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Celiac.com 04/10/2019 - With more universities under pressure to provide for students with food allergies and sensitivities, it’s little wonder that students who feel that schools are falling short are pressing the matter legally. That often means filing a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to prompt a settlement. Most recently, Rider University agreed to make changes to its dining options to accommodate students with food allergy-related disabilities after a former student filed a complaint claiming violations of the ADA, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. The actions were the result of a complaint by a former student with celiac disease, who claimed the University had failed to make reasonable accommodations. The changes came after the U.S. Attorney's Office found that Rider failed to create “reasonable policies, practices, and procedures for students with food allergy-related disabilities and failed to adequately train its staff on appropriate policies for accommodating individuals with food allergies," Carpenito said. On the positive side, Carpenito said that, from the onset, “Rider University has worked cooperatively to develop and amend its policies and practices to comply with the ADA." Under the agreement Rider University will create its own policies for students with food allergy-related disabilities, rather than relying on third-party food service vendors. Rider will create dedicated allergen-free food preparation areas in its dining facilities, and employ a full-time dietician to address food allergy-related disability issues. Lastly, Rider will create a "pre-order" option for students with food allergies. Rider spokeswoman, Kristine Brown, says that the school has gone beyond the terms of the agreement to open a new, allergen-free food-preparation station that will serve food free of the eight major food allergens – peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, wheat and soy. The food at the station is also gluten-free, Brown said. Anyone who believes they have been wrongly discriminated against may file a complaint with the U.S Attorney's Office at justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement/complaint or call the U.S. Attorney's Office's Civil Rights Complaint Hotline at 855-281-3339. Additional information about the ADA can be found at ada.gov, or by calling the Department of Justice's toll-free information line at 800-514-0301 and 800-514-0383 (TDD). Read more at Patch.com
Celiac.com 08/25/2017 - Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo will pay $300 million to settle thousands of federal and state court lawsuits over its top-selling blood pressure drugs, Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor, according to the lead Plaintiffs' lawyers. The settlement was reached in the federal multi-district litigation (MDL) case titled In re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2606, pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden Division. Overseeing the federal MDL litigation are the Honorable Judge Robert Kugler and the Honorable Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider, who handled the settlement negotiations. The agreement covers about 2,500 claims by individuals who claim severe and sometimes life-threatening gastrointestinal injuries after using medications containing the active ingredient olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor). Numerous reports have tied Olmesartan to sprue-like enteropathy and changes in the intestinal tract that mimic those seen in celiac disease, and inhibit a person's ability to absorb nutrients. The parties reached the resolution as they maneuvered ahead of pre-trial hearings, and an expected trial in federal court. Christopher L. Coffin and Adam M. Slater, Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs, praised the settlement as an excellent outcome for the Plaintiffs. In a statement, Coffin said that they were "very pleased with the outcome of this hard-fought litigation. This is a gratifying resolution for thousands of patients who suffered severe gastrointestinal injuries while using these blood pressure medications." Under the settlement, former olmesartan users who have claims, and who meet certain criteria will be eligible for compensation. For more information go to OlmesartanProductLitigationSettlement.com.