. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit say tobacco companies misled smokers into believing so-called light cigarettes are safer than others.

Among the defendants in the case are Winston-Salem-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI), and Greensboro-based Lorillard Tobacco Co. (NYSE: CG).

David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, said his company would appeal the decision and ask the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to stop proceedings in the case until it had ruled on the appeal.

“We disagree with the judge’s decision to grant class certificatino in this matter,” Howard said. He said that “virtually every smoker of light cigarettes chose their cigarettes for a different reason,” therefore there’s no legal basis to group all lights smokers together.

Other courts around the country, Howard said, have also ruled that lights smokers can’t be grouped together in one class. Weinstein also has a history of certifying class-action claims against the tobacco industry that are reversed on appeal, Howard said.

Yahoo Search Marketing

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Yahoo, the search engine giant, accusing them of ad placement on low quality sites and spyware vendor sites.

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Yahoo advertisers which accuse Yahoo of charging high rates for advertising and promising premium placement while placing the ads on low quality sites such as spyware vendor sites and sites featuring misspellings of popular brands.

The lawsuit aims to recover money and could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The accusations are that Yahoo placed advertising on sites run by Intermix Media and Direct Revenue. These two companies have been associated in another lawsuit of being distributors of spyware and pop-up adware. Both companies have disputed these charges.

Also Yahoo is accused of including advertising on typosquatting sites which have URLs that are misspellings of popular brand names. These sites include large amounts of Yahoo’s ads.

Victims have a right to take part in the class action suit. If you believe there has been harmed caused you may be entitled to compensation. Class action lawsuits are brought about to protect the public from corporate wrong doings.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

WESTERN DIVISION

CHECKMATE STRATEGIC GROUP, INC.,
a Florida corporation,
individually, and purportedly on behalf of all others similarly situated,

Plaintiff, vs.

YAHOO! INC., a Delaware corporation, and DOES 1 THROUGH 100, Inclusive,

Defendants.

Case No.: CV 05-4588 CAS (FMOx)
NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF CLASS ACTION, PROPOSED SETTLEMENT AND PROPOSED HEARING DATE FOR COURT APPROVAL

THIS NOTICE MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS

PLEASE READ ALL OF IT CAREFULLY

ATTENTION: ALL PERSONS OR ENTITIES WHICH BID AND PAID FOR ADVERTISING PLACEMENT IN YAHOO!’S SEARCH MARKETING SYSTEM BETWEEN JANUARY 1, 1998 AND JULY 31, 2006

Dear Yahoo!, Inc. Customer,

This notice (the “Notice”) informs you of a proposed settlement of class action claims against Yahoo!, Inc. (defined as Yahoo!, Inc., Yahoo! Search Marketing, Overture Services, Inc., and GoTo.com, Inc.). For the sake of brevity and clarity, Yahoo!, Inc. will be referred to for the remainder of this Notice simply as Yahoo!. This Notice describes the proposed settlement and informs you of your rights as a settlement class person. You are being sent this Notice because you have been identified as a Yahoo! customer who paid for advertising services between January 1, 1998 and July 31, 2006. Yahoo! has agreed, under the terms of the Settlement, to provide you with the opportunity to submit a valid and timely claim form through which you may be eligible to receive advertising credits.

READ THIS FIRST

1. WHY SHOULD I READ THIS?

This Notice, given pursuant to an Order of the Court dated June 28, 2006, describes a proposed settlement of a class action against Yahoo!, and you have been identified as a Class Person.

2. WHY DID I RECEIVE THIS NOTICE?

You received this Notice because a search of Yahoo!’s computer records indicates that you are a current or former Yahoo! account holder who bid and paid for advertising placement on Yahoo!’s Search Marketing System at some point between January 1, 1998 and July 31, 2006. This Notice provides a summary of the terms of the proposed settlement. It also explains the lawsuit, your legal rights under the settlement, what benefits are available to you under the settlement, and how to get them.

3. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION?

In a class action, one or more individuals or businesses, called Class Representatives (in this case, Checkmate Strategic Group, Inc.) sue on behalf of others that have similar claims. All of these other individuals or businesses are members of the “class.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder is in charge of this class action.

4. WHAT ARE THE CRITICAL DATES?

Event Date
The last date to submit your Assertion of Right to Participate in Additional Claims Review Process form, if you wish to be eligible to possibly receive advertising credits. November 20, 2006
The last date to submit your written request to be excluded from the settlement if you are not willing to be bound by it and do not want to be eligible to receive advertising credits. October 14, 2006
The last date to submit any written objection to the settlement. October 14, 2006
The hearing on any objections and to give final approval to the settlement. November 20, 2006

5. DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING?

The settlement is subject to the approval by the Court. If the Court approves the settlement and it becomes effective, you will automatically be eligible to submit the Assertion of Right to Participate in Additional Claims Review Process form (hereinafter “Assertion of Right to Participate”), indicating that you intend to file a claim form for Yahoo! advertising credits and will give up your ability to sue Yahoo! over the subject matter of this case. The Assertion of Right to Participate form is available for download at www.checkmatesettlement.com . The form must be printed out, filled out completely, and mailed via certified or registered mail to the Claims Administrator at Claims Administrator, PO Box 1340, Minneapolis, MN, 55440-1340, by November 20, 2006. You may attend the court hearing described below if you wish, but your attendance or non-attendance will not affect your eligibility to submit the Assertion of Right to Participate form. You do not need to appear in court, and you do not need to hire an attorney in this case. You may object to the proposed settlement if you so desire.

6. WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?

Plaintiff Checkmate Strategic Group, Inc. claims that Yahoo! has breached its contracts with Class Person and committed unfair business practices under California Business & Professions Code § 17200 et seq., including improperly collecting revenue by charging and/or overcharging Class Persons for clicks that were click fraud, click through fraud, fraudulent clicks, click spam, invalid clicks, unwanted clicks, unqualified clicks, improper clicks, non-converting clicks, inadequately converting clicks, clicks that were not reasonably expected by Class Persons or otherwise claimed by Class Persons as clicks for which Class Persons should not have been charged, and improperly collecting revenue by charging and/or overcharging Class Persons for clicks where users did not actively choose the Class Persons’ listings (hereinafter “Challenged Clicks”).

A. The Proposed Settlement

Since filing the action, Plaintiff, through Class Counsel, has conducted an investigation of the facts, including review of Yahoo!’s billing procedures and Yahoo!’s click filtering systems, interviews with key Yahoo! personnel, and has analyzed the relevant legal and factual issues. Class Counsel obtained substantial information about the nature and extent of Yahoo!’s challenged practices through this process.

Although Yahoo! does not believe it has done anything wrong and continues to deny all claims and allegations of wrongdoing asserted in the Action, Plaintiff and Yahoo! agreed to enter into a settlement agreement after an extensive exchange of information and vigorous arms-length negotiation. If approved by the Court, the settlement agreement will result in dismissal of this case and final resolution of all claims raised. Such dismissal will release Yahoo! from future liability for the acts and practices complained of. The settlement terms are described in full in a document known as Stipulation and Settlement Agreement (hereinafter “Agreement”)1. The Agreement is available for your inspection at the clerk’s office of the United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division. The terms of the settlement, in summary form, are as follows:

i) Yahoo! shall launch an online traffic quality center, which will be available to its advertisers within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement. The traffic quality center will include a resource center which will contain FAQs, best practices documents, traffic quality articles, enforcement guidelines, and an advice column.

ii) Yahoo! shall designate a Yahoo! employee as a traffic quality advocate who will be part of a traffic quality group to fulfill the function of fielding advertisers’ concerns regarding traffic quality, including its click fraud prevention efforts, within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement.

iii) Within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement, Yahoo! shall start a program in which it chooses at least three advertisers per year who will be invited to Yahoo! to obtain special access to the traffic quality team and additional information with respect to Yahoo!’s click protection system, subject to the advertisers’ execution of nondisclosure agreements.

iv) Yahoo! shall work with third parties in an effort to develop industry-wide standards that define click fraud, set forth standards with respect to the detection of click fraud and provide the public with periodic general evaluations regarding the effectiveness of providers’ efforts to filter and prevent the charging of click fraud to customers.

v) Yahoo! will temporarily lift its 60-day contractual provision to allow Class Members to make click fraud claims for the period from January 1, 2004 to July 31, 2006. Any Class Member that wishes to participate in the additional claims review process will have to complete the Assertion of Right to Participate form, and mail by certified or registered mail the completed form to the Claims Administrator on or before November 20, 2006.

B. Attorneys’ Fees and Class Representative Compensation

Class Counsel will request that the Courts award them attorneys’ fees and expenses. They intend to request $4,950,000 in attorneys’ fees plus costs in an amount not to exceed $25,000. The fees and costs figures were determined independently of negotiation of the other terms of the settlement.

Class Counsel’s petition for fees and expenses will be filed with the court no later than October 30, 2006, and may be reviewed by any interested party. The amount paid for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs will be paid by Yahoo! and so will not diminish or affect any Credits which Class Members may receive.

7. WHAT AM I GIVING UP IF I PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

The settlement provides that once the Court enters an order finding the proposed settlement fair, adequate, and reasonable and all appeals have been resolved or all appeals periods have expired, those Class Members who have not timely requested exclusion from this Action shall be deemed to have and by operation of the Final Judgment shall have fully, finally and forever released, relinquished, and discharged all Released Claims as set forth below.

Specifically, the settlement is intended to settle any and all known and unknown claims from January 1, 1998 through July 31, 2006 against Yahoo! that Class Members have asserted or could have asserted based upon or in any way relating to, referring to, or arising out of the charging or overcharging for Challenged Clicks (the “Released Claims”).

The settlement provides that once the Court enters an order finding the proposed settlement fair, adequate, and reasonable and all appeals have been resolved or all appeals periods have expired, those Class Members who have not timely requested exclusion from this Action shall be deemed to have and by operation of the Final Judgment shall have fully, finally and forever released, relinquished, and discharged all Released Claims as set forth below.

The release will extend to Yahoo! and its past or present directors, officers, employees, partners, principals, agents, predecessors, successors, parents, affiliated and sister corporations, subsidiaries, licensees, divisions, and related or affiliated entities, and the Yahoo! Ad Partners (defined as all Persons together with any past or present directors, officers, employees, partners, principals, agents, controlling shareholders, predecessors, successors, parents, affiliated and sister corporations and subsidiaries of same, that disseminated, displayed, distributed, delivered, served, published, and/or otherwise provided any Yahoo! Ad (defined as the participation and/or the ability to participate in a system which displays advertising, including without limitation, titles and descriptions, uniform resource locators, images, text and all other content delivered, served, published, and/or otherwise displayed by Yahoo! and the Yahoo! Ad Partners, including without limitation, via any and all web sites, e-mails, applications, and software, including without limitation domain channels, downloadable applications, content match, domain match, adware, spyware, arbitrage, and e-mail campaigns)).

If the settlement is approved by the Court and not otherwise terminated, the Court will dismiss the Action with prejudice, and bar and permanently enjoin the named Plaintiff and each Class Member from prosecuting the Released Claims. As a result, once the judgment of the Court in accordance with this settlement has become final, each of the Class Members and their legal successors-in-interest shall be deemed to have forever given up any Released Claims against Yahoo! and the other Released Parties. If you have purchased advertising on the Yahoo! Search Marketing System between January 1, 1998 and July 31, 2006, and do not elect to exclude yourself from the Class, you will be deemed to have entered in to this release and to have released the above-described claims. If the settlement is not approved by the Court or does not become final for some other reason, the litigation will continue.

8. HOW DO I EXERCISE MY RIGHT TO ADDITIONAL REVIEW OF MY YAHOO! ACCOUNT?

To exercise your right to additional review of your Yahoo! account, go to www.checkmatesettlement.com and print a copy of the Assertion of Right to Participate form. Fill out the form completely and mail by certified or registered mail to the Claims Administrator at Claim Administrator, PO Box 1340, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1340, on or before November 20, 2006.

9. WHY ARE CLASS COUNSEL RECOMMENDING THIS SETTLEMENT?

Relative to the risks and costs of continuing the litigation, Class Counsel believe this settlement provides a favorable recovery which is in the best interest of the Class. Class Counsel’s collective evaluation in this regard is based on the extensive investigation and discovery they have undertaken, and upon their experience prosecuting similar cases. Absent settlement, Plaintiff would have to secure class certification on the claims set forth in the Action over the opposition of Yahoo!. Additionally, at trial, Plaintiff would have the burden of proof to establish liability and the amount of damages. The case involves many unresolved factual and legal issues, some of which could be decided against Plaintiff at or before trial, and which would jeopardize Plaintiff’s ability to certify a class or to obtain a favorable judgment and preserve it on appeal.

In addition, settling the case now has the further advantage of avoiding the very substantial additional costs and delay that further litigation would involve. Yahoo! has made it clear that it would likely seek appellate review of a grant of class certification outside the settlement context and any final adverse result at trial. Thus, absent settlement, it is likely to be years before the litigation ends and Class Members receive Credits, if any. Given the costs involved in further litigation and the time-value of money, even if a favorable judgment were obtained at trial, it could well produce less net recovery to the Class Members than the present settlement.

10. WHAT IF I DO NOT WISH TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

A. Your Right to Exclude Yourself from the Settlement

As a Class Person, you may elect to exclude yourself from the class settlement. If you wish to exclude yourself from the class, you must submit a written statement requesting exclusion from the Class on or before October 14, 2006 (hereinafter “Request for Exclusion”). Such request to be excluded must be personally executed by the Class Person, contain the full name, address, telephone number, and account number(s) of the Class Person requesting exclusion and the date(s) of the advertising campaign with Yahoo!, and must be returned to the Claims Administrator at Claim Administrator, PO Box 1340, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1340, by certified or registered mail. If you exclude yourself from the Class and the proposed settlement with Yahoo! is finally approved, you will not be entitled to receive any benefits of the settlement and will remain free to pursue any legal rights you may have against Yahoo! at your own expense, but the representative plaintiff and their lawyers will not represent you as to any claims against Yahoo!.

B. Your Right to Appear and Object to the Proposed Settlement

Any Class Member may appear at the Final Approval Hearing in person or by a duly appointed authorized attorney and show cause, if any, why the settlement should not be approved; provided that (except by special permission of the court) no Class Member shall be heard unless, on or before, October 14, 2006, the Class Member files with the court a written “Notice of Intent to Appear” to the clerk’s address set out below, setting forth all of the Class Member’s objections to the settlement, and mails copies of all such papers to Plaintiff’s and Yahoo!’s counsel at the addresses specified below. Any objection must contain (a) a heading which refers to the Action; (b) the objector’s name,address, telephone number, and Yahoo! account number(s); (c) a statement whether the objector intends to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through counsel, and, if through counsel, identifying counsel by name, address, and phone number; and (d) a statement of the grounds supporting the claim.

Office of the Clerk Plaintiff’s Counsel Yahoo’s Counsel
United States District Court
312 N. Spring St.
Attention: Civil Intake Section
Los Angeles, CA 90012 Brian S. Kabateck
Richard L. Kellner
KABATECK BROWN KELLNER LLP
350 South Grand Avenue 39th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071 Larry W. McFarland
Dennis L. Wilson
KEATS McFARLAND & WILSON LLP
9720 Wilshire Boulevard
Penthouse Suite
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

C. The Final Approval Hearing

The court will conduct a hearing (the “Final Approval Hearing”) at the United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, in the courtroom of the Honorable Christina M. Snyder on November 20, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. (or at the dates and times to which the court may, without further notice, reschedule the hearing). The purpose of the Final Approval Hearing will be to determine whether the proposed settlement is fair, adequate, and proper; and whether the courts should enter judgments approving the settlement, awarding attorneys’ fees and expenses, and dismissing the class action. You have the right, but are not required to attend. Attendance or non-attendance will not affect any Credits to which you may be entitled under the settlement.

11. HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?

A. Availability of the Pleadings, the Agreement, and Other Papers in this Action

The Agreement, with its exhibits and all other papers filed with the court relating to this action, are available for inspection in the offices of the clerk of the court identified above. The documents on file with the court may be examined by any Class Member in person or by counsel during normal court hours each day other than on Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

Do not call or write the courts, other than as provided above.

B. Settlement Administration Line

If you have questions, you may call a special Settlement Administration line at 1-877-347-6449 weekdays, 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

C. Change of Address

If your present address is different from the address on the envelope in which you received this Notice, or if you did not receive this Notice directly but believe you should have, you should call the Settlement Administration line at 1-877-347-6449 and provide your new address.

Google

Search Engine Watch has learned that Google has agreed to a $90 million settlement fund in the class action lawsuit filed by Lane’s Gifts & Collectibles that came to light last April (see also this for background). We’re working on getting details about who will be considered eligible for payment as part of the class, exact details and other information, so expect more to come and be postscripted here.

Postscript 1: Google sent this statement:

We are proposing a settlement with the plaintiffs in this case. The proposal would allow advertisers to apply for credits for clicks they believe were not valid. Specific details of the settlement will remain confidential until it is presented to the judge. We do not know how many advertisers will apply and receive credits, but the total amount, including the legal fees determined by the judge, will not exceed $90 million.

Google’s also posted a much longer statement on its blog here. It covers that the judge still needs to approve the settlement, which would allow any Google advertiser to apply for credit involving questionable clicks from 2002 through the official settlement date. Specifically, it would be credit to buy new advertising given, not a refund.

Postscript 2: I’ve now talked with Steve Malouf, one of the lead attorneys on the case against the search engines. Here’s a rundown on main points from him:

Why Settle? Given Google’s overall revenue, along with some high estimates of click fraud, why not fight for more? “Within the context of the risk that each party faces of losing, it was a reasonable settlement, Malouf said.

Protection From Click Fraud Going Forward: What’s going to prevent future cases like this? Malouf said it was a combination of giving more data to advertisers along with more third-party assistance.

“They could all do a better job in terms of transparency and providing a more robust data set to perform analytics,” Malouf said. “The solution going forward is going to be an industry solution, with transparency in the form of a third party or several third parties to help advertisers with auditing.”

Postscript 3: I’ve now spoken with Nicole Wong, associate general counsel at Google with some follow-up questions. Here’s a rundown on main points:

Other Engines Involved: Some of the other search engines named in the suit were involved because they carried Google’s ads. Are they excused from it as part of the settlement? Wong said Google couldn’t comment on this yet. I suspect this will likely be the case. Services named in the suit that are or were part of Google’s network include AOL (and Netscape), Ask, Lycos and possibly LookSmart. Yahoo and Miva (formerly FindWhat) have never carried Google’s ads, so they seem unlikely to be excused.

Protection From Other Suits: It’s possible if not likely to my understanding that if this settlement is approved, it will resolve all click-fraud related claims now or being considered during the period from when Google began offering pay-per-click ads in February 2002 through when the settlement is approved (that will probably happen in the coming weeks). That would include another suit already underway in California. Google said it couldn’t comment to confirm this however. I expect we’ll see some more articles that will explore this aspect to appear in the next day or so.

Protection Going Forward: What prevents more claims happening going forward? Wong said Google believes the 60 day window it allows for claims to be reviewed, along with more proactive and responsive help for advertisers, will be a good preventative.

“What we will do going forward is to continue to fight click fraud or invalid clicks to ensure our advertisers are happy,” Wong explained. “We’re getting better at it and we are more proactive than we were when we launched the program. We take that responsibility seriously.”

Issues With Non-US Advertisers Not Resolved: To date, Google’s had no lawsuits over click fraud filed outside the US. However, it has a number of non-US advertisers. Will this cover those? Google said they couldn’t comment on this, at the moment.

Why Settle? Google’s explained what’s involved with the settlement, but why do it at all? Afraid they might lose and face a bigger payout? Decide it was easier to pay and get the issue resolved?

“We believe the problem is small and well managed, and we think that the settlement is a very good and fair outcome for everyone,” Wong said:

The why answer seems a no brainer for me. A $90 million settlement, compared to Google’s revenues, is cheap to get this particular issue resolved. It seems likely to buy an out from all potential cases going back for years. Compared to the estimated $260 to $290 million Google spent to resolve a patent lawsuit with Yahoo, this deal seems an especially cheap, smart one to take.

Postscript 4: I asked Yahoo if it was seeking a similar settlement. It responded with this statement:

We cannot comment on Googles reported settlement. That said, we stand firmly by our proprietary click protection system, and look forward to vigorously defending our position in this matter

Postscript 5: To my knowledge, the only other settled class action lawsuit we’ve had involving a search engine to date was that against LookSmart. As with Google, advertisers were given credits and a few a cash payment of up to $50.

Postscript 6: Legal expert Eric Goldman confirms what I understood to be likely and mentioned above, that this class action if settled will settle all potential actions by advertisers (in the US) unless they specifically opt-out. Meanwhile, News.com does the rounds to some Google partners and finds Ask expecting they’ll be covered by the settlement, as I suggested would be the case above. Other search engines didn’t comment.

Danny Sullivan – Search Engine Watch

Apple

Yet another shareholder lawsuit was filed last week against Apple in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Filed by the law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman and its co-counsel, the lawsuit claims to be filed on behalf of “shareholders who purchased securities and/or sold put options of Apple” and seeks certification as a “class action.” As with many of the previous lawsuits, it charges that Apple and certain of its officers and directors violated Sections 10(b), 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10-b(5) and 14a-9 promulgated thereunder as well as alleges that defendants made false and misleading statements and omissions concerning Apple’s improper and undisclosed practice of backdating options granted to executives.

The case follows a string of earlier lawsuits filed throughout July and into August, naming top executives and alleging that defendants breached their fiduciary duties and colluded with one another to improperly backdate stock grants.

“This improper backdating masked the virtually instant profits the option recipients obtained,” the new complaint alleges. “Under generally accepted accounting principles, these profits were required to be recognized as an expense in the Company’s financial statements for the appropriate period, but were not. Thus, the Company’s financial statements in its Form 10-K filing for the fiscal year 2005 and interim financial statements for 2005 and 2006 were materially false and misleading.”

In June, Apple disclosed that it discovered option grant irregularities and later said that it may have to restate its earnings for the affected years following the internal investigation. The company has been notified by NASDAQ for failure to file its quarterly report–ending July 2006 (but will unlikely be delisted). Apple CEO Steve Jobs, among other executives–atleast one of whom has already retained legal counsel–may also be at risk of criminal charges.

Pacemaker

Pacemakers implanted medical devices that are used to electrically stimulate the heart. They are used in patients suffering from heart rate abnormalities. Pacemakers help to pump blood throughout the body. The devices contain small electronic circuits along with a battery. The pacemaker is attached to the heart with long wires that go through veins directly into the heart.

On July 18, 2005 Guidant Corporation announced a voluntary recall of their heart pacemakers. The reason being that the devices needed to be replaced due to faulty sealing components. At that time nine different pacemaker models manufactured by Guidant were recalled.

Prior to the recall there had been 69 reports of patient problems resulting from pacemaker malfunctions. These included both acceleration and deceleration of the pace which resulted in some cases of patients losing consciousness or heart failure.

As the FDA is making no recommendations about replacement of the pacemakers, rather they have left it up to the doctors as to whether replacement should be an option.

Knee Replacement Lawsuits

There have been problems associated with the manufacturing processes of knee replacement products.

Replacement surgeries are now a common procedure as they can give great relief to patients with arthritis or joint injuries. Replacement of joints reduces pain, as well as increasing mobility, and should last for 15-20 years. However there have been instances where faulty products have caused pain, distress and increased the need for additional surgeries.

Gamma irradiation has been used to sterilize the replacement parts. These parts are made with ultra high molecular weight polyethylene. However, it has been found that the sterilizing process has caused oxidation putting the devices at risk of breaking up after they have been implanted in the patient. This failure of the implants can cause the body to react against the parts and also to react against the actual bone causing a condition known as osteolysis. Patients then need the devices replaced.

Another condition known as metalosis is caused my metal fragments detaching from faulty implant.

Medical device manufacturers have stopped using gamma irradiation and moved to ethylene oxide or gas plasma as the sterilization process. This helps prevents oxidation.

Products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, Biomet, Apex Surgical LLC, Encore Orthopedics Inc., Osteoimplant Technology Inc., Smith & Nephew Inc., Stryker Howmedica Osteonics, Zimmer Inc, Sulzer Orthopedics and Depuy have been associated with lawsuits.

Hip Replacement

Sulzer Orthopedics is a hip replacement device manufacturer. On December 8, 2000, they voluntarily recalled their Inter-Opacetabular shells as they contained traces of mineral oil. This interfered with the attachment of the device to the patient’s bone.

Sulzer’s hip replacement devices were found to be defective after implantation in more than 25,000 patients. This meant that in many cases the devices had to be replaced causing additional pain and distress for the patients. The cost of these surgeries can range from $20,000 -$50,000.

On May 8, 2002, $1 Billion settlement in the class action litigation was approved. During June of 2002 Sulzer changed it’s name to Centerpulse. On May 31, 2002, Centerpuluse announced approval of the settlement agreement.

Dialysis Machine

Dialysis is a treatment that replaces some of the function of the kidneys when they fail. Kidney dialysis is necessary when there is end stage kidney failure which results in the loss of approximately 85 to 90 percent of kidney function.

There have been reports of high fever and hospitalizations along with serious illness or death associated with the use of the Gambro Da Vita kidney dialysis machines. These reports suggest mechanical problems related to the handling of bacteria by the machine’s water treatment system as well as cleaning protocols.

There have also been reports relating to dialysis products manufactured by Baxter International and Medisystems Corporation. It has been reported that more than 50 deaths have been attributed to a particular combination of dialysis machine and blood tubing. Baxter informed customers to immediately discontinue the use of that combination of dialysis machine and tubing. The tubing referred to is the A, AF, and AX series blood filters. The FDA has launched an investigation.

Defibrillator

A defibrillator is a medical device that is implanted to regulate heartbeats. It is used on patients who have had heart related problems such as heart attacks, arrhythmia or other types of heart disease. When a patient’s heart begins to beat abnormally the defibrillator produces an electrical shock and this regains the natural cardiac rhythm of the patient.

Guidant Corporation manufactures cardiac defibrillators. During June of 2005 they recalled certain of their models as there were reports that they had the potential to malfunction. These malfunctions were reported to have led to the death of two patients. Patients who had the recalled product implanted needed to have them surgically replaced or reprogrammed. Of particular concern for patients was the fact that known defects in the defibrillators were not immediately reported to doctors or patients.

Up to 38,000 of the Guidant defibrillators have been implanted in US patients and it was reported that Guidant had failed to inform doctors or patients for three years that some of their defibrillators had a defect that caused the affected devices to short-circuit.

A week after the recall Guidant issued a 2nd safety advisory about its defibrillators. They instructed doctors to stop using certain models because they had a defective switch that could malfunction.

Guidant Corporation received FDA approval to re-launch their defibrillators on August, 2005 after they replaced the switch mechanism.

Medtronic also recalled two of its implantable defibrillators which were linked to four deaths. There units were said to have charging problems which resulted in a delay in delivering the shock to the patient.

There have also been problems associated with external defibrillators. During June of 2005 the FDA stated that Medtronic, a manufacturer of external defibrillators had failed to comply with the steps to eliminate flaws in their defibrillators.

Charite Spinal Disc

Charite Artificial Discs are used to replace deteriorating spinal discs in the lower back. The product is owned by Johnson & Johnson. Problems have arisen when some recipients of the disc have developed chronic lower back pain. To prevent disc failure, it is essential that correct sizing and positioning of the disc occurs. If the disc fails then potentially dangerous surgery needs to take place.

Healthnet

Signatory medical societies prosecuting the national class-action lawsuit against HealthNet have reached a settlement agreement. This is the third of six national class- actions against major healthcare insurers to reach settlement. The agreement must be approved by the U.S. Federal District Court in Florida. The hearing is set for September 19, 2005. If approved, the settlement agreement will cover approximately 900,000 physicians. Class members who wish to opt-out of the settlement agreement must do so by August 22, 2005.

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno on Monday approved $167 million in settlements reached by Health Net and Prudential Financial Services in a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf about 950,000 physicians.

In the lawsuit, physicians allege that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Coventry Health Care, Health Net, Humana Health Plan, PacifiCare Health Systems, United Healthcare and WellPoint Health Networks delayed or denied reimbursements for medical services and illegally rejected claims for necessary services as part of a racketeering conspiracy.

Aetna and Cigna, which also were named as defendants in the lawsuit, have settled with the physicians for a combined $1.01 billion. Aetna purchased Prudential in 1999 (California Healthline, 5/4). WellPoint and Anthem, which merged late last year, also have reached tentative settlements in the lawsuit.

Terms of Settlements

Under the settlements, Health Net will pay $40 million to active and retired physicians, as well as $20 million in legal fees for the physicians. In addition, Health Net will pay an estimated $80 million to improve the system that the company uses to process reimbursement claims.

Prudential will pay $22.2 million to improve managed care, as well as $5 million in legal fees for the physicians. Prudential also will monitor payment of other settlements in the lawsuit.

Harley Tropin, lead attorney for the physicians, said, “These latest settlements are significant in the changes that will be made in the treatment and payment to doctors similar to those agreed to by Cigna and Aetna.” According to Tropin, attorneys for the physicians have entered negotiations with the four defendants that remain — Coventry, Humana, PacifiCare and UnitedHealth — with the lawsuit scheduled to proceed to trial in January 2006.

FEMA

A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of thousands of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina evacuees will ask a judge to order the Federal Emergency Management Agency to continue housing assistance for thousands of evacuees threatened with loss of benefits and potential homelessness.

A class action lawsuit, says FEMA’s response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita has been “wholly inept.” It echoes complaints by housing advocates, city officials and others that the agency has unlawfully disqualified thousands of evacuees from its housing programs and has provided confusing and contradictory information.

As a result, the lawsuit alleges, “tens of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans — among them the elderly, the disabled, children and the poor — are faced with the real threat, through no fault of their own, of becoming homeless.”

Farmers Group

A class action lawsuit has been filed in Oklahoma against Farmers Insurance Companies Inc., for using credit information in insurance ratings.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs are suing “Farmers Insurance Company Inc., Farmers Group Inc., Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Underwriters Assoc., Fire Insurance Exchange and Mid-Century Insurance Company, seeking to recover statutory damages, costs and attorneys’ fees based upon defendants’ alleged willful violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act” (FCRA).

The plaintiffs claim that Farmers companies’ use consumer report information on their applicants and insured’s and “took adverse action against each plaintiff and each class member, based in whole or in part on information obtained in consumer reports, but did not provide adequate notice of the adverse action to each plaintiff and each class member as required by the FCRA,” according to the judge’s published opinion. The plaintiffs further allege that the companies’ failure to provide adequate notice was “willful and deliberate.”

Class certification was sought for all who received, renewed and/or purchased personal auto and/or homeowners policies from the named companies and “were charged more than the lowest premium available for such insurance” based on credit history contained in the consumer report.

The judge rejected several of Farmers’ arguments against granting class action status, including the companies’ contention that oral notice of adverse action given by their appointed representatives was sufficient. Court documents showed that the defendants claimed “their independent insurance agents had a regular business practice of providing oral notice of adverse action to their customers. Defendants assert that the insurance agents routinely informed their customers that credit information was used in determining premiums and also informed their customers if they did not receive the best premium discount based in part on their credit information.”

The judge rejected the companies’ argument for various reasons, including the fact that “evidence before the court does not reveal that the named plaintiffs or the class members received oral notice of adverse action during the time period when defendants utilized the three adverse action notice forms” that are central to the class definition.

The court noted that its certification decision may be “altered or amended” at a later date “should circumstance warrant.”

UnumProvident

A class action lawsuit was filed against UnumProvident, Unum, Paul Revere, First Unum, Provident, and other UnumProvident subsidiaries. The lawsuit aims to stop and correct their illegal disability claims practices and help for the thousands of people who obtained their disability coverage through their employers and have had claims denied or terminated.

 

A new class action has been filed against Chattanooga-based UnumProvident – this one in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

It is brought on behalf of purchasers of UnumProvident Corporate-Backed Trust Securities (”CorTS”) Certificates (NYSE: KVN) pursuant to an initial public offering on or about April 18, 2001 and/or in the aftermarket for CorTS through and including March 24, 2003 (the “Class Period”).

The complaint charges CorTS Trust II for Provident Financial Trust I, UnumProvident, Salomon Smith Barney and certain UnumProvident officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.

According to the CorTS IPO prospectus, UnumProvident Corporation guaranteed the payment of distributions on the Underlying Capital Securities but only to the extent that the Underlying Issuer had funds legally and immediately available therefor, the suit says. On April 18, 2001, the first day of the class period, the CorTS were issued pursuant to the Prospectus and Registration Statement and began to publicly trade. The trust consisted of a single class of certificates, which represented interests in the trust and the certificates would only be paid through the trust. Therefore, the CorTS would only be paid if UnumProvident paid the original trust, it was claimed.

The class action lawsuit charges that during the Class Period, UnumProvident falsely reported financial results because it did not properly account for the long-term impairment of its investments. The suit says “the financial information was inflated due to UnumProvident’s overzealous denial of legitimate claims of its insureds through, what one federal judge deemed ‘a comprehensive system for targeting and terminating expensive claims.’ The financial statements and related press releases by UnumProvident identified above contained statements that were materially false and misleading when made.”

On March 24, 2003, UnumProvident issued a press release in which they stated their intentions to restate financial statements from previous years. This put the payments of the CorTS in jeopardy and caused the CorTS to lose almost 50% of their value, it was stated.

Several other class action lawsuits have been filed in recent months against UnumProvident, which ousted its CEO and has taken steps to shore up its financial position.

Zyprexa

Zyprexa

Class Action Lawsuit filed against Eli Lilly for failure to disclose risks to consumers

Products- Zyprexa

Drugs used for the treatment of psychological problems

Unintended Side Effect

Risks to patients with diabetes

Plaintiffs

People with diabetes and families of people with diabetes

History

Zyprexa was linked to serious side effects during May of 2002. It is Eli Lilly’s best selling drug and attorneys claim that the manufacturer failed to advise patients of the possible side effects and did not advise diabetes patients to monitor their blood sugar thereby causing injury and death.

Who Qualifies for a Class Action Claim?

People suffering from the following conditions and have taken the drug. The conditions include: diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabeties, pancreatitis, hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis ( DKA ), Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome ( NMS ), diabetic coma caused by severe insulin deficiency.

Victims and their families have a right to take part in the class action suit. If you believe there has been harmed caused you may be entitled to compensation. Class action lawsuits are brought about to protect the public from corporate wrong doings.

Zicam

Zicam is an ‘over the counter’ homeopathic cold remedy nasal spray manufactured by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. It comes in the form of a spray or swab and claims to reduce the time and symptoms of the common cold. Since its introduction it achieved high levels of success.

The active ingredient of Zicam is Zinc Gluconate. It has been claimed that Zicam has caused loss or distortion of the sense of smell and taste of patients using it. The loss of these senses greatly inhibits the lifestyle of individuals afflicted by these symptoms. The loss of sense of smell is known as anosmia. During February of 2004 reports started appearing indication that users of Zicam were suffering from anosmia.

It has been claimed that the public should have been made aware of the potentially dangerous side effects associated with the use of nasal products containing zinc, as well as the application of warning labels on the product. Medical researchers have for many decades associated the use of zinc based products with nerve damage. Zicam products, containing soluble zinc, were not tested by the FDA. An inquiry into this was sub sequentially made by the FDA .Matrixx claimed to be unaware of the FDA inquiry into the safety of Zicam and its possible side effects. Since then class action lawsuits have been filed by users of Zicam against both Matrixx Initiatives and Zicam LLC.

Vioxx

Vioxx (Rofecoxib) is a drug used to relieve osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis as well as acute pain and menstrual symptoms.

Since its introduction in 1999 people around the world have been prescribed Vioxx for these types of medical problems. In the US there have been over 90 million users of the drug.

There is concern that the regular use of Vioxx causes some serious side effects including problems related to kidney and cardiovascular health, and the increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

On September 30, 2004 the manufacturer of the drug Merck has voluntarily recalled Vioxx. However litigation and class actions are being brought about regarding complications detailed in a FDA approved study relating to the severe side effects including increased chances of heart attack and stroke.

Symptoms of heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, impaired thinking, rapid heart beat, loss of appetite, edema and fatigue. Symptoms of stroke include numbness to one side of the body, vision impairment, dizziness, and trouble speaking or problems with motor skills.

 

News 8/18/2006

A New Orleans jury on Thursday ruled against Merck & Co. in the latest trial concerning embattled pain killer Vioxx, ordering the company to pay $51 million to a man who blamed his heart attack on the drug.

The jury ruled that the Whitehouse Station, N.J., pharmaceutical maker, which is building a $300 million plant in Durham, failed to provide ample warning to physicians about risks associated with the drug, according to reports from a number of media outlets covering the trial in Louisiana.

The company must now pay $50 million to compensate 62-year-old Gerald Barnett, 62, a former FBI agent, for a heart attack that he says was caused by Vioxx. The jury also awarded $1 million in punitive damages.

More than 16,000 lawsuits have been filed against Merck regarding Vioxx.

Merck has now lost four cases concerning Vioxx – one each in Louisiana and New Jersey and two in Texas. It has won one federal case and four state cases in New Jersey and California.

Vioxx was pulled from the market last year after studies found long-term use of the drug increased a patient’s risk for heart attack or stroke.

Merck (NYSE: MRK) has been promisted $40 million in state incentives to build a 250,000-square-foot vaccine plant in Durham that would create 200 jobs. The company has said the facility is on track for completion in 2007 or 2008.

Tequin

Tequin (gatifloxacin) is a quinolone antibiotic drug manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Tequin is used to treat patients with bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus, respiratory tract, urinary tract infections, skin infections, kidney infections and sexually transmitted diseases

The use of Tequin has been associated in the risk of blood sugar abnormalities (Dysglycemia). These abnormalities are not restricted to patients with diabetes. Studies indicated a 4 times increased risk of Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) and a 17 times greater risk of developing Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These abnormalities are brought about by the drug interfering with the regulation of insulin secretion from the pancreas. Other side effects include kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and seizure.

In lawsuits against Bristol-Myers Squibb it has been alleged that they failed to warn physicians and patients of risks associated with using the antibiotic. Risks associated with Tequin first came to public prominence in 2003 which resulted in some hospitals pulling the drug. In February 16, 2006 Bristol-Myers Squibb notified the FDA of proposed changes to prescribing information and a letter to doctors helping to identify blood sugar risk. On April 27, 2006 Tequin was withdrawn from the market.

On March 1, 2006 The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) posted on its web site an editorial about Tequin which called for, at least, the addition of a black box warning on the Tequin label, or package insert, and suggested further that an FDA recall of Tequin is warranted.

This March 2006 NEJM editorial, written by Dr. Jerry Gurwitz, of the Meyers Primary Care Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, was prompted by two recent Canadian studies concerning the antibiotic Tequin (gatifloxacin) which indicate that this antibiotic can have life threatening side effects including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). The results of those Canadian studies were so alarming that the lead researcher is now urging doctors to stop prescribing Tequin, which is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Regarding the issue of whether or not Tequin should be recalled, Dr. Gurwitz said that when the increased risk of adverse side effects from Tequin is compared to those of other drugs that have been pulled from the U.S. market in recent years, it seems that “this choice should not be a difficult one for physicians, patients, regulators and manufacturers.” In support of the idea that Tequin be pulled from the market, Dr. Gurwitz said, “For every approved indication for [Tequin], there are safer, equally effective and less costly alternatives.”

The cause for alarm about Tequin is the March 2006 NEJM article about two Canadian studies involving Tequin where researchers looked at health records for 1.4 million Ontario residents over age 65. Among that group were 17,000 patients who used Tequin. The researchers found that elderly patients who took Tequin were almost 17 times more likely to develop hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) than if they took another antibiotic. The researchers also reported that older patients were four times more likely to be hospitalized for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Both of these abnormal blood sugar, or glucose, conditions can be fatal if not treated promptly.

The extent and severity of these Tequin side effects prompted The New England Journal of Medicine to make the Tequin article — as well as the related editorial by Dr. Gurwitz — available online a month in advance of its scheduled March 30, 2006 publication date.

In mid-February 2006, the FDA and Health Canada issued warnings regarding Tequin. Each emphasized that Bristol-Myers Squibb was now telling doctors not to prescribe Tequin for patients with diabetics, and that the elderly and those patients with kidney problems are especially susceptible to serious side effects from Tequin use. The drug company said, also, that a labeling change for Tequin would include stronger warnings about the blood-sugar problems linked to Tequin.

Dr. David Juurlink, the lead researcher in the two Canadian studies and a physician at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Center in Toronto, clearly did not think stronger warnings on the Tequin label, or package insert, was enough. Rather, given the alarming results of his studies, Dr. Juurlink is urging doctors to no longer prescribe Tequin. Dr. Juurlink points out, “There are multiple alternatives that are just as good and do not have this set of side effects that is unpredictable and potentially life threatening.”

In interviews concerning the NEJM article about the Canadian studies invloving Tequin, Dr. Juurlink has warned that the blood-sugar problem “can happen to anybody” whether they have diabetes or not, and it “typically appears within a day or two of taking the drug.” Furthermore, Dr. Juurlink has commmented that the actual risk posed by Tequin is probably greater than his studies revealed, for this simple reason: “We can’t identify everybody, only those who survived [a seizure from low blood sugar and made it] to the hospital or those sick enough to go to the hospital.”

Following the early release of the NEJM article and editorial about Tequin, Bristol-Myers Squibb spokesman Eric Miller told reporters that the drug company has decided to stop actively marketing Tequin in the U.S.

Teflon

A $5 Billion class action lawsuit is being organized in Ohio and fourteen other states by owners of Teflon coated pots and pans. The lawsuit will be filed against DuPont and claims that they failed to disclose health risks associated with Teflon.

Teflon has been used to coat pots and pans since it was developed 40 years ago. The lawsuit claims that since the DuPont informed the government and consumers that Teflon was safe and that DuPont’s testing had shown the properties could become toxic after heating.

Lawyers for DuPont are claiming safe use throughout the materials 40 years of existence and that there are no studies exist reporting otherwise.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs will attempt to prove that DuPont failed to notify the public of potential health risks.

Seroquel

Seroquel

Class Action Lawsuit filed against AstraZeneca for failure to disclose risks to consumers

Product- Seroquel

Drugs used for the treatment of psychological problems

Unintended Side Effect

Risks to patients with diabetes caused by elevated blood sugar

Plaintiffs

People with diabetes and families of people with diabetes

History

Seroquel was linked to serious side effects during August of 2003. The FDA ordered a change in the label to identify the risks associated with diabetes. The manufacturer AstraZeneca failed to comply with this request.

Who Qualifies for a Class Action Claim?

People suffering from the following conditions and have taken the drug. The conditions include: diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabeties, pancreatitis, hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis ( DKA ), Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome ( NMS ), diabetic coma caused by severe insulin deficiency.

Victims and their families have a right to take part in the class action suit. If you believe there has been harmed caused you may be entitled to compensation. Class action lawsuits are brought about to protect the public from corporate wrong doings.

Article

The FDA approved the drug Seroquel in 1997 for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar mania. Schizophrenia is not a multiple personality disorder, as it is commonly portrayed by the media, but rather a mental disease that causes people to fail to perceive reality properly. Schizophrenia can cause hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking processes. Bipolar mania is a mood disorder that is characterized as having extreme emotions. Usually these extreme emotions involve hyperactivity, increased sexual desires, increased irritability and sometimes euphoria.

Recently this drug has been linked to potentially fatal conditions such as diabetes and pancreatitis. If these conditions are left unchecked, they can sometimes lead to catastrophic problems such as ketoacidosis, coma and potentially death.

Seroquel is also known to cause an increase in appetite which ultimately causes the patient to gain weight. Weight gain can be an early sign of diabetes, hyperglycemia or other dangerous conditions. Unfortunately, Seroquel users have found it difficult (if not impossible) to lose the weight after it’s been put on after using the drug.

If you or a loved one has been faced with the devastating side effects of the drug Seroquel, it’s very important that you have someone to turn to for help. Seroquel induced diabetes or pancreatitis victims DO have legal rights. A qualified defective drug attorney can help you receive compensation for your injuries and fight for your rights. It’s time drug makers like AstraZeneca are held accountable for their actions. Please contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Orth Evra

When the Food and Drug Administration approved the Ortho Evra Transdermal Birth Control Patch in November 2001, it became the first transdermal patch to effectively deliver a combination of norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol, two vital hormones that help prevent unwanted pregnancy. The “patch” as it was called, was a revolution in birth control because it allegedly provided the same amount of security against accidental pregnancy in an easier to take format. One large advantage of the Ortho Evra patch, according to its manufacturer Ortho-McNeil, lies in the once weekly application to the skin on the thighs, hips, or upper body rather than a daily pill. The patch is replaced every week in a month except the fourth, which allows a woman to have a menstrual period as normal.

Unfortunately, the high concentrations of the norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol hormones cause severe and even fatal side effects in some women. Birth control pills have been known to cause blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes in some women, and smoking is also known exacerbate these risks. While many experts believed that there would be similar risks in a transdermal patch, they did not expect the significant increase in fatalities caused by the Ortho Evra patch.

The first fatality linked to Ortho Evra was an 18 year old fashion student in New York who collapsed and died due to a blood clot that traveled into her lungs. This terrible incident was merely the first of many deaths of women of all ages due to the tragic side effects of Ortho Evra. The Associated Press published a report on July 17, 2005 that the chances of suffering a non-fatal blood clot with the birth control pill was approximately 1 and 3 in 10,000, while the risk of dying was 1 in 200,000. The rates for the Ortho Evra patch indicated that non-fatal blood clots occurred 12 out of 10,000 times, while the death rate from these blood clots was 3 out of 200,000. Doctors later confirmed that the Ortho Evra patch increased the likelihood of fatal cardiac-related events by 300%.

Between April 2002 and December 2004, Ortho-McNeil received over 500 reports of incidents related to side effects and cardiovascular problems because of the Ortho Evra Patch. In the same time period, manufacturers of traditional birth control pills received only 61 such complaints. Data also showed that women who used the patch suffered four times as many strokes compared to those who did not. Furthermore, the FDA believes that they only receive between 1 and 10% of the reports of serious reactions, so most experts believe that the fatality rate of the Ortho Evra patch could be even higher than estimated.

Mannatech

There are basically four major components, or essential molecular components that the body requires for what we call good health.

We know about amino acids and proteins, that’s category one. We know about fatty acids and nucleic acids, that’s category two. We know about vitamins and minerals and trace elements that are required, that’s three. And then we’ve always known about carbohydrates, whether its rice, potatoes, corn, wheat, whatever – that you eat it, as category four. We’ve always known that those are the four necessary components for the human body.

Carbohydrates are consumed and broken down into simple sugars and then burned up at a cellular level as fuel, or gasoline. So this one category has always been known for the fuel side, for energy. And then the other three have always been known as critical for how the body functions.

What Mannatech found is that the carbohydrate chain is not just some interesting molecules that are used as fuel. They researched and discovered that there are some unique molecules, eight of them, which they actually physically isolated, that are used as building blocks or raw materials. These eight molecules are known as monosaccarhides or glyconutrients.

Let’s say these glyconutrients are Legos. One of them is a red six dot Lego, one of them is a black two dot Lego, one of them is a white narrow, single strip flat Lego and so forth. All eight of these little Lego pieces somehow, in the body’s synthesis and physiological process, multiply and combine and build configurations that build the phone lines, or communication mechanism, that allows one cell to talk to another cell.

In other words, we have trillions of cells in our body and cells need to properly communicate to one another. They need to be able to ask each other questions such as: are you friendly, are you an enemy, how does this affect my organ, how does this affect this system or that system? This communication process helps them to ultimately determine whether the cells are properly functioning. Mannatech found out that these phone lines, or glyconutritional components, were used to allow these cells to communicate at a cellular level.

Unfortunately we might be deficient in these essential glyconutrients so the phone lines can’t be properly built. This is due to things such as green harvests, processing, preservatives, increased toxins, limited variety of grocery store foods we eat, and gradual soil depletion. The key here is that what was once able to convert from one molecule to another may have been interfered with because of contaminates, the environment, and everything else around us.

So you have this very critical group of plant based molecules that the body has to have so it can build phone lines, so that cells can communicate. If the cells communicate properly then the tissues function, the organs function, and the systems of the body function. If that’s ever violated, or if those components are not put into the body, or the body is adversely affected because of environmental and diet issues and all the things that are around us in the 21st century, then those phone systems and those molecules can’t built.

Now, all of a sudden, you have a body and a group of systems that aren’t properly communicating. They are malfunctioning and misunderstanding each other. This miscommunication can take years for the physical signs to manifest and become recognizable. This miscommunication is why the body then isn’t able to heal itself, isn’t able to repair itself, or it blatantly malfunctions and miscommunicates on itself and causes an autoimmune disease.

Mannatech took these isolated molecules and created a glyconutritional blend consisting of all eight of the monosaccharides. This nutraceutical supplement is known as Ambrotose Complex. It gives the body the glyconutrients it is missing so that the body can turn around and create the phone lines necessary to have proper cell-to-cell communication.

Fosamax and Bisphosphonates

 

Fosamax is a drug that helps reverse bone loss and bone thinning and prevents the onslaught of osteoporosis. Fosamax is also know as a bisphosphonate.

Over 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis, with over 34 million suffering from low bone mass. It is a difficult disease to self diagnose with a bone density test being used to determine it existence.

Fosamax and other stronger forms of bisphosphonates are often used to manage advanced cancers that have metastasized to the bone. In these cases the bisphosphonates are usually given intravenously for longer time periods.

Fosamax (alendronate sodium) is an aminobisphosphonate that acts as a specific inhibitor of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Bisphosphonates are synthetic analogs of pyrophosphate that bind to the hydroxyapatite found in bone.

Severe side effects have been linked to the use of bisphosphonates including Fosamax. These include osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ or ‘dead jaw’). Osteonecrosis of the jaw is a rare but serious condition that involves the loss, or breakdown, of the jaw bone. Symptoms include gum problems, loose teeth and heaviness of the jaw. The diagnosis of osteonecrosis is done by x-rays and microbial cultures. Treatments include antibiotics, rinses and removable mouth appliances.

Litigation and class actions are being brought about regarding complications from bisphosphonate relating to osteonecrosis of the jaw and other serve side effects.

Article

Fosamax is a medication created to help osteoporosis, a bone disease which generally affects postmenopausal women in the United States. Fosamax is used by both men and women to treat the disease. It can be taken orally in either a pill or fluid format, and is generally consumed on an empty stomach.

The drug is used in aid of rebuilding and fortifying weak bones so that the person can avoid debilitating and harmful fractures of the bones. This little tablet helps control Paget’s disease and osteoporosis, but unfortunately it cannot prevent or cure them.

It’s unfortunate, but medication like Fosamax can cause serious complications for its users. Just like other osteoporosis dugs, Fosamax will cause severe gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and constipation. In rare instances, Fosamax can even result in Osteonecrosis of the jaw (or ‘dead jaw’) and harm one’s ability to eat, swallow and speak.

The pharmaceutical industry has developed and marketed numerous amounts of medications to prevent and treat these conditions, but unfortunately all of these drugs have severe side effects. Because the medications alter basic bodily functions so dramatically, the consequences of taking these medications can be sometimes be awful. Additional side effects can often include sleeplessness, nausea and fatigue.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by the use of osteoporosis medication such as Fosamax then you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. It’s important that you call an experienced and knowledgeable osteoporosis drug attorney today.

Lariam

Mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug marketed under the name Lariam. Doctors are still unsure exactly how Mefloquine protects a patient from malaria, but it is generally theorized that it prevents the malaria parasite from breaking down a substance in the blood called haemin by making the haemin toxic to the parasite. However it works, it is the most effective anti-malarial drug on the market, especially in areas where the malaria parasite has grown resistant to more conventional malaria drugs. At first it was believed that mefloquine (Lariam) had a low incidence of side effects, but it turns out that only a fraction of the problems with mefloquine had been made public. As more travelers come out to tell horror stories of Lariam experiences, controversy rises about the pros and cons of taking mefloquine.

Malaria is a serious, sometimes deadly, parasitic infection that is transmitted through mosquito bites in many tropical regions of the world. Mefloquine, or Lariam, is the most often prescribed preventative for the disease. It is very effective at preventing the disease and is usually safe to take, but the adverse reactions that do occur are debilitating and possibly fatal. Forty-six people in Britain have already filed suits against the drug’s manufacturer, Hoffmann-La Roche. Another 150 are in the process of doing so and more than 500 more have contacted lawyers leading to action. In America, the first Lariam lawsuit was filed by a 25 year-old Californian man who claims to have suffered crippling Lariam side effects for nearly 3 years.

The Yellow Card scheme, a system through which doctors abroad file concerns with the Committee on Safety of Medicines, reported 1505 adverse reactions to mefloquine between 1990 and 1998. Five of these cases resulted in death. This seems like a very small number until one considers the results of a 1996 survey finding that only 10.15% of suspected adverse mefloquine reactions are reported. The true incidence of negative side effects could be much higher.

So what are these side effects? Serious side effects to mefloquine include dizziness, depression, psychosis, epileptic seizures, fits, suicide, and Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS is a rare but often fatal skin disease. A 7 year-old girl died of Stevens Johnson Syndrome just this year after taking Lariam for a family vacation. According to its own internal documents, Roche pharmaceuticals has received over 3,000 reports of psychiatric problems associated with Lariam, from nightmares, depression, hallucinations, to paranoia, psychosis, and aggression. Lariam was also a suspected part of the Fort Bragg murders in 1992, when four army officers on leave from Afghanistan (where they were prescribed Lariam) killed their wives on an army base in South Carolina. Two of the officers then killed themselves.

Roche Pharmaceuticals insists that only one in 10,000 patients suffer debilitating side effects from taking Lariam, but a British survey found that the number is closer to one in 140. It turns out that Roche defined a debilitating side effect as one that resulted in death. In fact, it can take years for the serious side effects, such as seizures and psychotic paranoia, to wear off. Hundreds of people return from vacations only to be committed to asylums or sit at home collecting disability checks.

Part of the reason that Lariam is still so widely used is that only about 10% of those suffering from Lariam side effects have spoken up. If you or someone you love has taken Lariam and experienced any of this, contact a lawyer immediately and discuss your options. Though Roche Pharmaceuticals has improved the warnings on its packaging, it still does not own up to the worst of Lariam’s side effects, and for many years the drug was marketed without serious warnings at all.

Enbrel

 

Class Action Lawsuit filed against Immunex Corporation for failure to disclose risks to consumers and advise patients to monitor infection levels causing unnecessary deaths and injury.

Product- Enbrel

Drug used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis

Unintended Side Effect

Unintended side effects include serious infections and other serious blood disorders as well as nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis and seizures.

People with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis and families of people with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis

History

Enbrel has been linked to serious side effects. The drug works by weakening the body’s immune response and reducing inflammation which plays a major factor in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Because the drug weakens the immune systems it can cause other serious side effects including sepsis which is a severe blood infection.

Who Qualifies for a Class Action Claim?

People suffering from the following conditions and who have taken the drug. The conditions include: serious infections, sepsis and other serious blood infections, and serious nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis and seizures.

Victims and their families have a right to take part in the class action suit. If you believe there has been harmed caused you may be entitled to compensation. Class action lawsuits are brought about to protect the public from corporate wrong doings.

Celebrex

Celebrex is an anti-inflammatory and painkilling drug made by Pfizer and used to treat conditions such as arthritis. It has been reported that the drug has greatly increased patients risk of developing cardiovascular disease including myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke. It has been claimed that Pfizer knew of this risk but continued to market and sell the product claiming that it was safe for use. Therefore it has been claimed that Pfizer knowingly put patients at risk by stating that the side effects encountered by some patients should not prevent other patients from benefiting from the drug. At the end of 2004 the first class action lawsuit was filed in Illinois.

 

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