Articles Posted in Featured Lawsuits

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Transvaginal mesh lawsuits pending around the country were sparked when the FDA issued a Public Health Alert in October, 2008 revealing that it had received 1,000 reports of serious injuries associated with vaginal mesh products over a three year period. In July 2011, the FDA warned that complaints associated with transvaginal prolapse repair had grown five-fold since the 2008 alert.  It stated that it no longer considered these types of injuries to be rare.   This was a big deal because that is what women were sold: complications would be very unlikely. According to the FDA and what we have seen with the inquiries that have come to our law firm, the most common vaginal mesh complications included chronic infections, organ damage, and mesh erosion and shrinkage. Women have filed claims in massive numbers since then.

Every major manufacturer has been sued. AMSAmerican Medical Systems (AMS), based in Minnesota, is a major manufacturer of transvaginal mesh medical devices, support systems designed to correct pelvic organ prolapse, (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).  Johnson & Johnson is the global leader in prolapse mesh, followed by American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, and Bard.  Currently, of the six different vaginal mesh multidistrict litigations (MDLs) centralized before U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia, the largest MDL is the American Medical System (AMS) mesh lawsuits.  The products were  manufactured by the subsidiary of Endo Health Solutions, Inc.  As of September 2013, there were 9,930 cases filed against AMS.

Dangerous Side Effects of Transvaginal Mesh Patches Include

  • Erosion of the vaginal epithelium
  • Bladder or bowel perforation
  • Serious infection
  • Return of pelvic organ prolapse
  • Urinary incontinence

There has been some speculation that AMS may attempt to settle cases before the first trial dates begin.  Otherwise, according to a pretrial order issued in the beginning of October, it will be determined in December what four cases will be eligible for the first bellwether trials, to be heard in April and May of 2014. It is time to either settle these AMS cases or start hitting them with big verdicts that will make them settle on very different terms than AMS could get now.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has suffered any negative effects as a result of  an AMS transvaginal mesh, or any of the other manufacturers, protect your rights. Call us at 800-553-8082 or talk to us online.  There is no fee or cost for you in pursuing your claim unless you win a recovery.

 

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In a status update two months ago, I told you that settlements in the NuvaRing cases may be imminent and I gave you my thoughts on the potential settlement value of these claims.   Both parties spending less energy on getting these lawsuit ready for trial and instead focusing on whether these actions can be settled in massive number.   So we can’t be surprised by the latest next that there has been yet  another postponement for the first NuvaRing bellwether trial.  Originally scheduled to be tried earlier this year, the MDL trial date has been postponed several times by the judge assigned to the class action proceedings.

What is NuvaRing and what is the problem?

The Judge wants an accurate accounting of all claims

The Judge wants an accurate accounting of claims

NuvaRing, a flexible plastic ring that is inserted once a month by women, not their doctor.  Once inserted, the ring gives off a continuous dose of hormones designed to prevent pregnancy.  No appointment necessary, nice and convenient, right?  Well, for some, convenience can come with a price.  While all hormone-based birth control carry risks of blood clots, medical studies indicate that NuvaRing users are more likely to experience dangerous and can cause the the woman’s blood hardens from a liquid to a solid.  Specific problems include deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke, heart attack, and death. Compared to some types of birth control, NuvaRing doubles these risks—or more.  The FDA examined and confirmed the problem in 2011; however, Merck & Co., manufacture of NuvaRing, failed to warn users of the increased risks in any of their advertisements. Since then, hundreds and hundreds of former users have filed NuvaRing lawsuits.

Where the cases are going

These case have multiplied like rabbits.   It began with a scattering of cases, In May 2012, just under 900 cases were filed in the federal court system.  Now, with over 1,400 cases brought in the U.S. District Courts, these cases have become part of a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).  These cases are brought together as part of coordinated proceedings for the purpose of common discovery and settlement talks.  As part of the proceedings, a small group of cases go through case-specific discovery in preparation for early trial dates, known as bellwether trials.  I’d love to see a bellwether case go to trial because I think plaintiffs’ would win it.  A bellwether case is basically a test case, allowing the parties to see what a jury will do with average claim to help everyone figure out what the values of the case really are.  But I think the defendant thinks the same way and they seem to be going out of their way to avoid a trial before these cases start to settle.

Originally scheduled for January 27, 2014, the first bellwether case scheduled for trial has been pushed back to April 7, 2014, just the most recent of several postponements.  The judge has also put a hold on all discovery, motions, and rulings in any of the federal NuvaRing cases filed until the end of this year.  The judge is looking for a more accurate “census” of the cases that are being pursued, whether they are pending in federal court, state court, or have yet to be filed.  This desire for a “more accurate census” seems to jive with what I have been saying:  a global resolution to settle the NuvaRing cases may get done in 2013.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured by a NuvaRing you need to talk to someone quickly because your rights may be expiring very quickly.  Contact us at 1.800.553.8082 or online here.    We can tell you the latest 411 on the these claims and help you figure out if you should bring a suit.

 

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Earlier this year, a request was filed asking the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) for centralized management of Lipitor cases, in order to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting rulings from different judges, and for the overall convenience of the parties, witnesses, and the courts.  That request was denied as there was an insufficient number of cases that had been brought in order to justify the request.  At that time, I said the motion was denied for now.  Well, “for now” has passed and we are taking another swing.

lipitor With approximately 62 Lipitor lawsuits pending in 21 different districts, involving a total of 131 plaintiffs, the Motion to Transfer has been filed again.  The motion argues that the majority of the cases are in the same early procedural stage.  When the prior request was shot down, there were only 24 cases having been filed.

Lipitor, intended to help lower cholesterol and improve health, was first required by the FDA to provide new diabetes warnings for first time users in February of last year.  Warnings indicated that they face an increased risk in change of blood glucose levels. Since that time, a growing number of women have brought product liability lawsuits against Pfizer after developing diabetes, alleging that at Pfizer should have known about the risk of type 2 diabetes for women.  Plaintiffs are claiming that if they had been properly informed, they could have made a more informed decision as to whether or not they should take the medication.

It has been suggested that thousands of federal cases will be filed in U.S. District Court nationwide.  But for now, the fate of the requested MDL is expected to be argued in either December or January.

My prediction is that we will have MDL in these cases by the end of the year.  It makes too much sense to consolidate these cases.

Get a Real Advocate on Your Side

Our lawyers are reviewing claims that Lipitor may have caused diabetes. If you think you or someone you love may have diabetes as the result of having taking this drug, call one of our Lipitor lawyers at 800-553-8082. You can also get a free Internet consultation for your potential lawsuit.

To find out more about this drug and the MDL:

 

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We are seeing more and more legal claims alleging Risperdal and Invega are causing young men to grow breasts.

johnsonjohnson3The condition is called gynecomastia.  It is easy to joke about this condition if you are, you know, an idiot.  In these cases, it is has a real mental and physical impact on young men who are already having some challenges coping as it is.

We have known for a long time that some legal and illegal recreational drugs can cause this condition:   alcohol, marijuana, heroin, and Valium.  But there are some antibiotics, blood pressure medication, anti-ulcer medication and other drugs that cause this condition.

What happens is that Risperdal, which is an antipsychotic medication, increases the level of prolactin in young men who use the drug.  We have known for a long time that prolactin is a hormone that stimulates breast growth. In young males, increased prolactin has been linked to the development and enlargement of breast tissue. This medical condition is called gynecomastia.

The Allegations in Plaintiffs’ Lawsuits

Plaintiffs don’t whine in legal papers filed with the court that all drugs should be made safely.  Instead, the suits allege inadequate warnings were given to consumers and doctors about the risk of developing breasts following use of the drug.

Why would Johnson & Johnson not let consumers know about the possible harms this drug could cause? Well, one possibility is that they were worried that profits would sink if they were honest about the medication’s side effect. Sound like a pretty sinister suggestion which should be taken with a grain of salt coming from someone who is writing a blog post that will conveniently at the end ask you to call him if you have a case.   Okay.  Fair enough.  But just read this.  You also might read about the $1.2 billion dollar hit J&J took after a jury found that the company minimized or concealed the dangers of this drug.    We know from the jury verdict that J&J knew Risperdal had the potential to cause diabetes, diabetes-related injuries, and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular complications, but allegedly failed to properly disclose these facts on their packaging and manipulated studies to guarantee the results would not show these complications.

Keep in mind what Risperdal is used for:  bi-polar disorders, autism, aggression and behavior problems.  Aren’t these the same kids that are most susceptible to struggle with the emotional pain that is going to come with developing breasts?  So we are basically throwing flames on a fire here.  You are putting compromised kids in an even tougher spot because you want to sell as much of your drug as possible.   It is just not how it should be.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has suffered any negative effects as a result of  Risperdal or Invega, protect your rights. Call us at 800-553-8082 or talk to us online.  There is no fee or cost for you in pursuing your claim unless you win a recovery.

 

 

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davinci

NoteGreat technology… if it works

Victims and attorneys have been complaining about da Vinci robotic surgery pr0blems and have made their voice heard by filing lawsuits.  The financial exposure of these suits is, I’m sure, a concern of Intuitive Systems.  But, I think the voices they listen to the most are those on Wall Street.

What is Wall Street saying?  There is a concern now that all of these complications with these da Vinci robots are not yet baked into Intuitive System’s stock price which, in spite of a surge today,  has already taken a beating this year.

These robots are not being purchased or bragged about by hospitals as they have been, just last year.  The company has blamed the drop in sales on the lack of hospital dollars for new technologies.

But so far this year, there have been 4,603 adverse event records that have been posted for da Vinci.  Sure, it is a big country.  But let’s put this in context.  There were 4603 reports about this technology over the last 12 years.

It gets worse.  In August, the number of injury or death events rose to 103 which is the triple that of any other month.

Wall Street is a bit slow in figuring all of this out, but now it is asking the same question lawyers have been asking for a few years.
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More than 30,000 complaints have been filed nationwide involving complications associated with vaginal mesh surgery.  Women have been waiting forever to resolve these claims.  Now, new hope is on the horizon as global settlement talks have begun.

stressed womanC.R. Bard, American Medical Systems (AMS), Boston Scientific, Coloplast Corp, and Cook Medical and a few other smaller companies are now negotiating settlement with plaintiffs’ counsel.

Who is missing from the table?  If you are following these cases, you can guess:  Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon).   Typical.

Some manufacturers, such as Bard and Endo, already have settled some suits over the devices. Earlier this year, Endo officials paid $54.5 million to settle an unspecified number of cases alleging the company’s vaginal-mesh inserts were defective.

Coloplast is also at the lead of pushing the settlement ball forward.  It hopes to resolve most of the 600 cases it faces.  The company is aiming to resolve all pending litigation over the devices by the end of the year.  That won’t happen but they might be able to make a real dent in their number of outstanding suits.

In addition to the thousands of cases filed in state court, there are close to 10,000 cases filed at the federal level. There are currently six different multidistrict litigations (MDLs) that are being presided over by one U.S. District Court Judge. All of these complaints involve similar allegations that the transvaginal mesh and bladder sling manufacturers failed to adequately warn about the risk of problems associated with the use of the mesh.

The majority of women who have filed product liability lawsuits against mesh makers claim permanent and debilitating injury including nerve damage, chronic pain and an inability to resume work or sexual activities. They experience mesh erosion, infection and multiple removal surgeries. Some attempt reconstruction surgery.  According to the FDA, between January 2008 and December 2010, there were nearly 3,000 adverse event reports involving transvaginal mesh devices.

How Much Are Vaginal Mesh Cases Worth?

These cases are going to reach very different out-of-court resolutions.  Among these thousands of women are wrongful death claims and cases that really should never have been brought.  Most fall in the middle with very different injuries.  Some manufacturers will look at every single case individually.  Others will set up a tier system where points are awarded (I know, an awful way to put it) based on what injuries were suffered.

But how much are we talking about?  I think the majority of these cases will settle between $200,000 and $400,000.  I base this prediction on the injuries suffered, the two verdicts we have already seen, and the desire of these device makers to close this ugly chapter of their history.

Keep in mind this projected amount is for actual meritorious cases.  What we don’t know is how many of these 15,000 suits are really just women who have received the mesh and had a relatively successful outcome.  The reality is some plaintiffs’ counsel in these cases can be very aggressive in signing up clients that may not have significant injuries.  But I’m talking here about women who were really hurt by these products.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has suffered any negative effects as a result of  transvaginal mesh, protect your rights. Call us at 800-553-8082 or talk to us online.  There is no fee or cost for you in pursuing your claim unless you win a recovery.

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I don’t think the vaginal mesh manufacturers really want to take more of these claims to court.   The next transvaginal mesh trial should have been in New Jersey today.  But CR Bard smartly agreed to resolve an Avaulta Plus mesh case where a woman claimed the device caused her urinary problems.

vaginalmeshvictim

Latest Vaginal Mesh Update

These manufacturers must see the handwriting on the wall.  Juries have been writing in bold: you are going to lose these cases.

This is Bard’s second settlement since they got hit with a $2 million verdict in West Virginia in August.

The lesson of that trial, I think, is that a conservative jury is not going to like what these device makers have done in these cases.  Why do I say that?   The jury only awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages.  That’s pretty low.  But the jury hit Bard with more than 6 times that amount in punitive damages.  When a jury gives a punitive damages award like that, they are sending a loud message: we think you did very wrong here.

Status of Litigation

I think the majority of these cases are going to settle soon.

I once talked to a defense lawyer about these cases.  He volunteered that these are good cases for the plaintiffs.  I’m sure he would get in trouble if his client knew he was telling me this.  But it was not exactly a revelation.  There were a million mistakes made as these companies blindly chased profits.

But you can’t reach a global deal just by agreeing that plaintiffs have a good case.  You have to agree on the value. Before we started trying these cases, there was a clear difference in what the plaintiff and these device makers believed to be the real value of the cases.   These verdicts are narrowing that gap.

I think the risk of continuing to try these claims is too great for the manufacturers.   My prediction?  You will see one, maybe two more trials and we will have a global settlement that resolves over 85% of these suits.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has suffered any negative effects as a result of  transvaginal mesh, protect your rights. Call us at 800-553-8082 or talk to us online.  There is no fee or cost for you in pursuing your claim unless you win a recovery.

For more information on Transvaginal Mesh:

 

 

 

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A new study suggests a potential link between spinal surgeries involving Medtronic Infuse and cancer.  This is not only concern.  It is just the latest.  This product, which certainly helping many patients, comes with a great deal of risk.

Growing Concerns with use of Medtronic Infuse

Growing concerns with use of Medtronic Infuse

The Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft is a product that helps patients to create bone.   Before this innovation, bone was harvested from the hip.  The product is approved for fractures of the tibia, degenerative disc disease, and some dental bone grafting procedures.  Medtronic has made billions on it.  Wanting even more money, the pushed doctors to use this product for everything but the common cold.  But sales are falling now that more and more flaws in the product come to light.

TheJournal of Bone & Joint Surgery published the study.  This is a serious and well respected medical journal.  What exactly did the study show?   Patients that were given the Infuse were nearly seven times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer over the following two years.    That is jaw dropping.

Other complications reported to the FDA include:

  • Swelling of the throat, sometimes causing difficulty breathing, swallowing, and death
  • Nerve problems: numbness, tingling, damage
  • Male sterility/infertility
  • Loss of bone
  • Rampant bone growth when used in for neck surgeries.  There is a very high risk of death because of the swelling in the throat and suffocation.

Infuse Lawsuits

The number of Medtronic Infuse lawsuits are growing rapidly, and will continue to grow.  Patients are claiming that the company failed to adequately warn doctors and patients of the risks of the product, and that Infuse was illegally marketed for users not approved by the FDA.

Do I Have a Medtronic Infuse Claim?

If you or a loved one has been implanted with Infuse and has suffered an injury, please call one of our Medtronic Infuse attorneys at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free no obligation consultation.

 

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Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is reportedly considering a  $3 billion dollar settlement of pending DePuy ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) hip implant cases, which could result in an average settlement of $300,000 per case.

settlement

J&J Considers Possible $3 Billion Settlement

After the recall in 2010, DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuits began to grow exponentially.  Following their first trial in March ending with a verdict of $8.3 million, Johnson & Johnson announced their plan to appeal.  Now, it is rumored that they are considering a global settlement that would resolve up to 11,500 U.S. lawsuits.

The lawsuits allege that the ASR’s defective design caused friction between the metal-on-metal and cup components that shed metallic debris.  The body fights back against these metals causing a reaction called metallosis that compromises the immune system. Inflammatory reactions to the metal can cause groin pain, fatigue, death of tissue in the hip joint, loss of surrounding bone and muscle, and there has even been speculation that it may cause heart and kidney problems as well.

The first federal bellwether trial is scheduled to begin next week, on September 9th.  It is anticipated that evidence may include testimony presented in the March trial that DePuy sold ASR devices despite being aware as early as 2008 that the implants release high levels of metallic ions, especially in women.  With seven more trials scheduled between now and January, it is expected that evidence will also include testimony that J&J considered redesigning the ASR to reduce risks, but ultimately did not feel that the costs were justified.  The outcome of these trials are expected to have great impact on other pending cases, and could be very damaging for J&J, as juries could potentially return seven-figure awards.

If you have not filed a case and have any interest in participating in an eventual settlement, you should act now. Typically, once a settlement has been reached in cases such as this, the settlement will only apply to individuals who have already filed a case.  Individuals who wait until after a settlement has been reached will not be included in the settlement.  Even more critical, the DePuy ASR was recalled on August 23, 2010 and most people received their recall notice between August and December 2010.  With most states having statutes of limitations of two or three years, DePuy could take the position that anyone who files a case after the settlement should receive nothing.

If you believe you may have a potential DePuy hip implant lawsuit, our lawyers are still investigating these claims. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

 

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We will learn soon a great deal more about the value of the Actos bladder cancer lawsuits that are pending around the country.  Takeda Pharmaceuticals is in the middle of a wrongful death suit in Baltimore City involving its diabetes drug.  The suit claims that drug maker knew Actos increased the risk of bladder cancer, but downplayed that risk.  Why?  Because it wanted to sell as much of the drug as it could.

In opening statements, plaintiff’s attorney said that Takeda “knew the value of the drug and they knew the risks” but pushed ahead because the drug was making the company billions of dollars.

actosThe Last Actos Case

This spring, a Los Angeles jury had to decide this same issue and found that Takeda was negligent.  It awarded the family $6.5 million.

You would think this would be a huge statement about the value of these Actos bladder cancer cases.  It is.  But, unfortunately, the trial judge in that case took away the jury’s verdict.  Why would he do this after a long jury trial?  The judge believe that  the plaintiff’s expert could not give the opinion that the diabetes drug was a substantial, contributing  factor to the plaintiff getting bladder cancer.   Of course, this decision has been appealed but it might take years for the case to find its way through California’s appellate courts.

Still, this case sent a message to Takeda that was loud and clear: we think you did something wrong and we intend to award a lot of money.  The trial court taking away the verdict was awful for that plaintiff.  Hopefully, that will be fixed by the appellate courts.  But that did not change the jury’s message.  This verdict still increased the value of the Actos cases.

The truth is, Takeda didn’t really need these verdicts to get the message.  The FDA  has found that that diabetes patients on Actos for longer than one year may be at a greater risk for getting bladder cancer, which is an awful disease even as cancers go.   So we can’t be surprised to see juries awarding compensation for millions of dollars.

This Baltimore Actos Case Will Tell Us More

Certainly, this is a big case in the history of this litigation.  If there is any one big verdict, as I suspect, I think Takeda will take off the rose colored glasses and get serious about resolving these suits.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been prescribed Actos and has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, contact our Actos injury lawyers at 800.553.8082, or online here.