by: Maggie L. Sadler, Attorney
If you take inventory of your friends’ relationships you will most likely find a few couples that are living together. Cohabitation can often mean joint bank accounts, joint purchases, joint contracting, joint debts, and of course, joint puppy or kitten purchasing. All of these joint transactions can have legal implications in the event of a split.
What happens when a relationship ends? In a divorce, there is a presumption that all of the assets and debts accumulated during the marriage will be split 50/50 between the parties. Cohabitating couples that break up are subject to no such presumption. This means that property you accumulated together during the course of the relationship can be divided unevenly, and often with one party getting the short end of the deal.
One reason for concern is that many cohabitating couples contribute financially to the property that is titled in only one party’s name. For instance, the parties may both pay the mortgage on the home purchased by one party prior the commencement of the relationship. In the event of a break up, the contributing party that moves out has no automatic right to share in the increased value of the property or in the equity gained on the home. Even if you were contributing to your boyfriend’s savings account for the benefit of the couple, or to save up for a big vacation, you won’t get the benefit of that bargain without a fight.
You can litigate your rights through various contract-like actions. However, a more efficient way to protect yourself is through a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement spells out the rights of the parties while they live together and in the event of a break up. These agreements can get into the minute details of daily life, such as which party will be responsible for the grocery bill and which party will be responsible for the utilities. For those more interested in the big ticket items, cohabitation agreements can spell out the rights of the parties pertaining to property acquired. A cohabitation agreement can act to give rights in property that are not otherwise recognized, or it can act to restrict any interest in property rights. Meaning, you can give your boyfriend rights to the home you own that he pays part of the mortgage on, or ask him to waive his rights in any contribution made to the property in the event of a break up.
When a relationship progresses to the level of moving in together, it is important to consider issues like the ones I mentioned above. The costs of delaying marriage can be great if you don’t take measures to protect yourself.
November 5, 2013
by: Edward B. Mulligan V, Attorney
The United States witnessed the largest outbreak of health-care associated infection in history last year. Methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) injections produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) and shipped to pain clinics and hospitals were later found to contain E. rostratum and A. fumigatus and are blamed for causing hundreds of people to become sick, and in some cases, die. To date, the CDC has received 751 reports of confirmed fungal meningitis and other infections associated with the outbreak as well as 64 reports of death. One CDC report estimates that as many as 13,000 people have been exposed to the contaminated steroid injections linked to the outbreak.
Fungal meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord and is typically contracted when fungus enters the bloodstream or is introduced directly into the central nervous system. It is very rare and it is not contagious. Symptoms include severe headache, neck stiffness, fever, and light sensitivity. If left untreated, fungal meningitis can lead to death. Diagnosis of meningitis requires a blood sample and/or spinal tap, a procedure where a physician inserts a needle into the spinal cord to take a sample of the fluid for testing. Spinal taps are extremely painful and risky. A negative spinal tap does not always result in a free-and-clear diagnosis. Some illnesses may take a while to develop and may not show up during an initial test. As a result, many patients must endure months of anxiety and painful testing procedures before they can be cleared.
The treatment of fungal meningitis can be long term– lasting several months or years depending on the patient– and invasive. For example, high-dose antifungal medications administered through an IV are necessary to treat infected patients. These treatments can cause side effects including nausea, diarrhea, and fever. Some antifungal treatments can also cause serious damage to the kidneys. Some of the patients who contracted fungal meningitis as a result of this outbreak were interviewed by CBS’ 60 Minutes and talked about their initial fear when the news was released and the pain they have endured throughout their treatment after diagnosis was confirmed.
Recently, the CDC issued two reports concluding that the initial response by public health care officials and healthcare professionals to affected patients was crucial in reducing the severity of the outbreak and mortality rate associated with it.
Even with this rapid response, however, many patients still contracted fungal meningitis and other infections and still suffer today. Sadly, this response also did not prevent the death of more than 60 people. The recent CDC report also states that while many of these affected patients have completed antifungal therapies, relapses of infection are still possible. In some cases, antifungal treatments have merely stabilized or provided only slight symptom improvement to infected patients. Further monitoring will be required even after symptoms have subsided.
To study the long-term impacts of this outbreak, the CDC has also contracted the University of Alabama at Birmingham to monitor people who were infected by this outbreak. The study is scheduled to run through 2015. The agency hopes to gain a better understanding of appropriate treatment time, best treatment options, and relapse rates.
Hundreds of patients who were exposed to these contaminated methylprednisolone acetate injections and suffered injuries have filed or plan to file claims against the NECC compounding facility and other affiliated companies and individuals. These lawsuits are currently pending in the United States District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts.
The Bankruptcy Court has established a fast-approaching claim deadline for those who received contaminated shots. As a result, anyone who received a contaminated injection and wishes to file a claim against the NECC compounding facility must file specific documentation required by the court quickly in order to preserve their claim against NECC.
October 29, 2013
by: Vess A. Miller, Attorney
Do you work two jobs but still can’t make ends meet? Or maybe you just lost your job and are struggling to keep the lights on, feed your family, and keep a roof over their heads? Or maybe recent medical bills or car repairs have left you without the money you need to provide the basic necessities of life for yourself and for those who depend on you?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions and are looking for a solution, you should be aware that unscrupulous online payday lenders are waiting to take advantage of your financial situation. While lenders may portray their online payday loans as a “fast and easy” fix to your problems, these online payday loans could end up catching you in a net of debt that you cannot escape from. These lenders’ claims are as disingenuous as a shark handing its victim a life jacket for temporary safety.
While many bricks-and-mortar payday lenders are state-licensed and comply with state usury laws (usury is generally defined as lending money at an illegally high interest rate), the internet is teeming with lenders who promise immediate cash but at rates that can exceed 1000% APR on loans that automatically renew (and recharge you a high fee) every few weeks. These lenders promise that getting a loan “the next business day, without a credit check” is “quick and easy” and will prevent you from the “embarrassment” of having to ask friends or family for help. But what these lenders often don’t mention prominently is that the rates they charge may be unlawful in your state and that it may be unlawful for them to automatically renew your loans, as their contracts say they can. They fail to say that they are trapping you in a loan that could take $90 or more from every paycheck without ever reducing the amount you owe.
It is not uncommon, for example, for an online payday loan company to charge a $30 “finance fee” for every $100 it lends and to renew the loan every two weeks. These types of charges can add up quickly. Take the following example:
Customer takes out a $300 payday loan with a finance fee of $90 that renews every two weeks.
Over the course of this loan:
Customer will be charged an interest rate of over 792%.
After 6 months, Customer will have paid more than $1,000 in finance charges for the $300 loan, and still owe the loan amount.
It is not hard to see why many states prevent these loans. When a lender has access to an online borrower’s bank account, it can automatically withdraw funds every two weeks, with little recourse. In no time, that $300 cash advance turns into a $90 charge every pay period that makes a bad financial situation even worse.
Illegal Interest Has Been Prohibited for Centuries.
High-interest lenders trying to take advantage of financially-distressed people is nothing new. Usurious payday lending has been around—and illegal, condemned, and heavily regulated—for much of written human history. Religious books like the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran all prohibited usury, which was punishable by ex-communication under Medieval Canon Law. Dante condemned usurious lenders to the lowest levels of hell—below murderers.
Civil law has likewise outlawed usury for centuries, including in the Code of Hammurabi and the Code of Justinian. Medieval Roman Law fined usurious lenders 4 times the amount they lent, while robbers were fined only 2 times what they stole.
In the United States, shortly after the country was formed all states passed usury laws limiting legal interest rates to around 6%. And all states had interest rate caps from the founding through the 1970s.
In short, people have understood for much of human history that unreasonably high interest rates are harmful to individuals and communities because they force people into poverty and hopelessness when other help would have given them a chance to regain financial stability.
The Good News: In Much of the United States Payday Loans Are Illegal or Highly Regulated to Protect Consumers in Financial Distress.
The good news is that many states today effectively outlaw or regulate unreasonable payday lending through laws that limit interest rates and outlaw automatic renewals. In these states, victims of payday loan abuse may have recourse through a private class action lawsuit or by contacting their state attorney general. For example, the Indiana General Assembly has enacted laws that permit payday lending but prohibit finance fees above $15 per $100 borrowed and prohibit renewals. Cohen & Malad, LLP has been appointed class counsel in two class actions that have recovered money and cancelled payday loans for thousands of people in Indiana.
The Bad News: Unscrupulous Payday Lenders Try to Evade State Laws in Many Ways
The bad news is that many online lenders try many different ways to evade these laws. For example, a lender may include a valid arbitration clause in its loans to prohibit class actions, which cuts victims off from being able to get their day in court. A class action allows one person to sue on behalf of everyone who has also been a victim. One very valuable aspect of a class action is that a victim who may have a claim that is only worth a few hundred or few thousand dollars, which would not be enough to get a lawyer to represent her, can bring a class action where all victims claims can be combined together to make it economically practical to have a lawyer pursue the case without an upfront payment and achieve justice for many people. Cohen & Malad, LLP has had some arbitration clauses declared void so that it can represent all victims, but also sometimes is unable to represent victims if an arbitration clause cannot be overcome. If a lender can prevent its victims from combining together it can often continue its unlawful practices without fear of having to pay anything back.
Another way lenders now try to evade state laws is by claiming they are affiliated with or work from sovereign Indian nations. Lenders will sometimes claim that they are located in offshore places like the West Indies or on sovereign Indian tribal lands. Often, however, these claims are uncovered to be fronts and the real lender is in U.S. territory. Nonetheless, uncovering these fronts costs time and money.
How to Avoid Payday Loans and What to Do if You’ve Become a Victim
If you’ve become financially distressed, you should probably seek out assistance from other possible sources of financial assistance before turning to a payday loan. Local charities, civic organizations, and government may be able to help you. If you feel that you must obtain a payday loan, it is probably best to choose a physical payday loan store and to check with your state’s financial institutions department to make sure the lender you are visiting is licensed to follow your state’s laws. If you find yourself repeatedly using payday loans, you should consider seeking out advice on how to avoid using payday loans as long-term financing. In one study cited by the Consumer Federation of America, people who could not get payday loans were actually found to be in better financial condition than those who used them regularly.
Unlawful payday loans can have devastating financial effects on people who are vulnerable and financially distressed. If you have taken out an online payday loan, and if you think you might have been charged an illegal fee or been subject to illegal practices, you should consider contacting a lawyer or state officials to see if you may have possible legal options.
October 8, 2013
by: David J. Cutshaw, Attorney
Medical Malpractice Claims by non-patients–are they permitted in Indiana? The law in Indiana generally requires there to be a patient/physician relationship before a medical malpractice claim can be filed against a doctor. A recent case decided by the Indiana Supreme Court, however, recognized that in certain situations, a person may sue a doctor even if he or she was not the doctor’s patient.
In Manley v. Sherr, 992 N.E. 2d 670 (Ind. 2013), a driver of an automobile was injured when she was hit head-on by another vehicle driven by a Ms. Zehr. Apparently, a criminal action was contemplated against Ms. Zehr and she asked her doctor to send a letter to the prosecutor explaining that Ms. Zehr’s medical condition and the medications she was taking contributed to the head-on collision. A lawsuit was filed by the injured motorist against Ms. Zehr’s physician for the failure to warn Ms. Zehr not to drive while she was taking medications the doctor prescribed. Although the case was resolved on mostly procedural grounds, the Indiana Supreme Court recognized that there were facts that could support a claim by the plaintiff against the other driver’s doctor for the failure to warn of the effects of certain medications to safely operate an automobile.
So, if a doctor gives a patient medication that causes the patient to injure another in an accident, there may be a claim against the doctor by a stranger to the patient/physician relationship. The case by the injured motorist will still be a difficult one; and it will be interesting to see how this case ultimately comes out.
September 24, 2013
by: Maggie L. Sadler, Attorney
It seems like everyone is talking about Generation Y, or Millennials, and how they will be impacting the workforce and society in general in the next few years. Demographers estimate this generation to be the largest population cohort the U.S. has ever seen. Generation Y is defined as people born between 1983-2000, although opinions do differ by a few years.
Millennials have come of age and are moving up the career ladder, getting married and starting families. The ‘getting married’ part is what interests me most as I am not only a member of this generation, I am also a family law attorney. I have friends who are married, getting married, and some who are already getting divorced.
One thing that many young couples planning to marry do not think about is a prenuptial agreement. Most people think of prenuptial agreements as something for rich people and many millennial couples are often in the midst of growing their career and have not had the opportunity to accumulate much wealth. But something most people do not realize is that prenuptial agreements deal with both assets AND debts.
It’s true that for many millennial couples going through divorce, there aren’t giant 401(K)s, there are little to no investments, and the savings account is tapped into more often than it’s saved. There is a house without equity, credit card debt, car loans, and the ever-present student loan debt. This doesn’t mean that a millennial couple planning to marry can’t benefit from having a prenuptial agreement.
Indiana law requires that all assets and liabilities are included in the “marital pot” for division and distribution in a divorce. Both assets and liabilities are subject to the presumption of equal division of property. This is true whether or not you brought the asset or debt into the marriage, and similarly true whether or not the asset or debt is titled solely in your name. So even though your spouse may have a credit card in their name only, the balance owed on that card is considered part of the marital debt regardless of whether that debt was accumulated before or during the marriage. For this reason, a well-drafted prenuptial agreement can help protect you from your spouse’s prior debts in the event of a divorce. The court has discretion to give each party their respective debts, but is not required to do so particularly if it will result in an unequal division of the marital estate.
When I represent millennial couples we are often times dealing with a negative marital balance, meaning the couple owes more than they have. This can result in a very messy divorce: no one wants to pay for their ex’s bad credit card habits or be responsible for student loans when they will never reap the benefit of that degree.
The worst case scenario is to remain financially tied to your ex-spouse for years because you are ordered to pay his or her debts. How do you protect yourself from the presumption of equal division of debts? The same way you would if you were protecting your assets: a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is the only way to exclude debts and assets from the marital pot. If you and/or your fiancé are coming into the marriage with significant debt, including student loan debt, a prenuptial agreement is a smart way to protect each other from an obligation to pay on debts in the event of divorce. Particularly as a millennial, this choice could make a huge difference in allowing you to accumulate wealth following the divorce without the hurdle of extra debt.
photo credit: Daniel CJ Lee via photopin cc
September 17, 2013
by: Brian K. Zoeller, Attorney
Do-it-yourself projects can be found all over cable television. Celebrity chefs show us how to create the most amazing meals to wow our family and friends. Contractors design and create the perfect backyard landscaping project within short timeframes and assure us that with a little knowledge and several extra pairs of hands, we too can have a showcase home. In our neighborhoods, local stores put on demonstrations to show us how easily we can frame our own pictures or reupholster our furniture.
The reality is that many do-it-yourself projects end up as an idea that never got started or a product that did not quite turn out the way we envisioned it. In some cases, the project can go so far awry and end up causing damage– which ultimately requires a professional to step in and fix the mistakes. This can make the do-it-yourself project a lot more costly than if you would have hired a professional in the first place.
But, we agree on everything
Just because a divorcing couple is in agreement to the way assets and debts should be divided, this doesn’t mean that a lawyer cannot add value to the transaction. There is much more to a divorce than a division of property and child custody/support issues. A knowledgeable family law attorney can advise you of your legal rights and options and advocate on your behalf. Here are a few other reasons NOT to file your own divorce.
1. You think it’s cheaper than hiring an attorney. Some websites and legal document preparation companies may lead you to believe that if you are filing an uncontested divorce–meaning both parties agree to the terms–that it’s not necessary to hire an attorney. While you can certainly obtain these forms on your own, completing and filing the documents by yourself may put your legal rights at risk.
2. You don’t know the jargon. Legal forms can be confusing. In the time it may take you to educate yourself on the process of divorce and the paperwork involved, an experienced family law attorney, familiar with the process of divorce, could have gotten your petition filed and processed in a fraction of the time.
3. Experience is worth paying for. Family law attorneys spend countless hours representing people in a variety of divorce, child custody, and parenting time matters. They are familiar with trial rules, family law rules, and local rules. Divorce Decrees can have a major, long-term impact on you, your finances, and your children, so it really makes no sense to try and save money on something so critical to your future.
Divorce is stressful. Turning your divorce into a do-it-yourself project is generally not a good idea. Protect your rights and your peace of mind by hiring an attorney who can provide you sound advice and advocate on your behalf.
September 4, 2013
by: Jeff S. Gibson, Attorney
A considerable amount of buzz has surrounded the use of 3-D printing technology lately. Forbes magazine recently reported on Wall Street investors’ increasing interests in 3-D printing companies and the anticipated growth of the industry. Medical science has also reported stories of lives being saved or improved by the use of 3-D printed medical devices. In one case, the life of a 3-month old boy with a rare bronchial condition was saved by the use of a 3-D printed stent. Other medical devices that have been manufactured using 3-D printers include prosthetics, skull implants, and hearing aids.
Two questions that probably come to mind are What is 3-D printing? and Does the FDA regulate these devices?
3-D printing has been around since the mid-1980s. Unlike traditional manufacturing, 3-D printing uses a method of adding layers of material to create a model or prototype. The material used can range from liquid to sheet material. The advantage of 3-D printing over traditional manufacturing is customization and speed. Technology has made it possible for manufacturers to create products with 3-D printers that were previously impossible to imagine.
The FDA is responsible for the regulation of medical devices marketed in the United States, including those manufactured using 3-D print technology. Here are a few key things to know about how some medical devices are approved.
Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and Investigational Device Exemption (IDE)
The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) is the division of the FDA that is responsible for providing the premarket approval, overseeing the manufacturing, and monitoring the performance and safety of medical devices.
Two ways that a new medical device can be made available for patient use include an investigational device exemption (IDE) and an emergency use authorization (EUA). The FDA requires a specific set of guidelines be followed in order to consider a medical device for patient use. One phase of the approval includes a clinical study process to measure safety and effectiveness. While the device is in the investigational testing stage, it is possible for the FDA to grant an exemption to allow the device to be used in a human patient based on a healthcare provider’s request and stringent review.
An emergency use authorization (EUA) is another way that a new medical device may be approved for use. Regardless of its stage in the clinical trial process, an investigational device can receive emergency authorization if the patient is in a life-threatening situation. In both cases, patients need to be made aware of the possible risks associated with the use of the device.
Future of Healthcare
On August 18, 2013, the FDA updated the system it uses to process IDE and EUA requests in an effort to improve patient access to new medical devices. This updated system may give healthcare professionals quicker approval to use customized 3-D printed medical devices to save lives and provide better care of patients. As this technology grows and becomes more readily available for healthcare providers, these types of medical devices can have a big impact on the way that diseases, illnesses, and injuries are treated.
Regardless of the capabilities of 3-D printing in the creation of medical devices, it is important that healthcare providers and FDA maintain a vigilant watch over the risks associated with medical devices and ensure patient safety remains a priority.
August 6, 2013
by: Jonathan Knoll, Attorney
In previous blog articles, you have had the opportunity to learn how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to protect consumers from dangerous medical device and pharmaceutical products. But, did you know that the FDA’s focus is not only on protecting consumers from dangerous medical devices and drugs? In this article, I’ll discuss another area where the FDA works to protect consumers, that being in the area of food safety.
According to a New York Times article, the FDA is responsible for the safety of about 80 percent of the food Americans eat. The FDA has stated that about 15 percent of the U.S. food supply is imported from other countries, which includes about 50 percent of the fresh fruits and 20 percent of the fresh vegetables. Unfortunately, according to a New York Times article, while the FDA tries to keep watch on imported food, the FDA manages to inspect only 1-2 percent of all imported food at American ports and borders. And, as an article in USA Today points out, “[i]mported food is responsible for a disproportionate number of food-borne illnesses. According to the food safety program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, eight of the 19 reported multi-state food-borne illness outbreaks linked to FDA-regulated products since 2011 were from imports.”
Recently, the FDA proposed new rules to improve the safety of imported food. The new rules are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011. The focus of the FSMA is to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply by preventing the importation of contaminated foods that could harm consumers.
Among the proposed new rules is a requirement that U.S. food importers verify that the food they import from foreign suppliers meets the same safety standards as required of food produced here in the United States. This is good news for consumers because it will help ensure that the food Americans eat, regardless of whether it is imported or produced domestically, is subject to the same safety requirements. Additionally, instead of reacting to problems when they arise, the proposed new rules will help prevent food safety problems before they occur.
If you would like to comment or learn more about the proposed new rules, you can visit the FDA’s website. The FDA will be accepting comments on the proposed rules for 120 days.
July 29, 2013
by: Jeff S. Gibson, Attorney
I’ve previously discussed the role of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its oversight of medical device and pharmaceutical products. With so many stories in the news about food and drug dangers, consumers need to understand the function of the FDA and how it works to protect them.
The FDA protects consumers against harmful drugs and medical devices in two ways. First, the administration has an approval process that all manufacturers must complete before a product is approved for market. Second, the FDA monitors the safety of these drugs and medical devices through a reporting system used by healthcare professionals, product manufacturers, and consumers. If the FDA determines that a drug or device poses a safety risk, it may issue or require a manufacturer to issue communications including safety warnings, label changes and product recalls.
One of the ways in which the FDA facilitates after- market safety reporting for drugs and medical devices is through its MedWatch reporting program. MedWatch is a system for collecting information and serious problems with drugs, medical devices, and other FDA-regulated products. Consumers and health care professionals report adverse events directly to the FDA through this database. The FDA analyzes these reports for trends and takes action to ensure consumer safety.
Some examples of adverse events include hospitalization, disability or permanent damage, congenital anomaly or birth defect, required intervention to prevent permanent damage, life threatening situations, and death.
FDA Makes It Easy for Consumers
The FDA recently changed its MedWatch reporting system to make it easier for consumers to report problems. Many consumers research medical conditions and treatment options online. The FDA identified this as an opportunity to gather more information regarding drugs and medical devices by encouraging consumer feedback.
Consumers can file a MedWatch report directly with the FDA using the new form, or they can ask their health care professional to file the report with either the FDA or the manufacturer of the drug or medical device.
The MedWatch reporting system is effective and becomes more important as more consumers and health care professionals participate. In fact, the FDA recalled a particular lot of pre-filled syringes based on consumer reports to MedWatch. The agency has also taken action on other drugs after reviewing adverse reports.
Consumers can help protect themselves from dangerous drugs and medical devices by educating themselves and taking an active part in their medical care. Patients should understand the risks associated with treatment and participate in reporting adverse events to help get dangerous products off the market.
July 22, 2013
by: Gregory L. Laker , Attorney
Pharmaceuticals and medical devices have a huge impact on the health and quality of life for millions of people. Companies spend billions of dollars in research and development seeking to create the next blockbuster drug or groundbreaking medical device that will allow patients to live fuller, happier lives. A problem happens when these companies choose profits ahead of people by allowing dangerous drugs and medical devices to be used in treatments.
Consumers often view the FDA as the first line of defense in protecting patients. The agency not only oversees the approval of drugs and devices that enter the market, it also monitors the safety of these products through adverse event reports and additional post-market studies.
Physicians receive marketing information regarding pharmaceuticals and medical devices directly from the manufacturers. Sales representatives from these manufacturers provide physicians with information such as clinical studies, methods of use, and other data to persuade them to use their products.
So what happens when a person becomes seriously injured by a dangerous medical device or pharmaceutical prescribed by their doctor? Who is responsible for the injuries or death of the patient? Typically, the injured patient files a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product to seek compensation for their damages. In defending these lawsuits, these manufacturers have resorted to suing the very doctor whom they had just encouraged to use their product, in an attempt to spread blame, and to reduce their own Comparative Fault.
A recent case in the United States District Court of Oregon has allowed a medical device manufacturer to sue a physician in a third-party claim. In one case, the manufacturer of the On-Q PainBuster medical device, filed a third-party claim against the surgeon for using the I Flow Pain Pump, claiming that the surgeon was a responsible party due to her own medical negligence, for using the I Flow product.
The Court held that Oregon law authorizes a non-patient third party to assert claims against a physician based on that physician’s negligent care of a patient. What’s interesting about this case is that similar claims by I Flow in other states have not been upheld.
One concern is that the Oregon decision may encourage similar claims by manufacturers against other physicians. By filing a third-party claim for comparative fault, the manufacturer is in essence seeking to spread the blame for the injury to the physician and get them to share in the expense of settlement.
If more states follow in Oregon’s footsteps, doctors who rely on pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to honestly educate them about the use of specific products may be putting themselves at risk for legal action if a product is found to be defective. If a physician cannot rely on the manufacturer of the product to provide them with accurate information, patients may suffer. This is yet another example of the harm that comes from companies who put profits ahead of people.