3M Appeals To Undo 'Excessive' $50M Ear Plug Verdict
3M is appealing for a new trial to a Florida federal judge over the company's lawsuit against Combat Arms Earplugs, where a plaintiff was awarded a $50 million verdict in a bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation.
The attorney representing the company said that the plaintiff inflamed the jury with inappropriate language and arguments for a trial. The company even claimed that the award was excessive as the plaintiff suffered from mild hearing loss and treatable tinnitus, which cannot be justified for such a huge reward.
As per the motion filed by the company, the trial was tainted by prejudicial damages evidence and argument, which was similar to arguments made in other cases. It eventually resulted in larger punitive awards within the MDL and far larger compensatory awards for similar and severe injuries.
The plaintiff's claim of suffering from permanent hearing loss after using the earplugs for more than a decade helped him to get $50 million in damages from the jury. However, as per the recently filed motion, the plaintiff admitted that he did not wear the hearing aids at times and is still gainfully employed. Even the expert witness who testified in the suit said that treatment was available for the plaintiff's tinnitus.
The company even pointed out the plaintiff's arguments that claimed 3M was focused on profit-making over soldier safety from its earplugs. The company claimed that the arguments were tailor-made to acquire punitive damages.
Opioid Deaths In US Might Peak Soon
A new model suggests that US opioid crisis might soon peak, killing more than half a million people from 2020 to 2032 due to the flooding of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl.
A systems scientist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues collected federal data to understand national patterns of opioid use and overdose, which resulted in a large number of deaths between 1999 and 2020. They built a model that considers factors such as the number of opioid prescriptions, the price of heroin, the prevalence of fentanyl, and the distribution of naloxone to study how the opioid crisis has affected the population of the U.S. for the past 20 years.
The model heavily relies on the feedback that gives correct information and highlights factors that affected the overdose use, treatment, relapses, and deaths. The scientist informed that they are dealing with complicated factors, and as soon as one part of the system is addressed, other factors get affected. The researchers even projected that assuming various policy choices and other factors, overdose deaths are expected to peak before 2025.
543,000 people would die between 2020 and 2032 as per the “optimistic” scenario and 842,000 as per the “pessimistic” scenario. The researchers even determined that restricting the prescriptions would have little effect on the crisis as most of the deaths are caused due to illicit fentanyl. They even said that increased distribution of naloxone would make the optimistic scenario more visible in the future.
The scientist even determined that the feedback loops might be more complex than they appear, as his own research suggests that increased stress and trauma in a community might lead to greater opioid use.
The United States has reported fatal overdoses of around 760,000 people since 1999. Prescription drugs and illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl are to be blamed for such huge numbers of overdoses. Even though the injections of the drug naloxone quickly reverse overdoses and helps in combating the epidemic, the number of overdose deaths is significantly rising each year.
NaloxHome To Reduce Opioid Crisis In Arkansas
A new program will be deployed in the U.S. state of Arkansas to deal with the opioid crisis, which has resulted in numerous overdose deaths throughout the state and disrupted the lives of Arkansans.
The program is named as NaloxHome and aims to provide free naloxone, which is commonly known by the brand name Narcan. Naloxone is an overdose reversal drug. The drug would be allotted to Arkansas hospitals, which would be then given to patients or caregivers of the patients who are at risk for an overdose or have experienced an overdose. The program would be administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services and the state drug director by partnering with the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.
NaloxHome's launch was announced by its administrators and proponents at Unity Health-White County Medical Center in Searcy, which is the first hospital to launch the program. The drug director of Arkansas said that naloxone saves lives, and the state is focused on getting the drug into the home of the maximum number of opioid-affected people to downplay the risk of addiction and save Arkansans from the epidemic.
Chief Medical Officer for Unity Health said that the program is an effective tool to combat the opioid crisis. The patients suffering from overdose can be sent home with the naloxone drug that can prevent a future overdose from being fatal, and an emergency room can only be the final step in the treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths in the U.S. increased by 30% in 2020. The death count was 71,000 in 2019, which rose to 92,000 in 2020 and 107,000 in 2021, indicating an increase of 15%.