Articles Posted in Products Liability

Many people have started smoking electronic cigarettes because they are supposedly better for you and the environment. Although there is still controversy surrounding the issue of whether or not they are safer for you.  Now, some people have experienced serious injuries when the device has exploded while they were using it.

According to lawsuits in several different states, there are claims that allege device makers sold defective products. One attorney,Marc Freund,  told The Wall Street Journal that “It’s an issue of the batteries being unregulated and manufactured haphazardly with poor warnings that never get down to the consumer.” Freund represents a teenager who suffered partial blindness from an exploding e-cig and a woman who suffered third-degree burns when a device exploded in her pocket.

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.

In this case, General Motors is recalling an estimated two hundred thousand Saab and Saturn cars in the U.S. and Canada to replace the Takata driver’s air bag inflators. The Takata air bag inflators have been known to explode with too much force in a crash and hurl metal shrapnel into drivers and passengers. So far at least ten people have died worldwide and one hundred and thirty-nine have been hurt due to the problem. The recall includes the Saab 9-3 from 2003 to 2011 and the Saab 9-5 from 2010 and 2011 as well as the Saturn Astra from 2008 and 2009. This recall is part of a bigger recall of about 5.4 million vehicles announced last month by U.S. safety regulators.

As of right now, General Motors has no plans to offer loaner cars to people who don’t want to drive their vehicles, according to their spokesman Tom Wilkinson . Tom Wikinason also stated that, “The type of Takata inflators in the GM cars ruptured only in testing and not in the field. Our position is you can continue to drive the cars as normal until repairs are made.” The spokesman for General Motors went on to state that, “The Saab models under recall were sold in other markets including Europe, while the Astra was sold as an Opel in Europe and elsewhere. General Motors global safety team is reviewing data on the inflators in other markets and will respond appropriately.”  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the most recent of Takata recalls on January 22nd after the death of a man when an inflator ruptured on a 2006 Ford Ranger, and when testing showed four ruptures on a different type of Takata inflator.

The latest round of recalls covers vehicles made by GM, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda,Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Trucks. They bring to about 24.4 million the number of vehicles under recall in the U.S. for Takata air bag problems, affecting fourteen car and truck makers. It’s already the largest automotive recall in U.S. history, and the government expects it to grow. Worldwide, about fifty million inflators are under recall.

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.”

Many of you may have heard about a superbug going around that is resistant to antibiotics. What you may not know about it has been linked to medical scopes known as duodenoscopes. According to this case, 500,000 Americans undergo a procedure known as Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography or ERCP every year using these medical scopes and this procedure has been linked to the superbug outbreak also known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE.

Earlier this week, Carla Warner provided emotional testimony to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel about the devastating impact that as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE had on her husband, Willie “Bill” Warner. He developed CRE after having an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography procedure. Warner’s procedure used a widely sold TJF-Q180V duodenoscope, which was produced and sold by Olympus America, Inc. Carla Warner’s testimony about the death of her husband due to CRE was highlighted on the panel.

Beginning in 2010, Olympus redesigned and replaced its TJF-Q160V duodenoscope with the TJF-Q180V duodenoscope. The new 180V model had a sealed section on the device known as the “elevator wire channel.” In lawsuits that have been brought against the Olympus America Corporation after family members have died from infections using the TJF-Q180V duodenoscope, it was complained that bacteria can become trapped in the device’s sealed elevator wire channel. The elevator wire channel on the device is not easily accessed for proper cleaning so it becomes the source for the outbreak of the deadly superbug CRE infections that patients are developing.

There are many medical devices and products on the market that are used to reduce medical complications for people and to help improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, sometimes these devices or products can have defects and cause additional complications or medical problems for many people. If you or someone you know had an IVC Filter implanted and are now experiencing serious side effects or more medical problems as a result, then it is important that you speak to a IVC Filter and dangerous device lawyer with the Higgins Firm. We will listen to your case and determine if you may be eligible for compensation for what you have been through.

IVC Filters are implanted in people who have problems with blood clots. They are used to trap the clots in order to help prevent them from becoming pulmonary emboli. When they were originally marketed, they were permanent implants. However, over the last ten years, they were redesigned so that they could be retrievable, which means that the doctor could implant them and take them out at a later date. These retrievable filters were marketed first in 2003. One of the makers of these filters that is now facing lawsuits is C.R. Bard, maker of the Recovery, G2 Filter and Eclipse; and Cook, which makes the Celect and the Gunther Tulip.

According to a study from the Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology, after five and a half years, forty percent of people who have a retrievable filter have experienced some type of fracture in the filter. Other side effects could include the filter moving, titling or perforating and these side effects can cause perforation of organs or vessels next to the filter. A fracture in the filter could travel to the patient’s heart, which can result in death of the patient or the need for open heart surgery to remove the fractured filter. Another study in the JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that many retrievable filters are actually left implanted permanently . That study discovered that of six hundred and seventy-nine retrievable filters implanted from August 1, 2003 to February 28, 2011, at Boston Medical Center, only fifty-eight were s removed with success and seventy-four people suffered a thrombotic event after filter placement.

We rely on our vehicles to be safe and reliable so they can get us where we need to go each day. Unfortunately, sometimes vehicle tires will have defects and problems which can lead to car accidents and even severe or life-threatening injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an estimated eight thousand accidents each year that lead to severe injury or death are caused by tires that had defectives that caused them to fail. If you or someone you know were involved in a car accident that you believe was caused by a defective tire or other car problem, then you should speak to a Tennessee car accident and defective product lawyer with the Higgins Firm. We will review your case and work with you to make sure that you get the compensation you may be entitled to by law for the injuries you have suffered.

The Discount Tire and America’s Tire stores are recalling almost 80,000 light truck and SUV replacement tires because the tread can separate. The chains started this recall because Discount Tire stated that it noticed premature separations on Pathfinder tires in February and started testing them. It found that the rubber coating between the two steel belts in the tire wasn’t thick enough. If the steel belts crack, the tread could separate, increasing the risk of a crash.

The tires effected by this recall include Pathfinder tires that were made between August of 2013 and May of 2015. The tires with the defect were not sold after May 19th. The stores will notify owners of these tires and either offer them replacement tires for no charge or offer other refunds. Discount Tire stated that there are no reports of deaths or injuries due to the defect. The recalled was posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to a recent lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that due to a faulty robotic surgery performed in 2011, by an improperly trained surgeon, she has suffered from tremendous pain and injuries including an anastomotic leak and a rectovaginal fistula, which she needed additional surgery in order to fix the problem. The plaintiff also claims that the da Vinci Company knew about the risks and injuries associated with robotic surgery but did not properly warn patients about the dangers involved. According to her claims, Intuitive Surgical Inc, the producer of the da Vinci Surgical System told surgeons that they would no longer be competitive if they did not perform surgeries using the da Vinci Surgical System.

You can watch an interview on the case here:


 

The Food and Drug Administration allowed the da Vinci Surgical System to be sold in 2002 under the premarket notification process that does not make trials or safety measures mandatory. They did require surgeons to receive extensive training if they used the system. In 2002, the seventy question exam and three day training that Intuitive Surgical originally had became a ten question online exam and one day of training. This meant that the surgeons were not properly trained to perform the robotic procedures.

A study done in 2013 revealed that even though Intuitive Surgical Inc. stated that robotic surgical procedures were safer and more-effective than non-robotic surgical procedures, the complication risks were actually the same.

There have been seventy reported deaths linked to robotic surgery complications since 2009. The plaintiff is seeking general damages, medical expenses and additional compensation for her loss of income and distress.

In Tennessee and all across the United States, when we go to the doctor or a surgeon to have a surgery performed or to be treated, we expect that the doctor will warn us about possible risks and that the surgery will help us to feel better or to enhance our quality of life. Unfortunately, however, sometimes doctors are aware of risks but fail to inform their patients and this can lead to serious injuries or the need for additional surgery. If you or someone you love has been injured after having da Vinci Robotic surgery, then you should speak to a Tennessee personal injury lawyer right away. They will hear your case and get you the compensation you need for your injuries.
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