Health

  • January 21, 2022

    Meta, Snap's 'Addictive' Platforms Blamed For Child's Suicide

    Meta Platforms and Snap Inc. peddle addictive social media platforms, like Facebook and Snapchat, that harm the mental health of children and teenagers, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in California by a mother who claims the social media giants are responsible for her young daughter's death.

  • January 21, 2022

    Texas Judge Blocks Vaccine Mandate For Federal Workers

    A Texas federal judge on Friday blocked the enforcement of President Joe Biden's mandate requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after finding that the president doesn't have authority to issue such a broad order, a ruling the federal government has already announced it's appealing.

  • January 21, 2022

    Punitive Damages Give Cancer Survivor $10M Win Over RJR

    A bladder cancer survivor won $5 million in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds on Friday, a day after a Florida state jury awarded the former cigarette smoker just over $5 million for injuries it found he suffered as a result of the tobacco giant concealing the dangers of smoking and causing his illness.

  • January 21, 2022

    9th Circ. Breathes New Life Into $50M Suit Against 49 Insurers

    A Ninth Circuit panel partially revived a suit accusing nearly 50 insurers of owing about $50 million for their customers' treatment at a Southern California mental health and substance abuse rehab facility, holding that the ERISA claims pass muster.

  • January 21, 2022

    Ga. Judge Grapples With Pot's Legal Status In Licensing Fight

    A Georgia federal judge pushed attorneys at a hearing Friday to explain how he could grant relief in a challenge to the state's residency requirement for low-THC medical cannabis businesses, given that marijuana is still federally illegal.

  • January 21, 2022

    District Court Won't Hear J&J Talc Unit's Ch. 11 Stay Fight

    A New Jersey district court said Friday that it won't decide a Johnson & Johnson talcum powder liability spinoff's bid to extend its Chapter 11 litigation shield to other company affiliates, reasoning that the issue should stay in bankruptcy court.

  • January 21, 2022

    $26B Deal Keeps Opioid Files Of J&J, Distributors Out Of View

    Document disclosure obligations that attorneys have touted as crucial elements of opioid litigation settlements are absent from a $26 billion resolution that Johnson & Johnson and large drug distributors are close to finalizing, hindering the deal's goal of preventing narcotic abuse, experts say.

  • January 21, 2022

    Fla. Hospital Faces New Trial In Amputee's Recalled Drug Suit

    A Florida state appeals court on Friday overturned a hospital's win in a civil trial accusing it of failing to properly recall tainted medication allegedly administered to a patient that caused a coma, gangrene and a double amputation, finding there is conflicting evidence that a jury must sort out.

  • January 21, 2022

    DOJ Sues Pharmacist For Filling Illegal Opioid Prescriptions

    The owner of a pharmacy in San Antonio was sued by the federal government Friday for allegedly dispensing opioids and other controlled substances unlawfully, and prosecutors have asked the court to permanently bar the pharmacy from dispensing any controlled substances in the future.

  • January 21, 2022

    'Data-Rich' Sources Can ID Niaspan Class, 3rd Circ. Told

    Antitrust advocacy groups want the Third Circuit to reverse a Pennsylvania federal judge's decision refusing to certify a class of end-payors alleging improper pay-for-delay settlements between AbbVie and Teva Pharmaceuticals delaying generic forms of cholesterol drug Niaspan, arguing there's ample data to identify class members.

  • January 21, 2022

    Feds Say Nursing Home Owner Dodged $29.5M Payroll Tax Bill

    A Suffern, New York, businessman has been accused of failing to remit $29.5 million in payroll taxes in connection with his mulitstate nursing home chain, according to New Jersey federal prosecutors.

  • January 21, 2022

    Iowa Justices Order New Trial For Med Mal Stroke Suit

    The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday ordered a new trial for a man who alleged an unnecessary surgery caused him to suffer a stroke, saying the trial court was wrong in limiting testimony and opinions from his experts.

  • January 21, 2022

    Ariz. Oral Surgeon Escapes Suit Over Dental Implant Surgery

    An Arizona appeals court has refused to revive a suit accusing a Scottsdale oral surgeon of botching a woman's dental implant surgery, causing facial numbness, saying the patient's expert witness was not qualified to testify as he is board-certified in a separate dental field.

  • January 21, 2022

    Texas Justices Will Review Abortion Law Challenge

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider the Fifth Circuit's certified question over whether state licensing boards have the authority to enforce Texas' new abortion law and whether they are the correct defendants in a constitutional challenge launched by a coalition of abortion clinics.

  • January 21, 2022

    Paul Hastings Expands DC Life Sciences Consulting Group

    Paul Hastings LLP has added a health care consultant with almost 15 years of experience advising clients to its Life Sciences Consulting group, the firm announced Thursday.

  • January 20, 2022

    9th Circ. Says COVID Gun Shop Closures Defied Constitution

    County-mandated closures of gun and ammunition shops stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic violated residents' Second Amendment rights, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled in two decisions Thursday, including one with a scathing concurrence criticizing the Ninth Circuit's history of upholding gun regulations.

  • January 20, 2022

    Bill Paxton's Family Can Seek Punitive Damages From Cedars

    A California state judge denied Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's bid to escape punitive damages in a wrongful death suit brought by actor Bill Paxton's family, ruling they can pursue punitive damages based on allegations that a doctor who allegedly botched Paxton's surgery also intervened to stop an autopsy.

  • January 20, 2022

    Okla. Law Firm Says Employee's Pot Licenses Suit Is A Dud

    Tulsa law firm Jones Brown has pushed back against a former legal assistant's negligence lawsuit, saying she received more than $700,000 in payment for her role in a purported scheme to skirt the state's residency requirement for medical marijuana licensees.

  • January 20, 2022

    EPA Says Fuel Importer Violated Clean Air Act

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday claimed that an upstate New York petroleum distributor that distributed gas to Native American tribes violated Clean Air Act standards for years, and wants to hold the company accountable.

  • January 20, 2022

    Health Co. Gets ERISA Suit Booted To Arbitration

    A Florida federal court on Thursday granted a health care company's push to send a proposed class action challenging allegedly excessive retirement plan fees to arbitration, backing the validity of the plan's arbitration agreement with its participants.

  • January 20, 2022

    Feds Urge High Court To Back Doctors' Opioid Convictions

    The federal government has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore requests from two doctors who want the justices to undo their convictions over charges related to allegedly improper prescriptions of controlled substances.

  • January 20, 2022

    Covid Tester Escalates BCBS Pay Fight With Antitrust Claims

    COVID-19 testing provider GS Labs LLC is escalating a multimillion-dollar dispute with Blue Cross Blue Shield's Kansas City, Missouri, unit over test-reimbursement claims that the insurer says are "grossly inflated" by hitting back with antitrust counterclaims accusing the BCBS branch of suppressing competition for tests.

  • January 20, 2022

    Sutter Judge 'Optimistic' Virus Won't Further Delay Jury Trial

    A California federal magistrate judge expressed optimism Thursday that the jury trial in a decade-old $489 million class action alleging Sutter Health engaged in anti-competitive practices can begin Feb. 9 after being derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying she'll require 100% masking and allow some witnesses to appear remotely.

  • January 20, 2022

    Justices Again Decline To Streamline Texas Abortion Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a coalition of abortion providers' latest request to streamline their challenge to Texas' new abortion law that effectively prohibits the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, drawing sharp dissents from the court's liberal wing.

  • January 20, 2022

    Clinical Trial Staffer Gets 30 Months For Research Fraud

    A senior employee at a Miami clinical trial company was sentenced to 30 months in prison Thursday after admitting his role in a scheme to falsify research and defraud drugmakers.

Expert Analysis

  • Lessons From Moderna's COVID Vaccine Patent Dispute

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    The National Institutes of Health's legal battle over Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine patent application highlights the unwelcome complications that can ensue when businesses collaborate in developing products, and the importance of best practices in naming inventors, says William Honaker at Dickinson Wright.

  • Drug Patent Suits' Novel Theory Tests False Claims Act Limits

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    Three recent False Claims Act cases in federal district courts, pursuing the novel theory that pharmaceutical companies defrauded the government by charging inflated drug prices based on invalid patents, could set federal appellate courts on a collision course and create new risks for patent holders, say attorneys at Williams & Connolly.

  • How Health Cos. Have Responded To Anti-Kickback Reform

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    A year after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revised anti-fraud and abuse regulations for value-based care arrangements, health companies have expressed some willingness to embrace new safe harbors, but ultimately further reform may be necessary, say Troy Barsky and Barbara Ryland at Crowell & Moring.

  • The Rising Demand For Commercial Litigators In 2022

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    Amid broken supply chains, pandemic-induced bankruptcies and a rise in regulation by litigation, strong commercial litigators — strategists who are adept in trying a range of tortious and contractual disputes — are becoming a must-have for many law firms, making this year an opportune moment to make the career switch, say Michael Ascher and Kimberly Donlon at Major Lindsey.

  • Antitrust's 1900s Nostalgia In The US And Beyond

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    President Joe Biden's appointees will continue to pursue a return to a previous antitrust era this year — the Federal Trade Commission, in particular, is dusting off its old tools — and similar developments are occurring in Europe and Asia, says Maureen Ohlhausen at Baker Botts.

  • Opinion

    Justices Correctly Used Shadow Docket In OSHA Vax Ruling

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s use of the shadow docket to sink the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers in National Federation of Independent Business v. U.S. Department of Labor was the right procedure given the rule’s time-limited duration — even if the court reached the wrong substantive result, says Peter Fox at Scoolidge Peters.

  • Orphan Drug Approval Takeaways From Recent FDA Data

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    Contrary to lawmakers' claims that generic drugs have been delayed or deterred from the marketplace by the Orphan Drug Act’s regulatory process, trends in recent data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration show that orphan drug approvals are not pursued later solely to deter generic entry, say Omar Robles at Emerging Health and Katherine Jones at Bates White.

  • What High Court Rulings Mean For Employer Vax Mandates

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    While the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent opinions on COVID-19 vaccination mandates for private and health care employers offer important guidance on workplace applicability, lower courts’ resolution of the underlying lawsuits could still pose further changes, says Jordann Wilhelm at Radey Law Firm.

  • How In-House Counsel Can Make The Case For Settling Early

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    Following the recent settlement in McDonald's v. Easterbrook, in-house counsel should consider decision-tree analyses and values-driven communications plans to secure effective, early resolutions in litigation, saving time and money and moving the company mission forward, say Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein and Richard Torrenzano at The Torrenzano Group.

  • To Retain Talent, GCs Should Prioritize Mission Statements

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    With greater legal demands and an increasing number of workers resigning during the pandemic, general counsel should take steps to articulate their teams' values in departmental mission statements, which will help them better prioritize corporate values and attract and retain talent, says Catherine Kemnitz at Axiom.

  • How Health Cos. Can Minimize Consolidation Risk

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    Mergers among health providers face high regulatory risk at the same time that the pandemic and other factors are increasing pressure to consolidate, but adapting presentations to regulators' new perspectives, and consideration of other types of collaborations, can help, says David Dahlquist at Winston & Strawn.

  • What Attys Can Learn From Harvard Professor's Conviction

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    The recent conviction of Harvard professor Charles Lieber, on charges of lying about ties to China, highlights the perils that even highly educated white collar targets face in an FBI interview without counsel present, and it provides urgent lessons for attorneys on guiding their clients through stressful circumstances, say Jack Sharman and Tatum Jackson at Lightfoot Franklin.

  • Health Care Policy Priorities To Watch In 2022

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    The Build Back Better Act is at the forefront of Congress' lengthy health care agenda this year, but there are a number of other issues that health companies and their legal teams should watch closely, including the pandemic's continuing impact on telehealth licensure requirements, surprise-billing regulations and increasing scrutiny of market consolidation, say Miranda Franco and Robert Bradner at Holland & Knight.

  • Top 10 Whistleblowing And Retaliation Events Of 2021

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    Last year's most important whistleblower developments will likely reverberate into 2022 and beyond, with key court rulings and legislative advancements poised to expand protections, and a record-breaking amount of awards issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission likely to incentivize more information sharing, say Steven Pearlman and Pinchos Goldberg at Proskauer.

  • The State Of FDA Regulation Of Software As A Medical Device

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    Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accelerated activities related to software as a medical device, developers should carefully consider guidance gaps and challenges regarding transparency and change management in software that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning, says Nicholas Diamond at C&M International.

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