Eric Weinberg Discusses His Recent Work, "Blood On Their Hands" (September 28th)
Mr. Eric Weinberg is co-author with College of New Jersey Journalism Professor, Donna Shaw, of the recently published work, Blood On Their Hands, How Greedy Companies, Inept Bureaucracy, and Bad Science Killed Thousands of Hemophiliacs (Rutgers University Press). The book details how beginning in the late 1970s through the mid-1980s tens of thousands of hemophiliacs in the US (and tens of thousands more around the world) became infected with HIV via the use of life-saving plasma-based blood clotting medicines. Manufactures knew plasma-based products transmitted disease, for example, it was well known clotting medicines had infected countless hemophiliacs with hepatitis. Nevertheless, neither did they cleanse or purify their blood clotting products, technology that was also well known, nor warn patients of adverse side effects. Federal regulators, similarly, did nothing. As a result, by the late 1980s the mean life span of a hemophiliac declined by over fifteen years. While (civil) financial settlements were reached with approximately 6,000 victims or their families and the Congress passed in 1998 legislation, the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Act, that provided additional compensation, the Justice Department chose not to criminally prosecute anyone.
During this 35 minute conversation Mr. Weinberg discusses among other issues how blood plasma was obtained in the 1970s and 1980s, the position manufactures held on the safety of their clotting medicines, a (failed) federal class action effort to compensate hemophiliacs and their family survivors, the influential Institute Of Medicines 1995 report on HIV transmission through blood products, eventual civil settlement with the major manufacturers of these products and how his work representing hundreds of hemophiliac patients and their families over more than a decade affected him.
Mr. Eric Weinberg is the principal of the Weinberg Law Firm, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, since 1984. Since founding the firm, Mr. Weinberg has tried approximately thirty jury trials and over two hundred bench trials to verdict. He has also served as a Visiting Lecturer at Cook College, Rutgers University and has taught Ph.D. candidates at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. Previously, Mr. Weinberg worked for the law firm Franchino, Lenahan and Cross and prior still served as Chief of Juvenile Prosecutions and Assistant County Prosecutor in Somerset County, New Jersey. Mr. Weinberg has been an invited speaker in many forums on topics relating to the prosecution and settlement of serious injury cases, including mass torts and catastrophic injury cases. Mr. Weinberg is the recipient of numerous awards for his years of community service. He was graduated from Rutgers College in 1977 and from Boston University School of Law in 1980. He is admitted to the Bar of the States of New Jersey and New York as well as numerous federal courts.