Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Warning: May Cause Intense Urges…

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Intern Rebecca here, with thoughts on drugs…

No matter what the kids on the street may say, drugs can mess you up. Don’t worry, this isn’t another Charlie Sheen blog – he’s already got press enough for three men, at least. Instead, let’s delve into the story of another kind of addict: the prescription drug addict. What could be more devastating than addiction handed directly to you by a doctor (other than the bill)?

Meet Didier Jambart, a 50-something father of two, and former employee of the French Defense Ministry. Jambart started taking a drug way back in the Paris-Hilton’s-sex-tape days of 2003 called REQUIP. The drug is used to treat Parkinson’s disease via dopamine agonists, which are common in all leading prescription drugs for Parkinson’s.

Unfortunately for Jambart, as his Parkinson’s cleared up, his life crumbled. Within the first year, he gambled his family’s savings away by placing bets on horses online. Once he burned through that stack of cash, Jambart spent his income, then even sold his children’s toys, to support his new hobby. The next year, the very straight and once happily married husband grew addicted to gay porn, and even took gay lovers, whom he also found online.  By 2005, Jambart had already attempted suicide three times.

And he blames? The drug, of course.

The first time I read through Jambart’s story, I thought, “There’s no way. This man is obviously disturbed.” But once I read the warning labels issued with REQUIP, I changed my tune. They include:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had an urge to gamble that was difficult to control … You should know that some people who took medications such as ropinirole (REQUIP) developed gambling problems or other intense urges or behaviors that were compulsive or unusual for them, such as increased sexual urges or behaviors. There is not enough information to tell whether the people developed these problems because they took the medication or for other reasons. Call your doctor if you have an urge to gamble that is difficult to control, you have intense urges, or you are unable to control your behavior.

This seemed to make the case cut and dry, until I learned that these warnings were not added to the REQUIP label until 2006, after Jambart had stopped REQUIP and started his lawsuit. As of today, only a handful of other cases have been filed against REQUIP for similar side effects, so it is hard to say if Jambart himself affected the addition of this label.

Jambart is seeking $610,000 in damages (he’ll need half that just to cover his gambling debts) from both REQUIP and his neurologist, whom he claims mislead him regarding the drug’s potential side effects. His current crummy situation aside, does Jambart stand a chance in court?

Forget J, What Would YOU Do?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Today, Intern Rebecca poses these questions:

Last week in Tennesse, Jessie Wright noticed his wife exhibiting possible signs of stroke. Wright hopped in his car, turned on his emergency lights, and liberally used his horn to race his wife to the hospital.

>Mrs. Wright has a history of illness, most notably losing her leg to cancer. Such a traumatic injury would of course cause the man who loves her to worry with the smallest sign of illness. As Jessie sped through yellow and red lights, he was followed by Officer James Daves, who ultimately confronted Daves as he was carrying his wife through the ER doors.

I’m pretty sure there’s a sight test involved with being a cop, so couldn’t Daves see Wrights hands were a little too tied for handcuffs at the time?

Clearly not, as Daves arrested Wright on the spot. He was also upset that no matter what he said, Wright was more concerned with his wife’s health. (So many women should be so lucky.)

After spending the night with his wife in the hospital, Wright was brought to jail, charged with seven felonies, and released on $7,500 bail – not to mention the hospital bills.

Perhaps Write broke some traffic laws, but wouldn’t the biggest crime of all be killing his wife? And isn’t Daves the one really at fault in this situation, for putting Mrs. Wright’s health in further danger?

AMY on CNN at 10:30 AM!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Tune in momentarily and catch Amy on CNN LIVE at 10:30!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Fork Over the Cheese!

Friday, September 11th, 2009

pizza-wonder-woman1So who’s the biggest loser now?

An Indiana court has ruled that Boston’s The Gourmet Pizza shop must pay for an obese employee’s gastric bypass surgery because it will help him recover from an on-the-job injury he received when he was hit on the back with a freezer door. (Ed note: uh, wha?)

Adam Childers, a 25-year-old, 340 pound cook , was, according to the AP story, “accidentally struck in the back by a freezer door. Doctors said he needed surgery to ease his severe pain, but that the operation would do him no good unless he first had surgery to reduce his weight, which rose to 380 pounds after the accident.”

Now the company had agreed to pay for Childers’s back surgery, but it balked at the idea of ponying up for the lap band procedure. In a nutshell I believe their argument was this: “We hired him as a fatty, so fat he shall stay!” (I imagine they probably also thought he was a good advertisement for a very satisfied pizza-eating customer base.)

But the court ruled in favor of the pizza guy, stating, “The surgery – and disability payments while Childers was unable to work – were covered because his weight and the accident had combined to create a single injury.” They also noted that Boston’s failed to provide any evidence that Childers’s excessive poundage had presented medical problems before the accident. In other words, “just because he was ‘morbidly’ obese and probably sweat a lot, it did not an unhealthy employee make.”

What’s interesting, though, is that the consultant quoted later in the piece, Tom Lynch, CEO of Lynch, Ryan & Associates Inc., gets his employment law WRONG when explaining why he thinks this ruling is bad because employers might start finding reasons not to hire obese people:

“Legally, you cannot refuse to hire this 350-pound person because they’re 350 pounds. That’s illegal. But you might find some other reason not to hire them,” he said.”

Guess what, guy? That’s not true. An employer can absolutely refuse to hire you because you’re too fat. Why? Because being fat isn’t considered a protected class (like race, ethnicity, etc.) Guess what else? This is something we discuss in the first chapter of the book, that’s the chapter entitled, “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off To Sell Your Soul to the Devil You Go!”

And we’re very glad to say we’re but 2 1/2 weeks away from our pub date, but you should feel free to pre-order your copy today!

Blind Justice

Monday, August 31st, 2009

You can’t say the folks in the Coca-Cola Customer Service department don’t have a good sense of humor… a good grasp of how to avoid litigation? Uhh, less so. Just ask Ming Fu Hu, a New Zealand man, who was struck in the eye by an exploding bottle of Coca-Cola’s Keri orange juice.

The injury cost Mr. Hu $5000 in medical bills and permanently damaged his vision.

So how did the Coca-Cola Corporation respond? Well, they offered the injured man an entire case of that very explosive orange drink and $200 worth of grocery vouchers. Best part is, they said it was done as a goodwill gesture!

According to the article, Northcote shop owner takes on might of Coca-Cola, “Coca-Cola’s lawyers said the company had no liability to Mr Hu, there was no issue of public safety arising from these circumstances and “CCA now considers this matter at an end”.

Perhaps not surprisingly, a lawyer for Mr. Hu sees the matter through a different lens: “It is not acceptable that Coca-Cola’s attitude is that it can remedy the problem by offering this man more of the very same product that injured him.”

Hu has yet to file suit against Coca-Cola, but still has an open claim with the Accident Compensation Corporation. It will be interesting to see how this case moves forward, but word to the wise: before you offer to buy the world a coke, beware that no good deed goes unpunished and that one man’s refreshment might be another’s pain in the eye…

Unplug Me!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

So in the “About The Authors” section of the website, we left out the detail that one of us sisters happens to be a conservative and the other happens to be a liberal. Since Amy and I like to keep a little bit of the mystery alive, we won’t tell you if it’s the suburban mini-van driver with the 401 (K) who’s a member of the Grand Old Party or which lever the subway riding NYU prof (with the roll of quarters) tends to pull.

But despite our different political affiliations, there’s one thing we agree on: the coverage of the health care “debate” in this country seems to be dominated by those most in need of mental help. Fortunately the crack team at The Onion News Network is finally giving a voice to a population rarely heard but frequently seen, particularly for cute photo ops:

Study: Most Children Strongly Opposed To Children’s Healthcare

The Giant Crunching Sound

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Shiver me timbers & loosen me teeth!

Shiver me timbers & loosen me teeth!

On what tree does the Crunch Berry grow? I can tell you one thing: if it ever did exist—which it doesn’t—it would certainly grow nuts, just like the one who sued Pepsico, the makers of Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries for misleading her into thinking that Crunch Berries were actual berries, when in fact there is no such thing as a “crunch berry” nor are there any real berries in the Cap’n's Berry Crunch.

Have we descended so far into individual non-responsibility that brands must make sure that even the most dimwitted among us (and the lawyers who are ready to take their cases) could not possibly be confused? As the Latin speakers among us might say, “Q.E.D., muthafuckas.”

So what is the law on what food labels are considered misleading and how do you really know what you’re getting when you buy them?

The Food and Drug Administration regulates food labels and nutritional content, and the Federal Trade Commission ensures that no labels are misleading to consumers. Under regulations, all consumers need do if they are confused by the name of the product or picture on the package is to turn the box over and read the actual ingredients. Clearly this is something that you should (but rarely) do to know what the nutritional value of what you’re buying anyway.

As it turns out, there are no misleading health benefit claims on the box of Cap’n Crunch other than, “This mythical sea Cap’n may shove a giant spoon in your face!”And fortunately for all of us, the court found that this is not something that could or would deceive a reasonable consumer. Argh!