Truck-related fatality rates have decreased by over half in the past 35 years, but fatality rates between passenger vehicles and large trucks still remain greater. The US Department of Transpiration analyzed passenger vehicle accidents and discovered that drivers of passenger vehicles were responsible for 87% of head-on wrecks in 2010. Out of all car-truck collisions, four of five were the result of car drivers. A magazine for truckers published reasons why truckers are safer, including that they get more more training, practice, screening, and driving education than car passengers, according to news reports.
A woman in her 80′s was struck and killed by a garbage truck in Honolulu yesterday morning. The wreck happened when a Rolloffs Hawaii truck was backing up in a parking lot and hit the woman who was heading home after a morning walk. The driver isn’t facing any charges at the moment. The driver had been with the company many years and the company will ensure he takes a blood test. The president of the trucking company said their thoughts and prayers are with those harmed, and they are cooperating with the police, according to news reports.
A 9-year-old girl got out of an SUV after a roller car wreck on Sunday in a Southern California canyon and hiked nearly two hours to find help. Her father was pinned inside the driver’s seat. By the time the California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene, the driver was pronounced dead. The 2010 Ford Escape fell 200 feet into the canyon on a part of Sierra Highway in the desert on north Los Angeles County around 1am on Sunday, and the vehicle flipped many times. The girl got the attention of a passing driver at around 2:30am, according to news reports.
The president of DePuy, Johnson and John’s orthopedic unit, explained to a jury they recalled 93,00 hip implants because they didn’t meet clinical expectations. The testimony was heard on the third day of the trial involving a patient who claimed her implant was defective, one of 10,750 more lawsuits. A 13% failure rate of the hip within the first five years in the UK caused the recall. The president was questioned about the document signed just before the recall was announced, in which three possible explanations were listed for the recall, and DePuy checked class A, meaning the product could cause health problems, according to news reports.
An iPhone app was released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, called SaferCar app. It helps users search for recalls and safety ratings on cars they are might purchase. Users can file a complaint, subscribe to notices, and get instructions on installing car seats. The US Transportation Secretary endorsed the app, saying it using recent technology to make sure drivers get all the information they need. The data will be timely and kept up-to-date using real-time access to information, according to news reports.
Arguments will be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a case that would determine if generic drugmakers can be held liable for design flaws with their medication. It is required that generic manufacturers copy brand drugmaker’s design by the federal government. Pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, and other regulators are keeping a close-eye on the court case since it could hold manufacturer’s liable for injuries resulting from copycat products.
In one case, a New Hampshire woman took a generic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in 2004 for shoulder pain, and was awarded $21 million by Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. because she experienced a hypersensitivity reaction leaving her with lesions on two-thirds of her body. She spent two months in the burn unit of the hospital, and underwent 13 eye surgeries. Mutual, owned by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, manufacturers dozens of generic drugs. A trial judge upheld the jury’s decision to award her with $21 million. She experienced near-blindness, along with scarred lungs and she sued Mutual for design defects. The trial lasted 14 days.
Mutual asked the Supreme Court to overturn the verdict, arguing that federal law prohibits these claims because generic drugs have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and federal law mandates that generic drugs must have the same design as their brand-name counterparts. PLIVA v. Mensing reduced a consumer’s ability to sue generic drugmakers over injuries. The court determined that a generic drugmaker couldn’t be sued for failing to warn about health risks because it is required that brand-name drugs and generic drugs have the same label. Due to this ruling, many personal injury cases against generic drugmakers have been prevented.
It may become impossible to hold a generic drugmaker liable for injuries if the Supreme Court determines that a product defect claim under state law are barred by federal law. Approximately 80% of US prescriptions are filled using generics. If a doctor prescribes a brand-name, a pharmacist is allowed to automatically substitute that drug for the cheaper, generic version. Many patients aren’t aware they’re taking the generic version of a drug.
Some argue the FDA does not have the ability to make sure all drugs are safe, and lawsuits are an effective way to expose safety problems. To get the FDA’s approval, a generic drugmaker only needs to show the product matches the brand-name drug, and no clinical studies are required, according to news reports.
Boson, Chicago and Brooklyn will be added to the communities serviced by the ride-sharing app SideCar. This announcement took place just after Uber was accused of violating laws by the taxi industry. SideCar currently operates in eight markets throughout the US, including Los Angeles, Austin, and Seattle. SideCar connects those who need rides with drivers who are willing to share a ride. Payment is voluntary and drivers are screened prior to providing rides. Uber was sued for allegedly deceiving customers about fees, safety, and insurance, according to news reports.
Approximately 4,200 BrightLight blankets were recalled concerning an overheating battery, which could lead to a burn hazard. The products have LE lights that change color. So far, there have been four reported incidences involving overheating. One customer reported a minor burn. Customers are urged to stop using the blankets immediately and get in touch with IdeaVillage for a free replacement of the product, which was sold online between July and August 2012, according to news reports.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced they are giving a top safety award to three new vehicles for their performance in a newly introduced test. The Volvo XC60, Lincoln MKZ and Mazda 6 all earned the award after getting a “good” rating for small overlap protection. This test is designed to mimic what would happen when the front corner of a car crashes into another car or object. They were given the Top Safety Pick+ award, according to news reports.
In the first trial involving a recalled metal hip implant, Johnson & Johnson lost the verdict worth $8.3 million. There is a second jury which will consider if the implant’s design was defective. Opening statements will be heard in Chicago today involving a 54-year-old patient who claims the company failed to warn concerning the risks involved with the implant and its defective design. 10,750 lawsuits will be held against the company, and this case represents the second in the long list of patients. Jurors awarded the first case against DePuy, the orthopaedic division of Johnson & Johnson, $8.3 million in compensatory damages after the panel determined the company determined DePuy warned of the risks, therefore they didn’t owe punitive damages as a consequence to the company.
The attorney for a patient against DePuy said that this illustrates a classic case of putting profits over safety, and shows that DePuy didn’t take any action about the problems with its hip implant. The company denies everything. They announced a recall of 93,000 implants in August of 2010, when they determined that 12% of hip implants failed within five years. A study in Australia determined that 44% of implants failed within seven years. The entire legal battle may cost the company billions of dollars to litigate.
A spokesperson for DePuy said their evidence shows the ASR XL was designed properly, and that the plaintiff was warned. Evidence from the US Food and Drug Administration concerning the review and approval of the ASR device, or the recall, were not heard by jurors in Los Angeles. The company said the product was completely reviewed and approved. Experts for the plaintiff said that metal ions were shed from the device into his bloodstream and tissue due to the metal design of the hip, which was defective and resulted in many health issues. The second plaintiff had the hip implanted in 2008 and developed high levels of metal ions including chromium and cobalt in her bloodstream and surgeons replaced the hip during a 2011 surgery. She also seeks punitive damages. During the previous trial, jurors rejected the request for punitive damages that indicate there was fraud or malice involved in the case. Those damages would have equaled up to $179 million for the company, according to news reports.