2011 November Archive

Settlement in Merck Vioxx Case Reaches $950 Million

By Cullan & Cullan on November 28, 2011 - Comments off

The pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. settled its lengthy court battle last week regarding the drug Vioxx following a seven-year U.S. government investigation. The pharmaceutical giant was charged with illegally promoting its painkiller Vioxx for unapproved uses and deceiving the government about the safety of the drug. The company faced criminal and civil charges for its false advertisements after some patients suffered severe side effects from the mismarketing, according to Drugrecalls.com. The company ultimately pled guilty to a criminal misdemeanor and agreed to pay $950 million.

The settlement in the Merck case marks another large payout by a drug company to settle healthcare fraud allegations. The Wall Street Journal reports that GlaxoSmithKline PLC reached an agreement to pay $3 billion to settle allegations in the U.S. of improper drug marketing. Other companies that paid expensive settlements in recent years include Pfizer Inc., Eli Lily & Co., and AstraZeneca PLC. Drug companies are unquestionably barred from promoting drugs for unauthorized (or “off-label”) uses, though doctors may prescribe medicines for “off-label” uses to patients. Read the rest »

Stay Safe with These Thanksgiving Travel Tips

By Cullan & Cullan on November 22, 2011 - Comments off

Nebraska Travel TipsAs Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday for spending time with loved ones, some of us may find ourselves on the road to enjoy turkey and merriment with friends and family. According to AAA, approximately 42.2 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away from home this holiday weekend. More people traveling on the open road increases the chances of being involved in a car accident and suffering a personal injury, and, according to the National Transportation Commission, there are close to 400 automobile fatalities that occur during Thanksgiving weekend accidents.

To avoid making a car accident part of your Thanksgiving travel plans, Einsurance.com offers these travel tips to get you to your destination safely: Read the rest »

Prematurity Campaign Seeks to Address Growing Problem of Premature Births

By Cullan & Cullan on November 21, 2011 - Comments off

Infant Hospital InjuryThe March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the health of mothers and babies, has made November Prematurity Awareness Month as part of its Prematurity Campaign. The Prematurity Campaign, which was launched in 2003, aspires to address the prevalent problem of premature births both in the U.S. and abroad.

According to the organization, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely in the U.S., raising the premature birth rate 36% over the last 25 years. The campaign raises funds for lifesaving research, speaks out for legislation that improves care for babies and moms, and establishes educational programs to help women have healthy, full term pregnancies (such as the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait program). Read the rest »

Understanding Cerebral Palsy and Its Effects

By Cullan & Cullan on November 17, 2011 - Comments off

Nebraska Cerebral Palsy InjuryCerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, and motor skills, and is one of the most common congenital (existing before or at birth) childhood disorders. Approximately 500,000 children and adults are living with this condition in the United States. CP can lead to other health problems, such as vision or hearing problems and learning disabilities. This disorder is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development, typically before a child is born. The exact causes of this condition, however, are unknown, but many are the result of problems during pregnancy or delivery in which the brain is damaged or does not develop normally.

Symptoms of CP in a child can vary, but can include:

  • Movement and coordination problems – such as difficulty walking, eating, or delays in speech development; or
  • Neurological problems – including seizures or mental retardation.

Read the rest »

What is Considered to be Police Misconduct?

By Cullan & Cullan on November 14, 2011 - Comments off

Police Arrest MisconductThe law enforcement officers of this country have a very difficult job, and most perform their duties with the utmost respect for members of the community and in compliance with the law. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and an encounter with the law may turn into a violation of one’s civil rights. Police misconduct can refer to any police officer’s inappropriate actions in connection with their civil duties, such as discrimination, and may lead to a miscarriage of justice (convicting a person for a crime they did not commit).

In order to be aware of your rights in the event you encounter law enforcement, the following are examples of police misconduct:

  • Police brutality (the use of excessive force by police)
  • Sexual abuse
  • False confession (coercing a person into confessing a crime they didn’t commit)
  • Racial profiling Read the rest »

I-80 Semi Truck Collision Leaves School Teacher in Serious Condition

By Cullan & Cullan on November 10, 2011 - Comments off

A bus carrying 28 Kearney Public School students and four staff members collided with a semi truck Tuesday, November 8, leaving a female school teacher in serious condition. The crash occurred near the Greenwood/Ashland exit on I-80 in Cass County. According to The Omaha-World Herald, the group was on a field trip to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha when a semi truck changing lanes hit the bus, forcing it into the concrete median and lodging it there.

Students were treated and released for injuries including bumps, bruises, and scrapes, but the Kearney High school teacher remains in serious condition after sustaining serious injuries. The crash remains under investigation. Read the rest »

What Can Cause Emergency Room Malpractice?

By Cullan & Cullan on November 7, 2011 - Comments off

Emergency Room Accident LawsuitEach year in the United States, over 123 million Americans visit the emergency room (E.R.) for their urgent medical needs. With this astounding number of emergency room visits and the constant demand for medical care, E.R.’s across the country have a high rate of medical error that can cause an even higher number of medical malpractice suits.

Below is some general information on emergency room malpractice and accidents so you can be well informed if you ever experience a problem in the E.R.

Causes of E.R. Malpractice and Accidents

The nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals who comprise an emergency room staff work in a very high stress environment, needing to respond quickly to a variety of illnesses and injuries while dealing with patients they likely have not treated before. Also, emergency rooms tend to be understaffed and overcrowded, causing additional stress for healthcare providers. Unsanitary conditions, inadequate training, and inadequate procedures (such as record keeping or patient tracking) are also possible causes for malpractice and accidents. Read the rest »

Failure to Exercise Normal Standards of Care May Cost Physician Her License

By Cullan & Cullan on November 2, 2011 - Comments off

A Nebraska doctor’s license is at risk because she allegedly prescribed addictive drugs to those with a known drug abuse problem, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The petition filed against the accused physician alleges that six of her patients suffered drug overdoses, with five of them dying and one suffering respiratory arrest. The physician, who has a clean disciplinary record, denies the accusations, and her attorney says she will present evidence that she followed the appropriate standards of care at the hearing scheduled for November 2 and 3.

This case focuses on the physician’s prescription of several addictive medications.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

By Cullan & Cullan on November 1, 2011 - Comments off

Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM), held annually in November, is a national campaign to bring awareness to lung cancer-related issues such as early detection and increased support for those living with the disease. As lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States, LCAM is a crucial nationwide initiative that helps educate and inform patients and families, help current smokers quit, and change public policy to reduce and prevent tobacco use.

The American Lung Association and the Lung Cancer Alliance Network, two organizations dedicated to fighting lung cancer, encourage all Americans this month to learn about this deadly disease that more people die from than any other type of cancer. There are many ways to help in November and throughout the year, such as raising awareness by distributing LCAM information at local clinics and hospitals, contacting senators and representatives to increase funding for research, and donating money to help find a cure for this deadly disease. Read the rest »