Imprisoned Arkansas doctor's guns to be sold, judge decides
Arkansas court upholds $122.5M award in bombing case
Trial canceled over firearms owned by Arkansas doctor convicted in bombing
Arkansas Jury Awards $122,500,000
On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, an Arkansas jury awarded $122,500,000 in favor of Trent Pierce, M.D., and his wife, Melissa, on their claims for damages for injuries suffered by Dr. Pierce on February 4, 2009 when a bomb exploded as he was attempting to enter his car parked in front of their home in West Memphis, Arkansas. Pierce suffered life-threatening injuries, including severe burns, broken bones and teeth, partial loss of hearing, and loss of sight in one eye. Investigators determined that the explosion was caused by a spare tire that had been booby-trapped with a military MK3A2 offensive hand grenade and placed in front of Dr. Pierce’s vehicle in such a manner that the grenade detonated when Dr. Pierce attempted to move the tire.
Randeep Mann, M.D., of Russellville, Arkansas, was subsequently charged in United States District Court in Little Rock with multiple felony offenses arising out of the bombing. He was convicted in August 2010 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The convictions were affirmed by the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2012. The United States Supreme Court refused to review the convictions. Mann had been called before the Arkansas State Medical Board a number of times and it had restricted his privilege to prescribe controlled substances. Pierce served as Chairman of the Board and was on his way to a meeting of the Board at the time of the bombing.
The Pierces filed a civil suit against Randeep Mann and other unknown defendants in the Circuit Court of Crittenden County, Arkansas, in January 2010 seeking damages for civil conspiracy and assault and battery arising out of the bombing. On December 6, 2013, the Honorable Pamela B. Honeycutt, Circuit Judge, ruled in favor of the Pierces on their motion for partial summary judgment finding that Mann’s federal felony convictions entitled them to recover both compensatory damages and punitive damages on their claims for injuries and financial losses leaving the only the amounts of damages to be determined at trial. The jury awarded $17,500,000 for injuries the Pierces suffered and an additional $105,000,000 in punitive damages. Judge David N. Laser of Jonesboro, Arkansas presided.
The Pierces’ attorney, Robert M. Cearley, Jr. of Little Rock, said that justice was done and the jury spoke as the conscience of the community in condemning this senseless act of violence.
The case is Trent P. Pierce and Melissa Pierce v. Randeep Mann, Circuit Court of Crittenden County, Arkansas; CV-2010-000061.
Arkansas Court rules in favor of doctor injured in bombing
Today an Arkansas court entered judgment in favor of Trent Pierce, M.D., and his wife, Melissa, on their claims for damages for injuries suffered by Dr. Pierce on February 4, 2009 when a bomb exploded as he was attempting to enter his car parked in front of their home in West Memphis, Arkansas. Pierce suffered life-threatening injuries, including severe burns, broken bones and teeth, partial loss of hearing, and loss of sight in one eye. Investigators determined that the explosion was caused by a spare tire that had been booby-trapped with a military MK3A2 offensive hand grenade and placed in front of Dr. Pierce’s vehicle in such a manner that the grenade detonated when Dr. Perce attempted to move the tire.
Randeep Mann, M.D., of Russellville, Arkansas, was subsequently charged in United States District Court in Little Rock with multiple felony offenses arising out of the bombing. He was convicted in August 2010 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The convictions were affirmed by the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2012. The United States Supreme Court refused to review the convictions. Mann had been called before the Arkansas State Medical Board a number of times and it had restricted his privilege to prescribe controlled substances. Pierce served as President of the Board and was on his way to a meeting of the Board at the time of the bombing.
The Pierces filed a civil suit against Randeep Mann and other unknown defendants in the Circuit Court of Crittenden County, Arkansas, in January 2010 seeking damages for civil conspiracy and assault and battery arising out of the bombing. On December 6, 2013, the Honorable Pamela B. Honeycutt, Circuit Judge, ruled in favor of the Pierces on their motion for partial summary judgment finding that Mann’s federal felony convictions entitled them to recover both compensatory damages and punitive damages on their claims for injuries and financial losses leaving the only the amounts of damages to be determined in a trial that is yet to be scheduled.
The Pierces’ attorney, Robert M. Cearley, Jr. of Little Rock, said this ruling is a huge victory for Dr. and Mrs. Pierce, and brings them closer to obtaining the compensation they deserve.
Jury finds for plaintiff against local corporation on breach of contract case
A jury in Searcy, Arkansas, ordered KKC, Inc. of Searcy to pay Carolyn Cox $177,593 for thevalue of her stock in KKC, Inc. Cox formed KKC, Inc. in 1993 along with Rick Kent and his wife, Barbara Kent. The three were equal shareholders in KKC, Inc. until 2008, when Cox accepted an offer from Rick Kent, KKC’s President, to cash out her interest in KKC, Inc. and give up her stock in exchange for certain payments. The corporation made payments to Cox for approximately two years, until Rick Kent stopped payments to Cox, claiming Cox’s stock had no value and that payments to her from KKC were contingent upon the outcome of a third party business transaction to which Cox was not a party. Cox sued on a breach of contract theory, and the jury returned a verdict for Cox after a three day trial.
Cox’s trial attorney, Robert Cearley, Jr. of Little Rock, said the case was a victory for Cox, who relied on KKC, Inc. to make monthly payments to her as her retirement.KKC, Inc. and Rick Kent are both defendants in pending litigation in Union County, Arkansas over the third-party business transaction. Rick Kent is involved in another lawsuit pending in White County, Arkansas brought by Rick Adams, his business partner in T.Ricks, LLC, on similar claims of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
Reglan (metoclopramide) is a drug approved for the short-term treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like diabetic gastroparesis, gastroesphageal reflux (GERD) and delayed gastric emptying. However, it is often prescribed for longer periods of time due to the often chronic persistence of those ailments, which has been shown to increase the risk of tardive dyskinesia and other injuries.
Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder that causes repetitive and involuntary movements of the lower face and limbs. Symptoms can include grimacing, chewing, smacking of lips, rapid eye movements and impaired finger movements. There is no known effective treatment of the disorder, and involuntary movements can become permanent, persisting after use of the drug has stopped.
Lawsuits over Reglan all involve common allegations that the manufacturers failed to adequately investigate and study their drugs, or warn about the potential tardive dyskinesia side effects of Reglan associated with use over longer periods of time.
In February 2009, the FDA required the manufacturers to place a black box warning about the Reglan tardive dyskinesia risk, and a medication guide to be distributed with the drug informing patients about the potential side effects.
Cearley Law Firm is currently investigating claims involving the use of the drug Reglan.
Important Update: Public Citizen Urges Recall of Surgical Mesh
The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen on Aug. 25, 2011, petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immediately ban the sale of all non-absorbable surgical mesh products used for transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
Public Citizen requested in their petition that the FDA immediately ban the sale of all non-absorbable surgical mesh designed specifically for transvaginal repair of POP and order all non-absorbable mesh manufacturers to recall the products designed for POP. The group also urged the FDA to require that all of these products be reclassified as a Class III Device, requiring them to go through prospective clinical trials proving they are safe and effective.
The advocacy group’s petition said that these devices were no more beneficial in POPsurgery than surgery without using the mesh and had high rates of complications which often required further surgery. Sometimes the additional surgeries were unsuccessful, resulting in “life-altering harm” to these patients, the consumer advocacy group alleged.
POP is a condition that occurs in women, usually after the stress of childbirth, causing the weakened tissues of the pelvic floor to prolapse or bulge into the vagina. POP can result in pelvic discomfort, and interfere with urination, defecation, and sexual function in addition to other daily activities. Vaginal mesh is used to support the weakened tissue in and around the vagina to pull the organs back into their normal position.
Defective Transvaginal Pelvic Mesh
Victims of defective transvaginal pelvic mesh products are beginning to file a new wave of lawsuits against the manufacturers of the synthetic mesh, following the shocking results of a clinical study that ended in fall of 2010 after finding dangerous complications of “erosion” causing pain and infection.
The vaginal mesh products are manufactured by several companies, including Ethicon/Gynecare/Johnson & Johnson and C.R.Bard, Inc. — both of which are already named in the litigation in New Jersey that consolidates multiple cases before Judge Carol E. Higbee. The products are sometimes used – instead of the more traditional technique of “colpopexy” – to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP). The mesh is also used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
In October 2008, the FDA issued warnings to doctors, saying the transvaginal placement of the surgical mesh products had triggered more than 1,000 reports of adverse events associated with the products, manufactured by at least nine different companies. At that time, the FDA still believed the problems were “rare.” However, problems continued to mount.
In fall of 2010, medical researchers published a medical journal article revealing problems uncovered in a clinical study conducted from 2007 through 2009 (Obstetrics & Gynecology: August 2010 – Volume 116 – Issue 2, Part 1 – pp 293-303; “Vaginal Mesh for Prolapse: A Randomized Controlled Trial”; Iglesia, Cheryl B. MD, et al.).
Patients would have been better off with traditional treatment, according to the article’s lead author, Dr. Cheryl B. Iglesia, director of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia.
“The bottom line is not only there were more complications,” Dr. Iglesia said, “but the mesh didn’t prove any better than traditional surgery.”
The researchers conducting a clinical trial of the vaginal mesh products were forced to stop the study in August 2009 before it was completed, because the problems they were seeing in patients were too severe to continue the research. More than 15 percent of women in the study experience the dangerous and painful condition known as “erosion” in which the skin splits and the mesh protrudes.
In the earlier FDA warnings, further problems were noted:
The most frequent complications included erosion through vaginal epithelium, infection, pain, urinary problems, and recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence. There were also reports of bowel, bladder, and blood vessel perforation during insertion. In some cases, vaginal scarring and mesh erosion led to a significant decrease in patient quality of life due to discomfort and pain, including dyspareunia.”
The judge presiding over consolidated cases in New Jersey recently issued an order designating a new caption for the cases, as “In re Pelvic Mesh / Gynecare Litigation” (Higbee; NJ; Jan. 3, 2011) (includes cases of products made by Ethicon, Ethicon Women’s Health & Urology, Gynecare, and/or Johnson & Johnson, even if case includes other products) (defendants also include Boston Scientific Corporation, American Medical Systems, Caldera Medical) (Judge Carol E. Higbee, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County).
Cearley Law Firm, P.A. in partnership with Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, in Pensacola, Florida, is currently investigating the full extent of the problems associated with these pelvic mesh products, the various manufacturers involved, and all legal actions available to recover compensation for victims. Lawyers at the firms are available to review individual cases and discuss the best course of action.
Mentor OB tape and Bard Avaulta mesh complications
Many patients have experienced problems similar to those noted above with Mentor OB Tape and the Bard Avaulta Mesh vaginal sling.
Mentor OB Tape is manufactured by the Mentor Corporation. Bard Avaulta Mesh is manufactured by C. R. Bard, Inc.
These products are marketed as solutions for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). However, the use of these products has led to serious complications for numerous women.
The Mentor OB tape was pulled from the market in 2006, due to numerous reports of serious complications. Lawyers for numerous victims of the Mentor OB tape products reached a settlement with the defendant manufacturer just before the first trial on related injuries was set to begin in June 2010. Many other victims have already filed additional lawsuits, while others are still eligible to file new lawsuits.
The Bard Avaulta vaginal mesh, were among those targeted by FDA warnings issues in 2008 and the subsequent revealing report by Dr. Iglesia and colleagues in 2010, describing a clinical study ended in 2009 due to serious problems with surgical mesh use.
The Bard product is marketed as the Avaulta Anterior and Posterior Biosynthetic Support System.
The FDA provides the following recommendations for patients:
Be aware of the risks associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP.
Know that having a mesh surgery may put you at risk for needing additional surgery due to mesh-related complications. In a small number of patients, repeat surgery may not resolve complications.
Ask your surgeon about all POP treatment options, including surgical repair with or without mesh and non-surgical options, and understand why your surgeon may be recommending treatment of POP with mesh.
In addition, ask your surgeon these questions before you agree to have surgery in which surgical mesh will be used:
- Are you planning to use mesh in my surgery?
- Why do you think I am a good candidate for surgical mesh?
- Why is surgical mesh being chosen for my repair?
- What are the alternatives to transvaginal surgical mesh repair for POP, including non-surgical options?
- What are the pros and cons of using surgical mesh in my particular case? How likely is it that my repair could be successfully performed without using surgical mesh?
- Will my partner be able to feel the surgical mesh during sexual intercourse? What if the surgical mesh erodes through my vaginal wall?
- If surgical mesh is to be used, how often have you implanted this particular product? What results have your other patients had with this product?
- What can I expect to feel after surgery and for how long?
- Which specific side effects should I report to you after the surgery?
- What if the mesh surgery doesn’t correct my problem?
- If I develop a complication, will you treat it or will I be referred to a specialist experienced with surgical mesh complications?
- If I have a complication related to the surgical mesh, how likely is it that the surgical mesh could be removed and what could be the consequences?
- If a surgical mesh is to be used, is there patient information that comes with the product, and can I have a copy?
Continue with your annual and other routine check-ups and follow-up care.