Science in the Courts

Category archives for Science in the Courts

Call for coal companies to ditch law firm Jackson & Kelly

The scheming by Jackson Kelly attorneys to deny coal miners with black lung disease modest compensation is immoral. If coal companies are sincere about their workers being their “most precious resource,” they should dump the law firm.

 Since 1994, when a Nigerian woman and her two daughters were granted asylum in the U.S. based on fear of female genital mutilation (FGM) in their native country, the legal community has been avidly debating the question of whether FGM should be considered grounds for asylum. A 1996 case, in re Kasinga, established a precedent…

There were few better places to hear about today’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act and its individual insurance mandate than at a meeting of the American Public Health Association.

Republican lawmakers interfere (again) in diesel cancer study

The Republican chairmen of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and its Subcommittee on Workforce Protections are invoking “sound science” and “transparency” in a request to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for data and draft publications of a cancer mortality study of underground miners exposed to diesel exhaust. Congressman John…

NPR & Charleston Gazette ask court to reject call for “sealed record” in Massey-Alpha merger litigation

[June 3, 2011: Update below] [May 31, 2011: Update below] The West Virginia Supreme Court has taken up the case by Massey Energy shareholders to block the $8.5 Billon sale of the firm to Alpha Natural Resources. The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr., and National Public Radio’s (NPR) Howard Berkes have followed the day-to-day event…

Cong Shays Weasels out on Preemption

by David Egilman, MD, MPH I just finished watching the Waxman hearings on FDA preemption and must comment on Christopher Shays’ (R-CT) comments.  Christopher Shays is the last remaining Republican congressman from New England.  Hopefully the November elections will result in the extinction of this last remaining remnant of the age of the dinosaurs. He…

How’d that C8 get into your blood?

No, not V-8 the vegetable drink, but C8, the common name for ammonium perfluorooctanoate, an ingredient in Teflon and other non-stick products.  Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette reports today on the levels of perfluorooctanoic acid in the blood of about 69,000 residents living near the DuPont Co.’s Parkersburg, WV plant where C8 was manufactured. The results are posted on the West Virginia University’s Health…

Consumer Reporting of Adverse Events to FDA

by Susan F. Wood, PhD  The FDA Amendments Act (FDAAA) of 2007 includes a small section addressing direct to consumer (DTC) advertising.  The bill doesn’t limit advertising to consumers, nor does it give FDA authority to put a moratorium on advertising while more data on safety or effectiveness is collected during the first months or years…

The Supreme Court and the FDA

In an 8-1 decision in Riegel v. Medtronic, the Supreme Court has ruled that medical-device manufacturers whose products secured pre-market FDA approval are immune from liability for personal injuries. So, if you’re injured by a medical device (like a drug-coated stent or prosthetic hip) that’s received this approval, you won’t be able to sue the…

Open the Vioxx Files

The news is out that Merck has agreed to settle 27,000 Vioxx lawsuits for $4.85 billion. Plaintiffs who claim they or their family members suffered injury or died after taking the anti-inflammatory drug will, on average, receive just over $100,000 before legal fees and expenses, reports the New York Times’ Alex Berenson. The Vioxx debacle…