Wynn Hotel Security Measures Point to the Future of Security

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October 1st, 2017 – Las Vegas Shooting at the Mandalay Resort and Casino

At least 59 people were killed and another 527 injured by a lone gunman shooting down at a concert crowd from an upper floor at the Mandalay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada late on October 1, 2017. The shooter later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive for the shooting continues to remain unclear; however, the investigation is pointing to the fact that he acted alone, according to CNN.  Mandalay is owned by MGM Resorts International.

According to CNN, the shooting took somewhere between 9 to 11 minutes to complete and involved numerous weapons and 22,000 bullets. Injuries were due to both the onslaught of bullets, as well as the stampede. The gunman has been identified as Stephen Paddock. Various news sources note that this is the deadliest mass shooting to occur in modern United States history.

Paddock shot concertgoers attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the ground from the 32nd floor at the Mandalay. CNN notes that the attack seems to have been very carefully planned out. Paddock checked into the room in late September, bringing with him a number of weapons, setting up cameras inside the hotel suite, as well as in the hallway.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNBC. “This individual … didn’t leave the sort of immediate thumbprints you find on these kinds of attacks,” adding that the FBI was considering all potential motives Paddock may have had. “We will look at every one of those lanes, pull every possible thread,” he said.

Meanwhile, Paddock had various weapons, as well as bump-fire stocks. These devices are legal and allow shooters to engage in rapid-fire shooting that is similar to what is used in automatic weapons. Paddock had installed these devices on 12 of his weapons, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), wrote CNN. Paddock also set up cameras within and outside of his suite. Police remain unclear if the cameras were transmitting elsewhere and the FBI continues to investigate for what purpose the cameras were used. The Clark County sheriff said he believes that the gunman may have been watching for anyone approaching his suite as one of the cameras was set up to view through the peephole.

Some 47 guns were recovered from the hotel suite at which Paddock was staying, as well as his homes in Verdi and Mesquite, Nevada. The weapons were purchased at multiple locations in California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah, Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the ATF field division in San Francisco told CNN. Authorities discovered thousands of rounds of ammunition in the alleged shooter’s Mesquite home. Also found was an ingredient used in explosives found in Paddock’s car.

The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have long and successfully represented clients in personal injury litigation. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a lawsuit and who may have been injured in the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.

The Wynn Hotel Discusses Current and Additional Planned Security Measures

Bloomberg News reported that the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas announced changes it will be making to its security as well as existing security measures. The news outlet suggested that “all hotels should be doing this.”

As of the afternoon of October 2, 2017, every entrance to the Wynn resort in Las Vegas, Nevada was outfitted with guards scanning hotel visitors with metal detector wands. The guards were also inspecting guests’ bags. Bloomberg News wrote that the security measures led to a 10-minute wait to enter the hotel. Bloomberg News believes measures such as these may become standard operating procedures in various locations in Las Vegas.

Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts, described Las Vegas as a so-called “target city,” and openly discussed the security measures previously taken at Wynn Resorts, according to Fox News. “Las Vegas is a target city. We have hardened the target at the Wynn,” Wynn told 13 Action News, Fox News reported. He added that, “This is the first time I’ve ever revealed this publicly … there’s a division in the Marine Corps of special people that are specially trained to guard the embassies. That’s a whole division with separate base, separate training. There are almost 40 of them at every opening of my building, plain clothes, armed, on the look-out, changing shift, and being relieved every two hours so they don’t get bored.” He also said he put “covert security measures” in place in the summer of 2016. “We have another group of a half a dozen Seals Team Six guys and CIA guys who are a counterterrorism unit that … relate on a daily basis to Homeland Security, the FBI, and Metro,” he said. “My company has metal detectors and devices at every entrance of the building for employees and guests that are non-visible to the public. We have done extraordinary things to make that sure we protect our employees and our guests at the hotel,” Wynn also said.

Las Vegas Shooting at the Mandalay Resort and Casino

Las Vegas Shooting at the Mandalay Resort and Casino

Casinos and other entertainment venues will likely have to take a more global look at security, considering potential shooting locations and at various angles, said David Shepherd, a former FBI special agent in counter-terrorism. Shepherd was also security director for Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s Venetian resort, according to Bloomberg News. “We have to start thinking like the Secret Service—start looking at tall buildings,” said Shepherd. Shepherd is also the co-author of the book “Active Shooter: Preparing for and Responding to a Growing Threat.”

Shepherd pointed out that the Las Vegas attack took place outside where there were no assigned exits; therefore, attendees who fell to the ground were at risk from the shots from above. Shepherd also noted that screening customers for weapons is not the only security measure to be taken, especially when a gunman is using weapons that have a range that exceeds one mile. Shepherd added that, “In this case he’s not even at the event,” according to Bloomberg News.

An executive from another casino operator, asking for anonymity, said that the security check at the door of Wynn Resort will likely be seen more and more at other locales going forward given that there are no other solutions for weapons screening.

Gambling locations worldwide also face security problems. For example, an arson attack at the Resorts World Manila in the Philippines in June 2017 led to a total of 38 fatalities. Now, the casino scans vehicles prior to their being permitted on premises and bags must be opened for security checks, noted Bloomberg News.

Filing A Lawsuit for Victims of Violence Associated with Mass Shootings

Parker Waichman has years of experience successfully representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. If you or someone you know is interested in filing a lawsuit, please contact one of our experienced lawyers today. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, please call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

from Parker Waichman http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/21370-2/

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At Least 59 Dead and over 500 Wounded in Las Vegas Mass Shooting

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On October 1, 2017 a lone gunman opened fire from a hotel room overlooking a country music outdoor concert in Las Vegas with an estimated 22,000 people in attendance. The shooting began Sunday at approximately 10 p.m. local time. The shots led to a stampede as the panicked crowd ran for cover amid what has now been identified as the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history, reports USA TODAY.

Country music singer Jason Aldean, the festival’s headliner was on stage when the rain of bullets began and continued to play through the first extended volley when the crowd became confused, unsure of what the sound was. The music stopped at about the same time the volley did, but after several moments, another, lengthy round of gunfire started, setting off chaos in the crowd. Social media videos show people ducking for cover and fleeing amid the unrelenting barrage of bullets.

When the music event, was interrupted by the gunfire, victims fell bleeding, concertgoers screamed, ran for cover, or did whatever they could to get away. “Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another.

Lone Gunman

The gunman, retired accountant Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, enjoyed playing high-stakes poker and was an avid gambler. It appears he killed himself shortly before police officers stormed the 32nd floor room he had rented at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, according to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

Investigators say that Paddock’s shooting rampage was painstakingly planned and included specially modified weapons and surveillance cameras designed to spy on any police intruders who might try and stop his murderous barrage.

Parker Waichman LLP is a national law firm available and prepared to assist anyone who has suffered personal injury, property damage, or death due to the gun violence at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Paddock’s Weapon Collection

Authorities seized more than 40 firearms that Paddock had either at his home in Mesquite, Nevada, or in his hotel room. Police also seized thousands of rounds of ammunitions along with explosives.

Sheriff Lombardo described Paddock as the son of a 1960s bank robber on the FBI’s most-wanted list after escaping from prison, as “as a distraught person intent on causing mass casualties.” Lombardo felt Paddock was likely a “lone wolf” and that a motive for the shooting spree had not yet been determined, reports USA TODAY.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said, “This is a crazed lunatic full of hate. This has been a hugely traumatic time for all of us.”

Paddock had checked into the Mandalay Bay on September 28, but it was still unclear whether he specifically requested the towering room, or how Paddock was able transport almost two dozen weapons into his room without it seeming suspicious. Granted, golf club bags, and other sport-equipment paraphernalia may go unnoticed. Sheriff Lombardo reported Paddock brought at least ten suitcases “over a period of time” into his hotel room.

Jill Schneider, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent, said Paddock had nearly 50 guns – a combination of rifles, shotguns and pistols – found in three locations. Authorities said Paddock increased the attack’s deadliness by adding more lethal components to his weapons. He had devices attached to 12 semiautomatic rifles that created a sound mimicking fully automatic gunfire.

Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, of Orlando, Florida, says his wealthy brother was a big spender at casinos and was often given free rooms and meals there. The brother told NBC News that he was “dumbfounded” by the shooting. “He was just a guy. He lives in Mesquite, he went to the hotels, he gambled, he went to shows…. We are completely at a loss.”

Video of the actual shooting captured nine seconds of continuous rapid fire, and then 37 seconds of silence from the weapon, but with panicked screaming from the crowd. Gunfire began again in at least two more bursts, both shorter than the initial assault, according to The New York Times.

Country singer Jake Owen, was on the stage with Mr. Aldean when the gunshots began. Owen told CNN that it was like “shooting fish in a barrel from where he was.”

Hospital Inundated

In the first hours, 90 patients arrived at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, which was in walking distance of the concert. By noon on Monday, the next day, the Level Two trauma center was treating 180 victims.

Of those, 124 “met the criteria for trauma activation,” said Dr. Jeff Murawsky the hospital’s chief medical officer. Injuries included single and multiple gunshot wounds to the head, face, chest, body, arms and, in one, case a finger, The Times reports.

Legal Help for Gun Violence Victims

If you or someone you know suffered injury, emotional distress, property damage, or death at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

from Parker Waichman http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/least-59-dead-500-wounded-las-vegas-mass-shooting/

Lawsuit Cites Faulty Batteries in St. Jude Defibrillators

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Abbott Laboratories is being sued over allegations that St. Jude Medical, the Minnesota-based medical device company owned by Abbott, neglected to warn the public and regulators for years that thousands of its defibrillators contained faulty lithium batteries.

The federal lawsuit was filed in northern Illinois on September 18, alleging that St. Jude knew more than 250,000 implantable defibrillators it sold in the United States between 2011 and October 2016 had batteries that could suddenly short out and cause the vitally important devices to lose power with little or no warning. Abbott bought St. Jude three months after the recall, so was therefore responsible for the litigation, reports the Star Tribune.

Lawsuit Seeks Class-Action Status

The lawsuit is seeking class-action status to represent all self-insured and commercial insurance companies and estimates that those insurers collectively paid hundreds of millions of dollars for St. Jude Medical defibrillators. The suit seeks punitive damages as well.

Product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are actively reviewing potential lawsuits regarding allegedly defective medical devices including St. Jude defibrillators.

Formerly, St. Jude officials have defended their decision to wait until October 2016 to recall hundreds of thousands of the implantable defibrillators, saying executives and medical advisors worked as fast as possible to confirm the rare but serious problem.

The federal lawsuit makes ten claims that include failure to warn about known defects, breach of warranty, negligence, and unjust enrichment. The federal case also includes a claim that St. Jude officials violated Minnesota’s Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act when they “deceptively omitted” long-known facts about the device batteries until last October, the Star Tribune reports.

“If defendants had not omitted … or misrepresented the defects in the recalled devices, physicians would not have used the recalled devices,” the lawsuit says. “Accordingly, plaintiff and the other nationwide class members would not have incurred costs for the recalled devices and the medical costs of device removal and replacement surgery and other related costs.”

Premature Battery Depletion Leads to Deaths

St. Jude received 42 reports, the lawsuit says, showing evidence of premature battery depletion related to the lithium issue between 2011 and 2014. In 2014, St. Jude received a report that the problem had led to a patient’s death. The problem was documented in a journal article in December 2014.

St. Jude Medical made a change to its battery design on May 23, 2015, according to a Star Tribune report, in response to a problem that the company said it identified in 2014. However, the company continued selling the defibrillators that contained the old batteries until early October 2016.

This alludes to the fact that some patients received recall notices just weeks or months following surgery for a problem that St. Jude was aware of for years. St. Jude officials said they did not consider the change in battery design in 2015 to be an acknowledgment that they were aware at the time that the old devices were faulty, but rather, they felt they were taking a device that was performing well and improving on it. The decision to recall the devices in 2016 occurred only after enough cases of lithium battery defects were confirmed internally.

The 2015 design change was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA did not call for an immediate recall as the rate of problems at the time seemed low and was consistent with rates of problems with other issues in other models on the market. The increased rate of premature battery depletions was realized only later, leading to the recall.

The most recent data available was as of May 31, where 616 of the 398,740 affected defibrillators sold worldwide had depleted batteries with no other discernible cause than lithium shorting, St. Jude’s data showed. Two patients died when their defibrillators lost the ability to shock their heart back into a normal rhythm, reports the Star Tribune.

Controversy Over Immediate Device Replacement

Some doctors have remarked they would consider immediate device replacements for patients who are dependent on their defibrillators to also act as pacemakers to keep their hearts beating properly.

Not all affected devices are to be removed from patients, St. Jude’s voluntary recall announced in October. It recommends that patients consult with their doctors and use bedside remote-monitoring devices that analyze remaining battery life.

Affected recall devices include Fortify, Fortify Assura, Quadra Assura, Unify, Unify Assura and Unify Quadra implantable defibrillators made before May 2015, according to the Star Tribune.

However, St. Jude and the FDA do not recommend “prophylactic” replacement of all recalled devices as the replacement surgery has its own risks of potentially serious complications. An October 11 FDA safety communication said, “The rate of complications following replacement surgery are higher than those associated with premature depletion.”

“However, the FDA and St. Jude Medical recognize the need to weigh individual clinical considerations. If the decision is made to replace an affected device based on individual patient circumstances, St. Jude Medical has announced they will provide a replacement device at no cost.”

Have You Been Injured by a St. Jude Defibrillator?

If you or someone you know has sustained injury associated with a defibrillator, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman personal injury law firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

from Parker Waichman http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/lawsuit-cites-faulty-batteries-st-jude-defibrillators/

Safety Warning and Recall Notice for Some Sig Sauer Rifles

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On September 15, Sig Sauer arms maker announced that some Sig 716 DMR, 516 Carbon Fiber and M400 Predators with two-stage triggers may have an incorrectly heat-treated hammer. “Over time this could result in a trigger malfunction creating a significant safety hazard,” a release from the company said. The statement was to notify the mandatory recall on certain models to replace the hammer and trigger assembly, reports Guns.com

The New Hampshire-based arms manufacturer notes that potentially affected models will have a “SIG” mark etched into the hammer and has a serial number look-up tool online with instructions to follow, to determine if a particular model is subject to the recall. Sig Sauer will correct any of the affected firearms at no cost to the customer. according to ammoland.com.

This recall does not affect any law enforcement or military rifles or any SIG, MCX, or MPX products.

Sig Sauer Inc. makes a variety of products to “meet any mission parameter,” including handguns, rifles, ammunition, electro-optics, suppressors, and ASP (Advanced Sport Pellet) airguns.

National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive and successful experience in all kinds of litigation, including defective firearms. Attorneys at the firm are available to answer questions for individuals seeking legal information for potential lawsuits.

Previous Sig Sauer Problem

In August 2017, a Connecticut police officer filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Sig Sauer for injuries he sustained when his department-issued P320 – a version of U.S. Army’s new service pistol – accidentally discharged when he dropped it and wounded him in the leg. Shortly after the incident, Sig Sauer issued a statement that it offered a voluntary upgrade to address unintentional discharges. The gun manufacturer said, the Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) is not affected by the upgrade, reports Business Insider.

“As a result of input from law enforcement, government and military customers, SIG has developed a number of enhancements in function, reliability, and overall safety including drop performance. SIG SAUER is offering these enhancements to its customers.”

Multiple Surgeries due to Accidental Shot Fired

The upgrade announcement came days after the officer filed the August 4 complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. The officer had been loading equipment into the back of his car in January when he dropped his holstered P320. The gun accidentally fired when it hit the pavement. The 9mm bullet struck him under his left knee, and lodged to the side “with the round protruding from his leg,” according to the firearmsblog.com.

The officer is a 34-year-old member of the Stamford, Connecticut Police Department Special Response Team. He had to undergo multiple surgeries but is back on light duty. The lawsuit may require Sig Sauer to pay the officer more than $3 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

The fact that the gun went off unintentionally when the trigger had not been pulled, is very serious and the amount in damages sought reflects that.

The three counts include violation of the Connecticut Product Liability Act; violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act; and a Connecticut common law tort, which is negligent infliction of emotional distress. The officer is also demanding Sig Sauer recall the pistol or include a warning that the gun is not drop safe when a round, or bullet, is in the chamber, Business Insider reports.

Sig Sauer Responds

Sig Sauer claims in its statement that the P320 meets “U.S. standards for safety, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute Inc. (SAAMI); National Institute of Justice (NIJ); as well as rigorous testing protocols for global military and law enforcement agencies.”

The gun manufacturer, however, concedes, that “recent events indicate that dropping the P320 beyond U.S. standards for safety may cause an unintentional discharge,” the statement said. The Stamford Police Department said it has shelved all P320s it issued to its officers because of the incident.

In July, the leadership at Glock Inc. stated publicly that the Army’s decision to choose Sig Sauer to make its new MHS was driven by cost savings, not performance.

The Government Accountability Office denied Glock’s protest of the Army’s MHS decision, which Glock officials maintain was the result of “incomplete testing” and Sig Sauer’s $102 million lower bid.

The officer’s case may be settled out of court, but there is a possibility it could go to a jury trial. It was noted that the accidental discharge from the gun could have killed the officer, or shot a bystander, so the incident was taken very seriously, according to Business Insider.

Legal Information Concerning Potential Lawsuits

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective firearm, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact the attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

from Parker Waichman http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/safety-warning-recall-notice-sig-sauer-rifles/

Three Inmate Deaths in Nassau Jail Linked to Inadequate Care

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A state oversight agency has found the Nassau County jail’s former medical vendor failed to give adequate health care treatment that directly resulted in the deaths of three inmates in 2016. The vendor, Armor Correctional Health Services, are fighting four federal lawsuits connected to other Nassau inmate deaths, according to the New York State Commission of Correction.

Armor, the Florida-based, for-profit company has worked with the Nassau County jail in East Meadow for six years. That affiliation ended August 31 when the Nassau University Medical Center resumed control of inmate health care under a two-year contract, reports Newsday.

NY State Agency Findings

After investigating the 2016 deaths of three inmates at Nassau County jail, the state commission concluded that Armor was “incapable of providing competent medical care.” The commission found one of the fatalities preventable, another inmate was suffering from cancer that went unrecognized by a doctor, and that medical staff committed “professional misconduct” and acted with “gross incompetence” while treating the other late inmate, according to records.

The state commission disclosed three final reports after investigations into the deaths of inmates William Satchell, 63, Emanuel McElveen, 20, and Michael Cullum, 62 in 2016. In each case, the agency’s final reports on the deaths cited “systemic deficiencies in the delivery of adequate medical care,” and Armor’s “continued failure and unwillingness” to address problems after the commission’s probes into inmate deaths since mid-2011.

National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive and successful experience in all kinds of litigation. Attorneys at the firm are available to answer questions for individuals seeking legal information for potential lawsuits.

Letter Exchange Between Commission Chairman and Armor Executive

In a letter referencing the then-preliminary findings, commission Chairman Thomas Beilein wrote in March to Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), “The Board has found in each instance that failures of Armor Inc.’s staff to perform to minimally accepted community medical standards has directly resulted in these terminal outcomes.”

Documents related to the reports also reveal the recent investigations led the commission’s chairman to conclude that the Sheriff’s Department shares responsibility with Armor for neglecting to initiate meaningful reforms after previous jail custody fatalities. The commission found Armor provided inadequate care in a minimum of eight of the 14 Nassau inmate deaths during the company’s tenure. The panel is still investigating four of the deaths. In two of the deaths, the commission found no treatment inadequacies – one involving a natural death by stroke, and one a deadly assault by another inmate.

Armor executive Karen Davies, wrote in a letter in May to the commission defending Armor insisting its staff showed no negligence or incompetence with its care of the three deceased inmates, according to Newsday.

Armor settled the suit by paying a $350,000 fine, agreeing to a three-year ban on new business in New York, and admitting no wrongdoing.

Reported Details of Three Inmates’ Deaths

One of the deceased, Satchell, died on March 24, 2016, from cardiac arrest due to an artery blockage in his lungs. The commission concluded the death “was preventable if not for the shocking level of inadequate medical care and negligence of the medical staff” of Armor. It said Armor repeatedly failed to recognize “life-threatening manifestations” of “a new onset medical condition” – or diabetes. The inmate was also given an antipsychotic known to increase blood sugar level, possibly triggering the onset of his “unstable condition,” the commission found. It was alleged that the inmate did not get medication until three days after his jailing and Armor failed to do a routine screening that led to a delay in the inmate’s diabetes treatment.

The report on McElveen said, the inmate died July 5, 2016 of respiratory failure. It concluded the man’s death was caused by a preexisting medical condition, but the negligence of Armor “were contributory to his worsening health.” The report said Armor did not adequately identify and treat his illnesses or follow up on medication issues. The report shows one of McElveen’s illnesses was large cell lymphoma, or cancer, that involved multiple organs.

The commission also concluded an Armor doctor neglected to provide proper medical supervision, did not do thorough exams or follow-ups on lab tests, and failed to detect McElveen’s developing cancer. McElveen had been serving a one-year jail sentence for a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized vehicle use, reports Newsday.

One week before he died, McElveen said in a jail grievance that Armor staff had not seen him following several requests. He had pain all over, hearing loss, swollen feet, facial numbness, and an allergic reaction, according to the report.

The third inmate, Cullum, died September 5, 2016, after a blood clot formed in his leg and went to his lungs. The commission said pancreatitis and opioid dependency also were contributing factors to his death. The commission found Cullum’s death was “impacted’ by Armor’s failure to adequately treat chronic illness, recognize and treat serious changes in his condition, or to transfer him to a higher level of care.

The inmate had been in a methadone treatment program, according to records. The commission found an Armor doctor showed gross incompetence by failing to see the need to send Cullum to the hospital when his condition worsened, and an Armor licensed practical nurse showed “unprofessional conduct by breaking detoxification protocol.”

Legal Information Concerning Potential Lawsuits

If you or someone you know is seeking legal information, Parker Waichman LLP offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact the attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

from Parker Waichman http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/three-inmate-deaths-nassau-jail-linked-inadequate-care/

Australian Officials Report 56 Cases of Breast Implant Cancer

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Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare type of cancer that develops around breast implants. Australian health officials reported 56 cases of ALCL, including three deaths since 2007. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported eight deaths and more than 359 cases in the United States of ALCL in women with breast implants, reports the Daily Hornet.

Textured breasts implants, were more likely to cause cancer than smooth-surfaced breast implants, warns the FDA. Australian researchers published a study recently estimating that textured breast implants were 14 times more likely to cause ALCL than implants that are smooth-surfaced. In Australia, 90 percent of women with breast implants have textured-surface implants.

Textured Breast Implants are More Prone to Cause Cancer

Another study in Australia in 2014, revealed that textured breast implants were more likely to develop a bacterial coating called “biofilm.” This may cause low-level inflammation and immune system reactions that may cause lymphoma to develop in the fluid surrounding the implant.

Textured implants, which are treated with chemicals that etch the pouch surface, were introduced in the early 1990s. This was approximately five years before the first report of implant lymphoma. Texturing keeps the device firmly in place because scar tissue grows into the rough surface.

ALCL is a cancer that grows rapidly and it can be deadly if not treated. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, night sweats, weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin, according to the Daily Hornet.

National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive experience representing clients in all kinds of litigation. Our lawyers are available to answer questions for anyone seeking legal information about filing a lawsuit.

ALCL Case Histories

A Southern California woman decided to have a breast augmentation in 2000 and opted to get silicone pouches filled with saline. She considered this a safe choice, but in 2011, she experienced a “stabbing pain” in her left breast, which had ballooned because of swelling around the implant. She was diagnosed with a new type of lymphoma – a cancer of the immune system = caused by implants. The malignancy is distinct from breast cancer and very rare.

The FDA had first warned of a link in 2011. The lymphoma has been connected to both saline and gel implants, for enlargement as well as for reconstruction after breast cancer. Most patients in these cases had textured rather than smooth implants.

Since implants were introduced in the 1960s, for the first time, medical authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), agree that the prosthetics give rise to a disease in susceptible women. Some experts believe the controversial theory that implants can trigger debilitating autoimmune illnesses such as lupus, scleroderma, and fibromyalgia, as many women have contended since the 1990s, according to the Inquirer.

Robert Miranda, a pathologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “To me that has to be evaluated again.” The Cancer Center has treated approximately 40 women with implant-related lymphoma.

The first recognized implant-related case of lymphoma was in California in 1997. By 2010, after a few dozen more case reports, Miranda and some other researchers noted it was a new disease entity: a rare blood cell malignancy, with even rarer genetic hallmarks, that developed around breast implants

In late 2016, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, based in Fort Washington, issued diagnosis and treatment guidelines. Since the lymphoma is typically not aggressive, it can usually be treated by removing the implant, fluid, and the capsule of scar tissue that naturally forms around the prosthetic, the Inquirer reports.

However, the cancer can become life-threatening, as a woman from Ontario, Canada found out. She had no symptoms until the day after her first mammogram at age 50 in 2015. Her results were normal, but she felt lumps under an armpit. Her physician assumed the mammogram had ruptured her six-year-old textured gel implants. Ultimately, an MRI and biopsy revealed lymphoma that had spread to her bowel and lymph nodes.

Following two chemotherapy regimens that failed, doctors estimated the woman had six months left to live. A newer, targeted Hodgkin’s lymphoma drug saved her, but she still had to undergo a risky stem cell transplant as well as chest radiation.

Through her ordeal, she has become an activist. The woman founded a Facebook group for implant lymphoma patients, made a YouTube video, and recently met with the FDA about improving patient information, the Inquirer wrote.

“We want women to have objective, seamless information,” she said. “Implants are described as FDA approved. The truth is, implants were conditionally approved in 2006, and as of today, these conditions have not been met.”

Legal Information and Advice for Women

If you or someone you know has developed an illness as a result of a breast implant, you may have valuable legal rights. Parker Waichman LLP personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact our attorneys at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

from Parker Waichman http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/australian-officials-report-56-cases-breast-implant-cancer/

New Study Examines Flu Vaccine Connection to Miscarriages

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A new study published in Vaccine on September 13 is causing some concern for pregnant women who have received the flu vaccine or are considering it. The study of pregnancies in the United States found that women who had miscarriages between 2010 and 2012 were more likely to have had back-to-back annual flu shots that included protections against the H1N1 virus (swine flu).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reached out to a doctor’s group, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, to warn them the study is coming out and help them prepare for a potential wave of worry from expectant mothers, CDC officials said.

Increased Incidence After Repeat Vaccine

“We are not saying this is a causal relationship,” said James Donahue, DVM, PhD, MPH, a senior epidemiologist at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin and the lead author of the study, meaning the data does not necessarily show that the flu vaccine causes miscarriages. “There’s no biological basis for this phenomenon, so the study represents something that wasn’t expected.”

The study was conducted over two flu seasons (2010 to 2012), and involved 485 women. These women who experienced spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, were matched with those who delivered full-term or stillbirths. Donahue and fellow researchers were examining if miscarriages were more apt to occur if a woman received the flu vaccine in the 28 days prior to the spontaneous abortions. The case-control study was funded by the CDC, according to CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy) News.

It was found by researchers that no association between miscarriage and flu vaccine appeared if a woman had not received a vaccine in the previous year, but in women who had consecutively gotten a flu vaccine containing the 2009 H1N1 virus, the investigators found an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 7.7. The women not vaccinated in the previous season had an aOR of 1.3. This increased association was seen in both seasons studies.

In the 28-day window, the overall aOR was 2.0, or double the risk, however those findings, in contrast to the H1N1 subset, were not statistically significant. There was no visible association in any other exposure window, reports CIDRAP News.

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Previous Studies Involving Flu Vaccine and Miscarriage

“In a previous study conducted on flu vaccine and miscarriage, we did not see a risk,” Donahue said, referring to research done from 2005 to 2007. That study was performed after the CDC made the recommendation 2004 that all pregnant women in all trimesters get the seasonal flu shot. After the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the CDC requested a follow-up study.

“We can speculate that what we see here is vaccination with H1N1pdmo9 for the first time is like getting primed, then boosted,” said Donahue. “But now H1N1 is just a circulating seasonal virus; most children and young adults have been exposed by infection or vaccination.” In other words, there may have been a real effect in the seasons on the heels of the 2009 pandemic, however, further study will fail to show this association. Donahue and his co-workers are planning a follow-up study that examines more recent flu seasons and triples the number of cases, reports CIDRAP News.

Further Investigation Necessary

A research professor of global health at George Washington University, Lone Simonsen, PhD, said the timing of the study is of interest. She has done her own research showing that in 1918, when the world had another H1N1 pandemic that was worse than in 2009, the number of women who miscarried were as many as one in ten.

“In this case getting the flu vaccine can be like being introduced to a virus that was evolutionarily quite similar to the virus from 1918, she told CIDRAP News.

However, she also said the new study included only women with documented miscarriage. “Who are the women that document a miscarriage at 5 weeks?” asked Simonsen. “Probably someone who is also likely to get a flu shot.” If this is true, that may throw off numbers showing an association.

In an accompanying commentary in the same journal, three United States experts not taking part in the study said that miscarriage is one of the hardest birth outcomes to study in observational research.

“Among other factors, the high proportion of [spontaneous] abortions [SAbs] that take place in clinically-unrecognized pregnancies and the lack of consistency in accurate capture of these events in medical records when SAbs do occur, make such research difficult to carry out,” they write. After pointing out what they see as limitations of the study, and the implausibility of the prime-boost hypothesis, the experts write, “One important take-away message from this study is that seasonal vaccine formulations are not all the same.”

Both Donahue and Edward Belongia, M.D., the director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health at the Marshfield Clinic and a study coauthor, said this study in no way suggests reversing or revising the CDC’s advisories relating to pregnant women and flu shots.

“It’s very well known that getting the flu is bad for pregnant women and bad for the baby, and we have a vast amount of safety data on the vaccine,” said Belongia.

Legal Information and Advice About Flu Shots

If you or someone you know has been negatively affected by a flu vaccination, you may have valuable legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

from Parker Waichman http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/new-study-examines-flu-vaccine-connection-miscarriages/