Monday, April 20, 2009

Katrina Litigation Moves Forward

The New York Times reports that a lawsuit by property owners against the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the breaking of the levees during Hurricane Katrina begins today.  Click this link to get to the article.  The article notes that the plaintiffs overcame the immunity issue, but still need to prove that government negligence, not the sheer force of the hurricane, caused their damage.  In terms of significance of this litigation, here's what the article says:

The plaintiffs say they hope a victory in the case could open the door for a broader class action in which more than 400,000 claims have been filed against the government. An Army financial projection has concluded that there is a reasonable possibility that potential government losses could ultimately range from $10 billion to $100 billion.


April 20, 2009 in Class Actions, Mass Disasters | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wall Street Journal on Provenge & the FDA

Editorial in today's Wall Street Journal on the delay in approving prostate-cancer drug Provenge by the FDA -- Prostate Cancer and FDA Politics: Their first priority should be to save patients.  Here's an excerpt:

The larger question is why Provenge wasn't made available sooner to the 30,000 American men who die each year from prostate cancer. The FDA regularly -- and pointlessly -- slow-walks potentially revolutionary therapies, relying on overly simplistic and unscientific statistical models that don't take into account the fact that some drugs may work better in certain subgroups than in others. Its regulatory blockade is especially cruel to terminally ill patients for whom drugs like Provenge may mean extra months or years of life.

Id.  One wonders if rather than an FDA-centric regulatory approach, a flexible negligence standard incorporating evolving industry custom for testing would better serve public policy by expeditiously moving safe and effective drugs to market.


April 20, 2009 in FDA, Pharmaceuticals - Misc., Products Liability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)