United States of America

Earlier this month the FDA announced a major recall of prescription blood pressure and heart drugs which contain the active ingredient valsartan.  You can expect a large number of valsartan lawsuits to follow.

Valsartan is an active ingredient that is widely used in a number of brand name and generic drugs used to treat hypertension and heart failure.  It was recently discovered that when valsartan is manufactured in a certain way it can contain a dangerous impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA).

NMDA is a known human carcinogen.  The valsartan medications containing the dangerous NMDA impurity have been linked to a specific pharmaceutical ingredient distributed by a Chinese company — Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals.  Zhejiang Huahai was manufacturing the contaminated valsartan component and selling it to several U.S. pharmaceutical companies including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Solco Healthcare.  Zhejiang Huahai discovered NMDA impurities in its product which eventually led to the FDA recall.

Bayer announced today that after thousands of reports of injuries from women and repeated safety restrictions by regulators said Friday that it will stop selling the device in the U.S.

What is the deal with these medical devices and what is happening with the lawsuits in these cases?

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] sickwomanFDA-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.

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Our law firm handles medical malpractice cases around the country.  These are some of the questions we are most commonly asked by people who have suffered or lost a loved one because of the medical malpractice of a doctor or other healthcare provider.

What is the Average Settlement for Medical Malpractice?

If you have a potential medical malpractice claim, you may be wondering how much it could be worth or what the average settlement value is for malpractice cases.  Nationwide, the average value of a medical malpractice settlement or verdict is roughly $250,000.  (Our law firm’s average in recent years is in the millions.)  Of course, this is a macro scale number that doesn’t necessarily tell you very much about the potential value of your individual case. For a better understanding of how to value your own case, there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, the value of a claim is driven not by how badly the doctors messed up, but by how serious the resulting injuries were.  In other words, malpractice values are based on the level of injury not the level of negligence.  No matter how egregious or grossly negligent the doctors were,  if it only results in minor injuries the case will not be worth very much.  When the malpractice results in a serious, permanent injury or death the case will be worth much more.

Our law firm handles birth injury cases all over the country. We recently picked up a case in Minnesota. The first thing we need to do when going to a new jurisdiction is research the law and talk to local counsel. I thought it would be a good idea to publish our research. If someone else had done put their results online, it would have made our job a lot easier.

What is the Statue of Limitations for Minnesota Medical Malpractice Claims?

Under Minnesota law, all malpractice claims against “health care providers” must be brought within 4 years of the date that the “cause of action accrued.” Min. Stat. § 541.076. The term “health care provider” includes doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists and any other licensed professional. It also includes hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities providing medical care. Min Stat. § 145.61.  (In birth injury cases in Minnesota, the statute of limitations is seven years.)

backpainlowOne verdicts and settlements database found that the median plaintiff’s verdict award for motor vehicle cases that involved back injuries is $212,500. For all car, truck, and motorcycle accident injury cases in the database that earned a plaintiff’s verdict, the median award is $300,000.

 Sample Verdicts and Settlements in Back Injury Cases

courtroomSome 3T heater-cooler devices manufactured by LivaNova, PLC may have caused dangerous and deadly Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) infections in many patients. 3T heater-cooler devices are used in cardiothoracic surgeries, which usually involve the heart, lungs, or esophagus. The common nature of these surgeries means that more than 500,000 patients may have a cause for concern.

As a result, a 3-T Heater-Cooler class action lawsuit has been filed.  Our law firm is talking to potential victims about joining the class action lawsuit (technically an MDL).

What Is Going On?

 car collisionThe average verdict in a personal injury case in Minnesota is $271,577. The national average is $885,600.

Does this mean Minnesota juries are not sympathetic to personal injury victims? I think it might, actually. In fact, I think the statistics might actually underestimate how stingy Minnesota juries can be.

Why? The biggest driving force in personal injury verdicts is car accidents because is the most common type of personal injury case. So the state’s law in dealing with car accident claims is going to make a more meaningful impact on personal injury statistics.

Just for Men pitchmen like Keith Hernandez may promise we will “Go from Grey to Great” but some are finding an unpleasant catch to the inexpensive hair and beard dye. Specifically, customers are complaining of painful reactions after using the product to clean up their patches of grey.

Just for Men’s manufacturer, Combe Incorporated hasn’t issued a recall of any of their hair dye products and most negative reactions to the products are usually temporary. But for many middle-aged men hoping to hold onto that youthful look a little longer, Just for Men’s potential for skin irritation and other issues may do more to harm than help.

Consumer Complaints Old and New

New York City
Jury Verdict Research’s recent study finds that the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in New York is $287,628, dwarfing nationwide median is $34,550.

New York has favorable juries, particularly in its urban areas. But the reality is that this number is distorted by the lack of smaller and midsized car accident lawsuits. Under New York’s no-fault law, an insurance company is required to pay drivers, passengers, and pedestrians up to $50,000.00 for their legitimate economic and medical losses but does not provide for pain and suffering. Only permanent injuries cases can recover more than $50,000. This leads to fewer lawsuits in smaller cases – of which there are many – which increases the overall award in New York.

Parents of newborns are quick to ask whether something happening during the birth process that caused harm to their child. Sometimes, there are signs that are a reasonable cause for concern. Of course, there are also instances where we fear for our children without a lot of foundation.

Ground Zero for Concern

The most reasonable cause of concern for parents of a newborn with a birth injury is if they were told that their child suffered a loss of oxygen. Birth injury cases have a lot of different fact patterns. But, the most common thread is oxygen deprivation during the birthing process. If you are told that your child was deprived of oxygen for any significant period of time, there is a reason to fear a birth injury that could impact your child. Still, it does not mean that your child suffered any injury.