Personal Injury News & Developments

Articles Posted in Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

The Risks of Baby PowderThe global leader of consumer personal hygiene products Johnson & Johnson has just suffered one more very costly lawsuit in federal court. In May 2016, for the second time in less than three months, a St. Louis jury awarded a South Dakota woman $55 million after agreeing with the plaintiff that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other talcum-based personal hygiene products directly caused her ovarian cancer. While the connection between cancer and talcum powder might be an unexpected surprise to many consumers, it could be that manufacturers have known of the product’s hidden risks for decades.

A quick dusting of talcum powder is a common use for many of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum base products including Shower to Shower, Baby Powder and others. Many consumers use the products to reduce diaper irritation and rashes in infants and as a quick moisture absorbing solution around adult genital areas. However, these uses might be dangerous.

Recent findings reported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the American Cancer Society are noting a connection between inhaling significant amounts of the talc powder to chronic and acute lung irritation, naming the condition “talcosis.” Many wise consumers have begun using cornstarch powder as a reliable, safe alternative to avoid direct contact with potentially harmful elements that make up the natural occurring talc mineral including magnesium, silicon and oxygen.

Risks of Baby PowderNo parent would ever consider using a product on the skin of their newborn or infant if the ingredients were considered to be dangerous or hazardous to their health. That is why many of us believe baby powder and other talcum-based products have to be safe to use. After all, these products have been a part of our hygiene maintenance routine forever. If there had ever been problems with talc-based products, we surely would have heard about the problem by now, right?

Sadly, the dangers of baby powder have been known by product manufacturers for decades. However, it likely took the two 2016 verdicts from St. Louis, Missouri jurors awarding plaintiffs more than $127 million because there is a connection between talcum products and ovarian cancer to make consumers aware of the serious problem.

The massive plaintiff financial awards of two successful lawsuits have only recently magnified the life-threatening problem that has been causing serious health issues in women for decades. After much research, there appears to be a connection with women routinely using talcum powder in their genital areas and the development of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Lost by Johnson & JohnsonIn May 2016, a St. Louis Missouri jury ordered consumer product, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J & J) to pay $55 million over a claim that talcum powder sold under the company name caused ovarian cancer. Jurors deliberated more than eight hours before agreeing with a South Dakota female plaintiff that her ovarian cancer was caused by years of using talcum powder that was sold under the J & J brand and others. The New Jersey-based consumer product giant announced it will appeal the ruling.

This is the second time in less than three months that Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay plaintiffs a huge award by a St. Louis jury to cover claims that its product causes cancer. In February 2016, jurors awarded more than $72 million to a 62-year-old Alabama woman’s surviving family members, who has since passed away in October 2015 from ovarian cancer. Both cases involved evidence that using Johnson & Johnson talcum products including baby powder caused cancer.

The Latest Ruling

Warnings on Birth Control DeviceWomen looking for a simple alternative to traditional methods of sterilization have turned to the Essure Permanent Birth Control System, which is marketed and sold by Bayer. The contraceptive device was originally developed by Conceptus Inc. and approved in 2002. Bayer purchased Conceptus and the rights to the Essure System in 2013 and is now under fire for numerous complications that women using the system have suffered. These complications are so severe that the FDA has implemented a black box warning for the devices— which requires patients to sign a waiver stating that they have been notified of the risks associated with the devices prior to use.

How the Essure System Works

The Essure Permanent Birth Control System is a non-hormonal birth control method that prevents pregnancy through sterilization. Two flexible coils are inserted into the fallopian and over time, scar tissue develops around the coils and causes permanent infertility by creating a barrier that prevents eggs from reaching the uterus. The simple outpatient procedure has made the system an attractive alternative to tubal litigation and the devices can be inserted without any need for anesthesia.

Concerns arise about Invokana and OsteoporosisAt the time of FDA approval for Invokana (canagliflozin) in 2013, the benefits versus risks of the prescription medication to treat diabetes had already become highly questionable. Within the first two years of availability in the United States, serious concerns over the drug turned to reality when clinical studies showed users were experiencing reduced bone density in their hips and lower spine.

Invokana is a glifozin class drug that is prescribed by family doctors to treat Type II diabetes. Developed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, the prescription medication is marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The oral diabetes prescription medication has shown to be highly effective in controlling blood sugar levels by assisting the kidneys in ridding the body of glucose in the bloodstream. The drug marketers claim that with exercise and diet, Invokana can be highly effective at treating and controlling diabetes.

Even before the prescription medication had become available in the United States, the pharmaceutical manufacturer and marketers had already become aware that the drug posed serious problems, even during short-term use. Before its approval in the U.S., many patients in other countries that already suffered serious kidney damage or become victims of heart attacks and ketoacidosis. In some cases, patients were suffering bone fractures in less than 90 days after first taking the drug. The risk of fractures and bone loss seem to be most prominent in women of post-menopausal age.

Xarelto is a leading anti-coagulation (blood thinner) prescription medication manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. The drug is promoted to reduce the potential risk of blood clots and stroke in individuals suffering from atrial fibrillation that is not associated with heart valve problems. In addition, the FDA has approved Xarelto to treat pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis, and help reduce the potential recurrence of these conditions.

The drug has also received approval as a treatment to reduce the potential risk of forming blood clots in the lungs and legs of individuals who have recently undergone hip or knee replacement surgery. Despite its widespread use, the drug has caused many patients to suffer with serious adverse side effects.

Serious Side Effects

Faults with Bair Hugger Warming Blankets3M Bair Hugger manufactures and sells a forced air warming blankets that are used during implant surgeries nationwide. The blanket helps patients who are under anesthesia regulate their body temperature while it prevents hypothermia. Using a surgical hose, the system forces hot air into the disposable blanket draped over the patient’s larger body areas during surgery. The warming blanket has been used by many surgeons during millions of surgical procedures each year as a way to reduce the chance of hypothermia, when the patient loses body heat at a rate faster than it can be produced.

While designed to reduce the potential risks of developing an infection, the device might actually cause an infection by blowing highly contaminated bacteria-laden air from the tainted floor area into the patient’s opened surgical site. The potential risk of developing an infection is especially severe for individuals undergoing artificial heart valve implant surgery or joint replacement surgeries including knee and hip replacements.

The Inventor Speaks Out

Bair Hugger Infections post surgeryMany patients have developed serious life-threatening infections after hip and knee replacement surgeries from using temperature management systems developed and sold by 3M Bair Hugger. Many of these individuals have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer of the device claiming negligence of its potential risks and safety hazards.

These warming devices are used during surgical procedures as a way to regulate body temperature. Currently, more than 50,000 warming systems sold by the device manufacturer are used in nationwide hospitals and have warmed millions of patients since the products were first brought to the medical marketplace.

Many personal injury attorneys, including Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, have claimed that the forced air warming blankets have design defects that cause a disruption of laminar flow during surgeries in operating rooms nationwide. The defects allow bacteria and other dangerous contaminants to transfer from the floor and enter the patient’s surgical site. The defect increases the potential risks of knee and hip implant patients to develop a life-threatening joint infection after surgery.

Uncontrollable Bleeding Caused by XareltoIn 2011, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the blood thinner Xarelto (rivaroxaban) for prescription as an effective anticoagulant. The prescription medication is manufactured by Bayer and marketed in the United States by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Almost immediately, many patients suffered its dangerous side effects including uncontrolled bleeding. While bleeding is not uncommon when taking anticoagulants, many personal injury attorneys, including Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, allege that Xarelto is significantly more dangerous compared to other blood thinners because it lacks an antidote for reversing many of the effects of blood thinning.

That means during emergent situations, the individual might be at risk for a life-threatening irreversible bleeding issue including gastrointestinal or internal hemorrhaging. As a result, many patients prescribed the drug have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer and marketer on the grounds that they did not receive adequate warning against the dangers of using the blood thinning medication.

IVC Filter LawsuitsThe Chicago IVC filter attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have been investigating numerous claims on behalf of clients who believe that the devices were directly responsible for severe bodily harm. In response to a mounting number of cases against C.R Bard on behalf of those who were injured by the Recovery and G2 IVC filter product lines, a multidistrict litigation has been formed to hear facts that are common to all of the cases involved. The result of this multidistrict litigation will have an impact on the cases currently being heard as well as any that will be filed in the future.

Clients Allege IVC Filters Cause Bodily Harm

The devices produced by C.R Bard and other IVC filter manufacturers are designed to prevent pulmonary embolism and other events that are the result of blood clots moving from the leg to other areas of the body. They work by trapping the clots and then holding them in place until they dissolve or break into smaller pieces that are able to pass through the bloodstream safely. C.R Bard is the largest manufacturer of these devices, and the first to be named in lawsuits that claim a new line of recoverable filters have been released with numerous defects that pose significant risks and that those risks were not communicated properly to patients.