Learn about the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes comprise five freshwater bodies near the Canadian border in the North-American Mid-East region. Also known as the Laurentian or Global Great Lakes, they connect with each other and to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. Consisting of lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior, these make up the biggest collection of the world’s freshwater bodies.

Because of their meteorological and environmental characteristics such as sustained winds, rolling waves, strong currents, distant horizons and great depth, they’re also known as inland seas. The Great Lakes hold 21 percent of the earth’s fresh water by volume (5,439 cubic miles). Their complete surface area spans 94,250 square miles. Lake Michigan has the distinction of being the only one of the five that falls entirely within one country, and the others form an aquatic border between Canada and the United States. Lake Superior is the world’s second-largest freshwater body in regards to areal coverage.

The Great Lakes formed approximately 14,000 years ago when ice sheets retreated and uncovered hollowed areas towards the end of the latest glacial era. These subsequently filled with melted water. Because of their locations, these bodies of water have been a main thoroughfare for trade, transportation and migration. The lakes function as a habitat for many aquatic species, but their biodiversity has been affected by the introduction of invasive species.

While all five lakes have their own basins, they interconnect and form a single body of water. This collective body is known as the Great Lakes Basin. The resulting chain connects the eastern central part of the North American continent to the Atlantic Ocean. The water flow starts at Superior, at the Saint Lawrence River outlet, and meanders to Huron, Michigan, south to Erie and north to Ontario. There are around 35,000 islands and several thousand inland lakes within the collective basin.

The combined lakes’ surface area almost equals the size of the United Kingdom. The whole basin, including the land areas the water creates within, measures almost the size of France and the UK combined. Some of the lake area falls under the jurisdiction of Ontario, and the rest is divided among the states of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior are located at nearly the same elevation. Lake Ontario is located significantly lower. As such, the former four are the Upper Great Lakes, regardless of where you live and in which direction you travel.

Heater-Cooler Device Lawsuits

New studies by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have linked nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections to the heater-cooler devices that are used in cardiopulmonary bypass or open-heart surgeries. Although the symptoms of an NTM infection may take months or years to manifest, the infection can result in illness and ultimately lead to death.

The FDA issued a statement in October 2015 regarding the potential dangers of using these devices. Now, heater-cooler lawyers are aiding patients by investigating the link between the use of these devices and NTM infections as well as filing lawsuits for patients affected.

Heater-Cooler Device Lawsuits
Heater-Cooler Device Lawsuits

Heater-cooler devices serve the purpose of keeping the patient’s body temperature and blood cool during a heart operation by using water that is temperature-controlled. However, water may be contaminated, allowing the device to spread this harmful bacteria into the air. While a patient’s chest cavity is open during surgery, this infection can then easily enter their body. Many lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturers of these devices as the result of unsafe products being sold that allow this bacteria to enter the body during an operation.

An estimated 250,000 heart bypass surgeries are performed annually in the United States. 60 percent of these heart bypass surgeries use the Sorin Stockert 3T. The CDC has stated that the chances of a patient contracting NTM during a procedure which uses this model are between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000. As a result, the CDC as well as the FDA have issued warnings about the risk of using this particular model.

NTM infections have killed several people and caused serious illness in many others. Investigations have found a link between these cases and the use of heater-cooler devices that use contaminated water. Two hospitals in Pennsylvania have informed patients that thousands of people who have received heart surgery on their premises may have been exposed to NTM as the result of the heater-cooler devices used.

Those who contract an NTM infection have a 50 percent chance of surviving. The symptoms are incredibly hard to treat and can take several years to manifest. Patients who have contracted NTM infections are filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of contaminated heater-cooler devices.

Should I File a Heater-Cooler Device Lawsuit?
Those who are infected with NTM may find it difficult to pay for medical bills. Sometimes surgery is required to eradicate tissue that has become infected. Treatment may lead to further complications. The FDA has found a strong link between NTM infections and the use of contaminated devices. After several studies, the FDA has discovered that heater-cooler devices use air filters that may not adequately capture NTM bacteria.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Sued by Shareholders

The Investigation Into The Practices Of Valeant Pharmaceuticals

There is an investigation on behalf of the shareholders of Valeant Pharmaceuticals regarding US security law violations. Due to fraudulent practices allegedly practiced by their management the investors in VRX have suffered significant losses. The reports are claiming Valeant Pharmaceuticals has refilled prescriptions without the permission of the patients. This led patients to purchase drugs that were more expensive with the purpose of raising the companies profits and sales. This caused the company to be overvalued by their investors.

The lawsuit was recently filed by a large pension fund. They are investors in VRX and claim Valeant has a network of pharmacies that are kept secretly. They believe these pharmacies are inflating the sales of their drugs with improper and fraudulent practices. This includes changing the prescriptions written by doctors to Valeant products instead of the alternative of lower priced generics. The lawsuit states these prescriptions have been refilled automatically for Valeant drugs despite the fact refills were not required by the patients. Contact our lawyers to protect your rights regarding this lawsuit.

The Losses Of VRX Shareholders

VRX Shareholder Lawsuit

The investors in Valeant Pharmaceuticals have cut the company’s value in half. The stock dropped over 51 percent in just one day because of the fear the company would default on their debt. The earnings of the company were also weaker than normal and analysts have cut the forecast of the company for 2016. Inside of one week Valeant stocks value is down 61 percent.

The company has lost almost $13 billion in their market capitalization. According to the analysts Valeant was expected to have a profit of almost $463 million. The company instead reported a loss of $336 million. According to Valeant the loss was due to restructuring and acquisition costs. Their yearly report for the Securities and Exchange Commission has been delayed.

An internal investigation has been started by the company regarding their relationship to Philidor. Philidor is an online pharmaceutical company. Valeant stated $55 million in sales went to Philidor at the wrong time. Valeant is now responsible for restating all of their earnings for both 2014 and 2015. If the SEC does not receive this report on time Valeant will be in the position of defaulting on their debt of $30 billion. Many VRX investors have expressed concern over the impending VRX shareholder lawsuit.