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The Case for Trial Lawyers
Date:7/8/2008

and in pulling dangerous drugs off the market.

Do you believe that the understaffed and overwhelmed FDA, which until recently believed lawsuits were an essential additional safety check, should be the sole judge of whether foods, drugs and medical devices are safe for you?

Tell that to the more than 3,000 women and their families who have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that its Ortho Evra birth-control patch had caused heart attacks, strokes and even death. Rather than delivering less estrogen than a standard daily birth control pill, as the FDA-approved label indicated, the patch actually delivered more and increased the risk of blood clots. Johnson & Johnson, based on its own studies, knew that -- but delayed telling the FDA and the public.

Or tell the hundreds mostly dialysis patients who suffered allergic reactions, including several who died, after taking an apparently tainted blood thinner, heparin. The manufacturer withdrew the drug earlier this year after questions arose about its Chinese supplier -- which apparently had never been inspected by the FDA.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, tort reform -- including proposals to place caps on non-medical damages -- continues to be a popular topic. But, with lawsuits against Pennsylvania doctors declining 38 percent between 2003 and 2006, the medical malpractice crisis in Pennsylvania is over in Gov. Rendell's view. One reason for the decline: a certificate of merit requirement that prevents malpractice lawsuits from proceeding unless a licensed doctor signs off on the validity of the claim. Nonetheless, even though the Institute on Medicine says nearly 100,000 die as a result of medical mistakes each year, hospitals are lobbying to completely shield their doctors from lawsuits.

Trial lawyers strongly endorse legislation that quashes frivolous lawsuits. But if you believe that legitimate litigation plays a crucial role in protecting patients and consumers, let your state and federal l
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SOURCE Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky P.C.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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