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08/28/2014

Drivers Deemed Employees of FedEx, Not Independent Contractors

FedEx Drivers Ruled Employees

In an opinion issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Express delivery drivers have been legally classified as employees of FedEx, rather than independent contractors as was argued by the company.  Audet & Partners, LLP has handled many wage and hour employment class actions on behalf of thousands of employees and believes that this FedEx ruling will have wide-ranging implications in many industries, including truckers and other types of delivery professionals. In granting summary judgment in favor of the... Read More
08/27/2014

Phoenix VA Hospital Under Fire After New OIG Report

VA Hospital Delays Documented in OIG Report

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a new report issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has shed new light on the degree of substandard care rendered to U.S. veterans within the Phoenix VA hospital system. The extensive OIG Report (click here to access the complete Report) scrutinized medical records and additional information related to the care of 3,409 veterans awaiting treatment from the Phoenix VA system between April 2013 and April 2014.  Based... Read More
08/25/2014

Class Action Against Whole Foods Challenges Homeopathic Claims

Class Action Homeopathic Whole Foods

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a new class action lawsuit recently brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida challenges claims made by Whole Foods Market, Inc. regarding products including Cough Ease for Kids, Cough Ease, Flu Ease and Arnica Montana 30C.  Each of these claims are based on the assertion that the company extracted a premium for these products from potentially hundreds of thousands of consumers by claiming that the products effectively treat the... Read More
08/14/2014

Pay-for-Delay Lawsuit Alleges Scheme Against Generic Opana Painkiller

Pay-for-Delay Lawsuit re Opana

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a lawsuit has been brought in an Illinois federal court on behalf of an employee trust fund alleging an illegal scheme to deprive the market of generic Opana ER, an extended-release painkiller.  The Pennsylnavia Employees Benefit Trust Fund has accused Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., and its subsidiary Penwest Pharmaceuticals Co., of orchestrating and implementing a strategy through which Endo essentially paid Impax Laboratories to delay for more than two years its introduction of generic Opana into... Read More
08/12/2014

Luvena Lawsuit by FDA Seeks to Curtail Sales

FDA Luvena Lawsuit

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Laclede, the manufacturer of Luvena vaginal moisturizer, to enjoin future sales of the Luvena product. In taking this extraordinary action, the FDA has alleged that Luvena falls within the FDA designation as a "New Drug."  Because Laclede failed to seek and obtain necessary FDA approval for a "new drug," the FDA... Read More
08/04/2014

Hysterectomy Device Recalled Amid Cancer Fears

Johnson & Johnson Hysterectomy Device Recalled

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, is voluntarily asking doctors to return a device used in performing hysterectomies in thousands of women.  Ethicon's Morcelex device, used in certain laparoscopic surgeries, has come under FDA scrutiny because of the potential of such devices to spread cancerous fibroids. The class of devices known as morcellation devices, which includes Ethicon's Morcelex device, is used in many hysterectomy procedures to break non-cancerous fibroids into smaller fragments... Read More
08/04/2014

Quaker Class Action Settlement Prompts Removal of Trans Fats

Quaker Class Action Lawsuit Addresses Trans Fat

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that Quaker Oats Co. has settled a class action brought in 2010 alleging false advertising related to statements concerning the use of trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in various Quaker products. The plaintiffs in the Quaker Oats class action had alleged standing as repeat purchasers of Quaker Oatmeal to Go, and Instant Quaker Oatmeal products.  Plaintiffs alleged that in purchasing the Quaker products they had relied on various statements made on the packaging of... Read More
07/22/2014

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits Targeting C.R. Bard May Soon Settle

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Audet & Partners, LLP has learned that Covidien, a medical device manufacturer that supplied material to C.R. Bard that was incorporated into transvaginal mesh products, recently announced that they will set aside $180 million to cover losses expected in connection with transvaginal mesh lawsuits. Thousands of vaginal mesh lawsuits are currently pending against C.R. Bard in federal multidistrict litigation centered in West Virginia.  There is speculation that C.R. Bard may soon settle many of these claims, and the company would then be... Read More
07/22/2014

Risperdal Lawsuits Will Not Include Claims for Punitive Damages

Risperdal Lawsuit Bars Claims for Punitive Damages

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a judge in Pennsylvania overseeing hundreds of Risperdal lawsuits has ruled that the plaintiffs in these lawsuits will be barred under New Jersey law from asserting claims for punitive damages.  This ruling, that upheld an earlier ruling in May 2014, in no way affects claims for compensatory damages to cover medical expenses, reconstructive surgery, and the costs of other physical problems caused by Risperdal. As we have previously reported, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson &... Read More
07/16/2014

Overprescription of Antipsychotic Drugs to Seniors Class Action Lawsuit Settled

Overmedication of Seniors Class Action Lawsuit

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that, in what may be the first class action lawsuit of its kind, a California nursing home has settled claims brought on behalf of 305 current and former residents that the hospital overprescribed antipsychotic medication to residents.  The lawsuit brought against the Ventura Convalescent Hospital in 2010 alleged that the facility engaged in the practice of  administering a variety of "extremely dangerous" antipsychotic drugs as an illegal means of chemically restraining seniors.  The facility agreed to pay... Read More
07/10/2014

Employment Arbitration Clauses Upheld by CA Supreme Court

Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Upheld By California Supreme Court

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that on June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts that, in most cases, effectively deprive employees of the right to bring class action lawsuits against their employers for legal violations in the workplace.  The case, Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, No. S204032, overturned earlier opinions that had held the arbitration clauses to be unenforceable. The Court in Iskanian, however, carved out one exception that would... Read More
07/10/2014

Risperdal Lawsuit Update: Court Conference Scheduled for July 15, 2014

Risperdal Lawsuit Bars Claims for Punitive Damages

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that hundreds of Risperdal lawsuits now pending in Pennsylvania state courts are moving forward.  A conference is next scheduled for July 15, 2014, at which the parties will further discuss the further of the Risperdal litigation. In the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (Risperdal Litigation, Case Number 100300296), more than 500 Risperdal lawsuits have been joined in multidistrict litigation (MDL) to facilitate factual discovery and other litigation procedures common to most of the pending lawsuits. Audet &... Read More
07/01/2014

Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Omnicare Nets $124 Million for Federal Government

Whistleblower Lawsuits

The Federal government has accepted a $124 million settlement from Omnicare to resolve several claims initiated by company employees who reported illegal kickbacks and other improprieties to regulators.  Omnicare is the largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes in the United States. The whistleblower lawsuits, brought under the federal False Claims Act, challenged Omnicare's practice of offering below-cost contracts to supply pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to skilled nursing facilities to secure provider contracts with these facilities.  According to... Read More
06/18/2014

Transvaginal Mesh Settlements Remain for Injured Women Against Other Manufacturers

Transvaginal Mesh Settlements

As reported earlier, Audet & Partners, LLP recently settled claims brought on behalf of hundreds of women injured after implantation of transvaginal mesh devices manufactured by American Medical Systems (AMS). Similar transvaginal mesh settlements are now being considered by other manufacturers of transvaginal mesh devices. The parameters of the AMS settlements may lay the groundworks for settlements by other manufacturers of transvaginal mesh including Boston Scientific, CR Bard and others. In particular, the following wide range of criterial in the AMS... Read More
06/18/2014

Risperdal Off-Label Prescriptions May Expose Johnson & Johnson to Punitive Damages

Risperdal Punitive Damages

Plaintiffs in consolidated Risperdal lawsuits now pending in Pennsylvania have argued that a New Jersey statute barring punitive damages in lawsuits brought involving FDA-approved drugs does not apply when the injuries alleged result from off-label or uses unapproved by the FDA. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the division of Johnson & Johnson that manufactured and distributed Risperdal, had argued that insofar as the antipsychotic medication had been approved by the FDA, the plaintiffs in hundreds of lawsuits coordinated in Pennsylvania could not prevail... Read More
06/18/2014

Risperdal Off-Label Prescriptions May Expose Johnson & Johnson to Punitive Damages

Risperdal Punitive Damages

Plaintiffs in consolidated Risperdal lawsuits now pending in Pennsylvania have argued that a New Jersey statute barring punitive damages in lawsuits brought involving FDA-approved drugs does not apply when the injuries alleged result from off-label or uses unapproved by the FDA. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the division of Johnson & Johnson that manufactured and distributed Risperdal, had argued that insofar as the antipsychotic medication had been approved by the FDA, the plaintiffs in hundreds of lawsuits coordinated in Pennsylvania could not prevail... Read More
06/11/2014

Audet & Partners, LLP Moves to Preserve Documents Related to Phoenix VA Hospital Scandal

Phoenix VA Hospital Letter From William Audet

By letter dated June 10, 2014 to the Acting Secretary of the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Acting Director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, Audet & Partners, LLP has initiated formal action to prevent the destruction of documents related to potentially illegal "wait lists" maintained in connection with medical treatment provided to veterans in the Phoenix, AZ VA Health Care System. To review complete letter, please click here. On behalf of families considering lawsuits against the VA hospital... Read More
06/08/2014

Transvaginal Mesh Risks and Benefits Hotly Debated

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

A recent meeting of the American Urological Association ("AUA") included extensive debate by surgeons and experts about the risks and benefits of transvaginal mesh slings which have been widely used in recent years for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women.  The longstanding, official position espoused by the AUA is that the synthetic mesh devices are important treatment options for women affected by urinary stress incontinence, a condition that leads to bladder leakage in women due to pressure from... Read More
06/08/2014

Prison Inmate Class Action Allowed to Proceed in Federal Court

Prison Class Action Lawsuit

A lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 30,000 Arizona prison inmates has been allowed to proceed as a class action by a Federal court judge.  The class action lawsuit, filed more than two years ago, has alleged substandard medical care provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections that has led to serious illness and death of inmates in a way that rises to the level of "cruel and unusual punishment" under the Federal constitution. Attorneys for the Department of Correction... Read More
05/28/2014

Phoenix VA Hospital Waiting List Improprieties Documented in Government Report

VA Hospital Delays Documented in OIG Report

A Report released by the Office of the Inspector General ("OIG") has substantiated many of the alleged improprieties in the handling of veterans needing emergency care alleged in a recent lawsuit brought by a former employee. In its Report dated May 28, 2014, the OIG reported findings from its ongoing review of the Phoenix Health Care System ("HCS") as related to improper maintenance of a national Emergency Wait List ("EWL"), resulting in delayed, and in some cases, non-existent emergency medical... Read More