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A federal jury has awarded $7.1 million to three army veterans who alleged that defective 3M military earplugs caused their permanent hearing damage.

Friday’s verdict bodes poorly for 3M, which now faces up to 240,000 similar claims from service members, veterans and some civilians in what’s now the largest mass tort in U.S. history. The lawsuits claim 3M’s earplugs have caused constant ringing in the ears known as tinnitus as well as partial and total hearing loss.

Jurors in the first bellwether trial awarded $2.1 million in punitive damages to each veteran and a total of $830,500 in varying compensatory…

Nearly 70 lawsuits have been filed against global agricultural giant Syngenta and other manufacturers of the toxic chemical herbicide paraquat, including a record six lawsuits filed in one day earlier this month.

The lawsuits allege that exposure to paraquat caused the claimants’ Parkinson’s disease and that manufacturers have known about the risk for decades, Law360 and reported.

Chevron Chemical Company, Growmark, and the Adama group are also named in some lawsuits as manufacturers and distributors of paraquat-containing products.

Paraquat is marketed under the brand name Gramoxone by Syngenta and by other companies as Para-SHOT, Helmquat, Parazone, Firestorm, Ortho-Paraquat, Quick-Quat…

The rapid and disproportionate spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes has led to increased concerns about nursing home quality among researchers. MedTruth has summarized some of the latest findings for our readers:

  • Nursing homes with the lowest profit margins were more likely to be cited for problems with infection control and prevention compared to nursing homes with the highest profit margins. …

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill repealing a state law protecting health care facilities and professionals from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

The Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act was enacted one year ago in April 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was just gaining steam. New York lawmakers’ voted nearly unanimously (149–1) last month to repeal the controversial measure, which offered protection from civil and criminal liability.

Nursing homes and their staff are among those affected by the repeal, which went into effect immediately when Cuomo signed it into law on April 6, per Law360.

Nursing homes will be…

Democratic lawmakers from both houses of Congress have teamed up to introduce legislation limiting toxic heavy metals in baby foods and in foods for children up to age three.

The bill comes in the wake of a high-profile Congressional report released in February which found that leading baby food manufacturers knowingly sell baby foods contaminated with heavy metals, according to a review of the manufacturers’ internal documents. The report has generated widespread media attention, considerable concern among parents and the filing of more than 38 class action lawsuits.

The Food and Drug Administration first responded to the congressional report on…

The word “bellwether” refers to something that indicates or predicts trends or tendencies or is otherwise at the lead or forefront.

Bellwether trials are individual lawsuits hand-picked to be heard first, ahead of a “pack” of similar lawsuits grouped together in what’s known as multidistrict litigation. MDLs consolidate related cases before one federal judge in order to reduce costs and promote efficiency in legal proceedings.

However, no judge can hear hundreds or thousands of cases at once. In order to test the strength of the lawsuits, a handful of bellwether trials will be held. The number of bellwether trials is…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted patients and doctors last week that two brands of surgical mesh used in breast reconstruction surgery may present a higher risk of complications than similar brands.

Breast reconstruction surgeries are typically performed to rebuild the breast after mastectomy (breast removal) or lumpectomy (lump removal) during breast cancer treatment. Breast reconstructions can be performed with just breast implants or with the additional use of surgical mesh, which is used to reinforce weak tissues. Surgical mesh is made from biological tissues, from synthetic materials such as polypropylene, or a combination.

FDA Research Findings

The two mesh brands of…

Starting Monday all U.S. patients will have free, immediate electronic access to their doctors’ notes and many other types of medical records. Called “Open Notes,” the patient-friendly mandate is part of the federal 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law in late 2016.

Open Notes was supposed to go into effect Nov. 2 but implementation was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law requires all health care organizations to create online portals where patients can access the following types of medical records: consultations, progress and procedure notes, discharge summaries, medical histories, physical exam findings, and reports from…

A recent New York Times investigation of the nation’s popular five-star nursing home rating system found that the system is “broken,” offering at best a “distorted” picture of nursing home quality.

Meticulous research revealed that nursing homes routinely game the star system in order to boost their ratings and hide their deficiencies. Nursing homes submit incorrect information that makes them look better, such as artificially increasing staff hours by including vacationers and underreporting patients with severe bed sores or taking controversial medications.

Nearly 70% of five-star nursing homes were cited for problems with patient abuse or infection control. Residents at…

Boston Scientific has agreed to settle transvaginal mesh claims from 47 states and the District of Columbia for $188.7 million. Last week’s settlement concludes a series of lawsuits accusing Boston Scientific of violating consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of their transvaginal mesh products.

Boston Scientific agreed to change the way it markets transvaginal mesh, including disclosing significant complications and using everyday language to describe complications when marketing to consumers. The company agreed to stop making false safety claims, including:

  • Surgical experience or technique can eliminate mesh risks
  • Mesh does not increase the risk of infection or…


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