Articles Posted in Featured Lawsuits

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Cases gear up for Summer 2015 trials

Cases gear up for Summer 2015 trials

With more than 600 Stryker Rejuvenate hip cases centralized as part of an MDL in the federal court system [more on the MDL process], U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank has indicated that a small group of cases will be ready for trial in Summer of 2015.

This small group of cases, known as “bellwether” cases, are scheduled for early trials designed to get some preliminary data on how juries react to the cases, so that the parties can make informed decisions on settlement.  This is crucial towards moving the litigation forward and ultimately towards resolution.  Cases don’t settle because the parties disagree on the value of the claims.

Trying a few cases helps everyone take an honest look at the merits and the value of the cases.  Practically, many medical device companies have in-house counsel that tries to brainwash the real people making the decisions that plaintiffs’ claims can be defended.  Then you have the defense lawyers who are making plenty of money and have every interest in seeing the cases go on.   I think if the Stryker higher ups see a few verdicts, they are going to stop listening to their in-house counsel and their outside lawyers because the juries will be speaking loud and clear.

So the only really bad news for plaintiffs is that the trials don’t begin until 2015.  There is no arguing with the fact that justice is painfully slow in these cases.

In addition to those cases filed in federal court, there are at least 873 cases pending in New Jersey state court, with additional claims filed in Florida state court.  In New Jersey, all of the Stryker hip lawsuits have been centralized before one Superior Court judge as part of a Multi-County Litigation (MCL).  MCLs consolidate the cases for discovery purposes, as there are similarities between the underlying cases such as witnesses and evidence that will be common to all of these Stryker hip lawsuits. 

Last year, a mediation process was established in an attempt to see if the Stryker Rejuvenate cases could be settled.  At least eight of the nine cases that have gone to mediation have agreed to settle. Continue reading →

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shutterstock_140317615In an old post, I told you that we  are seeing more and more legal claims alleging Risperdal and Invega are causing young men to grow breasts.  The findings of a recent study appear to confirm just that.  Findings were presented at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) meeting this month that indicate that males using Risperdal have a significantly higher risk of developing unnatural breast growth, known as gynecomastia, as compared to those who have not taken the drug.

Dr. Mahyar, a pharmacoepidemiologist at the University of British Columbia presented the recent findings, and stated that, “The strength of this study was its large sample size that allowed us to quantify this rare adverse event.”  He concluded that doctors may want to prescribe Seroquel or Zyprexa to male patients instead of Risperdal or Invega.

Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic medication that was originally introduced for adults with schizophrenia.  But, Risperdal has been widely used by children for bi-polar disorders, autism, irritability, aggression, and behavior disorders.  Risperdal increases the level of prolactin in young men who use the drug.  Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates breast growth.  Researchers found a 69% increased risk of gynecomastia among users of Risperdal and Invega.  When compared to individuals who used other atypical antipsychotics that are part of the same class, the risk was still 41% higher than Seroquel users, and 40% higher than Zyprexa users.

In addition to the obvious physical damages, plaintiffs have alleged the psychological effects of Risperdal breast growth can have a devastating impact on the boys’ overall quality of life.  Many plaintiffs have required breast removal surgery, with some that have developed breasts measuring as large as a 38D cup size.

This is not the first time that these medications have been under fire, and linked to potential lawsuits.  A number of studies have found that children who take antipsychotic and/or second-generation antipsychotic drugs (Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify) have an increased risk of developing type II diabetes. Continue reading →

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Testosterone

Public Citizen calls for Black Box Warning

Do the health related risks – specifically the cardiac risks – of testosterone replacement therapy necessitate a “black box” warning?  Consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen thinks so.   This is a big deal because Public Citizen has been out in front on so many bad medicines over the last 30 years long before the FDA figured it out.

Black box warning, the strongest warning that the FDA requires, signifying that medical studies indicate that a drug carries a significant risk of serious or even life-threatening adverse-reactions.   It might was well be the FDA shouting on a box.   This underscores that appreciation for the risk of testosterone is increasing at lightening speed.

It was just last month that the FDA announced that it is investigating potential testosterone therapy risks.  This was prompted after several studies suggested that the side effects of testosterone treatments may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and death.  Pretty severe risks considering many men taking the medication aren’t even candidates for testosterone and cannot benefit from the drug.

The Problem

Low testosterone treatments may double the risk of heart attack for young men with heart disease as well as for men 65 years of age and older, even those who have had no heart problems.  That’s the problem in a nutshell.    Additional concerns with the products include the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which can lead to life-threatening complications including pulmonary embolisms.  DVT is where the body develops blood clots in the deep veins, most commonly in the legs.  These blood clots can break off and travel through the body resulting in potentially life-threatening complications. Continue reading →

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gelYesterday, I mentioned how fast the testosterone replacement heart attack litigation is progressing.  Of course, to have litigation you need lawsuits.  Here they come.  A lawsuit has been filed against AbbVie, makers of AndroGel, a testosterone gel that is used to treat conditions in men that result from a lack of natural testosterone.  This won’t be the last claim filed against AbbVie.   They are a big player and they are going to have a target on their back.

Everyone has known there side effects of this medication, such as  nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and change in sexual desire. Heart attacks and other serious cardiac events are a different animal.  

 A North Carolina man has filed a product liability failure to warn lawsuit claiming that the gel caused him to suffer a pulmonary embolism.  Recent studies have found that testosterone therapy increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which can lead to life-threatening complications including pulmonary embolisms.  DVT is where the body develops blood clots in the deep veins, most commonly in the legs.  These blood clots can break off and travel through the body resulting in potentially life-threatening complications.  According to the Plaintiff, he suffered blood clots in his lungs and legs after receiving a prescription for the testosterone gel.

AndroGel is a topical gel that is applied to the upper arms as a testosterone replacement therapy.  It is designed for men suffering from testosterone deficiency caused by medical conditions such as hypogonadism.  It causes the hematocrit level to increase, thereby thickening the blood.  If not monitored and controlled properly, it can lead to serious health issues including pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and other blood clots.

Testosterone replacement therapy was never approved by the FDA for any treatment other than to treat men who have medical conditions resulting in lower testosterone than normal, though the Plaintiff in this matter indicates that he began using AndroGel after viewing advertisements that encourage older men to use the testosterone therapy if they are experiencing decreased sex drive, weight gain, depression or lack of energy.  Critics have suggested that the market for these drugs was created by aggressive television advertisements encouraging men to seek prescription treatment for low testosterone if they are suffering from any number of common symptoms that are experienced by men of all age.  In fact, studies have suggested that many men receiving testosterone treatments have no real medical need for the drugs.

Additional Health Risks

In addition to concerns of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and other severe health related issues, the FDA recently launched an investigation into testosterone therapy,  after research revealed an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.  Most testosterone drugs, incredibly, currently carry no mention of an increased cardiac risk in their advertising materials; however, researchers found a two-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the three months after an initial prescription among men aged 65 years and older, and a two to three-fold increase among younger men with a history of heart disease.    

Contact Us

There is no doubt that Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is big business.  It has brought huge profits for companies with sales in the billions of dollars.  Over 5.3 million prescriptions were written for these drugs in 2011.  But huge profits shouldn’t come with a huge price to pay for the consumer.  If you or a loved one has used one or more of these products, and have suffered any ill effects, call our attorneys at 1.800.553.8082 or online here.  Our attorneys are currently reviewing potential lawsuits and we want to talk to you.

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testosteroneTestosterone therapy lawsuits are quickly gaining steam.  These cases seemed like a plaintiffs’ lawyers reach just a few months ago.  Now the science on these cases is coming together faster than anyone could have imagined.

Weeks ago, the FDA announced that it is investigating potential testosterone therapy risks.  This is a big deal.  The FDA does not stick its nose into an approved product unless it is pretty concerned.

Testosterone is approved for the treatment of hypogonadism due to known diseases of the testes, pituitary and hypothalamus. Although the use of testosterone therapy is increasing, the FDA indicated that the products were never approved for any use other than to treat men who have medical conditions resulting in lower testosterone than normal.

In response to the recent developments, a group of endocrinologist experts is calling for large scale studies of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) medications such as AndroGel, Testim, and AndroDerm.  Recent developments include a  just published November 2013 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that testosterone drug side effects were linked to increased risks of hearth attacks, strokes, and even death among older men with certain pre-existing heart problems.  That study was followed by another one, published in PLOSOne, that indicated that low testosterone treatments may double the risk of heart attack for younger men with heart disease and men over the age of 65, regardless of their prior heart conditions.

The experts, Endocrine Society, are calling for the development of more large-scale randomized controlled trials to determine the true risks and benefits of testosterone therapy in older men.  They have released a statement recommending that middle-aged and older men who are considering testosterone supplementation for age-related declines should be informed of the potential cardiovascular risks.  They are further concerned that it may be prudent not to administer testosterone therapy to men who have had a cardiovascular event (such as myocardial infarction, stroke or acute coronary syndrome) in the preceding six months.

What was known about testosterone replacement therapy?

Critics of TRT have suggested that the manufacturers of these medications knew or should have known about the risks, and as such, conducted additional studies.  A study in 2009, comprised of more than 200 older, frail men, was ended early after researchers determined that individuals receiving TRT had a spike in heart attacks. While this information was discovered in 2009, millions of men who have been taking hormonal treatments are learning for the first time of the extent of the risk between this medical treatment and these sometimes fatal heart conditions.

TRT is big business.  The use of these drugs has exploded in the last few years, with nearly $2 billion in sales in 2012 alone.  Over 5.3 million prescriptions were written for these drugs in 2011.  As such, we anticipate the number of injury lawsuits filed will be huge.  How many men would not have had the treatment if they had known of the potential side effects?  The exact answer is unknown.  But if you assume as at least one study has suggested that it doubles the risk of a heart attack, the number of claims are going to be extraordinary.

What should you do now?

If you suspect that you or a loved one has had an adverse reaction from any of these medications, our attorneys are currently reviewing potential lawsuits that allege that these companies knew that the risks greatly outweighed the benefits for many patients and failed to adequately warn doctors and patients of the potential risks. If you believe you may have a case, call our attorneys at 1.800.553.8082 or online here.

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TestosteroneTestosterone replacement drugs are ubiquitous.  It is hard to sit through an afternoon of TV without hearing a commercial for a drug that helps men fight “Low T” or “Low Testosterone.”   We are seeing even more commercials now.  These new commercials are from lawyers talking about testosterone replacement lawsuits.  Probably not the best way to find a lawyer.  Call 800-5538082 for a free consultation or reach out to us confidentially online.

The Passion for Testosterone

Getting older, I can testify, is not fun.   We are easy prey to the lure of testosterone supplements.   These drugs promise to inject, if you will, a sense of youthful vigor back into both the physicality and sexuality of men.  It is, as the commercials say, for energy and libido, among other things. 

These advertisements, which market familiar brands such as AndroGel, Androderm Testim and Axiron, have been extremely effective.  Accordingly, the use of these drugs has exploded in the last few years, with nearly $2 billion in sales in 2012 alone.  In fact, over 5.3 million prescriptions were written for these drugs in 2011.  At present, nearly 4% of men over 60 are taking a testosterone booster.  Men cite the fact that these drugs are effective in treating bone density issues and muscle mass deficiency, as well as with sexual performance  But are they aware that these drugs may cause heart attacks? Continue reading →

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A new process is now in place for the filing of new Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits.  The new procedure will streamline the process of filing a lawsuit utilizing a Master Complaint and Short Form Complaint to standardize the process of filing additional lawsuits directly into the current federal MDL.

What does this mean to victims?  Nothing.  This is all logistical stuff for the lawyers to worry about.  But some people like to stay more informed than others about these cases.  If you are one of those “want to be informed” people, this post is for you.

The Master Complaint

The Master Complaint addresses all of the common allegations already raised in the Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits and ABG II hip failures.   You might ask, “What is a Master Complaint?”  A complaint is legal document in which you file a lawsuit.  In mass tort cases like this one, there are some allegations that are common to all of the plaintiffs bring clams against the manufacturer.    Obviously, an individual lawsuit includes other allegations: who they are, the product, and other case specific information. Continue reading →

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humirajudgeopinionFiling for St. Jude Riata defibrillator lead lawsuits is alive after a critical ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna.

The background of this motion was ominous for plaintiffs.  The court had previously kept their claims alive by a shoestring and struck many of the key “failure to warn” claims that were made in the lawsuits.   Plaintiffs received an opportunity to cure the defects in the Complaint which they, thankfully, did.

Judge Selna denied a motion to dismiss that was filed in multiple product liability lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who experienced problems from the leads. These suits allege the manufacturer improperly designed and sold a defective product. Although St. Jude attorneys maintained that the product was FDA approved, Judge Selna determined the allegations were based on violation of FDA regulations.

Continue reading →

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lipitor, lawsuits and profits

Lipitor Statute of Limitations

If you took Lipitor and developed diabetes, you could be facing a deadline (or what is known as a statute of limitations) to file a product liability claim against Pfizer.

What am I talking about?  Different states have different rules for how long the statute of limitations is and different rules for what triggers the running of the statute.  For some states that have a two year SOL, it is possible that limitations could be found to run in February which is the two year anniversary of Pfizer putting a strong diabetes warning on its it product in February, 2012.

No one knows how the SOL issues will flush out in any case.  But the take home message is clear:  if you are sitting home wondering whether to file a claim, the clock is ticking on your claim (and it could have already struck midnight).  The best way to be safe is to call a lawyer immediately and let them investigate what the deadline is for bringing your claim. Continue reading →

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simply thickSimplyThick, LLC is facing over 20 different lawsuits from parents of children who have experienced serious injuries or death from the food thickening agent. These lawsuits claim that the infants were severely ill and/or died after experiencing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Continue reading →