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Whistleblower Lawsuits On The Rise

Whistleblower Lawsuit Trends

Whistleblower claims, or "qui tam" lawsuits, brought under the federal False Claims Act, increased to 753 in 2013, an increase of almost 20% over the previous year.*  These claims resulted in aggregate net recoveries to the federal government of $3.8 billion last year.  For the past four years, whistleblower lawsuits have produced recoveries to the federal government exceeding an aggregate amount of $3 billion. What is driving the rise in whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act?  False claims involving healthcare... Read More

Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Update: Consumer Group Calls for Criminal Investigation into Johnson & Johnson Destruction of Evidence

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

In follow up to Audet & Partners, LLP previous reports on Johnson & Johnson’s alleged systematic destruction of documents related to the safety of its vaginal mesh products, a consumer advocacy group has asked the United States Department of Justice to launch a criminal investigation in hopes that it will result in holding the company accountable for any misdeeds. According to reports, the Corporate Action Network, a consumer advocacy group, has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether or not... Read More

New da Vinci Xi Surgical System Gets FDA Clearance

da Vinci Xi Surgical System Approved by FDA

Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci surgical system, announced it has received FDA clearance for its newest da Vinci Xi System, an upgraded model of its flagship robotic surgical system.  The upgraded da Vinci robot reportedly addresses performance issues that plagued the old system. The da Vinci Xi System is the fourth version of the surgical robot made by Intuitive Surgical.  The “robotic” device is used by doctors to perform minimally invasive procedures with the idea that the device gives... Read More

Mirena IUD Lawsuit Alleges Dangerous Postpartum Insertion of Device

Mirena IUD Contracticeptive Class Action

A 27-year old woman has sued Washington University School of Medicine for injuries associated with her Mirena IUD, which was inserted immediately after she gave birth as part of the University’s clinical study. Her lawsuit claims the post-birth Mirena IUD caused her to require two surgeries and medication for life. Deanna Delancy, of St. Louis, had the Mirena IUD inserted free-of-charge as part of Washington University’s “Contraceptive CHOICE” program, as reported by the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  The stated purpose of... Read More

Transvaginal Mesh Global Settlements on the Rise

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Coloplast, Inc. may be considering settling a number of transvaginal mesh lawsuits against it for $16 million, Bloomberg reports.  If Coloplast A/S, one of the smaller manufacturers of mesh devices, proceeds with the settlements, legal experts predict an impending global settlement of similar lawsuits against other mesh manufacturers. Coloplast A/S, a Danish medical device company, has reportedly agreed to pay $16 million to settle various lawsuits covering approximately 400 women who sued for injuries caused by the company’s transvaginal mesh device,... Read More

Risperdal Gynecomastia Link Detailed in New Study

Ripserdal Gynecomastia Lawsuits

New research presented at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) 2014 Annual Meeting appears to substantiate the link between Johnson & Johnson’s drug Risperdal and gynecomastia, the development of breasts in men and young boys in a condition being referred to as Risperdal Gynecomastia. The research was presented by Dr. Mahyar Etminan, a prominent pharmaceopidemiologist and lead researcher at the University of British Columbia.  The team of researchers studied tens of thousands of patients to examine side effects of the... Read More

Text Spam Class Action Lawsuit Proceeds Against Payday Loan King

Spam Text Lawsuits

A judge in Nevada has granted class action certification in the lawsuit against Payday King Carey V. Brown, of Credit Payment Services, for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act with spam-texts. Brown reportedly got his title as the “payday king” by operating a network of payday lending companies including Credit Payment Solutions, MyCashNow.com, PayDayMax.com and DiscountAdvances.com, according to the TimesFreePress.com.  Brown and his companies are now facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly sending thousands of spam text messages offering high-interest... Read More

Force-Placed Insurance Lawsuit Brought Against Bank of America

Force Placed Insurance Lawsuit Brought Against Bank of America

On March 28, 2014 Bank of America was hit with another class action on behalf of a nationwide group of borrowers who were subject to the bank’s force-placed insurance policies. The force-placed insurance lawsuit, filed in Federal Court in the Northern District of California alleges that Bank of America force-placed flood insurance policies on a San Jose, California woman's home, creating unnecessary and unwarranted coverage. In accordance with the terms of her mortgage and federal law, the plaintiff was forced... Read More

San Francisco MUNI Drivers Overtime Class Action Lawsuit Explained

Employment Class Action Lawyers

San Francisco MUNI bus and train drivers suing the public transit agency for overtime violations are seeking class action certification. The group of current and former train operators who have joined in the suit has already reached some 2,000+ drivers. The basis of their purported class action lawsuit is that MUNI drivers are not paid for various time spent on the job in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and related California labor laws. No Pay for Delayed Schedules... Read More

Force-Placed Homeowners Insurance Update: New Rules Applicable to Mortgage Servicers

Force-Placed Insurance

New mortgage servicer rules were enacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), effective January 1, 2014. The new rules amend Regulations X and Z, under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act, respectively, and create new requirements which must be followed before a mortgage servicer can legally force-place an insurance policy. Force-placed insurance was one of the highest profit margin activities of mortgage services in past years with lenders jumping to replace a homeowners $1,500 policy... Read More

Google Averts Class Action in Gmail Privacy Lawsuit

Gmail Privacy Class Action

Google has won a major victory in the privacy lawsuit involving the company’s alleged data-mining of private user e-mail messages when a federal judge ruled that millions of Internet users could not proceed in what could have been one of the largest class action lawsuit groups in history. Millions of e-mail users sought to band together as a class claiming Google illegally invaded their privacy and violated federal wiretapping laws by regularly scanning their email messages.  U.S. District Judge Lucy H.... Read More

Risperdal Lawsuit $1.2 Billion Verdict Overturned by Arkansas Supreme Court

Risperdal Lawsuit News

On March 20, 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a trial court award of $1.2 billion to the State of Arkansas against Johnson & Johnson, and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. division based on the company's marketing of the antipsychotic frog Risperdal.  This Arkansas lawsuit had been brought by the Arkansas Attorney General and relied on a provision of Arkansas state law governing Medicaid fraud as a basis to challenge the marketing of Risperdal in Arkansas which allegedly included misleading claims... Read More

da Vinci Surgical Robot Investor Lawsuit Alleges Misleading Statements by Intuitive Surgical

Da Vinci Robot Investor Class Action Lawsuit

A lawsuit in California claims Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the maker of the da Vinci Surgical System, misled shareholders about defects with the robotic device, which has been linked to over 70 deaths and numerous other injuries. The lawsuit, brought by the Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago, claims that Intuitive Surgical made false statements about the da Vinci system’s safety and misled shareholders about internally-known safety defects in the system that were injuring patients.  By concealing this information... Read More

Class Action Lawsuits Brought Against McDonald’s For Wage and Hour Violations

McDonald's Employment Class Action Lawsuit

McDonald’s is facing class action lawsuits in multiple states over wage and hour violations from potentially thousands of current and former employees. The employee lawsuits, filed to date in Michigan, New York California, are part of a nationwide movement to increase the minimum wage at the fast-food restaurant chain to $15 per hour. The New York Times reported on the campaign to raise fast-food minimum wages earlier this week, with a total of seven lawsuits having been filed involving hundreds of... Read More

Pay-for-Delay Lawsuit Involving Nexium Reopened by Federal Court

Pay for Delay Nexium Lawsuit

In the Nexium pay-for-delay multidistrict litigation accusing drug companies of violating antitrust laws by agreeing to delay entry of a generic version of AstraZenca’s heartburn drug Nexium, federal Judge William Young may be reconsidering some of his orders granting the summary judgments to drugmakers. The case stems from the 2008 pay-for-delay deal struck between AstraZeneca, who manufactures the brand name heartburn drug Nexium, and generic-drug makers Ranbaxy, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. (the “Generic Manufacturers).  Under the... Read More

Whistleblower Protection Now Extends to Employees of Private Contractors

Whistleblower Attorneys

The United States Supreme Court has extended whistleblower protections to private contractors of public companies. The Wall Street Journal reported on the Court’s March 4, 2014 decision wherein the court, in a 6-3 decision led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, held that whistleblower protections under the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act extend to private contractors and subcontractors of a public company. The case involved former employees of FMR, LLC (FMR), a group of private companies that contracts to advise or manage public-company mutual funds. ... Read More

Text Spam Lawsuit Against Yahoo! Moves Forward

Spam Text Lawsuits

Yahoo, Inc.’s attempt to halt a text spam lawsuit failed after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California at San Diego denied the company’s motion for summary judgment.  The Court also held that, absent prior consent, even a single “confirmatory” text message using an autodialer could constitute a violation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Yahoo! was sued by Rafael Sherman for sending him an text message alleged to be in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act... Read More

Fraud-on-the-Market Theory in Securities Class Actions Threatened

Securities Class Action Lawyers

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Halliburton Co v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. last week, the case in which the Court has the opportunity to reverse or limit the 26-year old fraud-on-the-market doctrine adopted by the court in 1988. While the doctrine’s fate remains in question, the justices’ comments at the hearing indicate they are weighing options to make it more difficult for investors to sue. Class action litigation for stock fraud increased dramatically after the Court introduced... Read More

Risperdal Lawsuit Settlement Costs Johnson & Johnson $5.9 Million

Risperdal Lawsuits

Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc., the division of Johnson & Johnson that developed and marketed the Risperdal antipsychotic medication, has settled a Risperdal lawsuit brought by the State of Montana for $5.9 million.  The Attorney General of Montana had initiated a lawsuit against the manufacturer in 2008 alleging that the company promoted the drug as safe despite having knowledge of a range of dangerous side effects, including diabetes. The settlement terms require Johnson & Johnson to cease any misleading marketing of Risperdal, and... Read More

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Update

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women across the country who underwent transvaginal mesh surgeries to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence following serious injuries from the procedures.   The lawsuits allege that various manufacturers failed to safely design and test the vaginal mesh devices and did not adequately warn women about the risks of injury. The complainants have alleged serious injuries resulting from implantation including chronic pain, organ perforation, infection, and device erosion. The transvaginal mesh multi-district... Read More