N.J. Court Erred With Expert Limit In Malpractice Case


Posted on 29th March 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A New Jersey appellate panel ruled Thursday that a trial judge shouldn’t have limited the number of experts permitted to testify in a medical malpractice case involving a youth who sustained brain damage and died after being stabbed, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. The suit will now go back for a new trial.


The appellate court said that a Hudson County judge made an error when he found that the defendant and plaintiff could only bring in one expert each on any subject relevant to the case, The Ledger reported. The panel said that the judge had ended up barring important evidence merely because it was the same as other testimony.

The malpractice case involved Kevin McClean, an 18-year-old Jersey City youth who died in October 2007 from complications stemming from when he was stabbed in September 2005. After the attack, McLean got a staff infection, sustained brain damage and became paralyzed from the waist down, according to The Ledger.

Kevin’s mother, Lisa McClean, then sued Greenville Hospital in Jersey City for malpractice, alleging that physicians should have diagnosed her son’s infection earlier. The jury didn’t find in favor of the mother, The Ledger reported.

During the trial, hospital lawyers argued McLean didn’t have any symptoms the indicated he had an infection.  The plaintiff’s attorney contended that he should have been allowed to call a second emergency medicine expert who would have said McLean should have been given a blood test, according to The Ledger.

The appellate panel ruled that a trial judge doesn’t have the “authority to balance the number of witnesses,” the newspaper reported.


Energy-Supplement Dangers Put Under Microscope


Posted on 18th March 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Energy boosters and other performance supplements appear to fall through the cracks of federal safety regulators, leaving products like Jack3d on retail shelves, according to the Sunday New York Times.


The Times did a lengthy story outlining the legal issues raised by the sale Jack3d — or “jacked,” as in “jacked up” — a supplement that Leanne Sparling blames for the death of her son Michael, who was in the Army. After taking the workout supplement, he collapsed and later died of cardiac arrest while running in a military drill.

Sparling, a private, bought his Jack3d, which contains the stimulant dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, at a GNC shop. Last month his parents filed a wrongful death suit against the maker of Jack3d, Dallas-based USPlabs, and GNC, The Times reported.

GNC maintains that the supplement is safe, and it certainly is legal: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t pulled the supplement from the market. But it’s raised enough safety concerns that the Defense Department took all products that contain DMAA from stores on military bases in 2011, The Times reported. And seven countries have banned supplements containing DMAA.

After filing a Freedom of Information Act request, The Times learned that from January 2009 to present the FDA received 80 reports of people having health problems after taking DMAA supplements, including five deaths.

Amidst this all, GNC defended the safety of Jack3d and argued that it should not be liable for selling a product that is legal, according to The Times.

Mother Leanne Sparling disagrees.

Hip-Implant Maker Faces Hundreds Of Lawsuits


Posted on 1st March 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Stryker Orthopaedics is being sued by at least 80 people in New Jersey, and faces hundreds of other lawsuits, over a defective hip-implant device that it recalled from the market, according to The Record in New Jersey.


Lawyers from around the country have told a judge in Bergen County, N.J., that they plan to sue Stryker, which is based in Mahwah, N.J. According to The Record, the hip replacement case may end being one of the largest mass-tort litigations in the nation.

Stryker voluntarily recalled its Rejuvenate device in July 2012. Patients who had the implant sustained muscle, bone and nerve damage when metal bits from part of the device went into their blood stream and tissue, The Record reported.

A Florida woman, 66, was the first one to file suit against Stryker, which was last summer. She had a right-hip replacement with Stryker’s Rejuvenate, after being told it would last for decades. Instead, the woman had severe pain from the device and had to have several subsequent surgeries, according to The Record.

One lawyer told the judge in Hackensack, N.J., that she had already lodged 30 suits on behalf of clients against Stryker and that she had another 150 hip-replacement clients that will also be suing, The Record reported.

Stryker told the newspaper that it has been reimbursing patients for treatment and revision surgery related to the voluntary recall.