DELTA KAPPA EPSILON SUSPENDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA FOR HAZING | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

DELTA KAPPA EPSILON SUSPENDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA FOR HAZING

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Friday, October 29, 2010

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The University of Alberta has suspended Delta Kappa Epsilon and has revoked its right to book events, to use school equipment or to use the university logo until ‘further notice’. As the Montes Herald Law Group Blog discussed earlier this week, the University of Alberta was investigating the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity for hazing. The fraternity’s initiation rituals were partially captured on video and released to the press showing the group was engaged in hazing type behaviors over a 4 day period of time. In this instance, the video shows that sleep deprived pledges were forced eat their own vomit, raw onions, and were yelled at and berated and were threatened with violence.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed as a result of a hazing incident, it is important that you take action quickly to protect your rights. Communicating in writing with the appropriate organizational, educational and police authorities to properly and timely document your complaints is extremely important. Some schools and universities have extremely short deadlines (sometimes as short as 48 hours from the time of the incident) in their Codes of Conduct to report such conduct if you desire for the institution to take any action. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know your rights and take action quickly to protect those rights.

Montes Herald Law Group, LLP

Attorney: Rachel Montes

Attorney: Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldblog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING BELIEVED TO BE CAUSE OF CAR WRECK | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING BELIEVED TO BE CAUSE OF CAR WRECK

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Auto Accidents: Drivers Distracted by Text Messaging and Using Cell Phones While Driving on Thursday, October 28, 2010

According to an article on PinalCountyToday.com, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona believes Jason Michael Hair (30) drove a car with his four-year-old son into the side of a train because he was texting while driving. Police report that according to a witness, Mr. Hair was traveling at approximately 65 mph and that the witness observed Mr. Hair texting on his cell phone. Evidently, Jason Hair did not notice the Union Pacific Train, flashing lights and lowered railway arms until it was too late. Jason attempted to stop but unfortunately drove through the railway arms and into the side of the train. After striking the train, his vehicle rolled over onto its roof trapping both Mr. Hair and his son inside of the vehicle.Police report that Mr. Hair was transported to the hospital with a head injury and that his son was transported for precautionary reasons.

Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

Attorneys: Rachel Montes and Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

Toll Free (877) 529-8899

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldBlog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE RESERVES $2.36 BILLION FOR AVANDIA SETTLEMENTS | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

GLAXOSMITHKLINE RESERVES $2.36 BILLION FOR AVANDIA SETTLEMENTS

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Avandia on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO Andrew Witty announced that GlaxoSmithKline is under investigation from the Justice Department and several states for actions related to the development and marketing of its diabetes drug Avandia. The company is responding to a subpoena from Justice as well as civil investigative demands from numerous state attorneys general, the company said Thursday. GSK took a $2.36 billion charge against its earnings in the second quarter of this year to settle litigation related to Avandia (rosiglitazone), but now it has been hit with more lawsuits over the drug,

 

Meanwhile GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Justice Department have finalized a settlement agreement in which the UK drugmaker will pay $750 million to settle an investigation into a now-shuttered Puerto Rico facility where adulterated drugs were made.

 

LEGAL RIGHTS OF PATIENTS INJURED BY AVANDIA

The law in most states provides several personal injury claims for persons who have been seriously injured by a prescription drug with excessive and dangerous side effects. These claims include strict liability for a defective product, breach of warranty, negligence, and misrepresentation. Damages sought against pharmaceutical companies for dangerous drug side effects and injuries include at least the following types of damages:

  • Physical pain and suffering, mental anguish;
  • Physical impairment;
  • Medical expenses associated with efforts to remedy the injuries as a result of the original surgery;
  • Loss of earnings and/or earning capacity; and
  • In the case of a patient’s death, the family of the victim may file a wrongful death action and seek damages.

Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

Attorneys: Rachel Montes and Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

Toll Free (877) 529-8899

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldBlog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

GOOD LOOKING DRIVERS CAUSE MORE WRECKS | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

GOOD LOOKING DRIVERS CAUSE MORE WRECKS

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Auto Accidents: Drivers Distracted by Text Messaging and Using Cell Phones While Driving on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

STUDY REVEALS “FLIRTING WHILE DRIVING” IS A MAJOR DISTRACTION

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A British survey revealed that 41 percent of drivers admitted to trying to flirt with while on the move, and 15 percent conceded they crashed their car or had a near miss because they were distracted by an attractive passerby.

 

One of the more controversial findings of the survey according to Natalie Grimshare was that “Men were by far the worst culprits.” Half of all men surveyed admitted to flirting with other motorists on the road, compared to just one-third of the women.

The survey failed to account for the vast disparity between the numbers of good looking women versus good looking men!

“We spend a lot of time in our cars,” she said. “Maybe people are seeing their car as an extension of their social life.” Ian Crowder, a spokesman for British auto insurance firm AA, said a lack of concentration on the road can be a huge hazard. He said that crashes do occur because of flirting, but that drivers are usually too embarrassed to admit their mistake. “When you’re behind the wheel you’re in charge of a machine that could kill somebody,” Crowder said. “If you really do want to watch the girls going by, then park up.”

What’s next? Are they going to tell us that texting while driving is dangerous?

US AND ENGLAND HEALTH OFFICIALS DEBATE DANGERS OF AVANDIA | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

US AND ENGLAND HEALTH OFFICIALS DEBATE DANGERS OF AVANDIA

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Avandia on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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Last week, there was an unplanned debate between high leval health officials of America’s and Britain’s drug regulatory agencies over the role and value of hemoglobin A1c reduction in diabetes drug approval.

Janet Woodcock, the Director for the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, chairman of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, better known as the MHRA, discussed their thoughts on Avandia at the Third Annual Risk Management and Drug Safety Summit in Washington, D.C. on October 18, 2010.

Janet Woodcock discussed efforts to improve risk management and drug safety since passage of the FDA Amendments Act. She was followed at the podium by Breckenridge, who presented the European perspective on risk management and a pharmacovigilance “tool kit” for assessing and mitigating drug risks.

Near the end of his presentation, Breckenridge turned to the recent regulatory decisions on Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline’s beleaguered thiazolidinedione. Even though FDA and the European Medicines Agency took different regulatory paths – with FDA restricting distribution under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, and EMA suspending rosiglitazone’s license – Breckenridge stressed the extensive collaboration between the two agencies that culminated in simultaneous announcements on September 23, 2010.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE DEBATE

On September 23, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it will significantly restrict the use of the diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) to patients with Type 2 diabetes who cannot control their diabetes on other medications. These new restrictions are in response to data that suggest an elevated risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, in patients treated with Avandia. Meanwhile, Avandia has been taken off of the market in Europe. European regulators say that the risk of heart attack associated with Avandia is too great a safety concern to continue its use for most people.

 

AVANDIA & THE INCREASED RISK OF HEART ATTACK

The FDA confirmed that studies show that Avandia® increases a patients’ risk of suffering a heart attack by 43% and cardiac-related death by 64%. These Avandia® side effects may not have been adequately disclosed by the manufacturer and an Avandia® Recall has yet to materialize.

There have been multiple panels held to determine whether there should be an Avandia® Recall and despite the staggering amount of lawsuits filed against the product an Avandia® A recall has not been ordered. Since Avandia® has yet to receive a recall if you or your loved ones uses Avandia® and are worried that your health is at risk speak to your doctor immediately.

If you were prescribed the diabetes drug Avandia® and after taking Avandia® you suffered a heart attack or stroke then you may be eligible for compensation. Heart Attacks and Strokes have been identified as Avandia® Side Effects. In addition, if you have suffered other side effects associated with taking Avandia®, you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights. You may be entitled to compensation.

Other reported side effects from taking Avandia include:

  • Death
  • Heart Attacks
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • PPH – Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Bone Fractures
  • Blindness
  • Liver Failure
  • Hepatitis

 

THE DEBATE ON AVANDIA
“If you think about the difference between what Europe has done and what the U.S. has done, in fact I would suggest there was very little difference indeed, and it was an example of regulatory authorities working together in a global manner,” he said. (“The Pink Sheet” offers an analysis of why they diverged in their final judgment.)  CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COPY OF THE PINK SHEETThe Pink Sheet on Avandia.pdf

Following these glowing remarks about alignment among regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, Breckenridge took the Avandia post-mortem a step further, and perhaps one too far for Woodcock.

“The question I’ve asked myself is if Avandia came through for licensing today, with the information we had, what should be done, what would we have done? How has regulation advanced? Well firstly, it wouldn’t have been approved for efficacy on a surrogate marker [HbA1c]. That would not be accepted,” he said. Some in industry concur that there is now a higher hurdle, at least commercially, for diabetes products.

Fortunately for the audience, Woodcock hung around after her presentation to hear Breckenridge’s speech, and during a question and answer session, while still sitting in the audience, Woodcock pounced on the British knight’s skepticism toward HbA1c. Here is an abbreviated transcript of the exchange, along with some first-hand, editorial observations noted in brackets:

Woodcock: “If you’re not going to use hemoglobin A1c or serum glucose … what are you going to use for efficacy in diabetes? No drug in type 2 diabetes has ever been shown to improve cardiovascular outcomes.”

Breckenridge: “I believe this illustrates the problem with antidiabetic drugs. I believe it’s going to be increasingly difficult to develop any drug for diabetes which has got a suggestion that Avandia did have, and I think drugs like Avandia are going to die at a much earlier stage and be killed at a much earlier stage than developed.”

Woodcock: “I would say the question with rosiglitazone is a safety issue, it’s not an efficacy issue … I think hemoglobin A1c is more than a surrogate … I date as an internist from the era when people walked around with untreated type 2 diabetes. They hit my emergency room they were in hyperosmolar coma. That’s a life-threatening disease. Or they had severe invasive soft tissue infection with gram negative organisms, or they were dehydrated and had blurry vision and CNS issues.”

Breckenridge: [apparently attempting to explain that not all type 2 diabetics are in such dire straits] “I can remember as well, and I’m not sort of swapping stories with you, but patients with type 2 diabetes are the rather large ladies who you see walking around in the United Kingdom and I’m afraid Washington as well.” [disapproving murmurs from the audience.

Woodcock: “But if you go untreated long enough with type 2 diabetes that’s what you get into. It’s a progressive disease. So the idea that you don’t need treatments for type 2 diabetes I think is an incorrect …. ”

Breckenridge: “I’m not suggesting that ….”

Woodcock: “You will get renal failure, you’ll get amputation … It’s a symptomatic disease. People have studied this and they’ve looked at central nervous system effects of hyperglycemia … There are people walking around with blood sugar 300, 400 and so on. That is not good for you, acutely. And sub-acutely, glycemic control has been shown to be correlated with progression of retinopathy, renal failure and so forth, and neuropathy to some extent. [By now standing, holding the microphone and looking as comfortable as a talk show host on a TV production set] So I would take issue with the fact that hemoglobin A1c is a bad surrogate. I think it’s a very good surrogate for efficacy. I don’t think it tells you anything about safety of a drug just like most surrogates for efficacy.”

Breckendridge: “I’m afraid I disagree with you there, Janet. I think by the definition of a surrogate, hemoglobin A1c fulfills all the criteria … and the point I was trying to make was that if you take, in the development of a drug in the latter phase of the drug, and you had a drug which was effective by affecting the surrogate, but it had some other not just potential but huge changes, big changes which were known at the time in a possible adverse event which diabetics are already prone to, the manufacturers, I would suggest, would have a very, very careful look at that before continuing with its development.”

Woodcock: “I don’t think we’re in disagreement, I’m simply saying I thought the earlier definitions [of a surrogate] were mainly done by statisticians, like Prentiss and others … that it should contain all outcomes. That’s completely naive from a biological perspective, because you may perfectly control the disease and kill people from something else. It’s unrelated to the pathway of the disease. So I think expectation that a surrogate for efficacy would take care of your safety evaluation is unrealistic, and I think we’re saying the same thing, which is for chronic diseases there’s going to have to be a much more thorough safety evaluation, it’s longer term, includes more patients, looks for more outcomes than we have traditionally had.”

Breckenridge: “And I think diabetes is an especially difficult case for the reason I described. If you’ve got a disease whose natural history is to develop vascular disease anyway, then a drug which is going to influence that in any kind of adverse way is not good news.”

Woodcock: “The sulfonylureas have long had a warning in the United States for cardiovascular disease because the only time that was studied long-term there was a signal.”

Breckenridge: “And so do the thiazide diuretics, too.”

Woodcock: [laughing] “So there’s a lot of things we don’t know.”

 

LEGAL RIGHTS OF PATIENTS INJURED BY AVANDIA

The law in most states provides several personal injury claims for persons who have been seriously injured by a prescription drug with excessive and dangerous side effects. These claims include strict liability for a defective product, breach of warranty, negligence, and misrepresentation. Damages sought against pharmaceutical companies for dangerous drug side effects and injuries include at least the following types of damages:

  • Physical pain and suffering, mental anguish;
  • Physical impairment;
  • Medical expenses associated with efforts to remedy the injuries as a result of the original surgery;
  • Loss of earnings and/or earning capacity; and
  • In the case of a patient’s death, the family of the victim may file a wrongful death action and seek damages.

Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

Attorneys: Rachel Montes and Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

Toll Free (877) 529-8899

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldBlog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO INVESTIGATES ALPHI PHI SORORITY FOR HAZING | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO INVESTIGATES ALPHI PHI SORORITY FOR HAZING

By Rachel E. Montes posted in Hazing Injuries and Deaths on Monday, October 25, 2010

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The University of Colorado at Boulder is investigating a possible hazing incident involving the Alpha Phi sorority. The alleged incident happened about a week and a half ago. Authorities say it involved members of the sorority forcing underage freshmen girls to drink.

CU says the Office of Student Affairs has launched a dual investigation into the sorority Alpha Phi.

This is not the first time the Alpha Phi sorority has been investigated for hazing. In February, 2010, a student fell off the roof of the same sorority after being intoxicated as part of a hazing incident. The female student fell 19 feet, breaking several bones and suffering internal injuries.

Colorado University has taken a much stronger stance against hazing since a 2004 hazing death involving Gordon Bailey of Dallas, Texas, and a freshman at CU who died of alcohol poisoning after a hazing incident involving the Chi Psi fraternity. That incident led to an investigation of the fraternity and a lawsuit against the members of the fraternity as well as the national chapter of the fraternity, and a promise by the fraternity to use the story of Gordon Bailey’s death to educate pledges and fraternity members about the dangers of hazing, alcohol abuse, and alcohol poisoning.

While no one died in this incident, there is still reason to be concerned about any hazing as hazing can quickly escalate and lead to serious injuries or deaths in ways that these students don’t anticipate. These rituals and traditions of forced alcohol consumption are typically only part of the story that these groups work hard to prevent others from discoverying.

Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

Rachel Montes and Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

www.MontesHerald.com

www.MontesHeraldBlog.com

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.