Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Juul, Merck, Nissan

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team

09/11/2019

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Juul gave marketing presentations to schoolchildren in the guise of "mental health/addiction" seminars

Juul is the cash-flush e-cigarette company whose billions (invested by Marlboro's parent company) have allowed it to create a massive market of addicted children, wiping out decades of progress in weaning children off of nicotine.

Now, the FDA has demanded that Juul answer claims that the company sent marketing representatives to schools to present during "mental health/addiction" seminars, where children were exposed to marketing messages promoting Juul products, told they were "totally safe" and "the Iphone of e-cigarettes." A Juul rep told a child who asked for advice for a friend who was addicted to nicotine to steer the friend towards using Juul products (the friend was already addicted to Juul products).

Juul's US-based products are stronger than those sold in other countries, with much higher levels of addictive nicotine. read more »

Court let Merck hide secrets about a popular drug’s risks

Lawsuits claim baldness drug Propecia causes sexual problems and depression. The judge sealed evidence suggesting the maker downplayed the side effects. A widow wants the truth out.

Such court-sanctioned secrecy has become the lethal norm in product-liability litigation in the United States. As Reuters reported in June, judges in large product-liability cases routinely seal evidence relevant to public health and safety. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been killed or seriously injured by allegedly defective products — cars, drugs, guns, medical devices — while evidence that could have alerted consumers and regulators to potential danger remained under seal. read more »

Nissan loses its second chairman in a year to financial impropriety

The Japanese carmaker will have trouble shaking off a reputation for corporate misgovernance

Carlos Ghosn may have allowed himself some Schadenfreude this week. On September 9th Hiroto Saikawa, who replaced him as Nissan’s chairman in April, fell on his sword after he too, like Mr Ghosn, faced accusations of financial impropriety. Last November Mr Saikawa, chief executive since Mr Ghosn stepped down from that role in 2017, was instrumental in bringing accusations of financial misconduct against the Frenchman. read more »