Posts tagged ‘Drugs’

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

The opposite of numb (but perhaps with the same result), I plunged so deeply into depression I couldn’t:

drive myself home
pick up a fork
wash my hair
erase my smeared makeup
brush my teeth
swallow 150 mg of relief
pack a bowl
check Facebook

August 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Federal Judge Confirms $200 Million Settlement for Victims Injured by Tainted NECC Steroids

Springfield, Mass. – Today, Federal Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff ruled in open court confirming the approximately $200 million settlement plan for the victims of the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections from New England Compounding Center (NECC).

The NECC saga began as a tragic yet hopeless case from the perspective of even the most optimistic attorney advocates: in September 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak spawned by contaminated injections from NECC, a relatively small compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts. NECC closed its doors in October 2012 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 21, 2012. At that point, the CDC had confirmed hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis and dozens of deaths linked to this outbreak.

Attorney Anne Andrews, Co-Chair of the NECC Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, is no stranger to bankruptcies in mass tort cases. In the May 2014 issue of Trial magazine, Ms. Andrews explained:

When a defendant in a mass tort litigation files for bankruptcy, it can be challenging to achieve just compensation for all victims. But it is possible if the plaintiffs’ attorneys work together to create a global settlement architecture that entices defendants to the table.

For nearly thirty years, Ms. Andrews and John C. Thornton, partners of Andrews & Thornton, have worked extensively litigating personal injury product liability cases against major pharmaceutical companies resulting from the sale of dangerous drugs, medical devices and dietary supplements.  Andrews & Thornton has been involved in various federal multi-district litigations and state court coordinated litigations beginning with the Dow Corning Breast Implant litigation. Andrews & Thornton has extensive experience with and has been an active participant in virtually every recent tort claim related litigation within a bankruptcy.

The NECC settlement has nearly doubled since Judge Boroff approved the initial settlement Plan in July 2014. All classes of creditors overwhelmingly supported the Plan, with over 99 percent of victim creditors voting in its favor.  According to Ms. Andrews:

Now that the Plan has been confirmed, distribution of the global settlement fund to victims will soon begin.  It has been a pleasure to work with an incredible team of colleagues to achieve this extraordinary relief that seemed impossible at the outset. This Plan Confirmation helps bring a sense of closure to the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones, who have waited so patiently for justice and some form of compensation for all they have endured.

May 19, 2015 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Light and Truth: Exhibit A

May 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm 1 comment

Excerpt from “The Rental Property”

“He’s like in this band called Orange Penis, and he only showers once or twice a week—but that’s okay with me—and he has this sorta androgynous hairstyle, and he went to Duke or Carnegie Mellon or maybe Swarthmore…” Aubrey inanely boasts.

“Sounds like a real charmer,” I roll my eyes and light a joint.

“And, I mean, his girlfriend has like the perfect body… I mean, I wouldn’t want a body like that (I don’t want to be fat!), but it’s perfect, you know?” Aubrey plucks the joint from between my fingers.

“He has a girlfriend?” I shove a handful of Nacho Cheesier Doritos into my mouth. “Are you like some sort of wannabe-indie-hipster garage band groupie or something?” Underwhelmed, I fall back into the neon green overstuffed beanbag chair in Aubrey’s living room.

“No! It’s like a post-modern meta-garage band.”

July 14, 2010 at 4:44 am Leave a comment

Celebrating “Semi-Charmed Life”

In the summer of 1997, my girlfriends and I camped out in a backyard tent and listened to “Semi-Charmed Life” on repeat for several hours. I’m the kind of person who tires after hearing a threshold amount of even the best music (How many times can a person really stand to listen to The Joshua Tree or Thriller?), but this Third-Eye Blind hit has never ceased to astound me.

As thirteen-year-olds, we only somewhat understood the sexually and chemically charged lyrics. Also, the breezy, fast-faced tempo made it difficult to decipher what lead singer Stephan Jenkins was even singing. It didn’t help that we couldn’t just “Google” a line from the song and retrieve the lyrics. I recall mistaking “And I speak to you like the chorus to the verse” with “And it speaks to you like the birds in the forest.”

Now, of course, I realize that “Semi-Charmed Life” is the seminal anthem of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. It was also my brother’s theme song. We played it at his memorial service, and it was awesome to hear “Doin’ crystal meth will lift you up until you break” and “How do I get back there to the place where I fell asleep inside you?” blast in a room full of relatives, young people, old people, Christians, atheists, and floral arrangements.

I went to Newport Beach this past weekend and had a great time slowly running my bare feet through the sand. I thought, “I believe in the sand beneath my toes / The beach gives a feeling / An earthy feeling / I believe in the faith that grows.” I thought about how hard it really seems, sometimes, to get through this bittersweet, ironic, defeating, gratifying, semi-charmed life. I thought about how I can’t not believe that there’s life after death. I simply cannot accept a reality in which I will never see Alex again.

I’m not listening when you say goodbye…

April 1, 2010 at 6:14 am 1 comment

Lighters Up

Lighters up
like at a Queen concert
if Freddie Mercury were still alive
if you were still alive
singing Bohemian Rhapsody

Mama, just killed a man
a lot like Miss Jones,
I think I just shot her son

I think it just snowed in East Texas
Who knew
memories of you would get me
singing Randy Travis
higher than the pine trees
that grow tall upon the hill

The one in the summer
where we used to smoke pot
I thought, what’s wrong
with this neighborhood?
urban life decay

I look for you everywhere:
in crossword puzzles,
clouds, thin air, Rumble Fish,
katamari damacy, Disneyland, flour bags,
snow, the Aurora Borealis, grocery stores,
dreams, nightmares, everywhere
Wouldn’t you?

Lighter’s up
its flame
cathedral champaign
and my bleeding heart
A most beautiful ruby red.

December 9, 2009 at 6:50 am Leave a comment

ACLU Presents Case of Savana Redding to US Supreme Court

When she was 13, Savana Redding endured a humiliating strip-search (in which she had to bare her breasts and genitalia) after a classmate falsely accused her of possessing ibuprofen pills. The school officials who instigated this traumatic event violated Redding’s civil rights and betrayed the trust and respect of the parents and students of Safford United School District.

Most news articles regarding this event and its aftermath criticize the school officials for acting so rashly on uncorroborated evidence. While I agree that using mere accusations to justify a strip-search is completely uncalled for, I think the act of forcing children to reveal their private parts for any reason needs to be seriously examined. If Redding had been accused of bringing cocaine to school, I still think other avenues of interrogation and corroboration should have been explored. After all, if the officials had found ibuprofen pills on Redding’s person, the civil rights of a child would have still been violated.  Which is worse: Possessing prescription-strength painkillers on school grounds…or forcing a minor to show her body parts to adults?

The other issue this case brings up is that of the “war on drugs.” I remember when, as a middle and high school student, I received explicit instructions (punishable by the wrath of God) not to keep any kind of drug in my backpack, locker, or car. Even asthmatics had to check their inhalers in at the nurse’s office. I was so used to this rule that I endured all of college without using Advil, Tylenol, etc. (it was second-nature not to pick it up at the drugstore without first consulting an adult). Shouldn’t the school have spent more time handing out condoms than taking away aspirin?

And now I’ve been hearing all these ads about how terrible marijuana is and how it will ruin your life. “Above the Influence” commercials air on any TV station that caters to the “under 30” demographic. I recognize that weed, in addition to being illegal (which it shoudn’t be, but that’s for another time), impairs ones ability to drive and operate heavy machinery. That said, shouldn’t we be spending our publicly-funded advertising dollars on preventing the use of drugs like heroin and speed? Again, which is worse: Allowing a bunch of potheads to binge on Doritos and Ding Dongs after school…or overlooking a group of students snorting coke in the locker room?

This morning, the US Supreme Court heard arguments from Savana Redding’s attorney with the ACLU. From one woman to another, I commend the young lady (six years have passed since that fateful day) for having the courage to pursue justice.

April 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm 1 comment

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