"In the litigation arena, the vast majority of the alleged silicotics that I have reviewed do not involve real silicosis at all, which is not surprising because silicosis is a relatively rare disease today. Unfortunately, many of the silicosis claims are derived from the same workers who originally filed asbestos claims. However, based on characteristic chest x-ray findings and other clinical factors, it should not be difficult for a doctor to distinguish between these two conditions - genuine confusion in a purely medical setting would be rare."

Pulmonologist David Weill, M.D.,
associate professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver

Court: Bar Must OK Ads for Lawyers

“Lawyers will have to get Florida Bar approval for radio and television commercials before airing them under new advertising rules approved Thursday by the state Supreme Court. Lawyers already must submit broadcast advertising to the bar, but could begin airing them at their own risk before the reviews were completed. The bar has 15 days to complete each review to determine if ads meet content rules. 'Over half of the ads do not comply,' said bar ethics counsel Elizabeth Tarbert. 'We've had attorneys who wanted a shark to be their logo.' The Supreme Court cited 'sharks, wolves, crocodiles and piranhas' as inappropriate images for lawyers in a ruling that last year muzzled a pair of attorneys who had used the image of a pit bull in a television commercial.”

Associated Press, November 3, 2006
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Sick of Lawsuits Spokeswoman Dr. Evelyn Tobias-Merrill authored an op-ed published in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, calling attention to the ways in which lawsuit abuse stifles innovation and threatens patients' access to needed and effective medications and medical devices. Dr. Tobias-Merrill argues, "Frivolous, excessive litigation does nothing to improve our health or the care we receive. And it kills the hope we have for a better, safer, healthier future...Lawsuit abuse doesn't cut with a scalpel. It takes a hatchet to our entire health care system. It runs effective therapies off the market, increases costs of all of us, and creates a climate of fear that can and does stifle innovation."
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The Stats

$15: Amount United States residents who purchased the antidepressant drug Paxil or Paxil CR are entitled to receive under a recent lawsuit settlement. In contrast, plaintiffs' attorneys in the Paxil class-action case received $16.6 million.
Associated Press, November 1, 2006

2: Number of American companies currently researching contraceptives, reduced from 13 because of litigation fears.
Townhall.com, August 9, 2006

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