United States of America

Jury Verdict Research found that the average money damage award for personal injury trials in California is $1,814,094. The median verdict, perhaps a better statistic, is $114,305. Other interesting facts from the study:

  • The median verdict in a wrongful death case is $2,212,936, compared to the national average of $1,450,000
  • Approximately 17% of the verdicts in California were back and neck strains. They pull the median and average verdicts down. The median back and neck strain verdict was $10,885

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers among women throughout the world. In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 75% of women will contract human Papillomavirus (“HPV”) infection, a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. Carcinoma of the cervix is one of the most common malignancies in women.  It accounts for 5,000 deaths in the United States each year.

concerned-girl-300x200Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, which is at the bottom of the uterus. The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina. The part of the cervix closest to the body of the uterus is called the endocervix. The part next to the vagina is the exocervix (or ectocervix). The 2 main types of cells covering the cervix are squamous cells (on the exocervix) and glandular cells (on the endocervix). The place these 2 cell types meet is called the transformation zone. The transformation zone is the area located in the cervix where precancerous and cancerous changes are most likely to occur.

There are two main types of cells covering the cervix: flat, scale-like squamous cells (on the exocervix) and rectangular columnar glandular cells (on the endocervix).  These cell type meet in what is called the transformation zone. Most cervical cancers begin in the cells lining the cervix in this transformation zone.  Initially, precancerous lesions are confined above the basement membrane of the surface of the cervix.  But if they progress, these cells can migrate to healthy cervical tissue as invasive carcinoma.

In 2000, Bayer Healthcare introduced the Mirena IUD, which is a flexible T-shaped RUD implant that is placed in the uterus for up to five years as a form of birth control.   It has been a relatively effective birth control device. It is even more effective in preventing pregnancy than even female sterilization.  But while effective for its intended purpose, a lot of problems have been reported with the Mirena IUD.  Since 2004, the FDA has received over 77,000 adverse event reports relating to Mirena.

Mirena IUD’s have been linked to shutterstock_130064462-229x300perforating uteri, and the IUD’s have been known to move out of position on occasion, causing internal injuries, with over 4,000 lawsuits pending from women.  The reality is these cases have either failing or have already failed.  It is unfair but our justice system is not always fair. Recently, however, a new type of lawsuit has started to arise regarding Mirena IUD’s and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.

Pseudotumor Cerebri(PTC)

PTC is called many different things: idiopathic intracranial hypertension, pseudotumor cerebri, benign intracranial hypertension are the most common.  This serious condition is characterized by a buildup of fluid pressure on the brain. This fluid buildup results in severe headaches, vision loss, and possibly other problems.

PTC is most commonly in obese females of reproductive age.  The biggest symptom of PTC is papilledema.  Early symptoms include headaches and visual disturbances. Patients with these symptoms, particularly obese patients or those with recent weight gain, should be screened for papilledema and, if present, the patient should be referred to a neurologist for further diagnosis and care.  Continue reading

The Bard Recovery IVC filter and its ostensibly new and improved cousin, the Bard G2 IVC filter, have been linked to an increased risk of fracture which can cause serious injury or death.

A New Verdict in 2018 That Means Something to You

The big news in these cases came in April 2018 when plaintiff scored their first big win.  An Arizona jury awarded a Georgia woman $3.6 million, including $2 million in punitive damages.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers were high on these cases when we were losing because we always thought a jury would get angry at the fact in these cases.  It took us a while — which often happens in mass tort cases — but we were right.  Now the momentum is with the plaintiffs and the estimated settlement value of the IVC cases is on the rise.  Is the average settlement value of these cases going to be $3.6 million?   No way.  But the value of these cases is on the rise and other big verdicts will push the settlement value that much higher.

Pitocin and Syntocinon are common brand names for the drug Oxytocin, a synthetic hormone used to help start or expedite childbirth.  This intervenous drug increases the intercellular concentrations of calcium in the middle layer of the uterine wall, which promotes uterine contraction.  While there are other methods of expediting delivery such as amniotomy or stripping of the membranes., nipple stimulation and soap suds enema, Pitocin and Syntocinon are the go-to therapies to initiate or accelerate delivery.

Below is a list of GEICO settlements and verdicts in Oregon in 2016.

  • Oregon: $120,000 Verdict. An adult female is driving in the left lane of a three-lane, one-way road when she is struck by a vehicle attempting to make a left turn from the center lane. She was insured by GEICO, and filed a claim to recover underinsured motorist benefits. GEICO argues the extent of her injuries, but a jury awards her $1,991.69 for economic damages and $73,008.31 for non-economic damages.
  • Oregon: $99,978 Verdict. Plaintiff is traveling on an off-ramp in front of defendant’s vehicle. Plaintiff stops her vehicle at a stop sign. She inches out to look at traffic, and defendant’s vehicle strikes the rear of her vehicle. The plaintiff suffers a left shoulder injury requiring surgery as a result, as well as thoracic and lumbar sprains. The defendant is insured by GEICO, and ordered to pay $74,978 in medical expenses, $20,000 in lost wages, and $5,000 in non-economic damages to the plaintiff.

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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Jury verdict abortion malpractice

Juries have not been impressed with Johnson & Johnson’s Arguments

Out of nowhere, talcum powder ovarian cancer cases became the hottest mass tort case.  What happened and where are we now in these lawsuits?

The Product and the Big Question

For many decades, talcum powder has enjoyed great success as a consumer product. While young mothers often eagerly sprinkle it on their infants during diaper changes to help absorb wetness and prevent diaper rash, other women used the powdery substance as a regular part of their feminine hygiene practices.

Also, both male and female athletes routinely use talcum powder products to try and lower their chances of developing athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. Only limited complaints have been lodged for many years about the possibility that talcum powder could cause ovarian cancer. However, many women are now challenging their earlier beliefs about this product’s safety. In fact, the first successful lawsuit against talcum powder product giant, Johnson & Johnson, have now been filed and won.
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Cauda Equina Syndrome is a neurological disorder that stems from an injury to the bundle of nerve roots that exit the spinal cord. Cauda equina frequently leads to medical malpractice lawsuits.

cauda equina settlements

The treatment for Cauda Equina Syndrome is generally immediate surgical decompression. The sooner this can be achieved the better. You usually have a 48-hour window of opportunity with which you can reverse the symptoms. The malpractice lawsuits in these cases occur when the symptoms were there to be seen during that window but were missed, usually in the ER or by a primary care doctor or by the surgical staff after spinal surgery.

Symptoms

Doctors frequently miss the clear symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome which include:

  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica (particularly at L5/S1)
  • Loss of sensation in the butt or genital sensory disturbance
  • Bowel, bladder or sexual dysfunction (bladder complications are a particular hallmark of cauda equina).

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NexiumPatients who experience acid indigestion, heartburn or other stomach ailments often seek relief from their symptoms by taking one or more drugs like Nexium.  Many patients have gotten great relief from heartburn and related symptoms which experience little if any side effects.

Those are the happy ending stories. But new research studies indicate that serious Nexium side effects (including kidney disease) can develop when prescribed or OTC (over-the-counter) heartburn medications are taken in higher doses — or for extended time periods.

Back in the 1980s when drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid were first marketed in the United States, many physicians believed they could benefit their patients because the risk of using the was outweighed by the benefits.  Growing scientific literature, including new studies published in 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, question that assumption. Continue reading