Idaho Law Blog

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of about 31,000 Tumblekins Toys vehicles and playsets to due choking and laceration risks. The agency said the toys can break into small pieces, posing risks of injury to small children. There has been one report of a toy breaking, but no injuries occurred.  Staff Report, PR Newswire  02/16/2012

Jury awards couple $104M in Vegas hepatitis case

The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011 | 5:59 p.m.

A Nevada jury found drug companies liable Wednesday for $104 million in damages in a third product liability lawsuit stemming from a hepatitis C outbreak four years ago at Las Vegas outpatient colonoscopy clinics owned by a doctor now facing state and federal criminal charges.

The same Clark County District Court civil jury that on Monday awarded $14 million in compensatory damages to Michael Washington and his wife, Josephine Washington, spent less than two hours deliberating before deciding Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc. should pay the couple $60 million in punitive damages and Baxter Healthcare Corp. should pay $30 million.

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The AAJ is reporting as follows concerning punitive damages in tobacco-related cases: 


In the first case of the so-called Engle progeny to reach the Florida Supreme Court, the court has declined to review a lower court’s decision upholding $3.3 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages for the widow of a smoker. (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Martin, No. SC11-483 (Fla. July 19, 2011).)

In Engle v. Liggett Group in 2006, the Florida Supreme Court threw out a $145 billion punitive damages award and decertified a class of smokers and their survivors. Instead, it allowed the plaintiffs to pursue their claims individually, using Engle’s findings regarding the tobacco companies’ liability. Certain findings were given res judicata effect. (945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006).)

The AP (12/9) reports, "A federal court jury on Wednesday ordered healthcare company Johnson & Johnson to pay damages of $1.8 million in the case of an 82-year-old man who sued over claims the antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin) caused him severe tendon injuries." The trial "was the first on more than 2,600 other US lawsuits making similar claims."

        The New York Times "Prescriptions" blog (12/9) reports, "In a closely watched case, a federal jury on Wednesday awarded a Minnesota resident a total of $1.82 million in damages, finding that Johnson & Johnson had failed to adequately warn patients that its antibiotic Levaquin may cause tendon damage." The jury "awarded $1.12 million in punitive damages and $700,000 in compensatory damages to John Schedin, 82." A spokesman for Orthio-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals said, "We are disappointed with the jury's decision and will vigorously defend against plaintiff's claims on appeal."

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