Blood Thinners Again in the Spotlight

blood thinnerPeople who suffer from medical conditions that increase their risk of abnormal blood formation, i.e. atrial fibrillation, are routinely prescribed blood thinners or anticoagulants to reduce the incidence of blood clotting that can lead to serious and potentially fatal complications such as strokes. The standard anticoagulant treatment is using warfarin which was first marketed as such in 1950. However, warfarin requires considerable effort in administration, including regular doctor visits, frequent dosage adjustments, and a special diet. Newer anticoagulants such as Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Xarelto (rivaroxaban) have no such requirements. However, Pradaxa came under fire not soon after it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and now Xarelto is in the same boat. While they belong to different anticoagulant classes and affect patients in slightly different ways, they share a common problem: uncontrollable bleeding. Unlike the bleeding effects of warfarin which can be reversed with a dose of Vitamin K, there are no reversal agents for Pradaxa and Xarelto. Pradaxa is already in the middle of multidistrict litigation. The first Xarelto lawsuit, a relative newcomer to the market, was only filed in February 2014. It is expected that more cases will be filed considering the huge popularity of Xarelto before complaints to the FDA and civil court began mounting up. The big difference between Pradaxa and Xarelto lawsuit is that plaintiffs in the latter cases claim that the manufacturer, Bayer Corp., and distributor, Janssen Ortho LLC, knew or should have known that the medication was too dangerous to be sold in the first place.

J&J Faces Trouble for Talcum Powder Products

talcum powder It seems that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) may soon be facing a new wave of personal injury litigation based on the findings of the most recent report from a journal and the somewhat successful ruling in a South Dakota courtroom. The report “Genital Powder Use and Risk of Ovarian Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of 8,525 Cases and 9,859 Controls” that was published online and in print in the June and August 2013 edition of the Cancer Prevention Research journal, respectively, was a meta-analysis of 8 separate but similar studies that established a causative link between the genital use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The ruling was for the first talcum powder lawsuit filed against J&J by one Deane Berg in 2009. She is a Sioux City resident who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006 after more than 30 years of using J&J talc-based products. The jury came out with a ruling in 2014 finding J&J negligent for failing to warn consumers about the risk of using these products in the genital areas and in fact marketed it as safe for this type of use. The studies speculate that talc particles found in cancer tissue suggests that they contributed to the activation and growth of cancer cells in the ovaries by traveling up the reproductive tract and causing inflammation. Regular and consistent genital use of talcum powder aggravated the condition until cancer resulted. Some researchers compare the size, persistence, and effect of talc particles in the tissue to that of asbestos fibers which causes mesothelioma, also a form of cancer. More talcum powder lawsuits have been filed against J&J since the 2014 verdict for its talc-based line of products. A putative class action lawsuit has also been filed, which, if enough people join to get certification, will become a true class action against the pharmaceutical company.

Updates on Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Lawsuits

hip implantMetal-on-metal hip implant manufacturers continue to be named in thousands of product liability lawsuits because of the alleged failure rate of the devices. Some fare a little better than others in terms of failure rate; Biomet (now owned by Zimmer) devices are rated as having the lowest while the ASR models made by DePuy Orthopedics has the highest. Nevertheless, all manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants continue to get equal exposure in the civil litigation spotlight despite having already settled thousands of cases. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. DePuy started paying base payments of $250,000 to some of the more than 8,000 plaintiffs implanted with defective ASR hip implants in July 2014 from the $2.5 billion settlement fund it established in November 2013. Plaintiffs who suffered more grievous injuries will be getting paid later with presumably higher compensations. The implant maker also settled with Oregon for $4 million in recompense for the 432 devices sold in the state. With regards to the cases involving the DePuy Pinnacle model, multidistrict litigation (MDL 2244) In the Northern District of Texas is ongoing, representing more than 6,400 cases. Zimmer had its own tussle with cases consolidated in 2010 (MDL 2158) for its Durom Acetabular Cup. Zimmer has since settled with some of the affected patients, and the bill so far has almost reached $400 million and counting. The 1,600 cases involving the implant models M2a 38 and Magnum were also settled for $56 million, where plaintiffs received $200,000 on average. Other manufacturers with ongoing legal problems include Stryker (ABG II and Rejuvenate), with more than 1,000 cases currently in mediation, and Wright Medical Technology, which has been named in several personal injury lawsuits involving its Profemur and Conserve hip implants. Those who may be eligible to file a suit against these companies but have not yet done so may still be able to provided that the statute of limitations in their states have not run out. If you need money to help file such a suit, contact the understanding team at Downey Lawsuit Funding and find out what we can do to help you pursue the compensation and justice you need.

Arizona told by Federal Appeals Court to grant driver’s license to young immigrants

driver's licenseArizona’s policy that denies the granting of driver's licenses to young immigrants has been issued a preliminary injunction by 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ panel of three judges, who saw the state’s policy as nothing more than an expression of hostility toward young immigrants. About 19,000 young immigrants, who are taking part in the 2012 Obama program which deferred any action on their deportation, have been granted extended stay in the U.S. and have been given a legal right to a two-year renewable employment permit stand to benefit greatly from the recent federal appeals court ruling. The directive to state agencies to refuse young immigrants a driver’s license and other public benefits began in August 2012 through an executive order issued by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. Gov. Brewer’s order was aimed at preventing any opportunity to use one’s license to access public benefits improperly and on matters of liability concerns. Despite the court’s decision, which Gov. Brewer considers as misguided, she plans to pursue the case through an appeal. Besides Arizona, the only other state that has, and continues to have, a similar policy is Nebraska where, also this year, an attempt to contest its policy was dismissed by a federal judge.

Morcellation May Accelerate Cancer Spread

Small incisions can lead to big problems with certain surgical procedures. surgical device defect The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory on April 17, 2014 against the use of morcellation surgical devices in laparoscopic procedures, particularly for hysterectomies and myomectomies. It turns out that morcellation (basically cutting up tissue for easy removal through small incisions) may stimulate the spread of unsuspected cancers already present in 1 out of 350 women patients with uterine fibroids. The widower of a woman who died of metastatic myleosarcoma (cancer of the uterus) a year after undergoing a robot-assisted hysterectomy using a morcellation device filed suit against Ethicon Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that manufactures the medical device, among others for failure to warn. Prior to the surgery, the patient had no signs or symptoms of cancer. The Morcellator lawsuit was filed in March 14, 2014, nearly a full month before the FDA issued its advisory. According to a report published in the Pittsburgh Business Times, a pathologist from Pennsylvania named Robert Lamparter had alerted J&J about the potential risks of spreading uterine cancer with the use of a morcellation device in hysterectomies back in 2006. However, it was only when the FDA issued its alert that J&J suspended the sale of the device, 12 years after they had been advised to do so by Dr. Lamperter. Ethicon representatives maintain that the device carries the warning in its instructions for use. If you have been the victim of a defective surgical device, you may feel like taking legal action is prohibitively costly for you. Fortunately, lawsuit funding can provide you with the financing you need to take legal action now. Learn more by contacting the compassionate team at Downey Lawsuit Funding today.

Bellwether Trial Date for Pradaxa MDL set for September

The first bellwether case selected as representative of the cases brought against Boehringer Ingelheim for its product PradaxaPradaxa included in multidistrict litigation (MDL 2385 - Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation - heard in the Southern District of Illinois) will start jury selection on September 8, 2014. This is according to a case management order (CMO 60) of MDL 2385 released on March 5, 2014. Opening arguments are scheduled to begin on September 15. Pradaxa is an oral anti-coagulant prescribed to treat nonvalvular atrial fibrillation in order to reduce the risk of stroke. The cases filed against Boehringer allege that the product caused uncontrollable and irreversible internal bleeding, which in some cases led to death, and that the drug maker knew about this danger but failed to issue appropriate warnings. The first cases were filed against Boehringer in March 2012, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration started receiving complaints the previous December. Boehringer was sanctioned for discovery violations and bad faith in December 2013, earning the company a rebuke from Chief Judge David R. Herndon as well as a $931,500 fine. Three other cases designated as bellwether cases 2, 3, and 4 have been given initial trial dates for December 1, 2014, February 17, 2015, and March 23, 2015 respectively. There are currently more than 2,000 cases included in MDL 2385, but the numbers are expected to rise as increased awareness of the risks associated with Pradaxa becomes more widespread. Lawsuits against major pharmaceutical manufacturers can, unfortunately take months, even years, and many individuals may find themselves in desperate need of financial assistance before their case is finished. However, lawsuit funding can provide individuals with an important lifeline in situations such as this. To learn more about how lawsuit funding can help you if you've been the victim of a dangerous medication, contact the team at Downey Lawsuit Funding today.