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The opioid crisis has wracked our country.  This epidemic has touched all four corners of the United States and has left no part of our nation untouched.  Like the rest of the country, the State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago have been devastated by the disastrous affect opioids have had on the community at large, and on individuals and their families.  The federal government and the State of Illinois has collected significant data that is nothing short of shocking.  Between 1999-2014, the number of opioid overdose deaths tripled.  In 2014 alone, 60.9% of all drug overdose deaths in America involved opioids.  In the State of Illinois, overdose deaths involving opioids increased by 44% from 2013 to 2016.  80% of all overdoses fatalities in the State of Illinois in 2016 were related to opioids.  Cook County and the City of Chicago have been particularly devastated due to the fact that this is the largest population center in Illinois.  What does this mean?

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There is no question that in a very short period of time opioid use and abuse has increased exponentially in America.  From 1999 to the present the amount of opioid pain medication prescribed and consumed in the United States has quadrupled.  Chicago has been flooded by opioid pain medications.  Pill pushing doctors and complicit pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies have created a situation where patients who are prescribed these medications for legitimate medical conditions, become addicted and then are forced into a viscous cycle of abuse that often involves criminal behavior and ultimately death by overdose.

Some of the most common opioid medications include:

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Invokana is a prescription medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes.  It is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which is a division of Johnson & Johnson under license from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation.  Janssen claims that Invokana is proven to more effectively lower A1c levels in type 2 diabetics than other drugs in its class, like Januvia.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is now warning users of Invokana that this medicine may lead to ketoacidosis, a condition which causes the users body to produce extremely high levels of blood borne acids called ketones which can cause significant injury to the user in the form of diabetic come and require hospitalization and, in some cases, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure or other injury and death.

If you, or a loved one, has experienced ketoacidosis after taking Invokana, please do not hesitate to contact Goldberg & Goldberg.  We are a leading firm of trial lawyers located in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.  For over 50 years we have represented the victims of negligence in medical products and drug and pharma cases.  We have obtained the largest personal injury verdict in Illinois history which involved a drug product negligence claim.  If you or a loved one is suffering or has suffered after taking Invokana, we are available to you for a FREE CONSULTATION.

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You have already suffered the indignity of being the victim of medical negligence.  You, or a loved one, has been seriously injured or killed by a doctor, nurse or hospital that engaged in conduct that fell below the standard of care for a well-qualified healthcare provider under like or similar circumstances.  You have been forced to relive this tragedy over and over again when you interviewed your lawyer, answered written discovery, gave a deposition, participated in mock trials and/or focus groups and were forced to attend fruitless mediation sessions.  The indignity is compounded by the smugness of the defendants and their attorneys and their unwillingness to accept their part of blame for your suffering, grief and sorrow.  Your case is going to trial.  What should you expect?

Trial can be terrifying for a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case.  Going to trial means uncertainty.  Going to trial means that the fate of your case will be decided by a jury of 12 people who do not necessarily know and understand the depth of the tragedy that you have experienced.  It is the job of your attorney to make the experience of trial as comfortable for you as possible.

In Cook County, where we do a lot of our trial work, the trial date is assigned months before the trial by the presiding judge of the Law Division.  On the day of the actual trial, your case is assigned to a trial judge at random by the court computer.  Once you are assigned to a trial judge, and assuming that none of the parties ask for a substitution of judge (every party has the right to change trial judges one time by statute) then the trial can actually begin.  Usually the parties receive a call from the trial judge once the case has been assigned for trial asking them to appear before the judge at a certain time.  The judge will usually spend some time talking to the lawyers and learning a little about the facts of the case.  Depending on the judge, some time might be spent trying to mediate a settlement.  Some judges are very good at brokering deals for settlement and some are not.  Depending on the judge’s level of interest you might spend hours or days trying to reach a settlement agreement.  The parties also will exchange motions that are known as motions in limine.  These motions are meant as a device to limit evidence or argument that might be presented to the jury.  Once motions conclude, the judge will call up a venire of jurors for what is known as voir direVoir dire is the lawyers opportunity to see and speak to prospective jurors make sure they are appropriate to serve on the jury.  Once the jury is selected, the lawyers can begin the presentation of evidence.  This typically begins with an opening statement, which tells the jury what the evidence will show, and ends with a closing argument, which is a lawyer’s presentation of what  the evidence means.  After closing arguments, the jury gets the case, deliberates and renders its verdict according to the law provide by the judge.

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The producers of the Tom Cruise movie, Mena, are being sued for wrongful death according to The Hollywood Reporter.  In September of 2015, two crew members working on the film were killed in a small aircraft accident in the Columbian mountains.

The crew members were working in a remote area of Columbia, flying over treacherous terrain.  The movie’s producers hired a Columbian pilot who was allegedly unqualified to operate the small aircraft in such dangerous conditions.

Movie productions have strict rules concerning who may or may not work on what has been described as a “closed set.”  If the production companies cut corners and hired an unqualified pilot to ferry members of its crew to the remote location then it is likely that they are responsible for the wrongful death of its crew.

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Goldberg & Goldberg has filed one of the first products liability cases in the country against Abbott Laboratories concerning the drug Humira. Humira is expected to be the world’s biggest selling medication, with estimated 2012 sales of $8.7 billion. Humira is a TNF (tumor necrosis factor) blocker that is used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Crohn’s Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Juvenile Arthiritis, among other conditions. Humira works by binding TNF and reducing pain, inflamation and joint damage that is caused by these conditions. Humira affects the immune system, and because of this, can hurt the bodies ability to fight infections and can cause a whole host of other problems.

Unfortunately, Humira causes neurological problems, opportunistic infections and malignancies. The litigation filed against Abbott claims that Abbott was aware of these problems and failed to warn the users of Humira about the real dangers associated with the drug.

The first trial of a Humira case is now set for April of 2013. Goldberg & Goldberg has taken a lead role in the prosecution of this litigation. If you or a loved one has been injured by the drug Humira, please call us. We would be happy to discuss your potential case with you.

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Two victims of a Saturday morning Chicago area car crash were hospitalized after a vehicle crashed through a suburban Chicago fitness club window. The car accident occured at Curves Fitness Club in suburban Lake Zurich.

Lake Zurich police spokespeople announced that a 65 year old woman drove her 2002 Buick into the establishment while trying to park the car. Apparently the driver believed she put the car in reverse when she actually put the car into drive, crashing through the window.

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In an amazing report in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago obstetrician Dr. Peter Rosi blames parents for the deaths of their children.  Dr. Rosi believes that 80% of complications in childbirth are psychological and that babies can be killed by their mother’s “attitudes.”  He is proud of the fact that he practices obstetrics the way it was done 50 and 100 years ago.  Dr. Rosi has been named as a defendant in at least 10 medical malpractice cases in Cook County, Illinois and was accused of negligent homicide based on his conduct during childbirth in Sitka, Alaska in 1980, a charge of which he was eventually aquitted.

If it is true that Dr. Rosi is proud to practice obstetrics the way it was practiced 50 or 100 years ago, then his patients should be concerned.  In the past 50 years obstetrics has been revolutionized by fetal heart monitoring, ultrasound, advanced genetic screening and profoundly less invasive procedures which protect maternal and fetal well-being.  Fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality have been greatly reduced throught the use of these advance medical techniques which are now commonplace.

Dr. Rosi, age 73, practices at the Homefirst Clinic with offices in Rolling Meadows, Orland Park and Naperville, Illinois.  Homefirst is led by controversial physician, Mayer Eisenstein, who advocates physician attended home birthing.  Dr. Eisenstein also claims to be able to reverse or cure children who are suffering from Autism.

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A Cook County judge has recently permitted a lawsuit brought by a former University of Chicago student proceed on a medical malpractice theory that the U of C’s student medical center was negligent in not doing a “rape kit” after a student was assaulted, denying her the ability to secure criminal charges against her attacker.  The University claims that the student refused the rape kit at the time of her examination.

The victim was raped at a party while she was a student at The U of C several years ago.  She was required by her student health insurance to seek treatment at the student health clinic.  The clinic failed to offer her a rape kit and because of its absence the victim alleges that the police and state’s attorney declined to prosecute her attacker.  She also sued her attacker in civil court and allegedly settled with him for an undisclosed sum.

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Websites like Angie’s List offer online reviews on all types of service providers, including doctors.  It is undeniable that the internet provides a broad forum for public discussion, good and bad, that is very powerful.  If a search engine like Google gets a hold of negative information, even if it is untrue, it is next to impossible to have that information removed from the internet.  Nevertheless, the internet has made individual consumers a powerful force in the marketplace, through the power of the keyboard and mouse.

Doctors, concerned about the adverse effect of negative online publicity, have now taken to the practice of requiring patients to sign agreements not to post online performance reviews of their physicians.  An online company owned by physicians is charging doctors $1500 to learn how to implement this strategy into their practice.

Why the Taliban-style approach to information management?  Doctors are panicked by the prosepect of litigation.  Are these Draconian attempts to stifle free speech even enforceable?  Doubtful, but still unresolved.  Luckily, we still have the something called the First Ammendment.