I have written pretty extensively on this blog about the various lawsuits pertaining to the anticoagulant, Xarelto. This drug from Bayer is a controversial one, which has produced a history of bleeding injuries. Despite the risks, Xarelto is a best-selling drug, accounting for a huge amount of money flowing into Bayer’s coffers. I love quarterly updates […]
The antibiotic family of fluoroquinolones goes by many brand names, including Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox. Every year, millions of Americans take fluoroquinolones to treat bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Since the antibiotics work on a number of different conditions, they are popular among doctors.
Surprisingly Diverse Dangers
However, new studies indicate that these medications can also have serious side effects. These studies have linked fluoroquinolone use to risks like peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a form of permanent nerve damage. It can result in constant pain and often, limited mobility. In many cases, peripheral neuropathy is irreversible, which means that patients who develop it must live with pain and impairment for the rest of their lives.
Currently, several pharmaceutical companies are facing lawsuits filed by patients who have suffered irreversible peripheral neuropathy after taking fluoroquinolone. Evidence in court documents indicates that drug companies may have known about the nerve damage risks as early as 1996, but they did not remove these medications from the market or alert patients and doctors to the risks.
The Essure Permanent Birth Control System was to provide women a safer, less involved (and painful) tubal ligation alternative. This medical device was triumphantly marketed as the “[only] FDA-approved permanent form of birth control with a procedure that can be performed in an office setting without general anesthesia.” Unfortunately for the 750,000 women who have used this system since the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in 2002, both new scientific research and anecdotal evidence suggest that Essure has caused substantial injuries to thousands of patients, motivating calls among consumer advocates for the drug’s recall and spurring legal action.
How Essure Works and Why the System Appeals to Women
The Essure system consists of two flexible coils that are inserted into the Fallopian tubes in order to produce permanent sterilization. Both patients and doctors have liked Essure, at least conceptually, because the system offers a less-invasive solution than tubal ligation and other birth control surgeries, ostensibly with shorter healing time and fewer side effects. Premarket studies tracked women’s pregnancies before and after Essure implantation, leading Bayer to assert that the device is 99.83 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and that “mild to moderate pain” and “spotting” are the most common side effects.
Today, a U.S. Judicial on Multidistrict Litigation panel of federal judges will hear arguments on Plaintiffs’ request to consolidate all of the knee and hip infection lawsuits that have been filed in federal court claims the infection was allegedly caused by a 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket.
What These Bair Hugger Cases Are About
Judge Bruce Anderson made another important ruling: that even people on the credentialing committee may be subject to suit. This has not real practical implications because a hospitals is going to stand behind the committee. But it is never fun to be sued personally even if you have no real exposure.
The judge also found that hospitals cannot claim peer review privileges, as an absolute defense against discovery requests. This is very pro patient safety and could be a ruling that could start to erode the absolute defense from discovery; that has long been the case in Maryland and in most states. The judge’s logic: hospitals may have an obligation, in some cases, to the public that outweighs peer review confidentiality. Makes a lot of sense to me.
This is a sample demand letter in a relatively small case with approximately $8,000 in medical bills. But this case settled for a lot more than any kind of simple multiplier of medical bills. This times special damages math is dangerous when it causes plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers (and victims) to substantially undervalue a claim.
Bad news for Plaintiffs’ in the first liver damage lawsuit involving Tylenol. A ten juror panel in New Jersey found for Johnson & Johnson (J&J) on all counts on Friday. This is the first Tylenol liver damage lawsuit to go to trial. It will not be the last.
Big update in the pelvic mesh lawsuits and it is not a good one. A Texas jury yesterday found for Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Ethicon division in a pelvic mesh claim. Twelve Dallas jurors found that the Prosima pelvic mesh, given to women who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse, was not defective in its design, and that J&J did not fail to properly inform doctors of the risks and problems associated with this product. It was no slam dunk. Unlike a lot of states, Texas does not require an unanimous verdict in civil cases. So a 10-2 vote was good enough for J&J to eke out a win.
It is just one case, but I’m not going to lie, this was one the Plaintiffs’ wanted to win. I’ll be honest about something else. I’m surprised J&J let this case go to trial. They have been picking off cases to avoid a bellwether effect on settlement value that is going to wildly increase the expectations of Plaintiffs and make these cases that much harder to settle. On this one, they gambled and won.
Now let’s turn the kaleidoscope and look at the median. If you remember from the 9th grade, the median is found by ranking the data from biggest to smallest, and then identifying the middle of the data so that there is an equal number that are larger and smaller on each side. If you had 1001 data points, the 500th biggest number would be in the middle.
For many groups of data, the gap between the average and the median is the same or very close to it. With personal injury verdicts, they are usually light years apart. This is reflected in this new study that just came out in Pennsylvania. The median compensatory award in Pennsylvania in the study was was $45,000.00
Jury Verdict Research conducted a study and found that the median award in a personal injury case is approximately $100,000. This is twice the national average. The bad news for New Jersey Plaintiffs is that they only win in 36 percent of personal injury cases that go to trial.
New Jersey has a good sample size to work with to compute this data. Over 130,000 civil lawsuits are filed every year. I don’t have data on how many of them are personal injury cases. But I can estimate: a lot.
The United States uses a federalist system of government. This allows each of the fifty states to be fairly autonomous and limits the amount of power that the federal government possesses. One of the consequences of having this type of system is that there are state entities and federal entities. Courts are a prime example. There are both federal and state courts, so it is important to have a grasp of their respective purposes and powers.