Volkswagen’s $500 Apology to Owners

TDI2Volkswagen of America is assembling what it calls a “goodwill package” for owners of VW 2-liter “clean” diesel vehicles affected by the company’s massive emissions scandal. The package consists of a $500 prepaid Visa card and another $500 that can only be used at Volkswagen and Audi dealerships. They are also going to throw in three years of free roadside assistance. This is an obvious attempt to pacify angry VW owners who have been waiting for answers. Unfortunately for VW, this idle attempt is not going to be the answer to cease the mob.

I doubt any VW owner will deny the money, but $500 is far from settling things for VW. They aren’t getting off that easily for installing “defeat device” software to cheat emissions testing on 11 million vehicles worldwide. VW owners are losing much more than $500. First off, their cars are now drastically reduced in resell value. They paid premium dollar for nothing more than a lie. The car they thought had great mileage, performance and was better for the environment is nothing more than a deceptive scheme that VW is now paying for. Literally.

The $500 credit at the VW dealerships is the biggest joke. Most of these buyers aren’t wanting to turn around and buy another VW. It’s like being cheated on by your spouse. You end up having major trust issues. Michael Horn, VW of America’s CEO, calls the package “a first step toward regaining our customers’ trust.” Sadly, VW will need to walk 10,000 miles to gain the trust back from the majority of their once-devoted customers. Many wonder, if VW did this, what else did they do? Where does it end?

I have heard of some dealerships offering VW owners $2,000 (or other amounts) to trade in their vehicle for a new VW car. Their offer right now sounds better than VW’s first step. But, it’s not the best choice for the long haul. VW isn’t getting out of a lawsuit and smart owners will stay strong and wait for the compensation they deserve. $500 is pixie dust compared to the treasure chest that could land on their doorstep when all of this is said and done.

 One VW diesel Golf owner from Connecticut stated it best, “I guess it’s a very small step in the right direction. But far from what I’d like to see in terms of being compensated.”

Other VW owners have expressed they feel insulted by the peace offering. Terms spread on the internet consist of “slap in the face” and “scandalous” to describe the goodwill package.

Many VW owners purchased their cars with the thinking that they would uphold a great resell value. Now owners are being told by dealerships that their cars have lost half of its original value. If VW really wants to make this right, they need to either buy back the cars or pay out proper compensation. If cars end up being recalled, the “fix” will give them a much different vehicle. They will drive away with a gas-guzzling vehicle with drastically slower performance.

I think filing a claim and jumping on the VW class action lawsuit bandwagon is the best choice for a VW owner to make. Sometimes, it really does pay to be patient.


Low Testosterone Lawsuits Exceed 2,700 Against AbbVie

Countless men are suing AbbVie, the maker of the popular testosterone therapy product AndroGel, and the numbers continue to flood in. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight as the total number of testosterone lawsuits filed is now over 2,700 and still growing.

Claims have been filed against seven manufacturers of “Low T” products. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has chosen AbbVie to defend in the first multidistrict litigation (MDL) testosterone lawsuit to go to trial.

Earlier this year, AbbVie expressed dissatisfaction with the federal court’s bellwether trial selection process and pressured the court to ensure fairness of the process by allowing the company to be actively involved in selecting the first cases to go to trial, rather than leaving it up to the lawyers. Some of the plaintiff’s lawyers have accused AbbVie of undue influence over the bellwether process.

The testosterone MDL bellwether trials will be categorized into two groups: those pertaining to blood clotting conditions, such as deep vein thrombrosis; and those pertaining to heart attack. The lawyers for AbbVie selected 16 plaintiffs to represent the class of men suing for each type of alleged side effect.

12 bellwether cases are scheduled for later in 2016. The first 6 cases will start in October 2016 and involve men alleging “thromboembolic” injuries and the latter 6 will involve men who suffered from a heart attack or stroke. Bellwether cases will also be selected for the other testosterone makers that are being sued, but those cases will not start until the second half of 2017.

Ron Johnson, co-lead counsel on the testosterone cases, stated that he “imagine(s) we’re not quite to the halfway point in terms of the number of suits we’re going to see ultimately filed in this case.” Johnson believes that the bellwether cases need to represent men of different ages from different time periods to test the adequacy of the product warnings at all stages. “We want a guy who’s under 65 and we want a guy who’s over 65, because the best literature on the heart attacks says if you’re over 65 your risk is doubled.”

In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that all testosterone replacement manufacturers revise the product labels to accurately detail the proper use of the hormone and to include cardiovascular risks. The FDA is also enforcing clinical trials to be performed by the companies to further define the risks.

Regardless of how all of this plays out, the allegations against testosterone has already taken a toll on AbbVie’s AndroGel. In the first half of this year, which the company reported on July 24, sales of the product dropped nearly 32% year-over-year to $323 million. Sales fell again in the third quarter, yet AbbVie’s other franchises are helping to soften the financial woes by driving up total sales 26% and earnings up 27%.


Apple’s Poaching Lawsuit Has Brought The Giant Unwanted Attention

Why would Apple need car battery engineers? Well, it seems that the iconic computer company has plans to branch out into other markets. At least that is what Apple?s bold move to hire numerous high-profile auto engineers from A123, a prominent large-scale battery manufacturer, suggests. Beginning in June 2014, Apple began luring some of A123?s best and brightest to work in its own secret division, ostensibly a team of pros designing a new type of electric car to usher in the dawn of a new era for Apple. While it is all well and good to expand horizons, in this case, it is also illegal.
The complaint names five of its former employees – Don Dafoe, Michael Erickson, Indrajeet Thorat, Mujeeb Ijaz, and Depeng Wang ? as having left A123 before their contractual obligations had been met. Three of these employees served as PhD project heads researching new electric car technology. Another of the employees, Mujeeb Ijaz, oversaw not only the other named individuals in the lawsuit but the research division as a whole. After these five employees departed A123, email correspondence between them and Apple?s talent acquisition staff set off red flags that the computer company known for computer and cell phone technology had its eye set on something entirely new that translates to ?unfair competition,? according to A123. There is an in-depth article about employee contractual obligations and what can be enforced found on this blog.
According to A123, the employees that moved to Apple did so in grave violation of their legal agreements with their original employer. A123, which has U.S. government contracts of its own to fulfill, isn?t just upset with the early and unexpected departure of its engineers. Apparently, these engineers were so vital to A123?s operations that the entire future of its own projects are in peril. The former employee who is at the center of the lawsuit is Mujeeb Ijaz, who has been accused of not only jumping ship but actively recruiting other bright minds from within A123 to Apple?s own battery-making efforts.
?It appears that Apple, with the assistance of defendant Ijaz, is systematically hiring away A123?s high-tech PhD and engineering employees, thereby effectively shutting down various projects/programs at A123,” a portion of the lawsuit reads. “They are doing so in an effort to support Apple?s apparent plans to establish a battery division that is similar if not identical to A123?s, in competition with A123.? The fact that Ijaz has also been contacting some of A123?s partners on behalf of Apple only seems to confirm the battery manufacturer?s fears.
The complaint also notes how Apple?s recruiting efforts have not been limited to taking at least 11 of A123?s former engineers (although only five of those are named as defendants in the lawsuit). There is evidence that Apple has reached out to other well-known battery engineers from Samsung, Panasonic, Toshiba, and more. We found that labour laws?are complex and require some research as to A123’s case against Apple. At this time, none of those companies have made an official comment or have begun lawsuits of their own against the iPad and iPhone producer. That does not, however, mean that additional complaints will be filed in the near future.
Although Apple has a history of beginning and later abandoning projects the company deems as not worth the hassle after a bit of research, it seems that whatever secret division (that is ostensibly designing a new electric car) requires these automotive battery engineers is here to stay. With over 60 former employees of A123?s rival Tesla now at Apple?s new division?s helm in addition to the allegedly poached A123 engineers, there is a huge investment in highly skilled manpower. For now, the purpose of collecting so many car battery engineers remains a mystery because Apple continues to decline comment for the time being.

Theranos Poised To Take Advantage Of Arizona Health Law

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos more than a decade ago with the goal of providing every individual with access to any blood test when and where they want it, without having to lose three or four vials of blood or obtain a doctor’s order. Proposed Arizona House Bill 2645 may just allow that to happen for the first time.

Theranos and Holmes


Elizabeth Holmes is a commanding, soft spoken woman who has a vision of every American being able to visit a lab for any blood test. Her testing model would allow a person to request a blood test without a doctor’s order and most tests would only require a single drop of blood. Her company, Theranos, has spent more than a decade developing test hardware and the accompanying software with those goals in mind.

One of the key pieces of hardware the company has developed is the ”nanotainer.” Nanotainers are vials that are small enough to contain a single drop of blood, yet can be accessed for testing later, so are key to Theranos’ success.

In the fall of 2013, Theranos moved beyond research and development to open Wellness Centers in 21 Walgreens stores in Palo Alto and Phoenix, Arizona. The Theranos vision is to open Wellness Centers in all 8,200 Walgreens stores with regional support hubs dispersed across the United States. Theranos has been mainly operating on a ”doctor’s order” only basis, marking time until the national laws are able to catch up to its vision.


Arizona Bill 2645


Analyst Eric Lakin of consulting firm DeciBio believes that Arizona has at last caught up with the Theranos vision.  On his blog, Lakin says: ”Arizona House Bill 2645, signed into law earlier this week by Governor Doug Ducey, will allow Arizona residents to receive blood tests directly from licensed labs without a doctor’s order. While Arizona residents could order a limited number of tests under previous legislation, this new law would permit customers to access any test offered by (any of the nation’s 251,000 federally certified labs). This law could be pivotal for Theranos, which aims to enable patients to access their health information at the time it matters. As more progressive laws loosen old-fashioned restrictions around patient access to health data, the implications for a ‘consumer health company’ such as Theranos are tremendous.”

The Arizona legislation is just the latest leap forward for Holmes and Theranos. In 2013 the company announced that it was partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to introduce its nanotainer and other technology in Ohio. A short week after that announcement, Theranos board member George Schultz held a press conference to announce the company was making its way through the Food and Drug Administrations approval process for an early stage Ebola test.

The combination of successful moves forward since 2013 has allowed Theranos to raise more than $400 million in working capital. The company is currently valued at more than $9 billion and is poised to give individuals more control and knowledge of their medical testing and data.


Testosterone Therapy Drugs Are Overused, FDA Sends Out Warning

Andro-1200-multi1The over-prescribing of “Low T” drugs for men is taking a massive hit. The FDA is warning doctors against this practice, stating that the heavily marketing testosterone-boosting treatments have not been evaluated as safe or effective for age-related issues. Drugmakers, such as AbbVie and Actavis, are not taking this news lightly

Just two days ago, the FDA rang the warning bell and is now requiring all testosterone manufacturers, like AndroGel and AndroDerm, to prominently display on their labels only the approved uses of the FDA-approved medication. The approved use is for true low testosterone medical conditions like hypogonadism, not just the regular issues with aging such as low libido and fatigue.

The FDA has finally also decided to make the manufacturers add an important warning about heart attack and stroke risks in patients using this type of therapy. The FDA has now concluded that using low testosterone medications elevates a risk for cardiovascular health issues, based on numerous study findings and expert input. Some studies found an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and even death linked to testosterone therapy treatment. This isn’t a surprise after the report of over 620 lawsuits filed by men who have suffered heart attack and strokes while using “Low T” drugs.

The FDA recognizes that these drugs have been mass-marketed to men as an anti-aging drug to be placed in the category of a “lifestyle” drug. Many men on these drugs have never been tested or diagnosed with any medical condition related to low testosterone.

It doesn’t stop there. The FDA is further requiring manufacturers to add a warning message on the labels concerning the risks of blood clots in the veins, also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) which includes both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

The FDA advises that health care professionals only prescribe testosterone to men with actual medical conditions associated with low testosterone that has been confirmed by lab testing. Any adverse reactions or side effects need to be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

Class Action Lawsuits: Your Questions Answered

personal injury

Most class action attorneys provide no-cost case evaluations.

What is a class action lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is one in which there are a large number of plaintiffs bringing similar claims. These lawsuits are also called representative actions or collective lawsuits. Typically, there are only a handful of named plaintiffs, but those plaintiffs are representative of a larger group. Individuals who sign onto class action suits typically relinquish their rights to independently sue the same entity.





What are the types of class action lawsuits?

  1. Consumer Class actions:

Consumer class actions are generally brought when consumers complain about being injured by a company’s systematic and illegal practices. Examples of such consumer complaints include illegal charges on bills, illegal penalties for late-payments, and failure to comply with consumer protection laws. While consumers often write a complaint letter to such companies, complaint letters often go unanswered, in which case you’ll want to contact a class action consumer lawyer regarding your consumer complaint.

  1. Securities Class actions:

Securities class actions are typically brought on behalf of a group of investors who have been injured as a result of a company’s improper conduct, such as misstating earnings, concealing or misrepresenting risks, or otherwise engaging in activity detrimental to the company.

  1. Product liability/Personal Injury Class actions:

Product liability and personal injury class action lawsuits are generally brought when a defective product, such as a drug with harmful side effects, or “mass accident”, such as a toxic spill, harms many people.

  1. Employment Class actions:

Employment class action lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of employees of a large company for claims ranging from systematic workplace discrimination to unpaid overtime pay.

If you or a loved one has suffered, you deserve compensation.

What are the benefits of class action lawsuits?

If you have been wronged by an entity with substantial resources, it can be difficult to fight for your rights. Large companies can afford to hire teams of attorneys and drag a case on for years. Few individuals can withstand the financial cost of such a process. This is not the case with a class action lawsuit, however. Given the large number of plaintiffs and the potential for substantial damage awards, a law firm can work on a class action case on contingency, costing the plaintiffs nothing during the proceedings.

What are damages in class action lawsuits?

There are two types of damages available in class action lawsuits. They are:

Compensatory damages – meant to compensate plaintiffs for direct damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering and wrongful death

Punitive damages – meant to punish the defendant for intentional or gross wrongdoing

If you have a potential class action lawsuit, there are experienced attorneys that can help you begin the process. Class action attorneys are skilled at evaluating and handling a wide variety of class action suits. Contact one today to have a free case evaluation.



Early signs of Erectile Dysfunction

photo credit: mik_p

photo credit: mik_p

Erectile Dysfunction is become an increasing concern for men of all ages. Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by the inability to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. Not only does ED lead to failed sexual activity, it can also lead to psychological problems of low self-esteem and self-worth. Erectile dysfunction can have a severely negative impact on a man as well as his partner, both physically and psychologically.

Knowing the causes of this widespread condition will help you prevent it. Knowing the symptoms of ED is important as well as through early detection you can put a stop to problems before they further develop. Symptoms of impotence usually occur in a number of stages.

Stage 1 – Transient Occurrences

Most males will experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. Transient occurrences are normal and should not be cause for concern. However, such an occurrence should not be taken lightly as the frequency of the symptoms increases if steps to prevent it are not taken.

Even though the cause of ED is not always biological, you should take preventive steps to avoid this completely. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than the cure. What is your current lifestyle? Do you smoke and drink a lot? Do you get enough sleep every night? Are you working a high stress job? All of these things can add up and cause impotence if they’re not addressed in time. A destructive lifestyle has a higher probability of impotence.

What if you “couldn’t get it to work” this one particular time? Is it cause for concern or is it normal? The good news is that most of the times, this is a normal incident and happens to almost all males. You should keep an eye out on your lifestyle in order to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Stage 2 – Frequent Occurrences

The broad definition of erectile dysfunction is the inability of achieving or maintaining an erection. Even though you might be psychologically aroused, physically there is little or no arousal. It’s important to establish this connection because lack of emotional arousal does not mean impotence.

Erectile dysfunction can be frustrating for men, as it can dampen your confidence and make you weary of performing the next time you have sexual contact. This condition is not only debilitating for the sufferer but it can also be a source of frustration for the sexual partner. There are many reasons why men experience erectile dysfunction. If you care about your sexual health and prowess, you should analyze every factor of your life, both physiological and psychological, to determine what the cause could be.

As they say, knowing is half the battle and when it comes to impotence, it’s best to detect and treat it early rather than ignore it only to have it later control your life and your self-image.

Low Testosterone Drugs – Do They Really Work?

photo credit: anokarina

photo credit: anokarina

There are a number of reasons why men experience low testosterone levels. In some men, this can be the result of a genetic condition called hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a medical condition characterized by insufficient production of testosterone in the body. Testosterone plays a vital part in masculine growth and development of the male during puberty. This hormone is directly linked to the ability to produce sperm. Another cause for low testosterone levels might be a condition such as an enlarged prostate. Men who suffer from enlarged prostate have a shortage of testosterone because their bodies are converting testosterone into a secondary hormone, known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT for short.

DHT occurs when an enzyme converts the testosterone into DHT. Common symptoms of this conversion is a loss of libido and low energy levels. A blood test performed by a medical expert will confirm this. Testosterone prescriptions and sales for low testosterone drugs have skyrocketed since 2008. In 2013 alone, the testosterone drug industry is estimated to be worth around $2 billion.

Lowered testosterone levels can also be a symptom of old age and is a natural occurrence in men over 40. However if you suffer from abnormally low testosterone levels, your doctor might prescribe you a low testosterone treatment such as Androgel.

Testosterone drug side effects

Unfortunately, low T drugs come with a number of unpleasant side effects, one of them being an enlarged prostate. Testosterone drugs have come under heavy scrutiny lately, with numerous men hiring a low testosterone lawyer to file a lawsuit for the injuries caused from taking the drug. A number of recent studies has shown that taking testosterone drugs can increase the risk of heart attacks two and even three fold for certain demographics.

Another problem of low testosterone drugs is that while having a large amount of circulating testosterone in your blood, this can lead to a slowed production of “real” testosterone in the gonads. The quick fix of taking a drug that is aimed at boosting testosterone levels is actually making it worse in the long term. Visit a fertility clinic and ask them what they think about testosterone drugs. I can guarantee you that you will get an unanimous “no!” when it comes to this type of medication. On the other hand, fertility clinics work with HCG, also known as human chorionic gonadotropic hormone. A HCG injection administered by a medical expert will actually kickstart production of testosterone in the testes. To date, this is seen as a safer alternative to taking a testosterone prescription drug.

Natural remedies

A natural remedy to solving low testosterone levels is changing your diet. Research has shown that a diet rich in red meat leads to an increase in testosterone levels. Another thing to be aware of is that soybeans are high in estrogens, which decrease testosterone levels. That’s why you should avoid soy and products from soybeans. Substitute soy milk with almond milk or cow’s milk. Each wholegrain breads instead of bread that is made with soy flour. Even sardines which are packed in olive oil are preferable to those packed in soybean oil. Diet is one of the most important aspects of our lives so it is no surprise that what we eat affects us on such a deep level.


Low testosterone drugs are accessible now more than ever, but is their usage justified? Although we know the general mechanism of action in inhibiting DHT production, we still do not know what consequence this has on men’s health in the long term. Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular incidents have shown us that these drugs aren’t as safe as their manufacturers claim to be.

These drugs should only be used in cases where the patient cannot produce testosterone as a result of genetic condition (hypogonadism) not because someone is getting old and cannot accept the facts of nature. If you want to increase your testosterone levels, there are safer and better ways to do so.

Should You See A Doctor for Hair Loss?

Man controls hair lossHair loss occurs approximately in 75% of men and the risk for hair loss only increases with age. Alopecia areata is a more serious form of the condition and it manifests itself in small patches of total hair loss. These bald spots can be the size of a small coin and can remain undetected until your hairdresser finds out about them.

Alopecia areata is different from androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) in that the cause is thought to be due to a deficiency of the auto-immune system. What happens is that the cells in the healthy hair follicles are attacked by the body, which causes for the hair root to weaken and fall out. There are different types of alopecia, varying from cause to the severity of the condition. For example alopecia universalis is defined as total loss of hair across the entire body and alopecia totalis is related to total hair loss on the scalp.

Men suffering from this condition can attest to how distressing the experience is. One day you’ve got a head full of strong, healthy hair and the next thing you know, you’re struggling to style your hair in order to hide that bald spot on your head. However, while there is no universal solution to hair loss, a number of drugs and remedies can help slow hair loss and in some cases even reverse it.

Perhaps you are unaffected by the fact that your hair is thinning and falling out. Some people have come to terms with their age and simply shave their head and choose to “own it”. However, what if you can’t part with your hair? Can you still have the same hair as you did in your youth?

If you experience a sudden and rapid loss of hair, you should seek a doctor’s advice immediately. Hair loss could be the symptom of another, deeper, underlying medical problem. Your doctor may refer you to a qualified dermatologist or a hair clinic – at which point you might have access to the expertise of a qualified trichologist. A trichologist is a certified scalp and hair medical expert. One consultation will involve analyzing hair strands with a specialized microscope.

Normal hormone levels and strong, protein-rich hair strands are the usual mark of health hair so it stands to reason that the trichologist will look to analyze your hair for certain hormones such as cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, and a protein compound of which hair and skin is composed called Keratin.

If you experience slow and gradual hair loss, a visit to your family doctor will not hurt either. The medic will run a series of tests to rule out any medical problem. Keep in mind that gradual hair loss is part of the aging process so you shouldn’t get too upset about it. Even so, if you feel uncomfortable with the appearance of your hair, there are remedies that you can try in order to combat this condition.

If hair loss is an issue for you, medical experts working at a clinic will give you advice and suggest treatment for the condition. Even if you have a reasonably full head of strong hair does not mean that you should not seek advice. It has been reported that many people were able to prevent and reverse their hair loss by taking early steps to remedy the problem. The sooner you seek help – the better your chances are for preserving the head on your scalp.

You should choose a health clinic that can help you with your hair loss issue. Specialized hair clinics exist that offer services and treatments for both men and women and they have skills and methods that you would not find at a regular clinic. By choosing to solve your hair loss problem you can not only restore your hair, but your confidence too.