Health Highlights: March 17, 2016
J&J; Told to Pay $502 Million in Artificial Hip Lawsuit Decision Death Toll in Wisc. Blood Infection Outbreak Rises to 17 E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Pizza Chain Desserts Bumble Bee Tuna Recalled
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
J&J Told to Pay $502 Million in Artificial Hip Lawsuit Decision
Johnson & Johnson must pay $502 million to five patients for problems they experienced with the company's Pinnacle artificial hips, a federal-court jury in Dallas said Thursday.
The patients accused J&J of hiding flaws in the devices that caused them to prematurely fail, Bloomberg News reported.
J&J was ordered to pay $142 million in actual damages and $360 million in punitive damages to the patients, whose hips broke down and had to be surgically removed.
This was the second trial of about 8,000 lawsuits filed over the Pinnacle hips. J&J won the first case heard by a jury in 2014, Bloomberg reported.
Death Toll in Wisc. Blood Infection Outbreak Rises to 17
Another two deaths have been linked with a bloodstream infection outbreak in Wisconsin, raising the death toll to 17 from 15 last week, state health officials say.
The number of cases of infections caused by Elizabethkingia bacteria in 12 Wisconsin counties rose to 54 from 48 last week, the Associated Press reported.
The outbreak is the largest recorded in published literature, according to health officials.
This type of bacteria is common in water and soil, but rarely causes infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the cases tested so far have a common genetic "fingerprint" and investigators are trying to pinpoint the source of the infections, the AP reported.
E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Pizza Chain Desserts
E. coli food poisonings in nine states have been traced to desserts from the Pizza Ranch restaurant chain, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
The outbreak began in December and 13 people became ill. Illnesses occurred in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota and Wisconsin, The Des Moines Register reported.
A child in Kansas and another in Nebraska suffered kidney failure and were hospitalized, but have since recovered. There have been no deaths, CDC spokeswoman Brittany Behm said.
She said an investigation traced the outbreak to a dry dough mix used to make desserts. The pizza chain has stopped used that dough mix and a similar product, the Register reported.
Bumble Bee Tuna Recalled
More than 31,500 cases of Bumble Bee canned Chunk Light tuna are being recalled due to underprocessing that poses a risk of spoilage that could cause life-threatening illness.
To date, there have been no reports of people getting sick due to the recalled tuna, according to the company.
The recall is for products made in February 2016 and distributed across the United States. They have a can code that starts with "T" and have certain following "best by" dates.
For a full list of the best by dates, head to Bumble Bee.
Consumers with the recalled products should throw them away, the company said. For more information, call Bumble Bee at (888) 820-1947, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, seven days a week.