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If You Thought the Sale of Asbestos Was Illegal, Think Again

Many clients in the asbestos litigation are shocked to learn that the sale of asbestos is not illegal. Even in 2014, where people continue to die of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, it remains legal to import asbestos, manufacture asbestos products, and sell asbestos products. No matter what your politics are, you SHOULD be shocked to learn that Congress cannot pass a bill to ban asbestos. Democratic Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa) and Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) fought to pass such a bill, banning asbestos, called the Ban Asbestos in America Act", several years ago. While it initially passed in the Senate, the bill ultimately did not become law.

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Did BASF and/or Asbestos Defense Lawyers Destroy Evidence?

The daughter of an engineer who worked at Engelhard Corporation (a New Jersey company) contracted mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused only by asbestos in the United States. She claimed in the lawsuit that her father brought asbestos home on his clothes and also claimed exposure when she would visit him at work. The suit claimed that the talc at the Engelhard plant was contaminated with asbestos. At the time of the lawsuit, Engelhard no longer existed because a huge German chemical company, BASF SE, had  bought it. For years, Engelhard, and then BASF, and defense lawyers at the Cahill Gordon & Reindel lawfirm, maintained in thousands of asbestos cases that Engelhard's talc was asbestos-free. Now there is a lawsuit filed against BASF and also the Cahill lawfirm, claiming that they conspired to prevent injured or deceased plaintiffs from receiving compensation for their asbestos disease. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit claim that BASF and the Cahill lawfirm conspired to destroy or hide incriminating documents and obtained false affidavits from Engelhard employees. That lawsuit is still pending and those allegations will have to be proven in court.  If you or a loved one worked for Engelhard Corporation, or believe you have been exposed to asbestos in another workplace, contact us today for your FREE consultation regarding your rights via our toll-free number - 1-866-LOCKSLAW.

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Jury Awards $155,000 to Actos Victim

An injured plaintiff was awarded $155,000 in West Virginia for his Actos-related bladder cancer. The jury was only out three hours before it rendered its verdict. This verdict followed right on the heels of a Philadelphia jury verdict of $2 million to another former Actos user. In the recent trial the judge allowed the lawyer for the plaintiff to argue that defendant, Takeda, intentionally destroyed many of its Actos development and marketing files. The US spokesperson for Takeda said that the company is considering its options, which would include an appeal. There are more than 8,000 Actos cases filed around the country, with over 3,500 filed in federal court (which is where Locks Law Firm LLC files its Actos cases).

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Toxic Chemicals, Benzene Concentrations Increase Exponentially by Fracking Sites

In a world increasingly concerned about available sources of energy, scientific innovations have opened the door to new methods of obtaining natural gas and oil. One such method, known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – functions as a double-edged sword because it permits energy companies to obtain previously unreachable sources of energy, but poses significant environmental and health risks.

The risks of hydraulic fracturing are manifesting as it was recently proven that eight poisonous chemicals were found near fracking sites in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio and Wyoming. Benzene, a carcinogen linked to leukemia and cancer, was the most common chemical found near fracking sites.  Additionally, researchers from Yale and the University of Washington determined that residents who lived within a kilometer of a fracking well had up to twice the number of health problems as those living at least two kilometers away. Overall, experts are concerned that both residents and workers may be exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals due to hydraulic fracturing processes.

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Your cosmetic products may contain asbestos!

Thousands of consumer products contain that fine powder called talc. In a recent study, scientists from three different laboratories discuss the fact that talc mines can be contaminated with the deadly mineral, asbestos. Doctors, researchers and lawyers representing plaintiffs have looked at patients with mesothelioma (a rare, fatal form of cancer caused by asbestos) and have sometimes struggled to find the source of the asbestos exposure that caused the mesothelioma, a cancer caused only by asbestos. If, for example, a woman diagnosed with mesothelioma never worked near asbestos, nor did her husband, it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain the source of the asbestos exposure. The existence of asbestos in baby powder, women's cosmetic products, men's barbershop powder,  and other products is a serious health concern. Mesothelioma is a rapidly growing, fatal cancer that grows in the pleura (the thin lining of the lungs and chest wall, the peritoneum (which covers the abdominal cavity) and the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart). Although the cosmetic industry and the commercial talc mining companies deny it, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies talc that contains asbestos as "carcinogenic to humans". Even if the talc product contains only a small amount of asbestos, the consumer frequently shakes it and applies it very close to their nose and mouth in a small, confined space. The FDA claims that it has almost no control over cosmetics, and those products'  safety and labelling is left up to the manufacturers or importers. The study discussing these issues is in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.

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So-called tort reform does not decrease costs or reduce testing ordered by doctors

The forces behind so-called tort reform (more accurately named tort deform) argue that tort reform legislation will save consumers money because doctors will not have to perform what is erroneously called "defensive medicine" (that is, ordering tests so the doctor does not get sued).

A study presented in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (October 16, 2014) shows that in three (3) so-called tort reform states, emergency room doctors basically ordered the same tests as before. There was no reduction in costs. Another inference one could reasonably draw from this study is that most doctors probably do not indulge in so-called "defensive medicine" in order not to be sued,  but rather most doctors probably order testing for the benefit of their patients.

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Actos Verdict for Plaintiff

A jury in Philadelphia found defendant, Takeda, liable for over $2 million for failing to warn that its drug, Actos, can cause bladder cancer, and for causing a 79-year-old woman's bladder cancer. During the three-week-plus trial,  Takeda had argued that smoking or other causes were to blame. There have now been seven (7) trials involving claims that Actos caused bladder cancer. The largest verdict, $9 billion earlier this year, is being appealed by Takeda. Two verdicts in favor of plaintiffs (California and Maryland) which combined totalled $8.2 million, were overturned by the trial judge. Three verdicts (two in Las Vegas and one in Illinois) were defense verdicts in favor of Takeda. Evidence shows that Takeda officials destroyed documents about Actos. Actos is a Type-2 diabetes drug which  has generated over $16 billion in sales since it was released in 1999. The peak in sales was in the year ending March 2011, at $4.5 billion. Actos accounted for over 25% of Takeda's profits. There are over 3,500 lawsuits consolidated before Judge Rebecca Doherty in federal court in Louisiana. There are another 4,500 cases in state courts in Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and California.

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Johnson & Johnson withdrawing surgical tool that can spread cancer in women

On Wednesday, July 30th, Johnson & Johnson announced it was withdrawing a surgical tool that can spread cancer in women.  This voluntary recall removed the devices made by the largest manufacturer of those devices from the market amid a contentious debate over its use.

The company planned to tell customers world-wide in a letter to return the devices known as laparoscopic power morcellators. J&J already suspended sales of new morcellators in April after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised doctors not to use the tool, which slices up common uterine masses called fibroids, and uteruses themselves, into fragments so they can be removed in minimally invasive surgery. In April, J&J defended the safety of the tool but said it was waiting for more guidance from the medical community.

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FDA to Require Blood Clot Warnings on Testosterone Products

On June 20, 2014 the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that it would require the manufacturers of all approved testosterone products to include a warning in the drug labeling about the risk of blood clots in the veins, also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

See the FDA announcement here.

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Jerry Lindheim on the Afternoon Drive show on WPHT 1210AM regarding Nursing Home Abuse

On the 21st day of March,  Jerry Lindheim, Esquire-partner at the Locks Law Firm was featured on the Dick Morris Afternoon Drive radio broadcast WPHT 1210AM during which time he discussed nursing home neglect and abuse and patient's rights and remedies.

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/nyc.podcast.play.it/media/d0/d0/d1/d4/dV/dU/dQ/14VUQ_3.MP3

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