June 9, 2009
Shell Settles Nigerian Human Rights Case for $15.5 Million
Article on cnnmoney.com -- Shell pays $15.5M in Nigeria suit: Oil company settles a claim that it violated human rights leading to the killings of a famous writer and other activists in 1995. Here's an excerpt:
Shell has agreed to a $15.5 million settlement in a lawsuit that claimed the oil company supported civil rights abuses in Nigeria that led to the killings of a famous writer and other activists in 1995.
The family of writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and nine other people filed the suit in New York, alleging that Shell was partially responsible for the then-military regime's oppression of the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta. Saro-Wiwa and other activists were protesting what they saw as environmental abuses by Shell.
Shell, which said it "had no part in the violence that took place," called the settlement "a humanitarian gesture to set up a trust fund to benefit the Ogoni people."
Tobacco Bill Giving FDA Regulatory Authority Progresses in Senate
As a follow-up to Byron's earlier post on the pending bill to give the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products, here's a link to the Associated Press story and to the bill itself. The bill responds to the Supreme Court's opinion in FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120 (2000), which held that the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act did not give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products. Accordingly, the FDA could not promulgate regulations governing tobacco companies' advertising, labeling, or accessibility. A similar bill passed in the House on April 2, 2009, and it is currently under consideration by the Senate.
June 8, 2009
NIH Study Questions Benefits of Stents and Diabetes Drugs Avandia and Actos
Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Diabetes Study Questions Expensive Treatments: NIH Finds Patients With Heart Disease Fare Equally Well Without Stents and Drugs Such as Avandia, Actos, by Keith J. Winstein. Here's an excerpt:
The study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and several drugmakers, is the latest to humble fancy new treatments by finding them no better than older medicines at preventing the deadly consequences of major diseases. The results add to a debate about alleged overuse of stents, made by companies including Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific Corp. and Johnson & Johnson, and controversial diabetes drugs from GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.
Tobacco, the FDA, and Preemption
Op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal -- Tobacco and the Tort Bar, by Mark H. Berlind. Here's an excerpt:
Today's legislation would impose strict limits on tobacco advertising and labeling, mandate stronger warning labels, and require advance FDA approval of any reduced-risk claims. It would also empower the FDA to change cigarettes' content to make them less addictive and lethal.
However, in a little-noticed provision, the bill also expressly provides that "no provision of this chapter . . . shall be construed to modify or otherwise affect . . . the liability of any person under the product liability law of any State." In other words, the regulatory regime that the legislation would establish can't protect companies from tort liability -- even if they rigorously follow every FDA rule.
Motion to Dismiss Denied In 9/11 First Responders Litigation
The motion was made by two defendants in reliance on Bell Atlantic v. Twombly. Judge Hellerstein's denial of the motion can be found here.
Cert Granted in Jurisdiction Case
The Supreme Court granted cert today in Hertz v. Friend,
No. 08-1107. The question presented is what test applies for purposes of determining a corporation's principal
place of business for diversity jurisdiction citizenship under 28
U.S.C. § 1332: the "place of
operations test" or the "nerve center" test, where the corporation does
substantially more business in one state compared to others? (From BNA Law Week's Supreme Court Today).