With over 1.5 million drug and medical device related injuries each year, consumers are forced to take legal action. Find out if you have a lawsuit. Read news stories about dangerous medical devices and prescription drugs, health studies and pharmaceutical litigation.
The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, accuses GNC of violating Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act because it misrepresented products sold in Oregon as “lawful dietary supplements, when in fact these products were adulterated and unlawful”.
The dietary supplements allegedly contain the illegal ingredient picamilon and BMPEA. It alleges GNC knowingly sold products containing an amphetamine-like substance that isn’t approved for diet pills in the USA – and left it off the label. Products containing BMPEA or picamilon were produced by third parties and accounted for less than 1 percent of total sales, GNC said.
The Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to five companies in April telling them that eight of their products listed BMPEA and telling them to stop selling them. In a brief statement, GNC responded to the lawsuit, saying that the allegations are “without merit” and that they will “vigorously defend against these allegations”.
This is just the latest in a fight that has been going on for years between state and federal officials and supplements retailers like GNC.
Lawsuits involving one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies and one of the most controversial medical devices in the U.S. now are centralized to a single court.
Johnson & Johnson is accused of hiding knowledge that its power morcellator could cause an accidental spread of uterine cancer during hysterectomies and surgeries to remove fibroids.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred at least 28 morcellator lawsuits to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) court.
“This decision by the panel is an extremely important one because it ensures that these cases will move at the fastest possible pace,” said Paul Pennock, a lead attorney at Weitz & Luxenberg who led the arguments for consolidation.
Courts consolidate lawsuits to MDLs when a large number of plaintiffs file lawsuits involving the same facts against the same defendant. The process allows the courts to operate more efficiently and decreases the costs for all parties involved.
“We believe this will allow our clients to obtain justice much more swiftly and reliably than might otherwise be the case if each client were compelled to battle the defendants in isolated courtrooms scattered across the country,” Pennock said.
The lawsuits accuse Ethicon, a subsidiary of J&J, of designing a defective product and failing to warn patients of risks.
Morcellator Controversy Growing
The surgical tool that uses small blades to break tissue into small fragments remains one of the most controversial devices in the U.S.
One congressman, U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, fought for amendments to regulate medical devices to be added to the 21st Century Cures Act that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July. The amendments stemmed from news that some women were rapidly developing cancer after surgeries involving the device.
Months later, members of Congress led by Fitzpatrick petitioned the U.S. Government Accountability Office to investigate the devices and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration process that cleared them. The GAO agreed to investigate morcellators and the FDA in September.
The recent news adds to an existing history of controversy involving power morcellators that began more than a year ago, and Johnson & Johnson’s name keeps coming up.
J&J, Ethicon May Have Known of Risks
Morcellators were once thought to have an extremely rare risk of unintentionally spreading uterine cancer, but the FDA warned the actual risk was one in 350 in April 2014. The warning came almost two decades after the device entered the market.