Search Results for ‘avandia’

Avandia-suit spam

Unsolicited email is beginning to arrive in people’s inboxes soliciting clients to sue over the Glaxo SmithKline diabetes drug, Avandia. Bill Childs has more, as does Eric Turkewitz, who observes that no law firm is named in the ad, and proposes a course of action:

Figuring out which law firms have hired the spammer should be easy for an enterprising citizen-journalist, simply by filling out the form at the website that TortsProf linked to and waiting to see who calls or emails in response. Then publish the names online for the world to see.

Things might not be that simple, however. As earlier cases of spam of this sort indicate, such emails are typically sent by a middleman who assembles “leads” and then offers them for sale to actual law firms. The middleman, not being a lawyer, will claim not to be bound by bar rules against solicitation, while the law firms that buy the leads (if confronted on the matter) may or may not disclaim any knowledge of how the leads were generated. They’ll probably deny having hired an agent with instructions to send spam; but if someone happened to run a spam campaign just before selling them names, well, that’s not their doing, is it? So the New York bar-ethics rules are circumvented in perfect safety by all concerned, or so it would seem. Earlier: Jan. 8, 2006, Jan. 5, 2005, Mar. 29-31, 2002.

“Flood” of Avandia litigation?

This week, NEJM released a meta-analysis that, after omitting six studies where there were no cardiac events, found a barely statistically significant relative risk of 1.43 of myocardial infarction from long-term use of diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone). (A slightly higher relative risk of death from cardiac causes was not statistically significant, though also just barely.) Reuters reports that plaintiffs’ lawyers are deciding whether they can create a mass tort litigation against GlaxoSmithKline, though some already confidently predict that they will (which suggests how important the supposed due diligence required by the rules and being conducted now is). Note that a relative risk of 1.43 means that 70% of people who suffered heart attacks while taking Avandia would have had heart attacks anyway. Avandia’s warning label already warned of the risk of cardiovascular adverse events. (Cross-posted from Point of Law)

Update: Interesting analysis at one of the medical blogs.

Medical roundup

  • Sen.-elect Cory Booker (and Mayor Bloomberg too) on liability reform and fixing health care [NJLRA] How plaintiff’s lawyers get around caps [Alex Stein, Bill of Health] Missouri protects health volunteer workers [John Ross]
  • Like an Ayn Rand novel: Massachusetts ballot initiative pushes confiscation of private hospital profits [Ira Stoll, NY Sun]
  • Advice: plan now to lower your 2014 income to get valuable ObamaCare subsidies [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Medicare comes off poorly: “Quality Of Care Within Same Hospital Varies By Insurance Type” [Tyler Cowen]
  • Revisiting a panic over alleged mass drug injury: “Avandia’s posthumous pardon” [David Oliver, earlier here and at Point of Law]
  • Louisiana lawmakers use malpractice statute to discourage abortion [Alex Stein, Bill of Health]
  • Georgia committee looks at plan to replace med-mal suits with administered compensation [Georgia Report via TortsProf, Daily Report Online (constitutionality), Insurance Journal]
  • Uwe Reinhardt on professional licensure and doctors’ monopoly [David Henderson]

Lawyers! Getcher hot “pearl-shucked” case leads!

Readers keep sending me examples of what they say are unsolicited emails in which a marketing firm that calls itself ServicesToLawyers offers “pearl-shucked” personal injury case referrals, along the lines of the sample emails reprinted here and here, though with variations in the particular mass tort or torts for which leads are being hawked (Avandia, etc.) An April email attributed to the same sender offers the tempting chance to become “King of Motorcycle Accidents“, or at least King for one’s own locality, since “Not All States [Are] Available”.

Virginia personal injury law blogger Ben Glass wonders (Nov. 5) who would knowingly engage a lawyer who had purchased case leads drummed up in such a manner.

An interesting double-standard

Justinian Lane crows: Pfizer fined by an Australian trade group! Indeed it was; drug reps went off the reservation of what they were supposed to talk about without telling managers, and exaggerated the health effects of a competing drugs for personal profit. (Note that there was no need for a regulator or plaintiffs’ attorneys to get involved; this was entirely an Australian free-market self-policing arrangement through contractual agreements that fined Pfizer. Lane forgets to mention that part.)

Lane thinks this is a just result worth noting. So let us consider that trial lawyers do the same thing every day: lie about or exaggerate health effects of drugs for profit (just Google the name of any prescription drug to get a lawyer’s ad)–and without the intermediating effects of doctors to assess the claims and correctly inform patients, so it is clearly worse. But the lawyers do so with impunity, with no consequences for the adverse health effects on patients. (E.g., POL June 2007; POL Feb. 12.) There’s no private cause of action; and the trial bar and its professional organizations lionize such tactics, rather than punish them. All we can do is criticize plaintiffs’ lawyers for putting profits before people.

Erin Brockovich speaks! (But what does Darby Shaw think?)

Erin Brockovich, the real-life character who brings fictional lawsuits, thinks my criticism of her trolling for clients in Avandia lawsuits is “shameful”. She should know from shameless.

I was very amused by Brockovich’s remark “It is no coincidence that thousands on Avandia now have heart attacks.” Really? Thousands of people who saw Erin Brockovich in the theaters have had heart attacks, and many others have had strokes. Some even contracted cancer! Coincidence, or has Ms. Brockovich put movie royalties ahead of safety?

February 19 roundup

  • Raising ticket revenue seems more important to NYC authorities than actually recovering stolen cars [Arnold Diaz/MyFoxNY video via Coyote]
  • Subpoena your Facebook page? They just might [Beck/Herrmann]
  • Rhode Island nightclub fire deep pockets, cont’d: concert sponsor Clear Channel agrees to pay Station victims $22 million, adding to other big settlements [ProJo; earlier]
  • Manhattan federal judge says “madness” of hard-fought commercial suit “presents a cautionary tale about the potential for advocates to obscure the issues and impose needless burdens on busy courts” [NYLJ]
  • Wooing Edwards and his voters? Hillary and Obama both tacking left on economics [Reuters/WaPo, WSJ, Chapman/Reason, WaPo editorial]
  • Sad: if you tell your employer that you’re away for 144 days on jury duty, you actually need to be, like, away on jury duty [ABA Journal]
  • New at Point of Law: Florida “three-strikes” keeps the doctor away; court dismisses alien-hiring RICO suit against Tyson (and more); Novak on telecom FISA immunity; fortunes in asbestos law; Ted on Avandia and Vioxx litigation; new Levy/Mellor book nominates Supreme Court’s twelve worst decisions; and much more;
  • U.K.: “Lawyers forced to repay millions taken from sick miners’ compensation” [Times Online]
  • Outside law firm defends Seattle against police-misconduct claims: is critics’ beef that they bill a lot, or that they’re pretty good at beating suits? [Post-Intelligencer]
  • Cincinnati NAACP is campaigning against red-light cameras [Enquirer]
  • Omit a peripheral defendant, get sued for legal malpractice [six years ago on Overlawyered]

September 4 roundup