Today, the House Oversight Committee is holding an important hearing entitled "The Role of Pharmacy…
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House Hearing Spotlights Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) as Drivers of Higher Drug Prices

Today, the House Oversight Committee is holding an important hearing entitled "The Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Prescription Drug Markets Part III:  Transparency and Accountability."

For those unfamiliar, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) amount to middlemen that control prescription drugs for millions of Americans.  A majority of Americans receive health insurance through employer plans or government programs such as Medicare, which in turn cover prescription drugs through PBMs.  Those PBMs negotiate with drug companies and pay pharmacies, but throughout the process determine the drugs that insured patients may obtain and at what cost.

The problem is that PBMs operate in such an opaque and complex manner that they're able to inflate drug costs while claiming to be working…[more]

July 23, 2024 • 04:57 PM

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Jester’s Courtroom
City Tries to School the District on Reopening
Wednesday, February 17 2021

Reportedly the first of its kind, the City of San Francisco is suing its school district and board of education in an effort to compel them to reopen schools.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed a preliminary injunction against the San Francisco Unified School District and the Board of Education alleging the current plan to reopen schools and resume in-person instruction is inadequate and doesn’t meet California guidelines. The lawsuit goes on to accuse the district of violating students’ rights to attend public school, discriminating against students due to wealth and violating state law by not offering in-person learning “to the greatest extent.”

According to news reports, the city’s public schools have been closed since March 2020 but most of the city’s private and parochial schools have resumed in-person learning. Efforts to reopen the public schools in January failed after the district and the labor unions couldn’t agree on safety measures for staff. Allegedly, a tentative agreement was recently reached and now the district is working with the Department of Public Health to complete site inspections in anticipation of reopening.

“Distance learning is not the same thing as school, not even close,” Herrera said in a statement. “We know that teachers are doing heroic work every day trying to keep kids engaged and learning. So are overburdened parents. Even with all those tremendous efforts, almost a year of being isolated from classmates, friends and teachers is taking a terrifying toll on these kids. It must stop. It’s time to get back in class.”


Quite the Sticky Situation
Tuesday, February 09 2021

A Louisiana woman is considering a lawsuit against Gorilla Glue after struggling to remove the extra-strong superglue she had applied to her hair because she ran out of her usual hair product.

According to news reports, Tessica Brown has hired an attorney and is weighing her options in a lawsuit against Gorilla Glue for failure to warn against using the product on hair. Gorilla Glue’s label does warn against using on eyes, skin or clothing.

In response to the incident and Miss Brown’s posts, Gorilla Glue tweeted: “We are very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident that Miss Brown experienced using our Spray Adhesive on her hair. We are glad to see in her recent video that Miss Brown has received medical treatment from her local medical facility and wish her the best.” Gorilla Glue further noted that its product “is not indicated for use in or on hair as it is considered permanent.”

Brown sought treatment in a local emergency room to help remove the glue used to stick her hair in place, with health care workers applying acetone on the back of her head, which she claims burned her scalp and made the glue gooey before hardening back up.


Fishing for a Lawsuit
Monday, February 01 2021

Sandwich giant Subway is back in court, being accused of making tuna sandwiches with anything but tuna.

California residents Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin have filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California claiming in court documents that “the Products do not contain tuna nor have any ingredient that constitutes tuna.” Plaintiffs further allege they were “tricked” into buying mislabeled food and that independent lab tests found that Subway tuna is actually “a mixture of various concoctions” blended together to look like tuna but that “the ingredients were not tuna and not fish.”

Subway served up a response, stating, “There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California. Subway delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served to and enjoyed by our guests.”

Subway’s statement goes on to note that “this lawsuit is part of a trend in which the named plaintiffs’ attorneys have been targeting the food industry in an effort to make a name for themselves in that space. Subway will vigorously defend itself against these and any other baseless efforts to mischaracterize and tarnish the high-quality products that Subway and its franchisees provide to their customers, in California and around the world, and intends to fight these claims through all available avenues if they are not immediately dismissed.”


Another Sorta Ridiculous Lawsuit
Thursday, January 28 2021

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Keurig Dr Pepper claiming its Snapple Straight up Tea with the “Sorta Sweet” label is misleading to consumers who think they are drinking a product with less sugar.

Keurig Dr Pepper, however, is fighting back, noting in its recent filing for a motion to dismiss that in addition to the fact that the sugar content is on the label, no reasonable consumer could believe “sorta sweet” means “low in sugar.” 

“'Sorta Sweet’ is part of a food label, which has both a Nutrition Facts panel and an Ingredients List,” the motion says. “Those portions of the label accurately disclose the sugar content and ingredients, which include real sugar. No reasonable consumer goes through the mental gymnastics of redefining the puffery of ‘Sorta Sweet’ to mean ‘low in sugar’ while simultaneously ignoring the portions of the label that undo that implausible interpretation.”

Lawyers also note that the Sorta Sweet name comes about as there are two other versions of the tea, one marketed as unsweetened and one as sweet. Sorta Sweet has roughly half the sugar content of sweet, and unsweetened has zero grams.


Grim Reaper Faces Grim Decision
Wednesday, January 20 2021

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ lawyers are urging an appeals court to sanction a Northwest Florida attorney known as the “Grim Reaper.”

Santa Rosa Beach attorney Daniel Uhlfelder earned his nickname early in the pandemic by dressing as the Grim Reaper and walking the beaches of Florida while criticizing the state’s handling of COVID-19. Most notably, Uhlfelder filed a lawsuit trying to force DeSantis to close beaches to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Following an unsuccessful ruling, Uhlfelder filed what DeSantis’ lawyers called a frivolous appeal. Now attorneys are considering motions on the possibility of sanctions.

“The many hours spent by this court and the attorneys of the Executive Office of the Governor on this appeal could have been spent on innumerable other pressing matters related to the health, welfare, and safety of Floridians,” DeSantis’ lawyers wrote. “Appellant (Uhlfelder) knew or should have known that filing this appeal was frivolous. Appellant and his counsel should be sanctioned accordingly.” 

But Uhlfelder and his attorneys dispute that the appeal was frivolous or filed in bad faith, referencing Leon County Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll’s comments in his ruling that Uhlfelder “has an understandable concern that he has raised here, and I believe he has pursued this matter in good faith and is seeking what he believes to be an appropriate response to the COVID crisis.” 

Carroll ultimately rejected the lawsuit, saying, in part, that “second-guessing” DeSantis’ actions about beach closures and stay-at-home orders would violate separation-of-powers restrictions established by the Constitution. 

According to news reports, if the appeals court decides to impose sanctions they could include requiring Uhlfelder and his lawyers to pay legal fees.


Notable Quote   
"The astonishing political events of the last four weeks make plain, once again, how much of America's history depends on what voters have come to accept as the choice of one person: each presidential nominee's choice of a vice presidential candidate. Even as the nomination process was expanded, half a century ago, to include millions of primary voters, the choice of the vice presidential nominee…[more]
— Michael Barone, Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and Longtime Co-Author of The Almanac of American Politics
Liberty Poll   

Should Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle be fired for the agency's unconscionable failures regarding the assassination attempt on President Trump?