Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against CVS Over Dietary Supplement’s Memory Claims

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Natural Products Insider reports in its “Insider Law” blog that CVS Pharmacy has been named in a lawsuit “that contends the retailer has engaged in unfair and deceptive practices through the marketing and sale of a dietary supplement known as Algal-900 DHA.” The class action case focuses on “whether the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids contained in CVS’s product is capable of bolstering one’s memory.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Olympus Settles Hospital Bribery Allegations For $623 Million

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Reuters reports the Justice Department said Tuesday the Japanese company Olympus Corp’s US Olympus Corp of the Americas and Olympus Latin America Inc units agreed to pay $312.4 million in criminal penalties and an additional $310.8 million for civil claims to resolve allegations regarding kickbacks paid to doctors and hospitals that allowed those units to make over $600 million in sales and $230 million in gross profits. Although the company admitted to criminal conduct it can avoid being convicted after three years so long as it complies with terms of a deal with the DOJ.

The Los Angeles Times adds that Olympus admitted to paying “to fly three doctors from a prominent California hospital to Japan for a weeklong vacation.” At an Olympus-sponsored forum, “the company paid for doctors’ lavish meals, ballooning, winery tours, golf and spa treatments because it was ‘a great way to network, talk business, socialize without our competitors,’ an Olympus employee explained, according to the complaint.” The doctors and hospitals involved in the complaint were not named publicly.

According to Bloomberg News, the federal complaint alleged that “from 2006 to 2011, Olympus Corporation of the Americas sold $7 billion in medical equipment, fueled by $600 million procured by giving financial benefits to hospitals and doctors.” The article adds background that endoscope manufacturers including Olympus “have been under fire for more than a year since deadly outbreaks of drug-resistant bacteria linked to their products came to light at hospitals in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and elsewhere.” The scopes sometimes passed so-called “‘superbug infections’ among patients for months before doctors realized the problem, according to regulators and hospitals.” The AP adds that recently the FDA approved “a modified version of Olympus’ endoscope that is designed to be easier to clean.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Social Security Disability

5 Things You Need To Know About Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is a federally funded program that helps people who have become disabled and cannot work. Understanding the basis of the program and how it works can help you determine if you may qualify for benefits.

Disability Does Not Always Mean Disabled

If your doctor has told you that an injury or illness has caused you a disability, this does not mean automatically that you are disabled. The SSDI program requires that the disability, or combination of disabilities, is preventing you from staying gainfully employed. The only exception to this is if your medical condition is on their list of conditions that receive automatic approval for benefits.

Your Medical Condition Must Be Long Term

To qualify for benefits under Social Security disability, your medical records must show that your medical condition is expected to last in excess of 12 months or lead to your death. Medical records must also show that standard methods of treatment have been used and that there were no significant improvements in your condition. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider someone disabled if they can take a medication or therapy to improve their condition.

The SSA Denies Some Claims For Benefits The First Time You Apply

Many initial claims are denied. However, the reasons for their denials are not what you may expect. One of the main reasons that applications for benefits are denied are because the paperwork is incomplete or submitted past the deadline dates. The SSA has very strict guidelines about their applications and if all the necessary paperwork is not prepared, required documents attached, or filed late, the application will be denied. It should be noted that a majority of these applications that are denied are also submitted by the injured person themselves and not through an attorney. Be sure to work with an experienced Utah social security disability attorney to help you through the process.

If You Are Denied Benefits, You Can Reapply

If you have been denied benefits on your first application, you are entitled to file an appeal within a limited time period after receiving the denial. The appeals process will review the merits of your case and it will most likely go before an Administrative Judge for a final ruling. The process for the appeal will be based on your specific state laws. However, even if you are denied during the appeal, you always have the option to file a new case and start the process over from scratch.

Once You Receive Benefits, You Have Them For Life

The SSA will periodically review your disability case to determine your status and requalify you for benefits. On average, the reviews are conducted every five to seven years. The main reason for the reviews is to see if there are new medical treatments that could improve your condition.

Applying for disability benefits can be an extended process and sometimes a little complicated. If you are considering applying for benefits, it may be in your best interest to consult an attorney about your case before you apply.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

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Security Experts Warn of Threat Hackers Pose to Medical Devices

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The Hill reported that “it is embarrassingly easy to hack medical devices, experts warn, creating a new security threat that could have life-or-death consequences.” The Hill explains many devices are “easily hacked” because they “are produced by legacy companies that are new to designing software” or by startups “that have to bootstrap costs.” The Hill cites how the Department of Homeland Security and the Food and Drug Administration last year “advised hospitals to discontinue using” drug infusion pump made by Hospira after it was found to have one of the most serious “vulnerabilities.” Security researcher Billy Rios highlighted several problems with protecting the medical devices against hackers, in particular their “lengthy development time” and “long life cycle” in a hospital. The Hill adds the FDA “is starting to mobilize to combat the threat, although some say the agency is not moving quickly enough.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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The Senior Citizens League Warns – Medicare Often Takes One-Third To One – Half Of Your Social Security

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When planning retirement expenses, make sure to budget enough for the growth in healthcare costs over time, says The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).  “That can be hard to figure, but rapidly rising healthcare costs, declining health, and the need for increased medical services and prescription drugs as you age will take a growing portion of Social Security benefits,” says TSCL Chairman Ed. Cates.

According to a recent survey by TSCL, healthcare costs take a hefty portion of most retirees’ Social Security benefits.  In a survey conducted last year, nearly one – half of survey participants reported spending from 11 percent to 33 percent of their Social Security benefits on Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs.  One – quarter of survey participants said they paid from 34 percent to 50 percent of their Social Security benefits on healthcare.

The portion of Medicare recipients who reported spending more than 33 percent of their Social Security benefits on healthcare costs jumped 7 percent between 2014 in 2015.  Steep cost increases in prescription drugs was frequently cited as a major cause by 61 percent who said their drug co-pay or coinsurance was higher than expected.

TSCL believes that the extreme cost increases could be putting some Medicare beneficiaries at risk, especially in a year like 2016, when retirees received no annual increase in cost-of- living adjustments (COLAS).  In 2010, when retirees received no Social Security COLA, about one – third of Medicare households said they postponed filling their prescriptions or took less than the prescribed amount due to higher costs.

“Medicare must be given the authority to negotiate pharmaceutical prices with manufacturers for covered Part D drugs,” says Cates.  TSCL recently submitted a statement on prescription drug costs to the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, saying “Lifesaving drugs for cancer, heart disease, arthritis, hepatitis and other life-threatening diseases carry such enormous price tags that older Americans worry their life savings will be drained if they are unlucky enough to get sick.  They question why Congress hasn’t taken legislative action to improve the system and protect the American public from price gouging.” TSCL supports the Prescription Drug Affordability Act (S. 2023, H.R. 3513) that would take important steps to reduce drug costs.

Is this situation happening to you?  Participate in TSCL’s 2016 Senior Survey at www.SeniorsLeague.org.

With about 1 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Located just outside Washington, D.C., its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of TREA The Enlisted Association. Please visit www.SeniorsLeague.org or call 1-800-333-8725 for more information.

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Four Changes You May Need To Make During Retirement

4 Changes You May Need To Make During Retirement

The retirement years often present a mixed bag of emotions. On one side of the coin is the joy of finally shaking off the nine to five schedule. The other side presents feelings of loss and loneliness. An important aspect of delving into retirement is to understand that you may have to make changes over the years.

Financial Changes

Though the financial angle of retirement is what most people consider first when planning, many new retirees find themselves in shock after going from a regular salary to a fixed income. Depending on how carefully retirement finances have been budgeted, many seniors find themselves having to weigh each purchase carefully.

Physical Changes

Retirement age generally also coincides with a decline in physical ability. Seniors may find themselves unable to keep up with the same level of activity to which they were previously accustomed. A large house with a lawn and garden often becomes too cumbersome to maintain. Many retirees choose to downsize to a smaller home or apartment with no yard. Driving a car may become difficult as vision fades and reaction times increase. This could also cause injury to you or others on the road. If this is the case, it’s best to talk to personal injury attorneys in Salt Lake. It’s also important to make necessary changes before it becomes a problem. For example, stop driving before you become a danger on the road, stop doing yard work before you break a bone from falling, etc. These changes can save lots of heartache down the road.

Family

One of the perks of retirement is the opportunity to spend more time with family. New retirees may at first be surprised that their family continues to live their life at the same fast pace. This can lead to feelings of uselessness and neglect. For seniors in this position, it can seem as if their family members do not care as much about them. It is important to remember that time moves more quickly when your day is packed with activities. Take advantage of your newfound free time to travel, learn new hobbies or volunteer. You will enrich your life and take social pressure off your family.

Time With Spouse

Just as retirement affords the opportunity to spend more time with family, it also puts you into the position of spending more time with your spouse. This change can cause friction in a relationship. No matter how strong a partnership may be, spending every waking moment together will put a strain on any relationship. When first retiring, give your partner the space they are used to and pursue your own interests and friendships.

Being prepared for changes that may occur after retirement will make the transition easier for you and your family. The more you know what to expect, the better prepared you will be.

 

The retirement years often present a mixed bag of emotions. On one side of the coin is the joy of finally shaking off the nine to five schedule. The other side presents feelings of loss and loneliness. An important aspect of delving into retirement is to understand that you may have to make changes over the years.

Financial Changes

Though the financial angle of retirement is what most people consider first when planning, many new retirees find themselves in shock after going from a regular salary to a fixed income. Depending on how carefully retirement finances have been budgeted, many seniors find themselves having to weigh each purchase carefully.

Physical Changes

Retirement age generally also coincides with a decline in physical ability. Seniors may find themselves unable to keep up with the same level of activity to which they were previously accustomed. A large house with a lawn and garden often becomes too cumbersome to maintain. Many retirees choose to downsize to a smaller home or apartment with no yard. Driving a car may become difficult as vision fades and reaction times increase. This could also cause injury to you or others on the road. If this is the case, it’s best to talk to personal injury attorneys in Salt Lake. It’s also important to make necessary changes before it becomes a problem. For example, stop driving before you become a danger on the road, stop doing yard work before you break a bone from falling, etc. These changes can save lots of heartache down the road.

Family

One of the perks of retirement is the opportunity to spend more time with family. New retirees may at first be surprised that their family continues to live their life at the same fast pace. This can lead to feelings of uselessness and neglect. For seniors in this position, it can seem as if their family members do not care as much about them. It is important to remember that time moves more quickly when your day is packed with activities. Take advantage of your newfound free time to travel, learn new hobbies or volunteer. You will enrich your life and take social pressure off your family.

Time With Spouse

Just as retirement affords the opportunity to spend more time with family, it also puts you into the position of spending more time with your spouse. This change can cause friction in a relationship. No matter how strong a partnership may be, spending every waking moment together will put a strain on any relationship. When first retiring, give your partner the space they are used to and pursue your own interests and friendships.

Being prepared for changes that may occur after retirement will make the transition easier for you and your family. The more you know what to expect, the better prepared you will be.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

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Featured Link — DrugWatch

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DrugWatch.com is an excellent site for checking recalls and warnings regarding medications and medical devices. Here is their mission statement:

What We Do

Drugwatch.com advocates for people to make a stand against prescription drugs that have harmful side effects and medical devices that cause damage. We do this by providing accurate, comprehensive information about these commonly used drugs and devices and by answering questions raised by people who contact us.

Our mission is to help our users evaluate if they have a legal case because of life-changing side effects or complications that were caused by a device maker or a drug company. We are sponsored by The Peterson Firm, a Washington, D.C., law firm, and we use the legal team at The Peterson Firm to educate these users about their circumstances. If a user expresses interest in speaking with a lawyer about bringing a legal case, a Patient Advocate may suggest a law firm to work with The Peterson Firm on the case. If a user retains the firms to handle his or her case, both firms will work on a contingency fee basis, with no costs or fees charged unless a recovery is made. Your Patient Advocate can explain the process in more detail.

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CDC Says Cancer Risk From Lumber Liquidators Flooring Higher Than First Thought

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NBC Nightly News reported that the Centers for Disease Control warned on Monday “that people who have certain types of flooring in their homes from Lumber Liquidators are potentially at a greater risk of cancer than previous thought.” The CDC “says it based an earlier estimate on incorrect data, and so the danger could be three times higher than first thought.” NBC (Costello) added that the CDC “now says the potential cancer risk for people exposed to certain types of laminate flooring from lumber liquidators is not two to nine cases per 100,000 people as it first said but instead it’s three times that.”

ABC World News reported that the company “halted sales of the questionable floors last March, and has said it already significantly strengthened our quality assurance procedures and has offered customers flee air quality tests.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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How to Choose the Right Legal Strategy When Facing Serious Criminal Charges

How to Choose the Right Legal Strategy When Facing Serious Criminal Charges

Most people only experience the criminal justice system by vicariously participating in police procedural television shows and courtroom dramas. Often, the encounters between suspects and law enforcement in those shows is dramatized for entertainment and diverges considerably from realistic or even practical legal practice.

In the real world, a criminal defense attorney is going to allow his or her client minimal contact with the police and likely engage in a wide variety of television-unfriendly tactics to avoid trial and the kinds of harsh sentences faced by the actors and actresses near the end of the episode. When you are formulating a strategy to deal with criminal charges, there are some things you should consider.

Never Talk to the Police

Everyone has heard the familiar Miranda warning. What the reading of your rights omits is the fact even if you have exculpatory evidence and can prove beyond all doubt you are innocent, it still won’t help you with the police. If a defense attorney were to question a police officer about that exculpatory evidence at trial, the prosecutor will object on the grounds it is hearsay and the judge will sustain the objection. The only thing the police can do at trial is use what you say against you. So don’t say anything.

Fully Exercise Your Rights

After you’ve exercised your Fifth Amendment rights, be sure to do the same with your Fourth and Six Amendment rights as well. The Fourth Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches. Don’t authorize them and don’t agree to them. The Sixth Amendment guarantees you a right to a speedy trial. If you are challenging the case, get to a courtroom as fast as possible. Don’t give the prosecution time to build a stronger case.

Let Your Attorney Do the Talking

According to N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation, a group of drug offence lawyers in Vancouver, you need to listen to your attorney. While it might seem they are taking their time, the reality is they understand criminal procedure and the rules of evidence. Oftentimes they can get what seems like formidable evidence against you excluded as long as you don’t talk yourself into a corner early in the process. The moment it becomes clear you are a suspect, regardless of the charges, invoke your right to an attorney and wait to let them handle your case.

A criminal case can be confusing and hard to understand. The truth is you need help to answer the charge and navigate your way through the process. Always find a qualified attorney and let them do their job. You have many rights, and your attorney is the one who can help you protect them.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

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How to Take Care of Personal Legal Situations in a Professional Manner

How to Take Care of Personal Legal Situations in a Professional Manner

Contrary to popular belief, most legal matters are not attended by attorneys or courts. In fact, the overwhelming majority of legal activity takes place far from a courtroom. If you are facing what could become a legal problem or you find yourself facing potential liability, it is always a good idea to follow some basic principles in order to avoid small problems becoming large problems.

Document Everything

Nearly every person is now carrying a fully functional television studio and high quality camera in their pocket. The ability to record and replicate everything you see means you have the ability to produce practically unlimited admissible evidence with a single tap. There is nothing more compelling in a court of law than the ability to wave a sheaf of papers in the air to support your motions and arguments. With all this in mind, it is vital you record everything. Take pictures of everything. Allow no document even tangentially related to your case or legal issue to cross your desk without making a copy of it and storing it securely. Who prevails often comes down to who has the best documentation and evidence.

Common Scenarios

Suppose you’re in a car accident. It’s probably one of the most common legal disputes. How can you use the “document everything” advice to your advantage? Well, you can get pictures of everyone’s documents, including the badges and ID of all the responding emergency personnel. You can record the weather conditions, nearby signs, vehicle damage and insurance documents of everyone involved. You can even record witnesses at the scene on video. Professionals, like those at the Diederich Law Firm, know that an accident lawyer can help you find out about your options in such a case. This information can be decisive in the ensuing investigation, because it will leave no ambiguities in the evidence. The ability to testify you personally photographed, recorded or replicated everything you admitted into evidence is very powerful.

Get it in Writing

One of the best ways to avoid legal disputes and to protect yourself in the event one arises is to put the original agreement in writing. While this might require the involvement of an attorney, there are standard templates for most kinds of agreements that can serve your purposes far less expensively. Your counterparty is less likely to initiate a dispute if they know there is a written record of the original agreement.

Record-keeping is undoubtedly the most boring part of avoiding legal problems, but it is also the most effective. You will be surprised at how little people actually take the time to read. If you want to prevail, those documents are the key.

Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber

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