| Read Time: < 1 minute | Dangerous Drugs

Lipitor Lawsuits are Centralized in Federal Court

Federal lawsuits claiming that Pfizer’s drug Lipitor caused patients to develop Type 2 diabetes are moving forward in federal court. Cases have been consolidated in federal court in South Carolina. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) issued an order centralizing all associated personal injury actions into IN RE: Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (No. II), MDL No. 2502. This order directs that all related federal lawsuits be transferred to the United States District Court of South Carolina and assigned to the Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel for consolidated pretrial proceedings.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Dangerous Drugs

The Dangers of Generic Drug Labeling – How You Can Help Make Drugs Safer

Consumer advocates are urging the public to join the effort to improve the safety warnings for generic prescription drugs. Consumers who support improved safety warnings are urged to sign a Petition to Make Drugs Safer. The majority of prescription drugs dispensed in the U.S. are generic drugs, and the companies that market them are not subject to the same warning label rules as their name brand counterparts.  Generic drugs are marketed as offering the same active ingredients and quality as their name-brand equivalents at a lower cost, which makes them a popular choice among consumers and doctors. In fact, more than 80% of prescriptions filled in the U.S. are generic drugs. Many insurance policies require pharmacists to fill prescriptions with generics. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the manufacture and distribution of both branded and generic drugs, but does not hold manufacturers to the same standards. Brand name manufacturers are accountable for updating labeling to reflect any new side effects or drug reactions immediately after they are discovered, but laws governing the labeling of generic drugs are much more relaxed. The modern system of generic drug regulation was created by Congress in 1984. Generic drug manufacturers can get quick approval for their generic drugs as long as the manufacturers can prove the generic drug is chemically equal to the branded original drug. Generic drug manufacturers are not required to perform testing of their drugs, and the generic drug warnings just have to be the same as warning on the branded original. This loophole puts consumers at risk when new drug injuries and dangerous side effects are discovered.  Generic drug manufacturers are not held accountable for updating the warning labels on their products. Brand name drug makers must change the labels for the original drugs before generic manufacturers can begin the process of changing their labels, causing a time lag in getting safety warning information to the users of generic drugs! If a brand name drug goes off the market, but the generic equivalent does not, the manufacturers of the generic drug are not able to change their labeling, even if the drug is known to have new risks. Essentially, generic drug manufacturers can sell their products to unsuspecting consumers even if they know they are dangerous. The FDA has proposed a rule change that would require generic drug companies to follow the same process as name brand drug manufacturers to update warning labels. Under this fix, generic drug manufacturers would also be held responsible for injuries caused by their drugs in court. Cory Watson Attorneys has partnered with the Take Back Justice campaign to close the loopholes in FDA drug regulation to protect consumers. The rule change has been delayed once already and the Take Back Justice campaign has launched a petition to urge the FDA to take action and hold all drug companies accountable for providing current and accurate labeling on all drugs. Please join Cory Watson Attorneys in supporting safer drug labeling. Click here today to sign the petition to make generic drugs safer. The period for public comment ends April 27, 2015, so act today to make the marketplace safer for all.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Environmental

DuPont Bound by Settlement Agreement: Six Diseases Linked to C-8 Exposure

An Ohio federal judge ruled Wednesday, December 17, that DuPont will be bound to its contractual agreement and to the results of the DuPont-sponsored scientific panel study which found that C-8 exposure likely causes kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, and pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Car Accidents

Getting Your Car Fixed After a Car Wreck

So you’ve had a car crash. You’re well insured – liability and comprehensive – but there’s still the hassle of getting your car repaired. If your car is not drivable, your insurance company will likely have it towed to the body shop you recommend. An adjuster will survey the damages, the body shop will write an estimate and the repairs will be started. Still, you could be without your vehicle for weeks while repairs are being made. You may want to rent a car, and many insurance policies cover this possibility. If you are not at fault in the accident, the other driver’s insurance may cover your rental. Before renting a replacement vehicle, ask the insurance adjuster what the limits are for renting a car because many policies have a low limit, and everything over the limit may be your responsibility! If you can safely drive your car, you may take it to the vehicle repair shop yourself, or to the insurance adjuster’s office to be evaluated. Again, you may need a rental car while your own car is being fixed. When you get your car from the repair shop, drive it immediately, and if it is still not running properly, tell the repair shop and the adjuster as soon as possible so additional repairs will be covered. Car repair and the task of getting temporary transportation can be a very confusing and expensive process. Even a fender-bender is going to be trouble, but understand that even if the crash wasn’t your fault, the best way to protect your rights is to consult an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer. The car accident attorneys at Cory Watson have successfully represented injury victims for more than thirty years, and our lawyers are available to provide a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Don’t Rush to Settle After Your Car Accident

After a car accident, the insurance companies want to settle as quickly as possible. It’s in their interest, not yours, to settle all claims quickly. Even if you don’t believe you have been injured, go to a doctor for a medical exam. Your insurance company will likely cover the cost. And while you probably want to get everything settled, too – be patient! Don’t sign away your rights before you are sure you suffered no injury in the accident. Some injuries may take days or even weeks to become apparent. Among those are: Whiplash You may believe you are just experiencing soreness from the crash, and that may be the case. But depending on the accident, you may also have suffered whiplash. The Mayo Clinic reports symptoms of whiplash include: “Neck pain and stiffness; worsening of pain with neck movement; loss of range of motion in the neck; headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull; tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms; tingling or numbness in the arms; and fatigue.” Concussion If you struck your head or were hit hard by an airbag, you may have suffered a concussion. The Mayo Clinic says symptoms of a concussion “can last for days, weeks or even longer.”  Among the symptoms, the Mayo Clinic reports are: “Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion or feeling as in a fog, amnesia surrounding the traumatic event, dizziness or ‘seeing stars,’ ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, delayed response to questions, appearing dazed, and fatigue.” Bruising, Muscle Strain or Tearing of Muscles According to WebMD, signs of muscle strain include “swelling, bruising or redness, or open cuts due to the injury, pain at rest, pain when the specific muscle or the joint in relation to that muscle is used, weakness of the muscle or tendons, and the inability to use the muscle at all.” Spinal Cord Injuries An injury to the spinal cord may first manifest itself as soreness. Later, other symptoms can present. The Mayo Clinic says spinal cord injuries may result in one or more of the following symptoms: “Loss of movement; loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch; loss of bowel or bladder control; exaggerated reflex activities or spasms; changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity and fertility; pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord; and difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs.” Before settling a claim or accepting payment from an insurance company, safeguard your rights by consulting a personal injury attorney who can explain your rights and help you negotiate a fair settlement. Cory Watson attorneys have successfully represented clients for more than 30 years, and our lawyers are ready to help.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Don’t Wreck Your Alabama Car Accident Lawsuit: 9 Mistakes To Avoid

A car crash is a stressful event. There could be injuries, significant damage to your vehicle or other property, and confusion as insurance companies sort out what exactly happened. Despite the shock that often occurs after an accident, try to remain calm. Here are the nine biggest mistakes to avoid after a car accident in Alabama: Not calling the police. Always contact the police so trained officers can investigate the crash. Exchanging insurance and contact information with the other driver and then leaving the crash scene without a police investigation may make it more difficult for you to have your damages repaired. You also should take photos with your cell phone and write down what you believe caused the crash. Not getting medical treatment. Don’t delay seeking medical treatment. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, it’s important that you see a doctor immediately. There are many types of injuries that at first may not appear serious. Or, you may think that because you can “walk away,” you’re okay. It is always best to seek medical treatment as soon after an accident as possible. Not following doctor’s instructions. Always follow your doctor’s instructions. Your failure to do so may cause the adjuster to question whether you are as injured as you claim; otherwise, you would have done what the doctor told you. Talking with insurance companies without a lawyer. Be careful who you talk with about your case. Know how to deal with insurance companies after a car accident. Speaking about your case to insurance adjusters or attorneys — or anyone on the side of the defense — can be damaging to your own interests. Waiting to file a claim. Don’t delay. There is a limited time in which you can file a claim. In Alabama, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim and lawsuit. A qualified attorney can tell you whether you have a case, but if you miss the deadline to file, you will not be able to recover anything. Sharing your activities on social media. Beware of social media. Don’t share your story on Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets.  Insurance adjusters can use your social media outlets and anything you say against you. Signing releases or other papers before talking to your lawyer. Don’t sign your rights away. Insurance companies want nothing more than for you to sign medical and other releases, or to accept a settlement that is lower than you may deserve. Not calling a lawyer. Contact an attorney as quickly as you can. You aren’t expected to know the law or even your personal rights under the law. Turn these concerns over to an attorney who is knowledgeable about Alabama laws concerning vehicle accidents. Personal injury lawyers at Cory Watson don’t charge a fee to discuss whether you have a case. Please contact us to see how we can help. Telling a lie. Do not lie.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Defective Products

Scientists Question Safety of Commonly Used Household Chemicals

Scientists call on international community to limit the production and use of commonly used chemicals, PFASs. A new public campaigned launched earlier today warning people about health concerns relating to a common class of chemicals and urging consumers to avoid PFAS containing products. Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, also referred to as PFASs, are found in everyday household items from carpet cleaners to pizza boxes. These substances remain in people’s bodies for years, and appear to increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. The Madrid Statement documents the scientific consensus regarding the persistence and potential for harm of PFASs, and lays out a roadmap to gather needed information and prevent further harm. [i]

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Cory Watson Attorneys

Cory Watson Names New Principal and Three Associates

Cory Watson Attorneys, a leading Birmingham personal injury law firm, announced today that attorney Elizabeth E. Chambers has been named a Principal of the firm. Ms. Chambers is a member of the firm’s Mass Tort litigation team and has practiced law with Cory Watson since 2003.  Ms. Chambers’ practice focuses on products liability involving pharmaceutical drugs and defective medical devices; she has been recognized by SuperLawyers for her work in that area. Ms. Chambers has represented clients nationwide in high-profile multidistrict litigation including Chantix, Vioxx, Trasylol, GranuFlo, Lipitor, and orthopedic devices including hip implants and knee implants. Attorneys Nina Towle, W. Ryan Myers, and Mitchell T. Theodore have also joined the firm as Associates. Ms. Towle’s practice is concentrated in the areas of pharmaceutical litigation, products liability, and environmental law. She is a cum laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law where she served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. W. Ryan Myers’ practice is focused on class actions, consumer protection, and products liability. He received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law where he served as Associate Editor of the Law Review and was named a Judge Abraham Caruthers Fellow. He graduated magna cum laude from at Auburn University. Mitchell T. Theodore’s practice includes pharmaceutical drug litigation, products liability and class actions.  He earned his JD and undergraduate degrees at the University of Alabama where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He served as Junior Editor of the Journal of the Legal Profession. Cory Watson Attorneys is a leading Birmingham personal injury law firm recognized nationally for its practice areas of complex litigation including class actions and mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical drugs and defective medical devices. The firm has an extensive practice in environmental law and individual personal injury cases including those involving automobile accidents, products liability, catastrophic injury and wrongful death.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Industry News

Arbitration Clauses Are Taking Away Consumers’ Rights

A report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on March 11, 2015, found that forced arbitration clauses are now extremely common, and are restricting consumers’ ability to seek legal relief by preventing consumers from filing their claims in court and preventing consumer participation in class actions.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Industry News

Financial Protection Bureau Finds Forced Arbitration is Bad for Consumers

  If you have a disagreement with a credit card company, loan company, title loan company, or other financial service provider, filing a lawsuit should be well within your rights. Unfortunately, you may have signed away the right to take your case to court without your knowledge.  Many of these companies put forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of your agreement.  This means that if you have a disagreement, you may not be able to protect yourself through the court system. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a leading governmental agency on consumers’ financial rights, released the findings of its latest study today. The study found that forced arbitration is unfair and harmful to consumers, and it prevents consumers from recovering losses in class action lawsuits. Signing an arbitration clause gives either party the right to block lawsuits from proceeding in court, and this includes class action litigation.

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