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Supreme Court rules that injured patients may sue drug makers

Ruling says patients can sue drugmakers

This is huge. Drug manufacturers have been saying for a long time that since the FDA approved their drugs as safe that consumers could not sue them for any deleterious effects. The Supreme Court has declared that is bullshit.

(03-04) 17:08 PST WASHINGTON -- In a resounding victory for consumers over the pharmaceutical industry, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that patients harmed by medication can sue the drugmaker for neglecting to list known dangers on the label even if federal regulators haven't required them to do so.

The 6-3 decision upheld $6.7 million in damages to a musician from Vermont who lost an arm to gangrene after being injected in 2000 with an anti-nausea drug manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

. . .

"Congress did not intend FDA oversight to be the exclusive means of ensuring drug safety and effectiveness," Justice John Paul Stevens said in the majority opinion.

Noting that the federal agency "has limited resources to monitor the 11,000 drugs on the market," Stevens said Congress in more than 70 years of regulating pharmaceuticals has never barred damage suits against drugmakers. Despite FDA oversight, he said, "the manufacturer bears responsibility for the content of its label."

March 04, 2009

Two NYPD officers accused of raping drunk woman they escorted home

2 City Officers Face Allegations of Raping an Intoxicated Woman - NYTimes.com

Two police officers have been assigned to desk duty while prosecutors and the police investigate a complaint that at least one of them raped an intoxicated woman after they escorted her into her apartment in the East Village three months ago, the police said on Sunday.

Footage from a nearby bar’s video surveillance camera shows the two officers helping the woman into her building on Dec. 7 and returning twice during the next two hours, according to the bar owner, who provided the video to investigators.

The officers have been placed on modified duty and have had to turn in their guns and badges while investigators from the Police Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office look into the accusations of rape and another accusation of drug possession, the police said. No arrests have been made, the police said.

Dying Just Ain't What it Used to Be

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March 03, 2009

Anti-masturbation clamp part of horror medical device collection

Warren Ellis | A Dozen Hideous Devices From The Dawn Of Modern Medicine cockcutter.jpg

First They Invent the Novel, then They Put a Stake through Updike's Heart

Quoth Mojonaut Milt: "GAWD! Get a laptop, Japanese people! You're...

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March 02, 2009

Big media getting worried about blogs stealing their clicks

Copyright Holders Challenge Sites That Scrape Content - NYTimes.com

This fight was lost a decade ago. Only the big media companies didn't realize it.

But some media executives are growing concerned that the increasingly popular curators of the Web that are taking large pieces of the original work — a practice sometimes called scraping — are shaving away potential readers and profiting from the content.

With the Web’s advertising engine stalling just as newspapers are under pressure, some publishers are second-guessing their liberal attitude toward free content.

“A lot of news organizations are saying, ‘We’re not willing to accept the tiny fraction of a penny that we get from the page views that these links are sending in,’ ” said Joshua Benton, the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. “They think they need to defend their turf more aggressively.”

Copyright infringement lawsuits directed at bloggers and other online publishers seem to be on the rise.

Daly City housing development built on toxic waste

Daly City housing complex haunted by toxic past

She didn't know that toxic waste scraped from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s former gas-manufacturing plant next door - a site on the state's hazardous-waste cleanup program - had been used as fill under the complex's buildings and parks.

In the past 20 years, longtime residents like Smith and some newcomers to the housing complex have seen foul-smelling chemicals oozing up in their backyards, cataloged their health problems and weathered major cleanups.

"We're like a Katrina without the flood," Smith said.

But their pleas to be relocated have not succeeded, leaving Smith and dozens of other residents feeling stuck. Despite assurances from the state Department of Toxic Substances Control that the chemicals buried beneath their buildings and playgrounds no longer threaten their health, they don't feel well and want to start anew elsewhere.