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Yet this all-or-nothing approach may not be to patients’ advantage First-time opioid prescriptions drop by 50 percent Pharma-to-doc marketing a vulnerability in opioid fight A nation nearer to the grave Another decline in U.S. life expectancy signals urgent need for more comprehensive strategy against opioids, suicide, specialist says Harvard-Michigan summit on issue explores addiction, policy Drug companies and distributors are facing thousands of lawsuits filed by U.S. cities, towns, and tribal governments whose communities have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives from overdoses. Resolving all those legal actions separately is impractical, many legal experts say. Instead, lawyers for the states and attorneys general are exploring a solution that would resolve all the cases in a so-called “global deal.” Currently two drug companies and three distributors have proposed a settlement framework for such a deal worth approximately $48 billion that would include cash and medication to treat addiction. But many local governments are wary of such an arrangement, skeptical about how the money would be divided. The Gazette spoke with Alexandra Lahav, 2019-20 Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Professor at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and professor at the University of Connecticut who studies tort law, about how global settlements operate.Q&AAlexandra LahavGAZETTE: What is a global settlement? Do all parties involved have to sign on or agree to it?LAHAV: A global settlement is an agreement that includes everyone involved in a large-scale litigation. An example is the class action. In a class action, all the people who meet a certain description — for example, cellphone customers during a certain period — are included in the class. They are represented by a named plaintiff, and if that lawsuit reaches a settlement they would all be bound by it and not be able to sue on their own. But there are other ways to reach a global settlement as well. For example, a defendant can offer a single amount in settlement on condition that everyone who has a claim against them agrees to be part of that settlement. What makes a settlement global is that everyone or nearly everyone agrees to sign on.GAZETTE: Can you talk a bit about the discussions around crafting an agreement to settle the thousands of opioids lawsuits?LAHAV: Right now, several attorneys general have suggested a global settlement in the opioids litigation. In that case, there is a very novel settlement structure on the table. The court has certified a class action, which includes all the cities and towns in the United States. They have the option to opt out of this class. If they don’t, then they are deemed to have agreed to the following structure: When a settlement is reached, the terms will be circulated to the class. If 75 percent approve of the settlement, it will bind everyone, even the 25 percent who did not approve. This is called a “negotiated class action,” and it has never been tried before. It was the idea of a Harvard law professor, William Rubenstein, and a Duke law professor, Francis McGovern.“It seems to me there isn’t an appetite to have all of these companies go bankrupt. For example, some of them distribute a lot of drugs that people depend on,” said Alexandra Lahav. Photo by Tony RinaldoGAZETTE: What is the challenge with this type of arrangement?LAHAV: There are a few. First, will everyone agree to join this settlement structure, knowing that they will be bound by a supermajority vote? Second, what about the attorneys general who have brought separate lawsuits, many of whom have opposed this settlement structure? Also what is the relationship between the state attorney general that represents the state as a whole, and all of the state’s subdivisions? For example, let’s say all the cities and towns in Massachusetts are included in a settlement. What then is the role of Attorney General Maura Healey? Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? I haven’t heard of anybody who knows the answer to this. It’s sort of a local government question in a way. And each state law is going to be different with respect to the power of cities and towns to sue when the state is also suing.GAZETTE: What’s the advantage of settling the lawsuits in this way?LAHAV: It’s not realistic that every case is going to go to trial. We are talking about many thousands of cases, and the system just can’t handle it. You can imagine a world where the judge holds a trial every six months, and the defendant settles one for $200 million here and another for $200 million there, and this goes on and on and on. That’s just not good for the communities, and it’s not good for the defendants. The idea behind a global settlement is to come up with something that benefits both and that resolves the dispute.GAZETTE: How would a global settlement like this compare to the Big Tobacco case in 1998?LAHAV: There are some similarities, in that both are public health crises that led to massive lawsuits. But there are also a few important differences. First, the tobacco cases were settled exclusively by state attorneys general. Here both attorneys general and individual municipalities are suing, and they have more competing interests. This makes it harder to reach a global agreement. Second, there appears to be less money available here than there was in the tobacco case, which settled for around $200 billion.GAZETTE: Do you think public anger and the desire for an admission of guilt or an apology factor into whether or not these cases end in a settlement, or are taken to trial?LAHAV: It seems to me there isn’t an appetite to have all of these companies go bankrupt. For example, some of them distribute a lot of drugs that people depend on. Others have played a relatively small role in the opioid crisis. That said, I do think people want accountability. But you know, one of the things about the American system that’s so interesting is that we do settle a lot of cases, and in most of those settlements, there is no apology, and there is no admission of liability. Instead, we sort of take the amount of money as the apology and the admission of liability, as if the dollars speak for the accountability.GAZETTE: What can be put in place in these settlements to stop similar crises from happening?LAHAV: This is a very difficult question to answer. The general theory of deterrence says that if wrongdoers are forced to pay for the harms they cause, then in the future companies considering wrongdoing will not do similar things. We hope that is the case. But it isn’t clear that a litigation can prevent the kind of regulatory failure that we saw in the opioids situation. If there is a settlement it’s likely to provide some relief to states and localities that are suffering, but it is not clear what preventative effect it will have.GAZETTE: What do you expect to happen next and what are the chances that the global settlement under consideration will be achieved?LAHAV: Right now there is a settlement proposal on the table proposed by several attorneys general for $48 billion over a period of years. But it is not clear that it will be agreed to by the lawyers for the local governments, who at the moment are opposing it. And some states have also voiced concerns. In order to reach a global settlement, that proposal would need the agreement of the lawyers representing this class of localities. I think we will see a settlement eventually, but when and for how much remains to be seen.GAZETTE: Are there specific reasons why plaintiffs like or prefer a global settlement, and why defendants prefer it?LAHAV: Defendants prefer a global settlement because they can wrap up their liability at once. This allows them to announce to the markets the scope of liability. It also gives them the opportunity to move on. Plaintiffs may prefer global settlements because they have greater leverage than they would individually to negotiate a better deal overall, but they may also feel left behind or left out, especially as they lose the power to negotiate individually.GAZETTE: Do you expect to see criminal trials in these cases? And would they also be solved with a global settlement?LAHAV: I don’t know if there will be criminal trials, but any criminal action would be completely separate from the global settlement we have been discussing. Any global settlement would only resolve civil claims against these companies.This interview was edited for clarity and condensed for space. Related Conference finds that it keeps users from seeking help, taints views of medical professionals Stigma of opioids a hurdle to solving crisis
Last year, the company said it would spend over $13 billion on data centers and offices in the United States in 2019.The tech giant’s total costs and expenses surged about 19 percent at $36.81 billion for the recently reported fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.Topics : Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it would invest more than US$10 billion in offices and data centers across the United States this year.The company added that the new investments will focus on 11 states including Massachusetts, New York and Ohio.”These investments will create thousands of jobs – including roles within Google, construction jobs in data centers and renewable energy facilities, and opportunities in local businesses in surrounding towns and communities,” Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.
Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm Kallie Billadeau discovered a lot about her Syracuse teammates as they were shooting at her.Not when they were shooting at her with hockey pucks — but with paintball guns.Last week, the Orange went on paintball trip, just one of the several team-building activities Syracuse has done this preseason to get acclimated with everyone on the squad.‘The team activities that we did,’ said Billadeau, the SU goaltender, ‘we got to know a lot about each other. Our likes and dislikes.’And by shooting each other in muddy terrain with paintball guns that leave a sting or going on scavenger hunts, SU is closer. Already more so than last year’s team. Head coach Paul Flanagan has seen a marked difference in how his team interacts with each other.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis 2011 team is more close-knit than last year’s Orange squad, players and coaches said. And SU’s first opportunity to show it comes on Friday, when Syracuse travels to Minneapolis, Minn., to take part in the East/West Showcase. The Orange plays St. Cloud State on Friday and Minnesota on Saturday.‘I think the camaraderie is at an all-time high,’ Flanagan said. ‘I think it’s really good.’In 30 years of coaching, Flanagan said this team is among the most cohesive teams off the ice he’s led.Last year, he may have overheard complaining or whining toward each other. This season, all the ‘quips’ Flanagan has heard during practice have been nothing but positive.Flanagan credits the cohesion to how proactive his team captains have been. Co-captains Taylor Metcalfe and Megan Skelly have taken it upon themselves to make sure everyone gets involved and gets along.‘Our captain and our veterans have done a great job just kind of assimilating the rookies into the programs and making everybody feel comfortable,’ Flanagan said.Flanagan has also brought in a sports psychiatrist to help create an open dialogue between the players.Although the psychiatrist was assisting the team last year, he has been in a few more times this year, each visit at least an hourlong.‘He’s done some team-building stuff,’ Flanagan said. ‘But more really just goal setting and understanding your place on the team and your role within team. If anything, he’s just getting the girls to talk.’Last season, the Orange failed to meet expectations, falling to rival Mercyhurst in the championship game of the College Hockey America tournament and finishing below .500 for the second time in its three-year history.Defender Akane Hosoyamada said last year’s team could function together, but players had their own groups.‘There were just random cliques,’ the sophomore said. ‘But it’s nothing like we couldn’t get along. It was just outside the ice we just didn’t hang out as much.’Flanagan said last season the team had some situations. There was some unnecessary drama that got old after awhile.And as a result, the focus was not where it should have been.‘The drama can take over the room,’ Flanagan said. ‘In other words, you get preoccupied with what’s going on with this person and so a lot of that revolved around self-centeredness.’But Flanagan doesn’t expect this season to be the same melodrama. And with the Orange’s improved team chemistry is an expected rise in quality of play on the ice this season.With the players less worried about individual achievements, Skelly sees the Orange more focused on accomplishing team goals.Billadeau believes the atmosphere on the ice is a lot looser. She described the team’s personality as ‘goofy and relaxed.’‘We’re not negative,’ the sophomore said. ‘We just support each other and have fun out there.’But Billadeau also said the players know when it’s time to put their game face on.Although SU was picked to finish second in the CHA, just behind Mercyhurst, the league’s defending champions, Flanagan has some concerns about how his young team will manage.But one thing he doesn’t think he has to worry about is the Orange winning or losing together.‘Because whether we’re up or down, we’re going to stick together,’ Flanagan said. ‘And we’re going to have our ups and downs.’‘Trust me. This is my 30th team. This is my 30th year and it means so much when you get kids that believe in one another and support one another.’[email protected]
In the study, Paul controlled for variables by using betting market data to set the expected values of point totals. Regressions were run based on data from the past three seasons comparing the combined total points of both teams, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage when Power 5 teams use a different ball, going from Nike, Wilson, Adidas, Spalding, Under Armour, Sterling and The Rock to each of the other brands used by Power 5 teams.While the study as a whole proved to have an effect that was statistically significant, the effect of Sterling balls couldn’t be found statistically significant because of the small sample size. Teams that normally play with Nike balls shot 3.8 percent worse from the field than the expected value when playing with Sterling. Syracuse will fall into that category when it plays Tuesday night and, according to the study, the Orange likely won’t shoot as well as it’s expected to.Kiran Ramsey | Digital Design EditorThe study showed that 2-point field goals are affected more than 3-point field goals and while there’s no definitive answer why, Paul said he thinks it’s because 2-point shots require more touch, something affected more by an unfamiliar texture and feel.“It could just be that shooters are shooters,” Paul said, “and that they’re such good shooters because they can adjust to things that are around them much more easily.”Every ball is required to have a “deeply pebbled leather or composite cover,” have a circumference between 29.5 inches and 30 and weigh between 20 and 22 ounces. When dribbled vertically without rotation, it must return directly to the dribbler’s hand.But there are no regulations on the texture and feel of the ball.White recalled playing at the Battle 4 Atlantis with Kansas during his sophomore year and since the Nike ball was brand new, it was “hard as a rock,” he said. White went 2-for-8 from the field in the three-game stretch.“I’ve been in gyms where you come in and shoot around and they give you a flat rack of balls,” White said.Kiran Ramsey | Digital Design EditorWhen Syracuse freshman Tyus Battle played with Team USA junior teams, the ball used by the International Basketball Federation was “a little bit slippery,” he said. Both Battle and White said once they spend a few minutes warming up, the ball doesn’t affect them much even though they notice occasional differences.The issue isn’t limited to college players. In 2006, the NBA switched to a microfiber composite ball for three months but the outcry throughout the league forced it back to its typical leather Spalding ball.“Whatever ball is used for the NCAA Tournament,” White said, “that should be the ball that everyone in Division I uses.”In the Tournament, a Wilson ball is used. But David Worlock, the NCAA’s director of media coordination for men’s basketball, said there have been no discussions about mandating this piece of equipment, despite several players voicing their opinions nationwide.With no change in the foreseeable future, White said the difference in balls on the road is something players have to ignore.“The ball’s the same size, the hoop is 10 foot, so players have to make plays,” White said. “It’s more of a psyche thing than anything. So I think that’s something you have to … just make sure you’re ready to come in and not focus on things like that.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Every time Andrew White steps on the court before a shoot-around, he walks to the rack of balls and picks one up. Then he slaps it, feels it out and begins his preparation for the upcoming game.It’s a process he needs to perform because the ball at each venue in the college game is different.Syracuse uses the Nike Elite ball in the Carrier Dome. On Saturday at the Barclays Center, the Orange played with an Adidas ball. SU will play with a Sterling ball on Tuesday night when it visits Wisconsin, the only school in a Power 5 conference and one of the only in the country to use that brand.“You kind of take for granted the feel of the ball,” White said.The No. 22 Orange (4-1) travels to the Kohl Center to face the No. 17 Badgers (5-2) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The NCAA doesn’t regulate what ball to use outside of the NCAA Tournament and the home team is tasked with providing it. While players nationwide and on SU say the ball has no effect on games, research has proven otherwise and some have said they’d prefer the ball to be the same for every game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWisconsin has used Sterling dating back to 2001, when Bo Ryan took over as head coach. The company based near Tacoma, Washington, sponsored the balls at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville when Ryan was the head coach there. Throughout the rest of his coaching career, his teams used Sterling.Before this season, only two brands were used by just one Power 5 team — Sterling (Wisconsin) and The Rock (Michigan) — but the Wolverines recently switched to Nike, making UW’s the most uncommon among the game’s biggest powers.Courtesy of David Stluka | Wisconsin AthleticsWhite is the only SU player who has played at Wisconsin in his career. He said the Sterling ball reminds him of the Wilson Evolution, a popular ball White grew up playing with. It has more grip and is slightly softer than the Nike ball SU uses, he said.“I’m not sure how much that tells you,” White said, downplaying the effect the ball has.But according to Syracuse University sport management professor Rodney Paul, the ball has an impact on the game. Paul’s research found that overall scoring between the two teams decreases 1.4 points per game when one team is using an unfamiliar ball and the visiting team’s shooting percentage decreases by about 1 percent.RELATED STORIES:Beat writers predict Syracuse-Wisconsin matchupOpponent preview: Everything you need to know about the BadgersSyracuse drops four spots in AP poll to No. 22
The Jamaica Police Federation (JPF) is “gross dissatisfied” with the latest wage offer made the by the government and will be calling a meeting of its membership to discuss the matter.The JOF said it is also calling on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to intervene in the matter with a view of concluding the negotiations in good faith, and in a way which manifests the government of Jamaica’s commitment to the serious business of national security.In a statement that followed a 30-minute meeting between the JPF and deputy financial secretary in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service on Thursday, the JPF complained that there’s no full commitment on behalf of the Andrew Holness government with regards the negotiations.Negotiations abandoned by government The JPF did not divulge the latest offer but said that the government’s full non-commitment is evident in the fact that Minister of Finance, Dr Nigel Clarke, abandoned the negotiations at a critical stage and handed over to his technocrats who communicated the offer “on behalf of the principal”.“The Central Committee is extremely disappointed as it appears that the Government of Jamaica does not value the service of the hardworking Rank and File members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force,” said JPF chairman, Corporal Arleen McBean.Lack of appreciation McBean said that the government “has again seriously failed to appreciate the fact that policemen and women island wide are uneasy and distraught with the Government of Jamaica’s “STONE HEARTED” position at the negotiation table”.She said this is coupled with the increased demand for police service in the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) and State of Public Emergency (SOPE) and that the demand for police services is anticipated to be intensified for the festive season.“Police continue to work very long hours without being compensated for overtime. This is one of the myriads of striking issues which confront the police daily.”The JPF said it has continuously demonstrated robust and unwavering commitment to the process and has remained “on call” for the past two weeks, only to be told by the Ministry of Finance to “take it or go to a third party”.The JPF has in the past called for the establishment of ”a liveable” wage for its members.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Mudiay will work out individually today, making it hard to determine how he would match up with other players such as Russell. Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle also had an individual workout last summer. But the Lakers still featured two-on-two drills featuring their coaching staff, including Mark Madsen, Larry Lewis and J.J. Outlaw. A field of dreamsMichael Jordan once played baseball professionally after mastering everything on the hardwood. No one wanted to be like Mike on the diamond.But what about Notre Dame senior shooting guard Pat Connaughton, who also excelled with the Fighting Irish as a pitcher? The Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the fourth round in 2014 before spending two months with the team’s Short-Season A affiliate, the Aberdeen (Md.) IronBirds. “Some day I’d love to to play (baseball) at the professional level. But right now my heart is set on basketball,” Connaughton said. “I’ll see how far I can take this before I end up making a decision.” The Lakers took a significant turn with their pre-draft workouts.After spending the past two weeks evaluating 44 prospects slated to land either late in the first round or second round, the Lakers will temporarily shift their focus elsewhere. Emmanuel Mudiay will work out with the Lakers today, one of a few prospects the Lakers would consider with their No. 2 pick.Mudiay skipped his freshman season at Southern Methodist and played professionally in China, averaging 17.7 points on 54.5 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Plenty of NBA talent evaluators have gushed about his maturity, quickness, ball handling and playmaking. But he is also considered an unknown because of the lack of game film and opportunities to see him play in person. Mudiay also shot only 37.4 percent from 3-point range and 57.4 percent from the foul line, while playing in only 10 games before nursing a right ankle injury.The Lakers want to schedule more workouts next week with prospects they would consider with the No. 2 pick, possibilities including Kentucky’s Karl Anthony-Towns, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell and Duke’s Justise Winslow. Either way, Connaughton found value in playing both sports. “It’s a shame that kids are pressured into choosing at such a young age when you have athletes that love playing both,” Connaughton said. “I wanted to show them it’s possible to do both and it’s possible to do both at the highest level.” ReconnectingAs soon as Stanford senior point guard Chasson Randle saw Madsen, the two immediately hugged. Their bond stemmed from Madsen serving as an assistant with the Cardinal during Randle’s sophomore season in 2012-13. “He’s the same as he’s always been,” Randle said of Madsen. “Very fired up and a great basketball mind.”