We want to look at any case involving serious injury or death. Below is a list of cases we are concentrating on.
Product Liability – We continue to focus on accident cases involving automobiles, heavy equipment and consumer products. Some of these auto cases involve single-vehicle crashes, while others involve multiple-vehical accidents. We would like to review any case involving catastrophic injury or death.
On The Job Product Liability – Many times product claims arise from workers compensation claims. After we investigate the circumstances that caused the injuries, many times we discover a defective machine may be the cause of the injuries.
Heavy Trucks – We are handling a lot of these cases, including 18-wheeler cases. There are significant differences between handling an interstate trucking case and other car wreck cases. It is imperative to have knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, technology, business practices, insurance coverages, and to have the ability to discover written and electronic records. Expert testimony is of utmost importance.
Defective Tires – Tire failure can result in a serious car crash and even a vehicle rollover accident, causing serious injury or death to vehicle occupants. Air, heat and sunlight cause the rubber in tires to break down.When a tire is defective, potentially serious problems like detreads and blowouts can occur long before the tire would be expected to wear out. If the tire failure is the result of design or manufacturing defects, and the manufacturer is aware of the problem, they have an obligation to alert consumers to the potential danger.
Pharma and Devices
Transvaginal mesh – The FDA has issued an updated safety communication warning doctors and patients that the placement of surgical mesh through the vagina to treat pelvic organ prolapse may present greater risk for the patient than other options. This is also called transvaginal mesh. According to the FDA, reported complications from using the mesh include the mesh becoming exposed or protruding out of the vaginal tissue, pain, infection, organ perforation and urinary problems.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Parts – The FDA has ordered a review of all metal-on-metal hip implants due to mounting patient complaints. Problems with the metal-on-metal devices include loosening, fracturing and dislocating of the device caused by inflammation in the joint space. We are investigating all cases involving metal-on-metal hip implants, including the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR XL Acetabular System and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, recalled in August 2010; the Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System, recalled in June 2012; The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems, recalled in July 2012; the DePuy Pinnacle, the Zimmer Durom Cup, the Wright Conserve, and the Biomet M2A and M2A-Magnum hip replacement systems, which have not been recalled. Reported problems include pain, swelling and problems walking.
Actos – The FDA has approved updated drug labels for Actos, usually prescribed to treat Type 2 Diabetes. The new label states that the use of the drug for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
Granuflo – Granuflo® and NaturaLyte® are products used in the dialysis process. On June 27, 2012, the FDA issue a Class 1 recall of GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte®. A Class 1 recall is the most serious FDA recall, reserved for situations in which the FDA deems “there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.” Use of these dialysis products has been linked to an increase risk of cardiopulmonary arrest and sudden cardiac death. The manufacture, Fesnius Medical Care, was aware of the dangers and injuries associated with these products, but failed to warn patients and doctors until 2012. We are currently investigating death claims as well as claims of heart attack, cardiopulmonary arrest or any other serious injury.
Paxil and other SSRI antidepressants – Paxil® (paroxetine) is an anti-depressant manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Recently, Public Health Advisories have been issued for Paxil® regarding an increased risk of heart birth defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), omphalocele (an abnormality in newborns in which the infant’s intestine or other abdominal organs protrude from the navel) or craniosynostosis (connections between sutures-skull bones prematurely close during the first year of life, which causes an abnormally shaped skull) in children born to mothers exposed to Paxil®. We are also looking into other antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which include the brand name drugs Zoloft, Lexapro and Prozac, which also are linked to birth defects including heart and lung defects.
Mirena – Mirena® is an IUD that was originally approved by the FDA as an intrauterine contraceptive. It was later approved as a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding. It works by slowly releasing a low dose of levonorgestrel (a synthetic progestin hormone) directly into the uterus. Serious adverse side effects and potentially life-threatening complications have been reported following the implantation of the device. These complications include organ perforation, migration of the IUD to outside the uterus, expulsion of the IUD, and embedment in the uterus, among others.
Lipitor – a statin drug to treat high cholesterol, was approved by the FDA in 1996 and is one the best-selling prescription medications in the world. Recent studies have found a possible link between Lipitor and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A University of Massachusetts study found a potential link in postmenopausal women, particularly those who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 25. Of the 153,840 women evaluated, more than 10,000 had developed Type 2 diabetes by the end of the study.
Byetta and Januvia are two drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes. The FDA approved Byetta in 2005 and Januvia in 2006. These drugs have been prescribed to millions of people in the United States. Since approving the medications, the FDA has issued several warnings about links between Byetta and Januvia to complications related to pancreatic diseases. Recent studies have linked these two drugs to acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. We are currently investigating claims of pancreatic cancer.
Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and certain problems caused by bipolar disorder, has been linked to the development of gynecomastia in boys and young men. Gynecomastia is a consition that causes boys to grow breasts. The drug is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) products for men have been linked to an increased risk of death, heart attack and stroke. Researchers found men who used testosterone therapy were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die after three years of use. Furthermore, men who started the study with clear, unobstructed coronart arteries were just as likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die as men who entered the study with established coronary artery disease. Testosterone thereapy, such as the prescription topical treatments Androgel, Testim and Axiron, are used to help boost testosterone levels in men who have a deficiency of the male hormone. Symptoms of low testosterone include decreased libido and low energy.
False Claims Act / Whistleblower – We are handling and investigating whistleblower claims of government fraud ranging from Medicare/Medicaid to military contracts. Studies show that as much as 10 percent of Medicare/Medicaid charges are fraudulent. Common schemes involve double-billing for the same service, inaccurately coding services, and billing for services not performed. Additionally, the Commission on Wartime Contracting has warned that the lack of oversight of government contractors has led to massive fraud and waste.
Antitrust — We are handling ciaims related to the violation of federal and state antitrust laws. We are currently involved in claims alleging a wide array of anticompetitive conduct, including illegal tying, exclusive dealing, monopolization, and price fixing.
Health Care Fraud — We are looking into cases of fraud within the health care industry. These may include cases dealing with pricing, off-label prescriptions, or other health care abuse.