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Chicago Tribune Archives - Carey Danis & Lowe

Death Toll Climbs to 124 from Defective GM Ignition Switches

By | Class Action, Uncategorized

UntitledThe number of deaths from the defective General Motors ignition switch has reached 124. That number is a grim reminder of how the company’s cover up devastated in many people’s lives.

Various GM models from 2003-2011 have been recalled to replace an ignition switch that can move into the accessory position due to a heavy key chain or sudden jarring. The accessory position disables power steering, power brakes and airbags.

The car maker’s compensation fund said it certified 124 deaths and 269 injuries in July of 2015, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Families of victims are being offered a minimum compensation of $1 million each.

GM recalled 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalt’s and other cars in 2014, with models ranging from 2003 to 2011. General Motors admitted that it knew about the ignition switch problems for more than 10 years.

Were you injured by GM’s defective ignition switch?

If you suffered injuries or loss due to GM’s faulty ignition switch, contact Carey Danis & Lowe attorneys for a free legal consultation to discuss options.

Carey Danis & Lowe is investigating class action claims against GM . For more information, please contact Tiffany M. Yiatras, Corey D. Sullivan, or Francis J. “Casey” Flynn, Jr. at 1-800-721-2519 or via email.

Yaz Lawsuits & Injuries Profiled by Chicago Tribune

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Yaz/Yasmin

transvaginal_mesh_implants_lawsuit_litigation_settlements_obtapeIn a recent article on Yaz lawsuits from the Chicago Tribune, a former user of Yaz, 23 year old Maggie Yunker, described the injuries she incurred after a year of taking the oral contraceptive.

According to Yunker, her healthcare provider recommended Yaz because it was touted as being able to alleviate menstrual symptoms and improve skin health. A year later, Yunker had developed several blood clots, and ultimately endured a stroke at the age of 20.

Due to her injuries and compromised health, Yunker filed a Yaz lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. She received a $237,000 settlement from Bayer.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Bayer has spent $1.4 billion in settling 6,760 Yaz lawsuits.

Yaz Multidistrict Litigation

Yaz lawsuits have been consolidated into the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. As of mid-September, there are 11,274 cases in the Yaz multidistrict litigation (MDL).

The case is In re: Yasmin and Yaz (drospirenone) marketing, sales practices, and products liability litigation MDL no. 2100. It is being heard by U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon.

Yaz Side Effects

Yaz contains the hormone drospirenone, which has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, and brain hemorrhage. Drospirenone has been connected to an increase in potassium in the body, which in turn can prove injurious by increasing the risk of blood clot formation.

In order to address the mounting adverse event reports for Yaz, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Bayer in 2012 to update the Yaz drug safety information to include a warning about the association between drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives and an increased risk of blood clot formation.

Yaz Case Evaluation & Health Advice

Carey Danis & Lowe is a national law firm that represents women who claim to have been injured while taking a drospirenone-containing oral contraceptive like Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella. We work diligently to provide you with expert legal counsel and medical advice.

Contact Carey Danis & Lowe for a free legal evaluation of your Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella case, and to speak with one of our medical experts. Our team strongly believes that if a pharmaceutical giant engages in negligent business practices and misleading marketing campaigns, they should be held responsible.

Share your story with us by calling 800.721.2519, or by submitting a personal injury claim form.

Abbott to Pay $1.6B to Settle Depakote Claims

By | Depakote, Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized

The following article was originally published on May 8, 2012 by Chicago Tribune.

Abbott Laboratories said Monday it will pay $1.6 billion to settle federal and state claims that it illegally marketed the anti-seizure medication Depakote for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

As part of the settlement agreement, North Chicago-based Abbott said it would pay $800 million to resolve civil cases brought by federal and state governments, $700 million in criminal penalties and $100 million to states to resolve consumer protection matters.

The company will to plead guilty to one misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding. Abbott also agreed to a five-year probationary period in which it must report any probable violations of the law to the probation office, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the state will receive $20 million as part of the deal.

The settlement was expected by investors. Last year, Abbott earmarked $1.5 billion to cover projected costs of the settlement, and set aside another $100 million in April for the same purpose.

Shares of Abbott finished Monday up 10 cents, at $62.51.

Abbott, Chicagoland’s largest company as measured by market capitalization, plans to spin off its legacy drug business into a separate, publicly traded firm called AbbVie this year. It said in a release that certain compliance measures and certification requirements will transfer to the new company.

“We are pleased to resolve this matter and are confident we have the programs in place to satisfy the requirements of this settlement,” Abbott General Counsel Laura Schumacher said in a statement.

“The company takes its responsibility to patients and health care providers seriously and has established robust compliance programs to ensure its marketing programs meet the needs of health care providers and legal requirements,” Schumacher said.

Depakote, an anti-seizure and mood-stabilizing drug, was first approved by the FDA in 1983 to treat certain seizures in adults and children older than 10. Since then, the drug has been approved to treat other types of seizures, manic episodes of bipolar disorder and for the prevention of migraine headaches.

The Justice Department said in a release that the company illegally marketed Depakote for uses including for treatment of schizophrenia, agitated dementia and autism.

Though doctors can prescribe drugs “off-label,” as the practice is known, companies are prohibited from marketing them to treat conditions that are not approved by the FDA.

Abbott said it had been under investigation for four years in connection with the sale and promotion of Depakote stretching back to 1998.

The investigations led by the federal government and states’ attorneys general were based partly on whistle-blower lawsuits filed in federal courts in Illinois, Virginia and the District of Columbia that accused Abbott of illegally promoting Depakote. Those suits also alleged that the company gave doctors and pharmacists illegal kickbacks to talk about off-label uses of the drug to boost sales.

The first suit, filed in 2007 by former Abbott saleswoman Meredith McCoyd, accused the drug maker of encouraging her and other salespeople to promote the drug in nursing homes and public mental health centers, where most patients were covered by federal health care programs, including Medicaid.

The Justice Department intervened in those suits to determine whether the company’s marketing of the drug violated civil and criminal laws.

In a release, the Justice Department said Abbott admitted that from 1998 to 2006, it “maintained a specialized sales force trained to market Depakote in nursing homes for the control of agitation and aggression in elderly dementia patients, despite the absence of credible scientific evidence that Depakote was safe and effective for that use.”

From 2001 to 2006, it said, the company marketed the drug for use in combination with anti-psychotic drugs to treat schizophrenia, though its own clinical trials showed Depakote provided no benefit.

“Today’s settlement shows further evidence of our deep commitment to public health and our determination to hold accountable those who commit fraud,” said James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General. “We are resolute in stopping this type of activity and today’s settlement sends a strong message to other companies.”

The Abbott settlement is one of a string of recent enforcement actions pursued by the FDA, which has ramped up its investigation of off-label drug marketing, ensnaring several other large drugmakers within the last several years.

In November, GlaxoSmithKline PLC said it would pay the U.S. government $3 billion to settle civil and criminal charges for illegal marketing of diabetes drug Avandia and others.

In 2009, Pfizer Inc. paid $2.3 billion for similar allegations about its painkiller Bextra, and Eli Lilly & Co. settled for $1.4 billion the same year for Zyprexa, used to treat schizophrenia.