Tuesday, 31 May 2011

More Plaintiffs Join Bayer Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Bayer’s gender discrimination lawsuit just got bigger with more plaintiffs joining in. The lawsuit claims that the company discriminated heavily against women in pay and promotions, and that Bayer created a hostile work environment. The lawsuit now includes female sales reps at Bayer’s consumer unit, running into hundreds of workers in all.

The lawsuit is also now quite similar to the Novartis gender discrimination lawsuit which settled for $250 million last year. That lawsuit had claimed that Novartis encouraged discrimination against women in the workplace, and fostered a hostile workplace. As part of the settlement, Novartis agreed to pay millions in back pay and promotions, and also agreed to invest in programs helping female advancement in the workplace.

According to attorneys, Bayer was faced with evidence of discrimination, but chose to do nothing. California employment lawyers see similarities with the accusations against Novartis here - that company had also been accused of doing nothing in the face of evidence of discrimination.

The Bayer lawsuit also claims sexual harassment against female employees. According to one employee who testified, Vera Santangelo, she was subjected to lewd and sexually explicit comments by a male employer as she rode the elevator with him. Bayer’s response - avoid taking the elevator. To Los Angeles employment lawyers, this also brings back memories of the claims against Novartis. The company had threatened to fire a female employee after she alleged she had been raped by one of her customers.

Bayer seems to have learned nothing from that massive verdict against Novartis. Just a few months after the verdict against Novartis, executives at Bayer distributed an article that seemed to suggest that men were more suited for management positions than women. Women according to the article, were more prone to office politics, mood swings and indecision, and therefore, did not make good managers.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Massive $212 Million Jury Verdict against Allergan for Botox-Related Injuries

Allergan Inc., the company that manufactures Botox, received a major setback when a jury in a brain injury lawsuit awarded a $212 million verdict against Allergan, including $200 million in punitive damages.

The man's lawsuit claimed that he had been prescribed Botox to treat writer’s cramp in 2007. As a result of an autoimmune reaction to Botox, the man suffered a brain injury. The man claims that the brain injury has left him completely dependent on others for his care. He blames Allergan for failing to warn patients about the autoimmune reaction that could cause such a brain injury. Allergan has defended Botox, claiming that the drug had been put through numerous scientific clinical trials in order to verify its safety. The jury was unimpressed. In addition to the punitive damages, the man was also awarded $12 million in compensatory damages.

For Allergan, this is a major setback, because it is the biggest Botox verdict against the company. The last thing the company wants is for the American people to equate Botox with, is a debilitating brain injury. The company also faces allegations that it was aware that the botulinum toxin could travel far from the injection site, causing side effects and injuries. Children with cerebral palsy and adults who have been administered Botox for the treatment of muscular spasms and other illnesses have suffered serious side effects.

In 2007, Allergan warned doctors in the European Union about the risk that the drug could travel far from the injection site, possibly causing side effects. However, in the U.S., the warning was issued only in 2009.

The claims of side effects from the use of Botox are now likely to be examined more closely. Besides, Allergan is also facing two other lawsuits that make similar side effect claims against Botox. If those claims also end with jury verdicts against Allergan, then California pharmaceutical negligence attorneys expect to see a wave of Botox-related personal injury lawsuits against Allergan.