Third Circuit Sets Date for Oral Argument in NFL Concussion case

Today the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit announced it will hear oral argument regarding the appeals related to the NFL concussion case on November 20, 2015.

By setting this date, it appears that the Court understands that the players want a decision as quickly as possible. Normally, the Court does not schedule oral arguments for 15-18 months after a Notice of Appeal has been filed.  Here, the Court scheduled the argument approximately six months from the first Notice of Appeal.  We are hopeful things will move rapidly.

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Planning by Coaches and Trainers is Key to Preventing Heat-Related Injuries on the Playing Field

In the most recent Sports Litigation Alert, Janet Lewis, Director of Sports & Athlete Relations, addresses the need for training and planning to prevent heat related injuries in high school and youth sports. The conclusion: Prevent civil and criminal liability by exercising reasonable care for safety under hot and humid conditions. Instruct athletes on safe procedures and warm them of the risks and dangers so that they, too, can recognize signs of heat injury. By providing medical assistance and creating and following an EAP, the liability for those involved can be greatly reduced, along with the injuries themselves.

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YOUTH SPORTS AND THE LAW: Using facemasks on batting helmets

Partner David Langfitt writes for Sporting Kids: Facemasks help prevent concussions and other serious injuries in young baseball and softball players. Are your players protected when they step in the batter’s box?

Youth Sports and the Law: Using facemasks on batting helmets


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Senior Partner Marc P. Weingarten named Super Lawyer for 10th year in a row

Senior Partner Marc Weingarten named Super Lawyer for plaintiff product liability for the 10th time in 2015.  (Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. –  To learn more about Mr. Weingarten’s practice and accomplishments, go to Super Lawyers or view his Locks Law Firm profile.

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Concussions in amateur sports: What do we do now?

In his recently published article on, Attorney David Langfitt discusses the risks associated with concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in amateur and youth sports.  Drawing attention to policies and steps that should be taken when any athlete suffers a hit or blow to the head, he reminds us that, "we should recognize that the excitement the athletes bring us comes with serious risk and cost – and not one of them is getting paid to perform." 

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The Locks Law Firm is Investigating the Tragic Amtrak Train 188 Accident

On May 12, 2015, Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was involved in a devastating accident which killed eight people and sent more than 200 to local hospitals. The Locks Law Firm is sorry to hear of this incident and wishes to express that the victims and their families are in our thoughts.

Unfortunately, information has come to light to support the conclusion that the negligence of Amtrak and its employees were responsible for the tragic accident. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the train was traveling 106 mph around a curve with a 50-mph speed limit. NTSB has further stated that the train was traveling 70 mph approximately 65 seconds prior to the crash, yet it continued to accelerate around a significant curve in the tracks. Prior to the accident, the engineer onboard advocated for the use of technology to slow a dangerously fast train when the engineer does not, yet Train 188 failed to implement such procedures. The Locks Law Firm is also investigating Amtrak’s personnel policies, training, use of technology, and safety procedures.

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Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Tentatively Settle for $2.4 Billion

Tekeda Pharmaceutical has agreed to pay approximately $2.4 billion to settle 9,000 Actos lawsuits across the county. The Locks Law Firm represents a number of clients involved in the litigation and is pleased to announce that Takeda has agreed to compensate thousands of bladder cancer victims and their families.

By way of background, Actos is a dangerous pharmaceutical intended to help diabetics manage their condition, but instead has been shown to cause bladder cancer. Even prior to the approval of Actos, premarket studies showed that bladder tumors had developed in animals. In the May 2012 issue of the British Medical Journal, researchers studied 115,727 patients and discovered that Actos ingestion increased the risk of contracting bladder cancer by 83 percent.

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FDA Issues Drug Safety Communication for Testosterone

On March 3, 2015, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication concerning Testosterone drugs. Based on published studies and expert input from an Advisory Committee meeting, the FDA concluded that there is a possible increased cardiovascular risk associated with testosterone drugs and that some studies report an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death associated with testosterone drugs. As a result, the FDA is requiring labeling changes for all prescription testosterone drugs to reflect the potential increased risk of heart attacks and strokes from the use of testosterone products. The timing of the FDA’s announcement is noteworthy as more than 1,100 Testosterone lawsuits are pending against the manufacturers of Testosterone drugs.

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Johnson & Johnson Settles First Mesh Cases

Transvaginal mesh is a dangerous implant used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in women. Transvaginal mesh devices were represented to be safe and effective for women suffering from POP and SUI, but a staggering number of women experienced serious complications from the implants, such as infection, erosion of vaginal tissues, and organ perforation.

Importantly, plaintiffs achieved a significant victory as Johnson & Johnson (“J & J”), a prominent manufacturer of such implants, agreed to settle four cases for the first time since the litigation against them began. Although the details of the settlements are confidential and do not constitute an admission of wrongdoing the settlements demonstrate that in some cases, J & J is willing to settle mesh lawsuits filed against it. The company currently faces more than 23,000 lawsuits over the mesh implants, and the settlements are a step in the right direction for plaintiffs.

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Risperdal Lawsuits Continue to Mount

Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic approved by the U.S Food & Drug Administration to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability in children with autistic disorder. Unfortunately, the medication has proven to pose serious risks to male children and adults, including gynecomastia (male chest growth) and significant weight gain. As of December 2014, 2014, court documents indicate that 1,183 claims have been filed in Pennsylvania on behalf of individuals who developed gynecomastia or other serious complications. This represents an increase of more than 100 filings in the past month. (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, Case Number 100300296).

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