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Thursday, July 27, 2006

United Press International - NewsTrack - Vioxx appeal to go before New Jersey court: "Vioxx appeal to go before New Jersey court
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., July 25 (UPI) -- The New Jersey Supreme Court reportedly has agreed to hear Merck & Co.'s appeal of the class certification of a Vioxx lawsuit.
The Wall Street Journal, quoting a Merck spokesman, reported the suit, brought by a union and several other third-party payers, seeks reimbursement for up to $9.6 billion of Vioxx purchases.
The lawsuit was certified as a class action petition last July and later upheld by a state appellate court. Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck then appealed to the state Supreme Court.
Vioxx was taken off the market in September 2004 after a study linked the painkiller to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Since then more than 14,000 lawsuits have been filed against the company, the report said.
Under New Jersey's rigorous consumer laws, awards in such cases can be tripled, the Journal said.

E-MAIL PRINT SAVE LICENSE" - Lawmaker alleges FDA, Merck collaborated: "Lawmaker alleges FDA, Merck collaborated
Posted 7/19/2006 8:54 PM ETE-mail Save Print Subscribe to stories like this


WASHINGTON (AP) � A federal health official worked with drug maker Merck to discredit a government whistle-blower who publicized safety risks associated with the painkiller Vioxx, a lawmaker alleged Wednesday in seeking an investigation.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asked the inspector general at the Health and Human Services Department to probe whether the Food and Drug Administration and Merck acted in concert to call into question the safety findings made by Dr. David Graham, an FDA drug safety official.
In a letter Wednesday, Grassley cited handwritten notes made by the Merck employee documenting an Oct. 13, 2004, conversation with the FDA official that suggests the two collaborated.
The FDA official mentioned an 'opportunity to get (the) message out' on Graham, a longtime employee of the agency, and provide journalists with a company critique of him, according to notes quoted in the letter.
'It is no secret that Dr. Graham was and is a critic of the FDA. However, that does not mean the FDA should scheme with drug sponsors to discredit its own employees,' Grassley said in the letter to Inspector General Daniel Levinson. The FDA, Grassley said, must maintain a 'clear, bright line between the regulated and the regulator.'
FDA spokeswoman Susan Bro had no comment.
Merck & Co. Inc. said in a statement that it has the 'right to express our views when we believe information others have presented is not fair and balanced. Dr. Graham's conclusions with regard to Vioxx differed from those of the FDA and to that extent" - Wyeth Faces First Trial Over Hormone Replacement Therapy: "Wyeth Faces First Trial Over Hormone Replacement Therapy
Theresa Agovino
The Associated Press
July 26, 2006
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Linda Reeves thought it was a good idea to take hormone replacement therapy to help prevent the osteoporosis that plagued her mother.
But doubts surfaced six years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her doctor instructed her to stop taking the pills.
The 67-year-old endured a mastectomy, and while Reeves said she feels fine now, she fears her cancer may return.
'I think about it an awful lot. It is something that is there in the back of my mind,' said Reeves, a secretary living in Benton, Ark.
Reeves blames her cancer on roughly eight years of taking Prempro, an estrogen-progestin combination made by Wyeth and prescribed to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
Next month, Reeves will face Wyeth in a federal court in Little Rock, Ark., in the first of approximately 4,500 lawsuits filed against the company over hormone replacement therapy. Key to her case are internal marketing documents her lawyers claim show Wyeth put profits ahead of patients.
The case marks the beginning of what could be a long process that could compound the financial fallout Wyeth suffered from a clinical study halted in 2002. The Women's Health Initiative study found Prempro patients had a higher risk of breast cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease. Prempro sales, along with those of sister drug, estrogen-only pill Premarin, dropped to $909 million last year from $2.07 billion 2001.
Wyeth heads to court Aug. 21 after finally reaching settlements for most of the lawsuits over the former diet drug combination fen-phen with a price tag of $21 billion to d"

F.D.A. Takes Action on Antidepressants and Migraine Drugs - New York Times: "F.D.A. Takes Action on Antidepressants and Migraine Drugs
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Published: July 20, 2006
WASHINGTON, July 19 (AP) � The Food and Drug Administration asked Wednesday that manufacturers of Prozac and similar antidepressants change their labels to include information about an uncommon but life-threatening lung problem that can affect babies born to mothers who take the drugs during pregnancy.
The agency also issued an alert about the possible risk of combining antidepressant medications with common migraine drugs called triptans, saying a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome might occur when the drugs are combined.
The agency said it was seeking more information on both risks.
Babies with the lung disorder, called persistent pulmonary hypertension, have high pressure in the blood vessels of their lungs and are not able to get enough oxygen into their bloodstreams. One or two babies per 1,000 develop the disorder shortly after birth. But a study published Feb. 9 in The New England Journal of Medicine found that infants whose mothers took antidepressants in the second half of pregnancy had six times the expected risk of it.
That report was issued just days after The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study illustrating the potential risk of depression relapse in women who stopped taking prescribed antidepressants during pregnancy. Taken together, the two studies worried many women because they implied that there were risks during pregnancy in both continuing on the medications and not.
The drugs, also called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or S.S.R.I.�s, include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Lexapro. The F.D.A. said Wedn"

Medication Errors Harming Millions, Report Says: "Medication Errors Harming Millions, Report Says
Extensive National Study Finds Widespread, Costly Mistakes in Giving and Taking Medicine
By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 21, 2006; Page A08
At least 1.5 million Americans are sickened, injured or killed each year by errors in prescribing, dispensing and taking medications, the influential Institute of Medicine concluded in a major report released yesterday.
Mistakes in giving drugs are so prevalent in hospitals that, on average, a patient will be subjected to a medication error each day he or she occupies a hospital bed, the report by a panel of experts said.

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Fight Intensifies Over Who Acts for Children
'It is an unusual circumstance when a parent does not have the best interests of their own child in mind. I have strong doubts about the state being able to parent better than a mother or father. That said, I would encourage the family to look into ALL the alternatives available. There are numerous options for chemotherapy, and many experimental programs at institutions such as NIH and Hopkins which may likely prove less stressful for his body. '
-- By 'landislori'
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Sleepy, sugar?...Your ticket on exercise...A piercing question.
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Bausch & Lomb recall exposes eye infection risks: "Bausch & Lomb recall exposes eye infection risks
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
By Sylvia Pagan Westphal, The Wall Street Journal

Two months ago, Bausch & Lomb Inc. issued a global recall of a new multipurpose contact-lens solution after it was linked to serious fungal eye infections in the U.S. and Asia. Within weeks, the company's U.S. market share for lens solutions dropped to 29 percent, down from 41 percent.
Bausch explained that under certain 'unique circumstances' -- such as when people left cases open and let the product evaporate -- ReNu with MoistureLoc created an environment that allowed the fusarium fungus to thrive.
But to some researchers, the ReNu fallout didn't come as a surprise. As long as nine years ago, tests performed by doctors and eye clinicians had suggested that multipurpose solutions might be associated with certain health risks.
Manufacturers of contact-lens solutions downplayed the concerns, saying their products were safe and effective when properly used. Market leader Bausch, in particular, took the offensive against researchers who linked its solutions to possible safety issues.
Today, there is mounting concern that multipurpose solutions -- so named because they are designed for cleaning, disinfecting and storing soft contact lenses -- may indeed be contributing to dangerous eye infections.
The fusarium scare has prompted the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the solutions, to re-evaluate its current testing methods. Marketers are taking action, too. 'It was a wake-up call,' says Lynn Lasswell, director of eye care clinical research at Advanced Medical Optics Inc., maker of multipurpose solution brands including Complete MoisturePLUS. 'We're certainly looking at our testing methods to make them more robust.'

Salt Lake Tribune - Ex-patient claims malpractice, sues treatment center: "Ex-patient claims malpractice, sues treatment center
Copper Hills: He says a medication caused a painful injury and long-term damage
By Kirsten Stewart
The Salt Lake Tribune

Allegations of abuse and other misdeeds continue to plague Copper Hills Youth Center, a West Jordan psychiatric facility for troubled youth.
Andrew Tafoya of Los Lunas, N.M., has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the treatment center and one of its former doctors, James A. Miller, alleging that an anti-depressant Tafoya was prescribed while a patient at Copper Hills left him permanently disabled and disfigured.
The complaint follows probes by Utah licensors and child welfare officials into alleged physical and sexual assaults at Copper Hills. The facility was cleared, though investigators suggested improvements to the supervision, training and criminal screening of employees.
Utah Human Services licensing director Ken Stettler said there have been no recent complaints or sanctions filed against Copper Hills. State Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing officials, who are responsible for investigating individual malpractice claims, won't disclose whether Miller is under investigation. To date, no disciplinary actions have been filed.
Tafoya was admitted to Copper Hills in December 2002 for depression and a drug abuse problem. He was 17 years old.
According to his lawsuit, he was prescribed several medications by supervising physician Miller, including trazodone hydrochloride, an anti-depressant sold under the brand name Desyrel.
'Within weeks of first taking the trazodone, Tafoya began experiencing painful erections lasting 1 to 2 hours,' the lawsuit states.
According to a warning posted by the Food and Drug Adminis"

Virginia Jury Awards 10 million dollars in an Asbestos case

A jury in Newport News Virginia awarded $10 million in an asbestos case. This was a very important case for plaintiffs. The defendant in the case, John Crane, has taken a no pay position in asbestos litigation nationwide. The case was tried by veteran asbestos trial lawyers Robert Hatten and Conrad Metcalf. The details are as follows:

John Crane 34%Johns Manville 33%Garlock 33%All others 0%John Crane experts:BuccigrossMattesonRoggliPlaintiff ExpertsMaddoxLongoLauderdaleCastlemanJohn Crane lawyersTom BurnsArch Wallace. Class action suit filed over birth control drug: "Class action suit filed over birth control drug
Updated Mon. Dec. 19 2005 11:04 PM ET News Staff
Canadian women looking for a trouble-free way to prevent pregnancy may be making themselves susceptible to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become fragile and more likely to fracture.
A $700-million class action lawsuit has been filed against the makers of Depo-Provera, a birth control injection prescribed to more than 600,000 Canadians last year. The lawsuit alleges that women who have taken the contraceptive have developed osteoporosis.
Depo-Provera is made by international drug conglomerate Pfizer, also responsible for popular prescription drugs Viagra, Zoloft and Celebrex. Users are given an injection every three months and have a less than one per cent chance of getting pregnant while on the medication, according to the drug maker's website.
Tracey Bourque, 33, recently found out she has the bone density of a 55-year-old woman. Bourque and her doctor wonder if it is linked to her use of Depo-Provera.
Depo-Provera was tested in the 1980s and approved in Canada in 1997. Two million prescriptions for the drug have been written in Canada in the past four years.
One year ago, Pfizer warned Canadian and American officials the drug could lead to bone density loss. The United States issues a warning shortly afterwards saying the drug should not be used as a long-term contraceptive. Health Canada issued similar statements in November, 2004, and June and July this year.
'The data indicate that women who use Depo-Provera may lose significant (bone mineral density),' states the July Health Canada warning. 'The data also indicate that bone loss is greater with increasing duration of use and"

Judge Dismisses Suit Over Phone Records: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "Yahoo!My Yahoo!Mail Make Y! your home pageYahoo! SearchSearch:Sign In
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Judge Dismisses Suit Over Phone Records
Tuesday July 25, 7:27 pm ET
By Mike Robinson, Associated Press Writer
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Phone Records, Citing National Security Issues
CHICAGO (AP) -- Citing national security, a federal judge Tuesday threw out a lawsuit aimed at blocking AT&T Inc. from giving telephone records to the government for use in the war on terror.
'The court is persuaded that requiring AT&T to confirm or deny whether it has disclosed large quantities of telephone records to the federal government could give adversaries of this country valuable insight into the government's intelligence activities,' U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly said.

A number of such lawsuits have been filed around the country in the wake of news media reports that AT&T and other phone companies had turned records over to the National Security Administration, which specializes in communications intercepts.
Kennelly's ruling was in sharp contrast to last week's decision from U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco, who said media reports of the program were so widespread there was no danger of spilling secrets.
Kennelly ruled in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois on behalf of author Studs Terkel and other activists who said their constitutional rights were violated because of an NSA p"

Jury Returns Plaintiffs Verdict in First Pain Patch Suit: "Jury Returns Plaintiffs Verdict in First Pain Patch Suit
John Council
Texas Lawyer
July 24, 2006
A plaintiff in a Houston state district court recently scored the first jury award in the nation against drug manufacturers accused of selling an allegedly faulty drug patch designed to control pain.
The family of Michaelynn Thompson sued Alza Corp. and Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, subsidiaries of the Johnson & Johnson Corp., alleging Thompson died from using the Duragesic patch.
Thompson was prescribed the Duragesic patch to help control pain after she was injured in a car accident, according to the fourth amended petition in Thompson, et al. v. Alza Corp., et al. As alleged in the petition, Thompson died because the Duragesic patch released too much fentanyl, a strong pain reliever, into her body.
The drug manufacturers denied that the patch contributed to Thompson's death. In their response, they argued that the patch was accompanied by proper warnings and information and had been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
On July 7, a jury found there was a defect in the patch and returned a $772,500 plaintiffs verdict in the wrongful death suit.
'It's a horribly potent drug if it's being dumped into the body in an uncontrolled fashion,' says Tommy Fibich, a partner in Houston's Fibich Hampton & Leebron who represents the plaintiffs. Fibich says there are about 100 similar suits pending nationwide against the drug manufacturers.
Mark Wolfe, a spokesman for the defendants, says the Duragesic patch is safe.
Notes Wolfe, 'Our thoughts are with the family of Michaelynn Thompson as they mourn their loss. We disagree with the outcome of the trial, and we are evaluating our legal options. We are confident in"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Worldandnation: Lawsuits stack up for tire maker: " Sharon rushed to intensive care uni_

Lawsuits stack up for tire maker
Cooper Tire is accused of making defective tires that have resulted in fatalities, and of using questionable tactics to win the lawsuits that result.

Published July 23, 2006

Times Staff Writer

A St. Petersburg mother was on her way back from a wedding in Atlanta when it happened. A Miami driveway installer and father of three was on his way to work. And a 23-year-old painter who left Mexico to make a new life in the United States died on Interstate 75, just east of Naples.

The families of all three have accused Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. of manufacturing defective tires that suffered tread separations and ultimately killed them.

At least 21 lawsuits involving 12 deaths have been filed against Cooper Tire in Florida since 2000. They are among dozens nationwide that claim Cooper tires separated at high speeds.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated a defect investigation into one line of Cooper tires � the Dominator Sport A/T. (The Florida lawsuits involve other models.)

The company, which makes replacement tires, is the country�s fourth largest tire manufacturer. Cooper says there is no problem with the Dominator, or any of its other tires.

�Our records show nothing which would indicate there is any issue with this tire,� said Cooper spokeswoman Patricia J. Brown. �The overwhelming majority of tire failures are caused by service-related conditions that have nothing to do with a tire 'defect.� �

But it�s Cooper Tire�s tactics to win lawsuits that have drawn attention: hirin"

Philadelphia Inquirer 07/25/2006 $5 million jury award in death of year-old boy: "Posted on Tue, Jul. 25, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this$5 million jury award in death of year-old boyThe family administered highly concentrated Infants' Tylenol to him without a doctor's orders. The jurors found the manufacturer negligent.
By Dawn Fallik
Inquirer Staff Writer
A jury yesterday awarded a Philadelphia family $5 million in the death of their 1-year-old boy, who died after his parents gave him Infants' Tylenol.
Marquis Dunson died in March 2002, just 12 days after his first birthday. The official cause of death, according to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office, was acetaminophen toxicity.
His parents, Lisa and Martin Dunson, said they did not realize Infants' Tylenol was concentrated - three times the strength of regular Children's Tylenol.
'The important thing is that parents know there are potential problems with Infants' Tylenol, and they have to be super careful,' said A. Roy DeCaro, the attorney who represented the Dunsons.
Marquis fell sick with a cold on March 16, 2002. His parents gave him Infants' Tylenol. The box states that parents should call their doctor before giving the medication to any child younger than 2, but their doctor had recommended Infants' Tylenol before.
They gave him two droppers every four hours. Marquis got sicker and sicker, but it did not occur to them that it was the Tylenol that was causing the problem, DeCaro said. DeCaro said the child should have been getting half a dropper as needed.
They had used the drug with their other four children without incident.
The Dunsons took Marquis back to the doctor on March "

Hazards: Indoor Pools May Pose Danger for Young Lungs - New York Times: "Vital Signs
Hazards: Indoor Pools May Pose Danger for Young Lungs
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Published: July 25, 2006
Could indoor pools be contributing to the increase in asthma among children?
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Stuart Goldenberg
Ecological Association Between Childhood Asthma and Availability of Indoor Chlorinated Swimming Pools in Europe (Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
More Columns: Vital Signs �
The idea has been around for a while, but new research that compared the number of pools in different parts of Europe with the incidence of the disease has found that this may well be the case.
Writing in the current journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the researchers said that the more indoor pools per capita there were, the greater the prevalence of childhood asthma and wheezing.
The researchers, from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, noted that as asthma and allergies have become more common in the developed world over the last 30 years, some people have suggested that increased exposure to chlorination byproducts in the air at indoor pools may play a role.
Chlorine products are regularly used in pools to fight disease. But they give off strong gases � giving pools their distinctive smell � when the water is disturbed or when the chlorine destroys organic matter from swimmers.
�The discovery that this chlorine-laden atmosphere can be deleterious to the lungs of young children exercising in it is not surprising,� the researchers wrote. The study suggested that pools might need to be better ventilated.
For the study, the researchers looked at the incidence of asthma, allergies and eczema amon"

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Judge Higbee Sets Discovery Schedule for Consolidated Vioxx Trial

Judge Higbee signed an order consolidating more than 50 cases for discovery including 39 heart attacks in preparation for a consolidated VIOXX trial in early 2007.

Court Denies Goverments Motion to Dismiss

NOTE TO PUBLIC ACCESS USERS*** There is no charge for viewing opinions.
U.S. District Court
California Northern DistrictNotice of Electronic FilingThe following transaction was received from vrwlc2, COURT STAFF entered on 7/20/2006 at 11:25 AM and filed on 7/20/2006 Case Name: Hepting et al v. AT&T Corp. et al Case Number: 3:06-cv-672Filer:Document Number: 308 Docket Text: ORDER by Chief Judge Vaughn R Walker denying [86] Motion to Dismiss, denying [124] Motion to Dismiss The court DENIES the government?s motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment on the basis of state secrets and DENIES AT&T?s motion to dismiss. The parties are ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE in writing by July 31, 2006, why the court should not appoint an expert pursuant to FRE 706 to assist the court. The parties? briefs should also address whether this action should be stayed pending an appeal pursuant to 28 USC ? 1292(b). The parties are also instructed to appear on August 8, 2006, at 2 PM, for a further case management conference.(vrwlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/20/2006)

Class action status granted in case from Seneca Lake park - "AP New YorkClass action status granted in case from Seneca Lake park
July 14, 2006, 8:27 PM EDT

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ The more than 3,000 people who were sickened by a bacterial outbreak at a spraypark last summer now have the opportunity to join a class action lawsuit against the state.

Class action status was granted Friday to a lawsuit filed against the State of New York Department of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation.

The suit allows anyone who suffered from cryptosporidiosis to join the lawsuit if the illness was a result of the outbreak at a water playground at Seneca Lake State Park near Geneva in Ontario County last summer.

The New York State Health Department shut down the Spraypark last August after it was determined the park's water holding tanks, which were used to recycle water, were contaminated with cryptosporidium.

According to the health department, 3,297 cases of the illness were reported in 33 New York counties.

Crypto, as the parasite is commonly called, lives for long periods of time in water, and can be passed on through human or animal feces. "

. First Consolidated Welding Suit Ends in Defense Verdict
"After deliberating for more than 24 hours over five days, an Ohio jury returned a defense verdict in the first of several thousand consolidated suits claiming that welding fumes cause severe brain damage. The 10-person federal jury found that the welding rod manufacturers did not fail to warn of the potential hazards of the rods and, as a result, never addressed the issue of whether the fumes can cause neurological damage. Ernest Solis, 57, a retired welder at a Texas navy base, claimed that exposure to manganese fumes from the rods caused him to develop Parkinson's disease."

Lilly Drug Shown to Raise Blood-Clot Risk - Los Angeles Times: "IN BRIEF / PHARMACEUTICALS
Lilly Drug Shown to Raise Blood-Clot Risk
From Reuters
July 18, 2006

A trial of Eli Lilly & Co.'s osteoporosis drug Evista found that patients given the treatment had a reduced incidence of bone fractures and breast cancer but were more likely to suffer fatal strokes and blood clots.

ADVERTISEMENTThe UC San Diego study of 10,000 women found that among every 1,000 patients taking the drug for 10 years, seven more would have fatal strokes than those on placebo, raising the risk by 49%. Twelve more would have dangerous blood clots known as venous thromboembolisms, raising the risk by 44%. The results appear this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. " - Asbestos Plaintiffs Win $10M in Punitives: "Asbestos Plaintiffs Win $10M in Punitives
Pam Smith
The Recorder
July 19, 2006
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A San Francisco jury last week awarded $10 million in punitive damages to a plaintiff who suffered from asbestosis and asbestos pleural disease.
The plaintiffs' $1.6 million in economic and noneconomic damages alone would make the jury's verdict the second-largest asbestosis award reported in California in the last two years to VerdictSearch, a verdict-tracking publication affiliated with The Recorder.
But despite their victory, the fight may not be over for Brayton Purcell or the firm's clients, Joseph and Mary Garza: defendant Asbestos Corp. Limited's location -- in Canada -- may complicate efforts to collect on the judgment.
Steven Harowitz, a plaintiffs lawyer at Harowitz & Tigerman, a San Francisco firm that also handles asbestos cases, said punitive damage awards aren't very common in asbestosis suits. If a jury makes a finding in its initial verdict that exposes a defendant to punitive damages, Harowitz said, many defendants will respond by trying to settle before moving onto the punitive phase of the trial.
Brayton Purcell partner Christopher Andreas, who represented the Garzas, agreed that settling is more typical, but said there had been 'zero' settlement discussion between the trial phases in this case. 'I really don't know what they were thinking,' he said.
Randall Bernard, a lawyer at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker in San Francisco who represented the defendant at trial, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
Andreas painted his client, 75-year-old Joseph Garza, as a man who had been exposed to asbestos regularly aboard ships when he served wit"

$82M damages approved for family of woman in rollover accident: "

$82M damages approved for family of woman in rollover accident
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

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(07-19) 15:52 PDT SAN DIEGO -- A state appeals court approved $82 million in damages today for the family of a woman who was paralyzed when her Ford Explorer rolled over and the roof caved in.
The court cut a previous award nearly in half but said large damages were justified by Ford Motor Co.'s reckless conduct in marketing an unsafe product.
Benita Buell-Wilson, 46, was injured in January 2002 when she swerved to avoid an obstacle on a freeway near Alpine (San Diego County) and her 1997 sport utility vehicle went out of control and rolled over.
The pillars holding up the Explorer's roof crumpled, crushing Buell-Wilson as she hung upside down from her seat belt. An athletic woman who was then completing a master's degree in education, she was left a paraplegic and remains in constant pain, cared for by her husband and children, the Court of Appeal in San Diego said.
The court said there was evidence that Ford had known that the Explorer was unstable and prone to rollovers, but that the company had decided not to make changes because that would have cut into profits. There was also evidence that the roof of the vehicle was weak and that Ford could have strengthened the Explorer for about $20 per vehicle, the court said.
A jury awarded Buell-Wilson and her husband $122 million in compensation and $246 million in punitive damages. The trial judge found the amounts excessive and reduced the total award to $150 million.
In today's ruling, the appeals court said the reduced award for Buell-Wil"

F.D.A. Takes Action on Antidepressants and Migraine Drugs - New York Times