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News Update


April 12, 2017 – FDA sends St. Jude a warning over two high-profile defibrillator issues.


October 11, 2016 – St. Jude Medical issues warning that batteries in up to 350,000 defibrillators worldwide could short circuit and fail.

Two deaths, 47 others affected; the company is recommending affected patients see their doctors.  Click here to read more.


November 6, 2014 – Airbag Maker, Takata, Saw and Hid Risk in 2004, Reports the NYT

The New York Times reports that in 2004, the Japanese manufacturer Takata secretly conducted tests on 50 airbags it retrieved from scrapyards.  Former employees said that the steel inflaters in two of the airbags cracked during the tests, a condition that can lead to rupture. However, instead of alerting federal safety regulators, Takata ordered the lab technicians to delete the testing data from their computers and dispose of the airbag inflaters, the employees said.

Takata stated in regulatory filings that they first tested the problematic airbags four years later. The results from the tests they did four years later were what led to the first recall over airbag rupture risks in November 2008.


October 15, 2014 – CAPRETZ CLIENT, FORMER PRO FOOTBALL PLAYER PRESTON JONES, FILES OBJECTION TO NFL CLASS ACTION CONCUSSION SETTLEMENT, CITING DISPARATE TREATMENT OF PLAINTIFF BENEFITS

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Former professional football quarterback Preston Jones, who played in the National Football League in both the U.S. and Europe, has filed an objection to the proposed settlement of the NFL’s concussion class action lawsuit, stating that the settlement unfairly and unjustly discriminates against former players of the NFL Europe league.  The NFL class action case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Jones and his wife, Katherine, are residents of Anderson, South Carolina.   An All-American high school quarterback, Jones played his college ball at Georgia and then played for five years in the NFL, CFL and NFL Europe before retiring in 1997.  Most of his NFL league play was in the NFL Europe League.

According to the objection filed by the Newport Beach, CA, law firm Capretz & Associates on behalf of Preston and Katherine Jones, Jones exhibits multiple neurocognitive symptoms linked to repetitive mild traumatic brain injury, including symptoms associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”).

Claiming they are being treated unfairly, the Joneses “further and more specifically object to the proposed Settlement Agreement because it overwhelmingly favors certain Settlement Class Members to the great exclusion of others, for no discernible logical, legal, or medical reasons,” the Jones’ objection states.  The objection claims that the proposed Settlement Agreement, which is divided into two subclasses, “discriminates irrationally” among Class Members to the detriment of the Joneses and other players in their subclass.

“The dramatic differential treatment within the Settlement Class (both within and between the two curiously-contrived Subclasses) lacks any coherent basis and renders the proposed Settlement Agreement unfair and unreasonable,” the objection says.

The objection further points out that because Jones spent most of his NFL career playing in its Europe League—which included being a starter for several years— he is regarded in the proposed Settlement Agreement as having not played any so-called “eligible seasons,” and thus automatically loses 97.5% of the monetary benefits promised by the proposed Settlement which could otherwise be as much as $4 million in survivor benefits.

“This is extraordinary, and makes no rational sense,” the objection argues. “The NFL originated and maintained ownership and control of its European league equivalent to its league in the United States. There is no evidence in the record, nor any reason to believe, that the effects of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury are less in magnitude or prevalence among NFL players who played in Europe versus in the United States,” the objection concludes.


November 19, 2013 – DePuy ASR Hip Settlement Announced

On November 19, 2013 Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) announced its agreement to pay at least $2.5 billion to resolve thousands of defective DePuy ASR hip implant claims. The settlement attempts to address the claims of those ASR patients who have undergone a revision surgery as of August 31, 2013. ASR patients who have yet to undergo a revision surgery maintain all their legal rights.

More specifically, J&J will provide a base award of $250,000 to U.S. citizens and residents who were implanted in the U.S. or at a US military hospital with a ASR XL or ASR resurfacing device, and who underwent surgical revision (removal and replace of the faulty hip implant) of the DePuy device more than 180 days after implantation and before August 31, 2013.

Note however, that the base award may be adjusted upward or downward depending on certain factors. For example, payments will be increased for extraordinary medical injuries, such as multiple surgeries (re-revisions) or clots, strokes, or heart attacks suffered as a result of revision surgery.

The J&J hip settlement also calls for reductions in payments to patients who smoked or had a Body Mass Index of over 35 at the time of implantation, patients who had the device for more than 5 years before it was revised, and patients who received the device as a revision of an existing artificial hip.

In addition to the $250,000 base payment, J&J will also reimburse most liens held by public and private insurers for medical costs they covered related to device failure.

The settlement is not final. At least 94% of those eligible for the settlement must participate for compensation to be made. There will be a process over the next six months for registering for the settlement and submitting a claim.

The settlement may not be right for all potential claimants who had revision procedures. Capretz & Associates is advising its DePuy hip clients on the details of the settlement and how the settlement applies to the facts of their particular case.

To contact an experienced DePuy hip injury attorney at Capretz & Associates, call us toll-free at 1 800 351-8588.


Town Hall Meetings Set for Chula Vista Residents To Address Cell Phone Tax Settlement

Following the recent $8 million settlement of a class action lawsuit between wireless phone users and the City of Chula Vista, a series of Town Hall Meetings will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Mondays, May 20, June 17 and July 14, to discuss eligibility for rebates available for Chula Vista residents.

To be held at the Civic Center Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista), the meetings will explain specifically how citizens can apply for and receive the cash refunds. Counsel and representatives – English and Spanish speaking – will be on hand to assist in answering questions and filling out claim forms. The refunds are available to Chula Vista wireless phone users who paid taxes on their wireless phone bills from April 2010 through April 2013. A valid claim must be filed to get payment. Claims must be filed no later than July 31, 2013.

For more information, click here.


May 8, 2013

Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System’s manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, issued an “urgent medical device notification” warning that one of the instruments used with the da Vinci robotic surgical system may crack and cause burns while operating inside the patient.


April 30, 2013

An $8 million dollar settlement has been preliminarily approved by a San Diego court between the City of Chula Vista, California and residents of that city who use wireless phones. Click here for more information.


June 27, 2012 – F.D.A. Hearing Today to Focus on Hip Replacements

Replacement Hips Focus of F.D.A. Hearing
www.nytimes.com

The agency’s hearing is meant to help doctors find better ways to monitor the risks posed by the all-metal variety of the implants.


January 31, 2012 – Pfizer Recalls Birth Control Pills Because of Packaging Mishap

Pfizer recalled 14 lots of Lo/Ovral®-28 (norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol)Tablets and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets (generic) for customers in the U.S. market. An investigation by Pfizer found that some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence.

Click here to see the FDA recall notice.


June 30, 2011 – Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Bank of America Related to Ponzi Scheme

Bank of America was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of hundreds of LA homeowners and investors who lost millions of dollars in a highly complex Ponzi scheme run by one of Los Angeles’ most notorious fraud operators, Juan Rangel. The lawsuit, filed by Capretz & Associates and the law firms of Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP, and Girardi & Keese, alleges that Bank of America employees as well as bank management were aware or should have been aware of the Ponzi scheme and despite such knowledge provided banking services to Juan Rangel and his associates. Notably, Dony Gonzalez, a former Bank of America branch manager was indicted and pled guilty to receipt of bribes by Juan Rangel.

The lawsuit alleges that from about November 2007 to July 2008, Rangel used his firm, Financial Plus Investments, as well as other financial companies he owned, to defraud middle-class working families through investment, mortgage and foreclosure rescue schemes that netted Rangel about $30 million. Rangel’s firms shut down in July 2008 and Rangel was arrested by federal agents in August 2008.

Also named as a defendant in the class action lawsuit is Pablo Araque, who provided accounting services to Financial Plus. Araque has been indicted and is currently scheduled to go to trial in February 2012.

To view a copy of the Complaint that was filed, click here.


April 18, 2011 – Listen to Attorney James T. Capretz Discuss Current Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Drug Claims

Medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs undergo rigorous testing and must receive pre-market approval from the FDA before they are available to the public. Unfortunately, all too often, defects and severe side effects that may or may not have been latent during testing and trials create hazardous products. On Ringler Radio, host Larry Cohen welcomes colleague and co-host Ann Marie VonBank and guest, Attorney James T. Capretz, to discuss the current litigation against the makers of some of the most dangerous drugs and medical devices.

Click here to listen.


August 27, 2010 – DePuy Recalls ASR Hip Implants

Johnson & Johnson and its medical device subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, recalled two acetabular cup hip replacement systems because of their high rate of failures and new data showing a higher number of patients needing a second hip replacement. The recall was for the ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System. Data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 people that have received a hip replacement with devices supplied by DePuy Orthopedic may suffer a hip replacement failure and require additional surgery. The recall asks for physicians to monitor their patients more closely. For more information click here.


August 27, 2010 – CertainTeed Shingle Settlement is Approved

Capretz & Associates and a coalition of firms they worked with were instrumental in negotiating significant improvements to a settlement agreement for CertainTeed organic shingles. The Honorable Judge Louis Pollak of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania approved the settlement with the improvements. For more information on the Settlement or to participate, go to the CertainTeed Settlement Website at: www.certainteedshinglesettlement.com


July 22, 2008 – Zimmer Halts Distribution of Its Duron Acetabular Hip Implant Components

According to a Zimmer announcement, it was suspending sales of its Duron Acetabular Hip Implants after some doctors have complained that the device, a hip socket known as the Durom cup, was failing in their patients, who then had to undergo replacement surgery.

Zimmer said that it is updating its product labeling with more detailed surgical implant instructions for surgeons and also will require surgeons to undergo a special training program.

Capretz & Associates is investigating claims on behalf of patients who have experienced a failure of their Zimmer hip implant and required a revision surgery to correct the problem. If you experienced an early failure of your Zimmer hip implant that required you to undergo a revision surgery, please contact our office for a free legal consult at (800) 351-8588.


June 19, 2008 – FDA Sued Relating to Risky Painkillers Darvon and Darvocet

Consumer watchgroup Public Citizen sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing to act on its petition to withdraw Darvon, Darvocet and all drugs containing propoxyphene gradually from the market as is now required in the United Kingdom (U.K.).

Public Citizen’s complaint argues that the FDA is violating the law and putting patients at risk. In its 2006 petition, Public Citizen told the FDA that Propoxyphene is physically and psychologically addictive, is no more effective than safer alternatives and has been associated with more than 2,000 accidental deaths in America since 1981.

For more information, click here. To read the complaint, click here.


December 2006 – Capretz & Associates is pleased to report the December preliminary approval of a $40 million dollar settlement of a California class action lawsuit that it initiated against the City of San Diego on behalf of the residents of the city. The state court action was brought with a couple of notable San Diego law firms as the result of the residents having been allegedly overcharged for sewer assessment fees for a period of ten years.

Bank of America was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of hundreds of LA homeowners and investors who lost millions of dollars in a highly complex Ponzi scheme run by one of Los Angeles’ most notorious fraud operators, Juan Rangel. The lawsuit, filed by Capretz & Associates and the law firms of Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP, and Girardi & Keese, alleges that Bank of America employees as well as bank management were aware or should have been aware of the Ponzi scheme and despite such knowledge provided banking services to Juan Rangel and his associates. Notably, Dony Gonzalez, a former Bank of America branch manager was indicted and pled guilty to receipt of bribes by Juan Rangel.

The lawsuit alleges that from about November 2007 to July 2008, Rangel used his firm, Financial Plus Investments, as well as other financial companies he owned, to defraud middle-class working families through investment, mortgage and foreclosure rescue schemes that netted Rangel about $30 million. Rangel’s firms shut down in July 2008 and Rangel was arrested by federal agents in August 2008.

Also named as a defendant in the class action lawsuit is Pablo Araque, who provided accounting services to Financial Plus. Araquehas been indicted and is currently scheduled to go to trial in February 2012.

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