Articles Posted in Defective Drugs

Earlier this year a father was being accused of of child abuse by Child Protective Services. They alleged that between December 2017 and January 2018, his sustained unexplained broken bones including a fractured femur and wrist. The boy’s father claims no abuse had taken place, and that he had been caring for his 10 year old son for years since his mother left.

The boy has cerebral palsy and a number of other medical problems. He uses a wheelchair, is non verbal, but very happy. He also uses a feeding tube and has been prescribed an amino based acid food called Neocate Formula. He consumes nothing but this dietary food supplement. As CPS was looking into the case, the boy’s father remained determined to find out the real reason why his son was experiencing sporadic fractures. Eventually he discovered a link in legal advertising which described the potential for unexplainable broken bones, sprains, or fractures while taking Neocate Formula. Upon further testing, it was discovered that the boy also had hypophosphatemia, a disorder that results in dangerously low phosphate levels which can cause broken bones, fractures, and rickets.  The father went immediately to CPS and explained that the injuries were the probable result of the low phosphate levels.

This case is not unique. Throughout the U.S. there are parents who have been wrongfully accused of child abuse after their child suffered broken bones while taking Neocate Formula. In this case, the investigation was closed and accusations against the father were dropped.

Three people who said the antipsychotic drug Abilify caused them to engage in compulsive gambling have reached a settlement for undisclosed amounts. The cases were considered to be bellwether, multidistrict litigation, and scheduled for trial in June. The District Court has ordered the defendants, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., to pay the claimant’s within 30 days. In turn, the Plaintiffs must execute a full release which will result in a dismissal of the case trial.

The Abilify Litigation

A Tennessee man, with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer, filed a complaint on August 17, 2017 against the medical conglomerate Howmedica Osteonics (d.b.a. Stryker Orthopedics) and Stryker Corporation –  one of the world’s foremost medical technology companies. The man claimed he experienced severe injuries after being fitted by a Stryker LFIT femoral head hip implant. His lawyer is currently building the defense and the case is pending in the United States District Court.

The claim details the how the main was implanted with the popular Stryker Accolade TMZF hip stem as well as the LFIT anatomic CoCr V40 femoral head back in March of 2014. The surgery was performed at the well known Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2015, a baby boy only known as ‘Baby Doe’ was born addicted to opioid painkillers. His first few days of life were spent in an agonizing withdrawal in the neo natal unit. Three Tennessee prosecutors and the baby’s guardian have teamed up together and filed a lawsuit against several manufacturers of opioid painkillers. The prosecutors claim the drug companies used deceptive marketing tactics which ultimately downplayed the risks of developing an addiction to opioid medications.

Filed in June, at the Sullivan County Circuit Court in Kingsport, Tennessee, the infant boy who was the driving push behind the suit is known to have survived his battle. The extent of impact which the addiction had on his health is yet unknown.

Since 2016 lawsuits involving hernia mesh developed by Ethicon, Inc. continue to mount. Sold under Physiomesh, the products have raised concern over their safety and ability to reduce the symptoms of a hernia. Multidistrict litigation, on the Federal level, is now underway at the U.S. District.

On July 17th, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) released an update on the number of suits. At that time there were at least 84 pending Physiomesh lawsuits with more expected to come. Eighteen of these were filed within the previous month when 66 suits were reported.

The Physiomesh lawsuit alleges that the hernia patches are flawed in their design and result in irritation, adhesions, extreme pain , perforations, infections, mesh erosions, , and other health complications. The JPML have effectively transferred the federally filed suits against Physiomesh to the Northern District of Georgia. Here they will undergo pretrial proceedings that will include a full discovery. The litigation is scheduled to convene on August 1st at an Initial Conference meeting. All disclosure and discover proceedings are at halt pending the outcome of the Initial Conference.

A jury in St. Louis just delivered the largest verdict against Johnson & Johnson in the talcum powder trials. There have been around 2,400 lawsuits filed against the company by people claiming that using their talc-powder caused ovarian cancer and other illnesses.

In this recent case, a Virginia woman, Ms. Slemp, sued after developing ovarian cancer. She was using the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for feminine hygiene and had for several decades prior to being diagnosed. The St. Louis jury awarded her $110 million. This is the largest verdict to be rendered against J&J for their talc-powder thus far. Four prior trials resulted in verdicts of $197 million in total.

Ms. Slemp was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and has undergone chemotherapy. Since then, the cancer has also spread to her liver.

Nashville Attorneys, The Higgins Firm, are closely looking into Abilify lawsuits and claims which have raised concern amongst professionals after a number of people were said to have developed a gambling disorder, diabetes or other potentially harmful uncontrollable urges while taking the drug. These urges, the Abilify lawyers go on to say, appeared to have ceased once the medication was discontinued.

The antipsychotic drug Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Lawsuits against these companies state that they failed to provide sufficient warnings on the label of the drug and neglected to properly educate the prescribing doctors of Abilify’s’ side effects.

In this case, Andrew Yount grew breasts after taking Risperdal since he was five. He was awarded 70 million in damages for physical disfigurement and emotional distress by a jury in Philadelphia. The award is 28 times greater than the highest jury verdict previously decided against Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, in Philadelphia-based Risperdal litigation. That former highest verdict award was $2.5 million.

Austin Pledger, who was prescribed Risperdal in 2002 as a teenager for treatment of mood swings related to his autism, developed size 46 DD breasts, allegedly as a result of taking the drug.

Like Yount, Pledger asserted Janssen did not disclose or properly warn of such side effects before he was prescribed Risperdal. A Philadelphia jury awarded Pledger $2.5 million in February of last year. Only one case thus far, featuring Pennsylvania plaintiff William Cirba, has ended with a ruling in Janssen’s favor.

Gloria Ristesund used Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder products on her genitals for years and she was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a result. She had to have a hysterectomy and several other surgeries because of the cancer. The cancer is now in remission. Ristesund was awarded awarded $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages for Johnson & Johnson’s failure to properly warn consumers about the cancer risks associated with talc powder.

J&J spokeswoman Carol Goodrich stated that the verdict contradicted 30 years of research supporting the safety of cosmetic talc. The company intends to appeal and will keep defending its products’ safety.  This is however, the second trial loss for Johnson & Johnson over their talc powder products. The company is facing one thousand two hundred lawsuits that allege the company failed to properly warn people about these cancer risks.

Deane Berg’s doctor called her the day after Christmas in 2006 to tell her the news of her cancer diagnosis. She had her ovaries removed and the results came back Deane Berg had stage three ovarian cancer and her prognosis was poor. She had twenty-five years of experience has a physician’s assistant but knew almost nothing about ovarian cancer. When she looked up the risks, she had only one; regular use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene.

Berg learned that since the early 1980s, several studies had discovered that women who regularly used talc powder for feminine hygiene had higher than average rates of ovarian cancer. Yet the evidence which fell short of proving that it caused the cancer, was mostly confined to medical journals and had barely been made known to the public. For millions of women including Berg using powder on the the genitals or underwear was a daily ritual, like brushing teeth. Since her teens, Berg had used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, another Johnson & Johnson powder marketed to women. “A sprinkle a day keeps odor away,” the ads stated. “Your body perspires in more places than just under your arms.”

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