February 2010

Hospital Acquired Infections Cost Lives and Money

Patients in hospitals expect to be competently treated for their medical problems. They expect their broken bones to be mended, their surgeries to be successful, their infections and diseases cured. Parents expect that their children will be made well, and families expect their loved ones pain to be ameliorated. The last thing patients expect is for the hospital to make them sicker, or cause them to die.

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NJ Supreme Court Victory - Stream of Commerce Theory for Personal Jurisdiction

Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court recognized the reality of the globalization of commerce and gave protection to New Jersey residents from injuries caused by products manufactured by foreign manufacturers. In NiCastro v. McIntyre, the Court held that a foreign manufacturer who manufactures a machine that injures a New Jersey resident will be subject to jurisdiction in the state courts of New Jersey if the manufacturer knew or should have known through its distribution scheme that its products were being sold in New Jersey. This is a major victory for the people and manufacturers of New Jersey, for it ensures that foreign companies will not escape having to face their share of responsibility for injuries occurring in New Jersey. Jonathan Miller and Michael Galpern, partners with Locks Law Firm, briefed the appeal on behalf of the Association of Trial Lawyers - New Jersey, now known as the New Jersey Association for Justice. Mr. Miller argued before the Court that it should recognize the reality of globalization, which it did.

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Under Obama Administration, FDA Broadens Consumer Protections

Readers of beauty magazines are familiar with the articles and advertisements that feature physicians touting the magical results that come from using various products to correct conditions ranging from cellulite to droopy underarm skin, from yellow teeth to wrinkles. In response to escalating complaints from consumers, the FDA has launched a new effort to rein in the more extravagant claims---especially when the claims involve doctor-pitchmen or pitch-women, and the products are drugs.

The New York Times today reports that in a shot across the beauty and the doctor medical bow, FDA has issued a warning to a well known dermatologist and clinical researcher in Miami Beach alleging that she improperly advocated the use of an as yet unapproved drug she promoted for the treatment of wrinkles. Dr. Leslie Baumann was issued a warning letter advising the doctor that she engaged in promotion of an unapproved drug, which is a violation of FDA policy. Unfortunately, Dr. Baumann is rather the rule than the exception in an industry where media exposure is critical for both the sales of such products and to expand the clientele of the doctors that use them.

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