Published on:

Fosamax.jpg

Merck, the manufacturer of the bone-loss medication Fosamax, has recently been ordered to pay $285,000 to a woman who suffered osteonecrosis (dead jaw) as a result of taking this drug. Reuters reports that the plaintiff suffered from bone disease and delayed healing after a routine tooth extraction. The jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, citing that Merck failed to adequately warn the patient of the risks involved with the product.

In fact, it has been proven that usage of Fosamax is linked to developing osteonecrosis. This condition, often called dead jaw, occurs after dental work or some other procedure in which the jaw bone might be exposed. After infection with osteonecrosis, surrounding tissue begins to erode, blood flow to the jaw stops, and tiny breaks can occur which lead to collapse of the jaw bone.

Additionally, random bone fractures can occur while taking this medication. Femur fractures are an especially common ailment that users of this drug may encounter. Researchers have suggested that Fosamax is linked to bone fracturing during low impact repetitive force, but some people claim that fractures occurred in the absence of even a fall. Drugwatch notes that women have reported simply turning their bodies the wrong way, coming to a short stop in the car or simply walking and suffering a broken femur.

Fosamax is also linked to several other side effects. One potentially dangerous side effect is the risk of developing esophageal problems. Patients might develop irritation, inflammation, or bleeding ulcers in the esophagus. Esophageal problems such as esophagus bleeding, erosion, and perforation may occur. These side effects have even been linked to esophageal cancer. Low blood calcium may also occur as a result of taking Fosamax. Appendage spasms, muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, soft bones, nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, and even seizures are possible in the event of low blood calcium. Severe bone, muscle, and joint pain can occur within days of taking the drug.

According to the Jere Beasley Report, there are already over 3,000 cases against Merck alleging either development of osteonecrosis or femur fracture. While the femur fracture cases have yet to begin, at least two juries have decided in favor of victims of osteonecrosis. With the most recent victory of $285,000, Fosamax suits may only continue to pick up speed. It’s not too late to file your claim if you have suffered adverse effects after using Fosamax; contact Borchardt Law Firm today.

—–

Continue reading →

Published on:

Semi Truck2.jpg

The American Trucking Association has recently been lobbying Congress to expand current weight limits for semi trucks. The Jere Beasley Report states that, since 1991, the weight limit for such trucks has been 80,000 pounds. The industry is now hoping to increase that weight limit to nearly 100,000 pounds. Many trucking manufacturers firmly assert that this change would be beneficial for everyone, but the proposal has been met with criticism from many safety advocates.

The American Trucking Association defends a weight increase by suggesting that, by increasing the amount of products each truck could carry, it would actually decrease the number of trucks on the road. This could result in fewer emissions, and solve the current problem of driver shortage, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. The organization also states that when heavy trucks are allowed on highways, they will not have to take side-roads in order to avoid weight regulations. The ATA has implied that this might increase safety by keeping large trucks from entering residential areas and thus remaining on highways where infrastructure is better equipped to handle their weight. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Michael Robinson, Director of Legislative Affairs for the American Trucking Association, said “We think it’s important for the economy and for the environment.”

Despite the ATA’s promising view of an increase in weight limitations, such a shift would pose some very serious problems. It would certainly increase the stress and strain on highway infrastructure, which is a major safety concern. Considering federal funding for such maintenance is decreasing, the problems created by heavier vehicles could prove quite severe. Heavier trucks would also be more difficult to stop in emergencies. The fatality rate in heavy truck crashes is 50-60%, already twice that of smaller vehicles.

Additionally, truck manufacturers do not undergo strenuous safety testing the way other vehicles do. It is also unlikely that the trucking industry would change design processes to improve crashworthiness to accommodate these heavier weights. So, even with the purported benefits of increasing the weight of semi-trucks, the fatality statistics in truck crashes would likely only continue to rise.

Ultimately, the safety threat of larger and heavier trucks is very real. If you feel strongly about keeping these trucks off the road, contact your Congressional representative. It is imperative that the safety of the average citizen is protected, not the safety of big business’ profit.

—–

Continue reading →

Published on:

Stryker.jpg

The Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant is a defective medical device that suffers from similar flaws as the DePuy hip replacement product. Elements of this implant contain metal-on-metal qualities that may lead to very serious complications. Many adverse reactions to the product have been reported, internal and external product testing has confirmed the potential dangers of this product, and there are currently lawsuits filed against the manufacturer.

The friction of its metal parts can lead to, according to Stryker, “…a potential for fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction which may lead to adverse local tissue reactions.” Such reactions include unbearable pain, swelling, and the development of metallosis. Metallosis is the buildup of metal debris in the body caused by the grinding of metal parts. Effects of metallosis include dislocation, bone deterioration, and metal toxicity. These products suffer from a very high early failure rate as well, working directly against their original marketing as a more long-lasting product for younger patients. Often patients implanted with defective devices must consequently undergo extremely costly and painful revision surgeries to correct the trouble.

Additionally, after reports of trouble with Stryker hip implants began to mount, the FDA launched an investigation into one of its manufacturing facilities. The disappointing findings included inadequate quality control measures and even the presence of the Staphylococcus bacteria. In 2007, the FDA warned Stryker to rectify these problems immediately or face very detrimental consequences. These deficiencies are independent of the serious structural problems that plague the two recalled implants.

Reuters reports that Stryker recommends clinical follow-up for all patients affected by the July 2012 recall of Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip stems. Such clinical follow-up should include blood and imaging tests even if the patient is not experiencing pain, swelling or other symptoms that might suggest hip implant failure. Stryker contends that they have received reports of patients with no or mild symptoms who still found high levels of metal ions in their bloodstream and evidence of local tissue reactions.

Stryker stated that the hip implant recall could ultimately cost between $190 million and $390 million in order to cover patient testing and treatment, new surgeries, lawsuits and insurance payments.

If you have suffered from complications associated with the Stryker Rejuvenate product, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer and find out what justice you may be entitled to for your physical, mental, or financial distress.

—–

Continue reading →

Published on:

Pradaxa.jpg

Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) on the problematic drug Pradaxa has been moved up to begin in March of 2014, as opposed to previously scheduled August 2014. There are currently over 175 cases pending in this MDL in Southern Illinois. In preparation for the upcoming proceedings, both the plaintiffs and Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of the anticoagulant Pradaxa, have begun compiling documents and records pertaining to the case. Chief Judge David Herndon, the presiding judge over this MDL, reported to The Madison-St. Clair Record that, “We’re really starting now to get to the meat of the litigation … [the] pace is picking up more.”

Pradaxa hit the market in 2010 as an alternative to warfarin, the more traditional medication designed to treat atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) and other conditions associated with blood clots. Pradaxa was touted (and heavily marketed) as requiring fewer doctor visits, dietary restrictions, and blood tests to adjust dosage than warfarin. However, this is the very reason Pradaxa may be trouble, because consumers are not properly administering the drug or performing thorough oversight of its effects, under the assumption that Pradaxa is a “one size fits all” medication. Both Pradaxa and warfarin may cause uncontrolled bleeding, however, there is an antidote to stop bleeding caused by warfarin, but no such antidote for Pradaxa exists. Many plaintiffs note that once bleeding begins, there is nothing doctors can do to stop it, and family members may have to simply watch a loved one bleed to death. The combination of improper usage and oversight and the lack of antidote for uncontrollable bleeding makes this drug exceptionally dangerous.

According to Drugwatch, after just two years on the market, Pradaxa has been linked to over 500 deaths and nearly 4,000 adverse effects in patients, including reports of stroke, hemorrhage, acute kidney failure and about a dozen cases of liver failure. Although hundreds of lawsuits are currently pending, some attorneys involved with the litigation predict that Boehringer Ingelheim will face thousands more claims over the next few years.

The aggressive marketing of Pradaxa makes the dangers of this drug a particular problem. Boehringer Ingelheim reportedly spent $464 million on advertising to promote the drug. This marketing was highly effective and, as many claim, highly deceptive. Plaintiffs allege that Pradaxa failed to label the product and warn consumers of the drug’s actual dangers and the lack of treatment method in cases of uncontrolled bleeding, and to properly warn consumers of dosage restrictions and hazards for at-risk populations such as older people or those with preexisting gastrointestinal problems. These are just a few among many complaints filed against Pradaxa and its marketing practices.

The take home message from this article is one of caution and opportunity. Consumers must be aware of the potential dangers when taking a new drug, as risks may be much more serious than drug manufacturers assert. However, it is not too late to file your claim against this defective medicine. As litigation builds momentum, make sure you know what justice you might be entitled to due to the devastating effects this drug may have.

Continue reading →

Published on:

gavel.jpg

New records have come to light in the face of impending trials regarding Johnson & Johnson’s metal-on-metal hip replacements. The company recalled their ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) implants in August of 2010. Over 31,000 patients have received these implants worldwide. There are now over 10,000 lawsuits against the manufacturer citing premature failure and metal poisoning, among other complications. Most of these lawsuits are consolidated in California and Ohio, and the trial proceedings in the California Superior Court are expected to begin today.

Newly disclosed court records show that in 2011, Johnson & Johnson conducted an internal analysis of the device, not long after the troubled hip implant was recalled. According to the New York Times, the analysis estimated that the all-metal device would fail within five years in nearly 40 percent of patients who received it. While Johnson & Johnson never released the results of this investigation, the company downplayed the result of a British study with similar findings.

According to Bloomberg, J&J defends their actions by stating that they were attempting to look out for patient interests by conducting an internal review, but that their analysis was based on too small of a sample to be generalized, unlike other published data on the matter. However, regardless of intent, this new information may prove very important in the upcoming trials on this defective medical device; many lawyers representing hip replacement patients have rejected Johnson & Johnson’s offers to settle outside of court.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Transvaginal mesh lawsuits continue to pour into state and federal courts. As more and more women who have been harmed by faulty vaginal mesh procedures, the media coverage and medical research behind the problem have both boosted. A new study “has found that prolapse procedures that utilize vaginal mesh products rose significantly between 2005 and 2010.” (Bernstein Liebhard LLP)

The study to analyze trends in vaginal mesh and other similar procedures was published last month in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. This study suggested that from 2005 – 2010 as the release of various transvaginal mesh kits increased, the usage of these products in medical procedures increased as well. Currently the trend doesn’t hold true – likely because of the FDA warnings released about the potentially dangerous procedure in July 2011.

Complications with transvaginal mesh procedures are not rare. Complications with such procedures include mesh erosion, infection, pain and scarring. No woman should have to live with this pain. If you or a loved one has had a negative experience with a transvaginal mesh procedure in the past, call the experts at Borchardt Law Firm. When it comes to mesh cases, we’ve seen it all and know the facts – you have rights. Take action against your discomfort; give us a call today.

Published on:

“The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it will collaborate with medical device manufacturers on a public-private partnership designed to speed up the development of new medical technology,” reported CBS News last week.

A nonprofit group named Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) was formed to improve the approval process of medical devices. This process is currently slow, complex and sometimes doesn’t even require clinical trials. This organization’s mission aims to speed up, simplify and ensure the quality of medical device testing. Minnesota-based LifeScience Alley founded this new consortium.

Since most medical device companies are small businesses, their budgets and staff don’t allow for extensive research and testing. This new agency, the MDIC, will procure high quality information and research from the government, industry and academia.

The new group reported that 17% of Americans currently are living with an implanted medical device of some sort. That is too high of a percentage to take testing these implanted devices lightly.

So what does this mean for consumers? It means that with this new nonprofit in place, we may have easier access to more efficiently and thoroughly tested medical devices. This would save the pain of dealing with faulty transvaginal mesh procedures or complications with metal-on-metal hip replacements. This could save medical device consumers thousands of dollars in lawsuits and years of suffering and pain.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Screen shot 2012-11-26 at 9.38.58 AM.pngThe Holiday season is now in full swing. Nationwide, during this time of heightened travel, the likelihood of getting in an automobile accident dramatically increases.

The traffic increases by over 50% on the five busiest holidays, and in turn the fatality rates on the road increase by 4.5 – 5 times. Thanksgiving is the most fatal holiday in regards to car accidents with an average of 567 on Thanksgiving day alone.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics website, “The Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a ¬destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year. ” Around 91% of holiday travel in the US is done by personal vehicle, leaving only 5-6% of trips taken by air.

Published on:

Boston Scientific, a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices, stated that it is facing more than 2,500 product liability lawsuits over transvaginal surgical mesh implants. The liability lawsuits are due to “defective design and manufacturing, a failure to warn, breach of warranty, fraud, loss of consortium and violations of state consumer protection laws.”

Boston Scientific was contacted by Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General, warning them that multiple attorneys general offices plan to initiate a civil investigation on the sale of synthetic transvaginal mesh. The company released this information in its quarterly regulatory filins with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Nov. 6. The company, based in Massachusetts, will face these lawsuits in the coming months in various state and district courts.

There is an estimated 29% adverse events rate with synthetic mesh operations. Lawsuits against six various vaginal mesh manufacturers have reached 10,000 cases and are growing. According to court records in Georgia, West Virginia and New Jersey, and that number is expected to double. The pain that women endure caused by mesh erosion, organ perforation, mesh and vaginal shrinkage and other “adverse events” should be ended.

Continue reading →