Filed under: Blog, Defective Products
Philips CPAP and BiPAP Ventilator Devices
Philips sleep and respiratory care devices have been recalled, as they have been linked to serious lung injury or cancer in consumers. Philips’ bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP), continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and mechanical…Read more
Philips sleep and respiratory care devices have been recalled, as they have been linked to serious lung injury or cancer in consumers. Philips’ bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP), continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and mechanical ventilator devices help provide breathing assistance to patients dealing with sleep apnea and other respiratory problems. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Philips issued a voluntary recall for models of the ventilator devices in April 2021, and an updated recall on June 14, 2021. This recall affects millions of products that people with respiratory issues use on a daily basis.
Philips Sound Abatement Foam
The Philips CPAP and BiPAP ventilator devices have been recalled after it was discovered that the sound abatement foam, located inside the ventilator devices, have been linked to serious respiratory illnesses, lung injury, and even cancer. The foam is a polyester-based polyurethane foam, and is used in the products that may disintegrate, resulting in the user inhaling the toxic chemicals, or contaminants. Philips determined that foam may degrade into particles that enter the air path of the devices, which then gets inhaled by the user. The sound abatement foam can cause skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritation, leading to asthma, headaches, adverse effects of many organs, or carcinogenic effects. Users reported to Philips that they were suffering headaches, cough and chest pressure, upper airway irritation, and sinus infections following the use of the device.
Studies state that Philips was well aware of the risks that stem from the ventilator devices before the recall, although they failed to alert users of the product. In their company’s quarterly report in 2021, they mentioned that users had reported they were experiencing adverse health effects after using the products, leading to Philips discovering the issue with the sound abatement foam. This recall involves million ventilator devices, most of which are a first-generation device and are within the 5-year service life. Philips may be facing multiple lawsuits filed by users of the device who experienced injury or cancer after using a Philips sleep apnea ventilator.
Risks Associated With the Devices
There are many health risks that are associated with the use of these ventilator devices, ranging from skin irritation to various types of cancer. There are many related injuries that people have already been diagnosed with, such as airway inflammation, breathing difficulty, lung damage, asthma, pneumonia, lung cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, heart attack, respiratory failure, stroke, liver disease, and kidney disease. Although the company has received many reports of serious injury or cancer, no deaths have occurred. The FDA recommends that users of BiPAP and CPAP devices talk to their health care providers for alternative treatments.
Philips has advised users to stop using the devices and consult with their physician to determine the benefits and risks of continuing therapy. However, they warned users to not discontinue their prescribed therapy without having a conversation with their physician to determine the appropriate steps moving forward. Philips stated that they are researching for a permanent corrective action to address and solve the problem.
This lawsuit covers anyone in the United States who purchased a Philips ventilator device that has been recalled for personal or business use between the applicable statute of limitations period through June 14, 2021. If the lawsuit keeps moving forward, the affected users will receive a notice of the settlement, making them entitled to claim compensation. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with serious lung damage or cancer due to a Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilator device, it is important you file a claim. At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, our goal is to handle these cases and ensure compensation for users of the Philips devices. Our trusted attorneys have had years of experience dealing with faulty devices, and know how to handle your specific case in court.
Filed under: Defective Products
Jury Awards to Round Up victims continues to gain momentum
In the third jury verdict within a year, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded $2 billion in punitive damages, as a settlement for cancer which the couple maintains was caused by using Round-Up weed killer…Read more
In the third jury verdict within a year, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded $2 billion in punitive damages, as a settlement for cancer which the couple maintains was caused by using Round-Up weed killer on their Northern California property. The case revolved around a claim that the product’s manufacturer, Monsanto, which was purchased in 2018 by Bayer AG, failed to warn users of the product that it could cause cancer.
What’s happened in previous Round Up trials?
Three verdicts from the from the first three trials against Monsanto for this product, have all found the company liable and the verdicts have been increasing in each case. Over 13,000 additional cases for the same or similar claims are pending in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
In the two previous trials, a state court in San Francisco in August 2018, awarded $289 million in a claim that Round Up caused Non-Hodkins Lymphoma (NHL), which was reduced by the judge to $78 million. Monsanto is appealing that verdict. In March 2019, a federal court jury, also in San Francisco, awarded $80 million to another man claiming that he also developed NHL from use of Round Up.
What is the aftermath of this verdict?
The Pilliod’s used the product on their property for decades. Mr. Pilliod learned that he was diagnosed with NHL in 2011. Mrs. Pilliod received the same diagnosis in 2015. In their trial, the jury saw documents which demonstrated that Monsanto was never interested in finding out whether Round Up was a safe product. While the previous two trials involved professional use of the product, it was noted that perhaps homeowners are more at risk from using Round Up, due to not being warned to wear protective gloves or clothing when using the product. The jury reached their verdict in less than 2 days of deliberation.
A Bayer spokesman responding to the verdict said, “Bayer believes the punitive verdicts is excessive and unjustifiable.” They continued that while they have great sympathy for Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod, there is no scientific evidence that Round Up, or its active ingredient Glyphosate is the cause of their illnesses. Bayer’s statement claims that the couple have long histories of illnesses known to be risk factors for developing NHL. Bayer plans to appeal this verdict.
It is likely that the award will be reduced in this case, due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings which limit punitive damages to no more than 10 times the compensatory damages awarded in a trial of this kind. The Pilliod’s received $55 million in compensatory damages in this verdict. Lawyer Brent Wisner who represented the Pilliod’s, stated that a huge sum was needed in this case to punish Monsanto for “45 years of lying to the public.”
The Richard Harris Law Firm represents Round Up victims
If you have been a Round Up user and later developed Non-Hodkins Lymphoma, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Call our firm today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444. We represent victims of other dangerous products as well.
Filed under: Defective Products
Zofran Birth Defect Cases Moving Forward Zofran (ondansetron) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991 as an anti-nausea medication for chemotherapy and post-surgical patients. At no time in its history…Read more
Zofran Birth Defect Cases Moving Forward
Zofran (ondansetron) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991 as an anti-nausea medication for chemotherapy and post-surgical patients. At no time in its history has Zofran been approved to be marketed to pregnant women for the treatment of morning sickness, however, the manufacturer, Glaxo Smith-Kline (GSK) marketed the drug for that purpose, in spite of evidence that the drug was linked to birth defects in new born children that GSK knew about as early as 1992 according to cases against the manufacturer.
GSK has made billions of dollars from the drug over its lifetime. Between 2008 and 2013 the prescription rate for the drug jumped from 50,000 monthly prescriptions to over 110,000 monthly prescription in 2013. Out of 4 million pregnancies in the U.S., its estimated that 1 million women are exposed to the drug annually.
Litigation History of Zofran
Department of Justice Lawsuit-2012
Prior to any personal injury lawsuits begin brought against GSK for birth defects, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the company for fraud and illegal promotion of Zofran, and the company pleaded guilty to the charges in 2012. In the settlement of that case, GSK agreed to pay $3 billion to DOJ. This was the largest health care fraud in the history of the U.S., and as part of the settlement DOJ found that GSK:
- Knowingly promoted the sale and use of Zofran for conditions other than those for which it was approved by the FDA including pregnancy related nausea
- Made false statement about the safety of Zofran for pregnancy related nausea
- Paid illegal kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the drug for pregnancy related nausea
Regardless, GSK continued to market the drug for treatment of pregnancy related nausea, and to this day is still prescribed for that purpose.
First Birth Defects Case filed – 2015
Cheri Flynn files lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Eastern Pennsylvania, alleging that her use of Zofran during her two pregnancies in 2004 and 2006, left both babies with heart problems. Her first daughter had surgery in 2011 to repair a hole in her heart, and her second daughter had a congenital heart defect. The case alleges that GSK knew in 1992 that Zofran presented “unreasonable risk of harm” to unborn children because it passes through the placenta to the developing fetus.
Several additional cases within days – 2015
Several more cases were filed in short order, alleging that GSK failed to warn expectant mothers of the possible side effects to their unborn children resulting in a range of serious birth defects, such as heart defects, facial dysmorphia, missing kidney, reproductive issues in the new born, cleft palate, cleft lip, and various learning and developmental challenges.
Cases Consolidated to a Multi District Litigation (MDL)
By the end of 2015, after over a hundred cases had been filed in several states, the cases were consolidated into an MDL in the district of Massachusetts, designated MDL 2657. GSK immediately moved for dismissal, which was overruled by the MDL judge. Today over 600 cases have been filed, of which there are currently 448 cases still active. The MDL is moving quickly to move cases into their bellwether cases, which should take place in late 2019. All cases allege that GSK failed to warn expectant mothers of the risks of causing birth defects in their unborn children.
The Richard Harris Law Firm sues drug companies who market dangerous drugs
If you were prescribed the anti-nausea preparation Zofran during your pregnancy and your child was born with birth defects, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Our office wants to discuss your case and may represent you against Glaxo Smith-Kline for failure to warn patients and medical providers of the significant risks associated with use of the drug. Call our office today to discuss your case.
Filed under: Defective Products
Blood Pressure Medication Recall
Behind the Valsartan Recalls Valsartan becomes the third high blood pressure/heart failure medication to be recalled from the market within the last year. It joins losartan and irbesartan, all of which are of a class…Read more
Behind the Valsartan Recalls
Valsartan becomes the third high blood pressure/heart failure medication to be recalled from the market within the last year. It joins losartan and irbesartan, all of which are of a class of generic hypertension drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARB’s, which have been previously recalled due to contamination with a cancer-causing ingredient which has been found present in the drugs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that two ingredients called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) exceeded acceptable safety levels in the drugs – both ingredients are considered probable carcinogens. So, in addition to finding new hypertension drugs, sometimes a tedious process, patients using ARB’s now need to be concerned with exposure to potential cancer-causing agents.
Over 60 million prescriptions were written between the three drugs in 2016 alone. Recalls of contaminated lots of the drugs have been so extensive, that there is now a nationwide shortage of valsartan, causing prices to spike, and possibly causing other potential replacement drugs to increase in price as well. The Wall Street Journal reported that as many as two million patients may have been exposed to the cancer-causing ingredients.
Several different manufacturers supply these drugs to the U.S. market, but the contamination is coming from raw material suppliers in China and India. The FDA is investigating how this contamination entered the drug supply and is working to stop the flow of tainted drugs from foreign suppliers. In particular, FDA has stopped imports of medications and drug ingredients from Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals in China.
The drugs have been on the market in the U.S. for about four years. The FDA estimates that even if patients have taking the drugs since their introduction to the U.S. that their exposure to the tainted ingredients should be minimal, since some supplies of the drugs have shown acceptable levels of contamination.
However, in the meantime a number of class action lawsuits have been initiated nationwide to compensate patients for the increased costs of the recalled drugs and medical care needed to find replacement therapies. Cases are being reviewed by attorneys, for those diagnosed with liver, kidney, pancreatic and stomach cancers.
Dangerous Products Lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm
Its early in the process to evaluate the long-term effect of the contamination of the ARB drugs. However, the lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm are here to provide legal recourse for injury from this and other dangerous products which may be on the market. If you’ve experienced a negative outcome from the use of a dangerous drug, contact our office today to discuss your potential case.
Filed under: Defective Products
IVC Filter Dangers
A 28-year-old woman went to the emergency room reporting a pain in her lower back on the right side. After an examination, a CT scan was performed which found a fractured IVC Filter which had…Read more
A 28-year-old woman went to the emergency room reporting a pain in her lower back on the right side. After an examination, a CT scan was performed which found a fractured IVC Filter which had been implanted 10 years earlier. The remnants of the device had moved and lodged near her heart and her right ureter. The filter was removed, but it was decided the fragments would be left in place due to the risks of removal.
This patient is not alone. Many who have had this medical device implanted have had similar experiences. It appears that some of the devices implanted over the years were defective. Many of these patients have sued, with more than 12,000 lawsuits filed at the federal level against two manufacturers of this device.
What Are IVC Filters?
Inferior vena cava or IVC Filters are small cage-like devices designed to be placed inside the main vein (the inferior vena cava) returning deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart. These devices are used to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE) or blood clots from moving through the heart and lodging in the lungs, which can be life threatening. IVC Filters are intended for those who have difficulty using anticoagulants.
IVC Filters are about one inch long and have small metal legs or struts that spread out to the vein walls when placed to prevent movement of clots beyond the filter while still allowing acceptable blood flow.
There are about 11 companies which manufacture IVC Filters in the U.S., but two have shown a high failure rate. They are C. R. Bard, who manufactures the Recovery and G2 and Denali IVC Filters; and Cook Medical who makes the Celect and the Gunther Tulip IVC Filters.
Potential Complications of IVC Filters
When an IVC filter fractures, the pieces of the filter can move through the body due to blood pressure and lodge in other areas. This includes the heart and lungs, and the fragments can cause other problems. These include:
- Perforation of veins
- Perforation of the heart or lungs
- Hemorrhaging of the heart
- Excess fluid in the heart (causing disruption of heart function)
- Internal bleeding
Regulatory History of IVC Filters
In August 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to medical providers of problems with certain types of IVC Filters and recommended removing the devices after the risks of PE had passed.
After receiving hundreds of adverse event reports about IVC Filters in May 2014, the FDA advised doctors that the longer the IVC Filter remained in place, the risk of fracture increases. They advised removal of the devices as soon as possible after implantation.
Many studies have found the IVC Filters manufactured by these two companies had more complications than other products on the market. In August 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) warned that the risks of using IVC Filters may outweigh any health benefit provided by the device.
Legal Status of IVC Cases
As the volume of cases for these devices mounted at the federal court level, cases were consolidated into Multi-District Litigations (MDL) against the two manufacturers. Currently there are about 6,700 cases against C. R. Bard and about 5,400 cases against Cook Medical. Cases are ongoing.
Nevada IVC Lawsuits
The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm is reviewing defective product cases due to the use of IVC Filters. If you or a loved one was injured or died due to the use of a C. R. Bard or Cook Medical IVC Filter, contact our office today to review your case at (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Defective Products
3M Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2, May Cause Hearing Loss, Tinnitus
If you served in the U.S. military and saw combat operations between 2003 and 2015, you may have been issued Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). These plugs are identifiable by having one dark olive…Read more
If you served in the U.S. military and saw combat operations between 2003 and 2015, you may have been issued Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). These plugs are identifiable by having one dark olive end and one yellow end. The plugs were reversible and meant to be inserted into the ear canal. The dark ends of the plugs created near total sound blockage, while the yellow ends provided protection from combat sounds while still allowing users to hear voice commands.
Unfortunately, the devices were designed poorly and didn’t fit tightly into the ear canal, allowing loud noises to go past the earplug and into the ear drum. In fact, the design of the device prevented a snug fit in the ear canal. Many who used this product are now suffering from headaches, ear aches, hearing loss, and tinnitus—or ringing in the ear.
History of Usage
Aearo Technologies was awarded the contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as the exclusive supplier of earplugs for military use in 2003. This contract continued until late 2015 when the product was discontinued. In 2008, 3M purchased Aearo Technologies and continued supplying the product with no change to design and little to no testing to determine the effectiveness of the device.
The device discloses a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22 when the olive end is inserted into the ear. However, this rating does not consider that the third flange of the device needed to be folded back in order for the device to seat correctly, and this instruction was never included with the device. Without folding the flange, the device would not seat and effectively block sounds according to its disclosed NRR rating.
3M/Aearo knew that the devices did not meet the disclosed standards and in July 2018 settled a case with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) agreeing to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the duel-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, to the U.S. military without disclosing defects that hampered effectiveness of the product.
On February 4, 2019, a veteran, Matthew Cote, filed the first product liability lawsuit against 3M/Aearo claiming that use of the product while in the military has left him with significant hearing loss and tinnitus. This is expected to be the first of thousands of cases associated with hearing loss and injury as a result of using the Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2.
There are already many cases in the federal courts, and a request has been filed that the cases be consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). This will allow unified pretrial discovery and motions to proceed, although cases may settle in their original jurisdictions.
The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm is Holding 3M/Aearo Accountable for Veterans’ Injuries
If you were issued the Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2, during your military service, the product was defective and did not block sound as stated. If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ear), after using this product during your military service between 2003 and 2015, you may have a claim against 3M. The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm would like to know more about your case and is interested in representing you. Call our office today to discuss your potential case at .
United States ex rel. Moldex-Metric, Inc. v. 3M Company, Case No. 3:16-cv-01533-MBS (D.S.C. 2016)
Filed under: Defective Products
French Court Bans Roundup
Sales of Roundup Pro 360, a Monsanto product used for largely commercial weed control, were banned on January 15, 2019 in France. An administrative tribunal in Lyon, France, ruled that the French food and environmental safety…Read more
Sales of Roundup Pro 360, a Monsanto product used for largely commercial weed control, were banned on January 15, 2019 in France. An administrative tribunal in Lyon, France, ruled that the French food and environmental safety agency, ANSES, should have given more weight to potential safety risks when they authorized the use of the product in March 2017. This court action does not ban all Roundup sales in France, only this specific product.
As of November 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron had already committed to totally discontinue use of the herbicide in the country by 2021, effectively rejecting a relicensing agreement between Bayer-owned Monsanto and the European Commission, which had extended licensing rights for the product until 2022 for the European Union countries. France joins a growing list of countries and municipalities worldwide to curtail the use of products containing Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.
Regulators in several countries worldwide, including the Netherlands, Brazil, and Sri Lanka, have banned use of Roundup, but have been challenged in the courts by Monsanto. For the time being, those bans are lifted.
Roundup Developments in the U.S.
In the United States, many cities and counties are banning the use of Roundup for publicly maintained parks and thoroughfares. In 2017, California added glyphosate to its list of potential carcinogens and planned to require warning labels on the product, but a California court ruled that the labels were unnecessary.
In August 2018, a court jury awarded $289 million to a school groundskeeper who used Roundup for years and was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in 2014. This was the first settlement from the more than 4,000 cases in the U.S. at the state and federal levels, linking glyphosate use with NHL.
The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm Represents Nevada Roundup victims
Our firm is taking inquiries from agricultural and municipal workers who have been exposed to Roundup for extended periods and who now have been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Call our office today to find out if you have a case at (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Defective Products
Jacuzzi Walk-In Tub Injuries Are on the Rise
Jacuzzi walk-in tubs are ideal for people who want the relaxing and therapeutic effects of jacuzzi-style baths but have mobility problems that make it difficult to get in and out of standard tubs. Walk-in tubs…Read more
Jacuzzi walk-in tubs are ideal for people who want the relaxing and therapeutic effects of jacuzzi-style baths but have mobility problems that make it difficult to get in and out of standard tubs. Walk-in tubs are designed to be easy to enter and exit, as they’re much higher off the ground and can be entered by opening and closing doors on their sides. In addition to being installed in many homes, they’re also being installed in places like nursing homes, physical rehabilitation clinics, and more.
Unfortunately, jacuzzi walk-in tubs can still pose threats to people who use them. Drowning deaths have occurred in walk-in style tubs due to the amount of water they hold—often up to 80 gallons—and their inward opening doors, which can become defective or inoperative if the water is unable to be drained, potentially trapping bathers inside. Another potential risk involves heated seats becoming stuck in the “on” position, putting users at risk of burn injuries.
We’re Here to Help
At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, our Las Vegas defective product attorneys are here to help anyone who was harmed by a dangerous jacuzzi walk-in tub. Although these products may seem safe and even optimal for people with mobility problems, design flaws and negligent testing practices can make them extremely dangerous to the people who use them.
You or your loved one shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket if you suffered an injury related to a jacuzzi walk-in tub. It was the manufacturer’s negligence that resulted in your injuries, and they should be held liable for their mistakes and carelessness. Call us today for a free consultation to find out how we may be able to put our experience to work for your family.
Filed under: Blog, Defective Products
Jacuzzi Walk-In Bathtubs a “Death Trap” for the Elderly
Walk-in bathtubs are specifically marketed towards the aging population, with promotional materials promising peace of mind and that the product has been engineered for safety and comfort. But what has been the real-life experience of…Read more
Walk-in bathtubs are specifically marketed towards the aging population, with promotional materials promising peace of mind and that the product has been engineered for safety and comfort. But what has been the real-life experience of users of this product? For Sherry Cunnison of Las Vegas and others, it was deadly.
The target market for these products are consumers who are elderly, overweight, or have other physical limitations. Marketing materials specifically state that the product is safely engineered to provide a luxurious and comfortable bathing experience. Older Americans have an increased risk of falling, but the product is designed in such a way that when a user falls or slides off the seat of the tub, they have limited to no ability to right themselves, nor to drain the tub. The door, which opens inwardly, is next to impossible to open, because the user is trapped in the space that the door opens into.
In a sworn deposition, Jacuzzi’s chief engineer admitted that no medical doctors, physical therapists, or occupational therapists were consulted in the design of the product. Furthermore, he states that the product is nothing more than “a bathtub with a door in it.”
Attorney Ben Cloward of the Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm represents the family of a victim who died while using the product and says, “I think its death trap.” Jacuzzi has responded to the lawsuit, saying, “Jacuzzi cannot control how people use or misuse its products.”
Real Life Experiences With the Jacuzzi Walk-In Tub
Sherry Cunnison, Las Vegas NV
In 2014, Ms. Cunnison, 67, of Las Vegas, had a Jacuzzi brand walk-in tub installed at her residence. Within three weeks, she fell in while using the tub and was trapped in the small space in front of the seat. She could not pull herself up, drain the tub, or open the door, and she remained there for two to three days.
After several unanswered phone calls, a well check was performed, and she was found alive. She was then transported to the hospital where she later died. First responders had difficulty rescuing her from the tub and even broke her arm while pulling her out of the tub. Eventually, firefighters at the scene were only able to remove the inward opening door by use of a Sawzall.
Mack Smith, Houston TX
Mack Smith, a retired sheriff’s deputy in his 60s, installed his Jacuzzi tub in 2013. While using the tub in 2016, he slid off the seat and landed on his back in the confined space at the bottom of the tub. His feet were extended into the air, with his body covering the drain and blocking the inward opening door to the tub.
His wife Barbara, who was home at the time, could not remove her husband from the tub, reach the drain, open the door, or remove enough water from the tub to prevent Mack from drowning. She called 911 and first responders transported Mack to the hospital, where he died of cardiac arrest due to drowning.
Anna Cullen, Chicago IL
Anna Cullen had problems with her newly installed walk-in tub in 2011. The second time she used the tub after it was installed, she fell and became wedged in the tub. She attempted to pull the drain, but the chain attached to the drain plug broke since the drain was under her body. She remained there for 30 hours until her daughter found her unconscious in the tub.
Ms. Cullen survived, but was hospitalized for 4 days and remained in a nursing home for three months. She says the tub was the “lousiest $12,000 I ever put out.”
Nevada Walk-In Bathtub Attorneys
The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm represents those who were injured or lost their lives due to the use of Jacuzzi and other defectively designed walk-in bathtubs. Manufacturers are required to design and market products that are safe to use and must warn of dangers that they knew or should have known existed with products that they sell. Most walk-in tub companies represent themselves as leaders in safety and comfort in their marketing materials and target their marketing to the older population or those with significant physical limitations. If you or a family member were injured or died due to the use of a walk-in bathtub, call our firm today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Blog, Defective Products
Netflix’s “The Bleeding Edge” Uncovers the Truth About Medical Devices
For patients suffering from chronic diseases, pain, and lost mobility, prescription medications and corrective surgeries aren’t the only options in 2018. Many healthcare providers now recommend that patients receive implantable medical devices to help reduce…Read more
For patients suffering from chronic diseases, pain, and lost mobility, prescription medications and corrective surgeries aren’t the only options in 2018. Many healthcare providers now recommend that patients receive implantable medical devices to help reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
But medical devices aren’t always safe. “The Bleeding Edge,” a 2018 Netflix documentary, follows the stories of several patients who received medical devices and then suffered serious health problems due to complications. The documentary also highlights the growing influence that medical device manufacturers have when it comes to getting their products approved and keeping them on the market.
At Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, our Las Vegas defective product lawyers aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with big medical device manufacturers when their negligence and greed cause innocent people to suffer.
Hurt by a Medical Device? We’re Here to Help.
The medical device industry brings in $200 billion per year, according to industry analysts. It’s clear that medical devices are big business, but that doesn’t mean the major players can get away with promoting their products when they cause harm to innocent people like you.
Having an experienced law firm on your side can help you level the playing field and increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. When you choose the Richard Harris team to handle your case, we achieve that by completing three important steps:
- We’ll prove your injuries or complications were caused by your medical device.
- We’ll prove the medical device manufacturer knew of the risks posed by its device.
- We’ll calculate how much your medical device-related injury will cost you.
Medical device manufacturers and their insurance companies are reluctant to pay out settlements to victims who pursue claims on their own. Having an experienced lawyer advocating on your behalf can make all the difference. Call us today for a free consultation.
Filed under: Blog, Defective Products
Mirena® IUD and Pseudotumor Cerebri
The Mirena® intrauterine device (IUD) has a storied legal history. Originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the year 2000, the contraceptive device gained some popularity due to its five-year lifespan…Read more
The Mirena® intrauterine device (IUD) has a storied legal history. Originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the year 2000, the contraceptive device gained some popularity due to its five-year lifespan and convenience compared to a daily birth control pill. However, it became a common occurrence for women who used the device to have irregular and sometimes heavy bleeding after device implantation. The FDA has received nearly 50,000 reports of bleeding complications from use of the device, some of which have been life threatening.
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the device, warned in product labeling that the device could cause some injury to the uterus upon insertion, but failed to mention that the device could migrate after insertion and puncture uterine walls, causing damage to other nearby organs.
What is a Mirena® IUD?
The Mirena IUD is a T-shaped plastic device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus by a doctor to prevent conception. The device releases levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone, and is intended to prevent pregnancy. While IUDs are the most popular form of reversible birth control worldwide, IUDs comprise only about 10% of all contraceptives prescribed in the U.S.
What complications occur from use of the Mirena® IUD?
Besides bleeding complications, women who used the device reported weight gain, abdominal and pelvic pain, acne, tenderness of the breasts, mood swings, nausea, ovarian cysts, and vaginal discharge. Extreme complications include device migration, spontaneous device expulsion, breast cancer, complications in pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and pseudotumor cerebri (PTC).
In addition to the above, some women had complications having the device removed. In some extreme cases, surgery was required to find and remove the device, since it had migrated from its original position.
Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) is a condition that causes an increase in fluid pressure in the fluids surrounding the brain. This increased pressure may cause nerve damage in nerves directly connected to the brain, especially the auditory nerves and optic nerves. Untreated, this condition can cause tinnitus and vision impairment or even permanent blindness.
Legal History of the Mirena® IUD
Due to the above complications, nearly 2,000 lawsuits were filed nationwide by women experiencing difficulties from use of the device. At the federal level, most lawsuits were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) in 2013. This MDL, designated MDL 2434, was based on the device’s tendency to migrate after insertion. Due to a legal technicality raised by Bayer, this MDL was dismissed in 2016.
A smaller portion of federal cases related to the Mirena IUD had to do with its active ingredient, levonorgestrel, causing a condition called pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which causes symptoms similar to a brain tumor. The side effects of PTC include vision loss and vision-related problems, severe headaches, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
This group of Mirena IUD cases was consolidated into a different MDL, designated MDL 2767, in the Southern District of New York, presided over by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. Approximately 500 cases make up this MDL, with new cases being brought and joining this MDL on a daily basis.
Case Studies Report Risk of PTC From Use of Levonorgestrel
As early as 1995, studies began to show a relationship between levonorgestrel implants and PTC. One such study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reports the relationship between severe headaches, vision problems, and levonorgestrel use.
Nevada Mirena® IUD Lawsuits
The Richard Harris Law Firm represents women who were prescribed the Mirena contraceptive device and later developed tinnitus or vision loss due to pseudotumor cerebri (PTC). If you were prescribed and used this form of birth control and at some later time were treated for complications such as tinnitus or temporary or permanent vision loss due to PTC, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Blog, Defective Products
Product Liability: Class Action vs. Multi-District Litigation (MDL)
In product liability cases, there are two types of cases that could be filed: a class action suit or a multi-district litigation (MDL). The first is a class action lawsuit. In a class action…Read more
In product liability cases, there are two types of cases that could be filed: a class action suit or a multi-district litigation (MDL).
The first is a class action lawsuit. In a class action suit, a class of plaintiffs is established based on common complaints and damages, and the entire class becomes the plaintiff. Measures of damage to the entire class are argued and any verdict affects all members of the class equally. Any settlements obtained are split between lawyer fees and expenses, with the remainder split equally between all members of the class. In this type of case, the individual merits of a case mean less than the common problems of the entire group. The problem: settlements may be small and may not reflect problems that you have incurred if those problems fall outside of the common issues affecting the class.
Most product liability cases that you would file with the Richard Harris Law Firm will be an individual case with your specific damages as the driving factor in the case.
As the number of cases for a particular product increase, the federal courts have set up a system to manage the early stages of cases of similar products, to handle discovery and pre-trial motions under a single judge who is established as an authority in that product. As the number of cases indicates that a great deal of activity will be required for that product, all such cases can be consolidated for these pre-trial activities, into a legal entity known as a multi-district litigation (MDL). An MDL is used when “…civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts.” (28 USC §1407)
In an MDL, your case remains your case and will settle on the merits of the particular damages you have incurred. Furthermore, the settlements remain yours, after lawyer fees and expenses. If your case is established as part of an MDL, the early portions of any trial will be handled under the MDL structure.
The MDL system is the outgrowth of a 1968 federal law, which established a seven-judge panel, called the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML). These seven judges hear arguments concerning whether a type of case should be consolidated or not. If the JPML determine to consolidate a case type, a federal judge for a particular district is assigned as the authority, and that that judge will hear product and all pre-trial functions. All pre-trial motions are heard during the pre-trial period, and discovery for that product case is developed and then shared with all district courts, saving time in subsequent trials and working from a common framework.
Once an MDL is established, cases that have progressed to trial may be selected as bellwether cases. These trials use the common discovery and pre-trial motions as a basis, and the results of the trials give some indication of how subsequent cases may conclude.
Your case could close as part of the MDL process. If it does not close, the case is then remanded back to its original jurisdiction, and will then be decided on its individual merits. Any settlements won go towards lawyer fees and expenses, and you, the client.
Richard Harris Law Firm is your best choice for Product Liability Cases
Most of our product liability blog posts indicate whether that particular product has been consolidated into an MDL. As an example, since our latest blog on defective hernia mesh, the JPML has decided to consolidate all Ethicon Physiomesh cases into an MDL. It is expected that hundreds of cases in the federal court system will be consolidated for pre-trial procedures under this new MDL.
In any case, the court system is complex and requires the skills of a well-trained and talented attorney to navigate and bring a case to a successful conclusion. These are the kinds of attorneys that make up the Richard Harris Law Firm. If you have had a significant complication due to the use of a medicine or medical device, we may be able to help you. Call us today to discuss your potential case at (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Defective Products
7 Categories of Defective Product Liability Claims
Product designers and manufacturers have a duty to protect consumers from injury by building their products with care from start to finish. Unfortunately, some companies fail to uphold the duty society expects of them and,…Read more
Product designers and manufacturers have a duty to protect consumers from injury by building their products with care from start to finish. Unfortunately, some companies fail to uphold the duty society expects of them and, instead, leave consumers with dangerous products that can cause injury and even death. In most product liability cases, the fact that a defect was the direct cause of an injury must be proven in court, and the product itself must be shown to have been defective. Defect claims can be made over the manufacturing of a product, its design, or a manufacturer’s claims regarding the product. Manufacturer neglect can sometimes help plaintiffs win greater punitive damages, but the theory of strict liability, which is the guiding principal of product liability cases, assigns responsibility to manufacturers regardless of how good their intentions might have been.
Established court rulings have upheld manufacturer liability related to automotive equipment when components intended to enhance automobile safety failed to uphold their claims or detracted from their intended purpose. Brake shoes that overheat and break during a descent down a long hill, for example, would likely be considered defective by design. There are also cases where automobiles themselves can be considered defective, such as when an SUV rolls over in ordinary driving conditions. However, an SUV that rolls over as a result of a driver swerving to avoid an oncoming deer would not necessarily be considered defective. Automobile equipment, like other areas of product liability law, must be shown to be defective in design, manufacture, or warranty for a court to be willing to hear a case.
Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals
The U.S. legal system imposes an extraordinary duty of care on the manufacturers and designers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Drugs and medical equipment are often designed to save lives, and they can leave thousands of individuals with life-changing disabilities when they fail. Injured individuals, therefore, need only to prove that their injury was the result of a manufacturer’s product in some way to have a valid case in the court of law. The seriousness of medical cases also means that the courts are often willing to hear cases where an injury is more indirect than what ordinarily fits within the limits of permissibility. Although imposing a higher duty of care on manufacturers might appear to increase the cost of products, the reality is that higher prices arise only due to the higher degree of care and testing incorporated into research to ensure safety in the aftermath of severe legal rulings.
Consumer products are another prominent area of product defect law because nearly every household contains thousands of individual goods that have the potential to cause harm. Unlike more sensitive areas of product law where safety is of inherent necessity, the courts impose a higher burden of proof on the plaintiff in consumer product cases because many injuries are caused by consumers themselves. For example, an individual who drops a smartphone from a tall building and kills a pedestrian in the street below would be unable to pursue a defective liability case. If, however, a charging smartphone electrocutes a user, a case might be feasible depending on the situation. Consumer product cases can include household chemicals, electronics, furniture, and more. Due to the broad nature of the consumer products category, injured individuals must often conduct extensive research to determine whether they have an injury that can be litigated in court under product liability laws.
Most homeowners possess several mechanized products that simplify daily life, such as lawn mowers, weed wackers, and heaters. However, when household machinery is defective, it can cause severe injuries and death. Machinery that is used around the house is often litigated in a different way than ordinary consumer products because these goods often have a business purpose. Established precedent, therefore, might be less relevant for consumers because existing cases might have dealt with business-to-business situations where the laws can be interpreted and applied different in ways. Other household items with a business purpose, such as electronics, can also entail similar contradictions that can make litigating a case difficult. Individuals injured from a household machine, therefore, must ensure that existing cases are relevant to their unique circumstances before assuming a case cannot be pursued in court.
Building Materials and Immovable Property
Individuals can become injured by a home itself or products that are build into a home. Injuries caused by a home’s architectural design or the neglect of a home builder do not fall under product defect law, unlike the products and materials used to build a home. Lead paint and lead pipes have become an important area of product liability law because of their continued prevalence in the modern world. Fixed household items, such as above-ground swimming pools, can be legally considered products, and manufacturers can be pursued when these goods cause injury. Moreover, defective building materials, including asbestos and arsenic-treated wood, can also be litigated under product liability law. Older homes, especially those built before two decades ago, are most likely to contain products and materials that have been found to be hazardous, so individuals suffering from chronic illnesses or cancer should consider how household products might have contributed to their condition.
Toys for Babies and Children
Babies and children are the most vulnerable members of society, and, as with other areas of law, the courts are especially severe with manufacturers who are responsible for causing them harm. The most well-known example of product liability for young children is with small objects that can cause young children to choke. Many products are marked as a choking hazard out of an abundance of caution and because of federal labeling laws, but manufacturers who neglect to incorporate these labels into their products in the proper way can be considered liable when children become injured. Other examples of culpable manufacturer carelessness include products with poisonous paints or toys that can cause electrocution. Moreover, household items that children might perceive as a toy, such as batteries, must also contain proper labeling to help parents keep them away from small children.
Workplace equipment is a complex area of product liability law because many different parties can be considered liable for an injury. A manufacturer could be considered liable for a machine that causes an injury, but the employer could also be considered jointly liable depending on the circumstances. Furthermore, some individuals who claim benefits under workers’ compensation laws could bar themselves from bringing a case against some or all parties responsible for their injury. Equipment injuries that occur in a home-based office can also add another dimension of complexity to a product liability case. Individuals who are injured at work, therefore, should carefully consider all of their possible options before pursuing a particular course of action.
Other Product Liability Claims
There are hundreds of different types of product liability claims that could be made in the court of law. Some claims are relatively easy to prove, such as when an individual gets electrocuted, but more ambiguous instances, such as when a defective pill is retrospectively considered to have caused a chronic illness, can be difficult or impossible to litigate due to excessive uncertainty. Injured individuals, therefore, must gather all possible evidence immediately after sustaining an injury. Testimony from witnesses can also be invaluable for proving a case in court. Gathering facts and considering options with an open mind are the most important factors for individuals seeking to pursue a wrongdoing manufacturer for their injury.
If you have been injured due to use of a defective product, call us for a no-cost consultation today. (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Defective Products
7 Types of Recoverable Damages in Product Liability Lawsuits
Product-related injuries can cause debilitating complications, disrupt daily life, and take a severe emotional toll on families. The legal system provides clear rules to help victims of product defects recover compensation and hold to account…Read more
Product-related injuries can cause debilitating complications, disrupt daily life, and take a severe emotional toll on families. The legal system provides clear rules to help victims of product defects recover compensation and hold to account those responsible for their injuries. Winning a personal injury case is feasible in many situations because victims do not ordinarily need to prove manufacturer negligence to receive compensation in court. Victims instead only need to demonstrate that an injury was directly caused by a defective product. Individuals injured as a result of using a product, therefore, should evaluate the wide range of situations where the courts can offer compensation for undue suffering and financial losses.
1. Medical Expenses
The costs associated with product injuries can place a crippling burden on a family’s finances. Depending on the injury, costs can range from thousands of dollars to astronomical expenses that force drastic measures to be taken. High costs are also relevant for victims with insurance since premiums often rise following an accident. Victims of product-related injuries should be sure to keep all receipts, estimates, and insurance paperwork as evidence of the expenses incurred. The total medical costs that a victim and their insurance provider pays can usually be reclaimed in full when defective products can be proven as the cause of an injury.
2. Loss of Income
The total cost of an injury includes not only outgoing expenses that were paid, but also income that was lost while recovering. The courts allow victims to receive compensation for the total amount of income that was lost, and this can include much more than days off from work. Injuries can cause long-term complications that reduce job performance and future career potential. Since victims can claim indirect income losses, considering the full range of losses that can be legally claimed is essential for realizing maximum compensation. Accounting for loss of income can help victims recover more of what they really lost in the aftermath of an injury.
3. Pain and Suffering
The damage to a victim’s life associated with an injury goes well beyond simple financial losses. Pain can be severe, and leave individuals with lifelong trauma from the horrific memory of extreme agony. Individuals can also experience pain that never fully goes away or returns periodically. The courts have established clear rules that allow individuals to recover damages for pain and suffering when their injuries were caused by a defective product. Financial compensation might not make pain go away, but it can help to alleviate the overall burden imposed on individuals who unnecessarily suffer with severe discomfort.
Sometimes the damage from an injury can never fully heal. Furthermore, some injuries can be fixed, but they might require extensive cosmetic procedures that entail astronomical costs that are often difficult to have covered by a health insurance plan. The courts, therefore, allow victims to receive compensation for disfigurement, which is defined as long-term cosmetic damage associated with an injury. Victims can claim the full cost of cosmetic surgery and losses associated with damage to personal appearance. Disfigurement can be embarrassing and interfere with an individual’s ability to live an ordinary life. Individuals who become disfigured as a result of a product-related injury should use the legal system to their advantage to help win back their former life.
Disabilities are a common repercussion of product injuries, and they vary widely from moderate disruptions to debilitating complications. Minor disabilities can include twitching, irregular walking, and localized loss of sensation. Even when disabilities are perceived as tolerable, however, manufacturers can still be held liable in the court of law. Most importantly, the courts can offer compensation for chronic disabilities that make ordinary life impossible and challenge an individual’s chances of survival. Victims who win a disability lawsuit can often win both compensatory and punitive damages, so disabled individuals should be sure to talk to a professional attorney to assess their chances of success in a disability lawsuit.
6. Mental Anguish
The total suffering incurred due to an injury from a defective product can include much more than just physical trauma. The psychological impact of an injury can often be devastating and affect an individual’s ability to enjoy or participate in daily life. Victims may go through life with extreme anxiety, depression, or personality disorders. Unfortunately, mental anguish can interfere with a victim’s relationships with other people, including family members, colleagues, and close friends. When the effects of mental anguish can be documented, the courts allow victims to receive financial compensation for mental hardship. Winning compensation for mental anguish can help victims get the financials means to effectively cope with mental suffering after an accident.
7. Loss of Consortium
Victims themselves are often not the only individuals harmed by a product-related injury. Family members and spouses can also experience disruptions to their lives that impose both a financial and emotional burden. Spouses might have to take time off from work to care for a loved one, and children might have to forego extracurricular activities to take care of an injured parent or grandparent. Loved ones might also have to deal with the psychological grief associated with seeing a close loved one experience acute pain or mental anguish. The legal system, therefore, allows a victim’s close family members and spouse to seek damages from a liable manufacturer after a loved one has been wrongly injured by a defective product.
Victims of product defects should understand that there are attainable legal remedies available to help alleviate the financial and emotional costs of unnecessary injuries. Individuals who pursue wrongdoing manufacturers in court, furthermore, also do good for others because they help to increase the incentive for future products to be designed in a safe and ethical way. Working with a seasoned attorney can help to increase the chances of winning a lawsuit, and help victims determine which legal options are most appropriate for their unique situation. Claiming compensation can help put victims on the road to recovery, and help them return to living a better life.
If you have been injured by a defective product, call the Richard Harris Law Firm for a consultation at 702-444-4444.