Legal Marketing News

Devastating Wildfires Spur Legislative Action

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Why insurance can be your adversary after a natural disaster

The news was plagued with images of Hell on Earth as fires ripped through Northern and Southern California.  The fires were relentless, leaving smoking chimneys as the only remnants of multi-million dollar homes.  The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reportsThe devastation is utterly unfathomable.  Many wildfire victims had only minutes to evacuate their homes losing everything but the clothes on their back and few mementos they could grab before leaving.  As the dust begins to settle for those greatest affected by this destruction, the reality hits that those who are supposed to make you whole again may not have your best interest in mind.

 

California Lawmakers take Action

Eight bills have been submitted to California legislators regarding insurance companies’ relationship with victims.  Legislators were flooded with phone calls from citizens who were being inundated with misinformation and the inability to recover money to rebuild their homes.  Insurance adjusters told many that they did not have enough insurance to cover rebuilding.  Some were given false information about their rights after a total loss of their residence.  Complaints about out-of-state adjusters not knowing California law filled the phone lines.  Many of the bills focus on requiring insurance companies to cover full replacement costs and would make it difficult for insurers to cancel policies or reduce coverage in areas at highest risk for wildfires.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times follows several wildfire victims who have lost everything and are now in battles with their insurance companies to get recovery.  The insurance companies have become their adversary, giving out false information about their coverage including their rights to recovery.  According to a lawsuit filed by the victims, adjusters flooded in from out-of-state, “most failed to register, worked unsupervised and did not know California law.”

 

Adjusters put on Notice

Complaints from survivors prompted California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to issue a formal notice.  In the statement, Jones stated “all claims adjusters assigned to wildfire claims, including those not licensed in California, are properly trained on the California Unfair Practices Act, Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations and all laws relating to property and casualty insurance claims handling.

The Commissioner pointed out that many survivors of the wildfires were told blatantly false statements, including:

  • Incorrect time frames – survivors were told that they had only 6 -12 months to collect full replacement cost to rebuild when California law requires that they are given at least 24 months in a state of emergency.
  • Incorrect rebuilding location recovery – policyholders were told that they would be unable to receive full replacement benefits if they did not rebuild in the same location. California law allows for a survivor to rebuild in a new location or choose a home that is already built.
  • Incorrect living expense coverage – claimants were informed that their living expense would only be allocated for 12 months when California law allows up to 24 months after a state of emergency.

 

How Attorneys Can Help

Given the frustrating state of affairs and the slow legislative process, the best advice for anyone affected by a natural disaster is to contact an attorney.  The interests of a policyholder and their insurance company are naturally at odds.  The conflict comes down to financial interests.  The more that the insurance company has to pay out, the less they make in profits.  An attorney can help you understand your rights.  They can help you negotiate your claim and fight for what you deserve.  Unfortunately, your adjuster may not be giving you accurate information.  The California Department of Insurance found that many adjusters did not know California law after a state of emergency is declared by an official.  Many were poorly trained and gave false information about policyholder benefits.  An attorney will fight to make you whole again and will not rest until you get the recovery that you deserve.

 

If you or a loved one has been affected by the recent wildfires contact Amicus Media Group immediately.  We work with attorneys from across California that can help you understand your rights and get you the recovery you deserve.

 

This blog post does not contain legal or financial advice. Author and publisher disclaim any and all warranties, liabilities, losses, costs, claims, demands, suits, or actions of any type or nature whatsoever, arising from or any way related to this blog, the use of this blog, and/or any claim that a particular technique or device described in this blog.

 

 

 

Opioid Crisis causes Purdue to stop marketing OxyContin to Prescribers

picThe US Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdose.[1]  These opioids include OxyContin made by Purdue Pharmaceuticals.  In response to the growing crisis that is affecting nearly every sector of the population, Purdue announced that it will no longer be marketing to doctors.  The company has reduced its sales team and is restructuring their focus from direct, in-person marketing to physicians to helping to combat the crisis.

 

How Prescription Pain Pills became a leading cause of death in America

Opioid overdose is nothing new.  Opioids include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Hydrocodone, but also include opiates such as morphine and heroin.  Overdose from opiates has happened throughout time, but the huge increase over the last two decades can be directly related to the increase in sales of prescription pain killers.  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that 40% of all opioid overdoses were due to prescription opioids.  The overall number of deaths from opioid overdoses increased five times since 1999.[2] Doctors were told that the prescription pain killers being given to patients were not addictive.  Aggressive, direct-marketing to doctors by pharma giants Purdue and others, led to a large increase in prescriptions and, in turn, a large increase in the number of patients who became addicted to these substances.

Documents from cases settled regarding the misleading information distributed by sales representatives for the pain killers indicates that employees were told to minimize the addictive quality of the drugs.  Major sales tactics began almost immediately after the US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in 1996.  Sales of the drugs quickly drew into the billions for pharmaceutical giants manufacturing the drugs.

 

Future Problems for Prescription Pain Killers

The opioid epidemic has affected millions of people all across the United States.  It has captured national headlines and gotten the attention of local representatives as well as politicians across the nation.  Pressure is mounting against pain killer manufacturers that misled doctors and consumers about the addictive quality of the drugs and presented information that was not backed by scientific data.  Purdue has already paid out millions.  In 2007, the company entered a guilty plea for “misbranding” the drug.  The company took an uncompromising approach to selling OxyContin directly to physicians claiming that the time-release feature of the drug would prevent misuse of the drug and reduced the potential for addiction.  [3]

Government agencies, consumers and others have begun filing lawsuits against opioid manufacturers.  A federal judge overseeing more than 200 lawsuits regarding the epidemic urged the focus to be to “dramatically reduce the number of opioids that are being disseminated, manufactured and distributed.” [4]  Purdue in a complete reversal has agreed to join these efforts by stopping the promotion of OxyContin to doctors and find ways to fight misuse and overdosing.

Are you an attorney interested in representing individuals afflicted by the opioid crisis?  Now is the time to get involved.  Opioid litigation is heating up and too many individuals have suffered at the hand of drug manufacturers and distributors.  Amicus Media Group can help you acquire cases with comprehensive media campaigns.  We work with digital marketing campaigns, TV and radio ads to help you get the cases you deserve.  Contact us for more information today.

 

 

This blog post does not contain legal or financial advice. Author and publisher disclaim any and all warranties, liabilities, losses, costs, claims, demands, suits, or actions of any type or nature whatsoever, arising from or any way related to this blog, the use of this blog, and/or any claim that a particular technique or device described in this blog.

 

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/images/data/OpioidDeathsByTypeUS.PNG

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/index.html

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/business/11drug-web.html

[4] https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2018/01/26/opioid-epidemic-litigation-dan-polster/1014046001/

Johnson & Johnson stock falls as Talc cases proceed in court

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Johnson & Johnson’s stock fell five percent on a recent Monday alone.  The market decline comes after a report was released that could expose documents detrimental to the company.  Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of lawsuits regarding its baby powder.  Many claim that the Talc powder manufactured by J&J contains asbestos causing ovarian cancer and mesothelioma in some patients.

 

Johnson & Johnson has repeatedly denied that the product contains these products.  This comes after several verdicts against the pharmaceutical giant.  Baby powder is considered a cosmetic and therefore does not require the same US Food and Drug Administration testing as prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  Currently there are over 5,500 lawsuits pending against the drug company regarding their baby powder.  The company continues to defend its product saying that the Talcum powder contained in the product is safe.

 

The lawsuits hinge on the argument that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the risk of repeatedly applying the talc-based product to their body, particularly the increased risk of ovarian cancer when talc is applied to the genital area.  Record verdicts have been returned in some of the first talcum powder cases to go to trial.  In one California case, a plaintiff was awarded $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.  A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has since reversed the jury’s verdict.  A new trial is pending in the matter at Johnson & Johnson’s request.

 

The debate over the safety of talcum powder has existed since the 1970s.  To date, the matter has not been definitively settled.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified talc-powder, when repeatedly applied to the genital area, as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”  Some talc-based products manufactured by other companies contain a warning about the possible link to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.  Johnson & Johnson, however, maintains that its product is safe and free from harm even with repeated use.

 

If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma or ovarian cancer after repeated use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, you need to speak to an attorney immediately.  Call our offices today to speak to a knowledgeable case manager.  We work with the top firms across the nation who handle talcum powder litigation.  Amicus Media Group provides comprehensive marketing campaigns for attorneys and law firms.  We are dedicated to providing case acquisition with less risk.  Contact our offices today to learn more about talcum powder litigation and the pending lawsuits against drug manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson.