What are mass tort lawsuits on defective drugs and medical devices and how do they help you?
“What are mass tort lawsuits on defective drugs and medical devices and why do they matter to me?”
Let’s talk about what these cases are, then we’ll talk about why they matter to you and finally we’ll go over some of the more common ones right now we are working on.
Mass tort lawsuits are different than class action lawsuits
Class action lawsuits are normally where one person brings a lawsuit on behalf of hundreds or thousands of other consumers. Normally the damages are very small and the class members — the other consumers — get very little compensation.
While defendants cry and whine about class actions, often they are the ones pushing them because it gives them protection without really compensating consumers.
Mass torts, on the other hand, are simply tort cases that are brought individually. A tort case is where the defendant corporation broke the law.
Normally by designing, manufacturing, and/or marketing a defective medical device or drug.
These medical devices or drugs are defective because the benefit of using them is outweighed (normally greatly outweighed) by the risks. Often we have hidden dangers that doctors are not told about so the consumers are never told about the risks or better alternatives.
So let’s look at some defective drugs that we are working on now….
Defective drugs are drugs that the risks outweigh the benefits
These drugs either provide little benefit, or the risks have been hidden from consumers. This is why we believe these drugs are defective.
These are not all the current examples but this will give you a good start. And we’ll expand on each one of these in a separate article.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb brought this drug to market to help those suffering from a wide variety of mental health issues.
The problem is this drug has been strongly linked to compulsive behaviors including gambling. When patients stop taking the drug, the compulsive behavior tends to go away.
Certainly this is a complex issue but there is reason for concern. If you are taking this drug, talk to your doctor about the best course of treatment.
If you or a family member has taken this drug and suffered compulsive behavior as a result (especially gambling), feel free to let us know and we can help you evaluate your options.
Daiichi Sankyo (the manufacturer of Benicar) is being sued for this blood pressure medicine.
No doubt about it — we need to control blood pressure from being too high.
But what we don’t expect is our blood pressure medicine to cause the intestinal disorder known as sprue-like enteropathy. Put bluntly, this means you have massive diarrhea. It often is mis diagnosed as some type of celiac disease but this is caused by the medication Benicar.
What we believe is that the manufacture of Benicar (Daiichi Sankyo) did not warn doctors about this risk. The reason is that most (if not all) doctors would be very hesitant to prescribe this medication when there are other less risky alternatives.
Some might say, “OK, so you get diarrhea — what’s the big deal?”
The big deal is massive weight loss, lack of nutrients, and a complete loss of enjoyment of life. One day of diarrhea is bad enough — now imagine doing that for 40 straight days. Or 100 days out of the next 4 or 5 months and not knowing what is causing this.
Complete change in your life.
If it is not a big deal, then why not tell the doctors about it? Because they wouldn’t prescribe it! This is a huge deal and many thousands of patients have suffered when there are plenty of other drugs that don’t cause this problem.
Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about being on this drug to find out your medical options. If you have suffered injuries, let us know and we’ll walk you through your legal options.
This is one of the newer Type 2 diabetes drugs but instead of this helping patients improve their quality of life, we allege this drug harms many patients. It was brought to market by Janssen Pharmaceutical and Johnson & Johnson.
Certainly we need to prevent (when possible) and treat (always) Type 2 diabetes. The consequences of this disease are very severe — blindness, nerve damage, stroke, etc.
But there are many patients who took Invokana and have alleged to have suffered three major types of problems.
First is kidney damage
Second is ketoacidosis.
Finally, heart damage.
As far as kidney damage — we are talking about kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, then you are looking at dialysis or a transplant. It is incredible that this company would release a drug that increases the chances of kidney failure when there are other alternatives to treat Type 2 diabetes.
Ketoacidosis is where too many “ketones”are produced which can shut your body down. Symptoms can include
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Weakness or fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Fruity-scented breath
Ultimately this can result in death so this is mission critical to not produce a drug that can cause this unless there is very good reason and more than adequate warnings.
Finally, heart attacks have been alleged to increase with the use of Invokana. We believe the FDA will be releasing new data on this aspect of Invokana soon — perhaps this summer (2017).
Talk to your medical doctor about your medical options in how to treat diabetes and feel free to talk to us to better understand your legal options if you have suffered any injuries or damages from taking this drug.
Xarelto is a drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutical (Johnson & Johnson) and marketed by Bayer Healthcare. The purpose of the drug is to act as an anticoagulant which simply means to prevent clotting. Often these types of drugs are called “blood thinners” — the idea being to “thin” the blood so it doesn’t clot.
The widely used drug for many years is Warfarin (Coumadin) but Xarelto is a newer drug.
And about 15,000 lawsuits have been filed by Xarelto users.
The problems that we allege are that Xarelto causes, for about 25% of those who take it, increased risk of bleeding. Specifically GI bleeds.
Any blood thinner can cause bleeding but the older drugs like Warfarin (Coumadin) could be more easily reversed with treatment as simple as Vitamin K.
But Xarelto has no “antidote” or “off switch”. Instead it normally leaves the body in about 24 hours.
That sounds fine but what happens if you have a major bleed — how do you stop it if you are on Xarelto?
That’s a huge problem.
We believe a blood test could help detect whether someone will be more likely to have a GI bleed with Xarelto. Sounds simple, give the test before allowing a patient to stay on the drug.
The drug companies know part of the appeal (maybe all the appeal) of Xarelto is the lack of blood testing that is often associated with Warfarin (Coumadin). Xarelto is marketed as an almost “one size fits all” pill that is simple with no testing.
So if doctors were told to test, that kind of defeats the purpose, right?
If tests were done, then sales would go down.
Sales go down, profits go down.
Because of this, we allege this drug is put out in the marketplace, and has stayed in the marketplace, despite the major damage it does to certain patients.
GI bleeds can lead to death.
Also ICH (Intracranial hemorrhage) is where you have bleeding in the skull. While the drug companies argue Xarelto actually decreases the chances of an ICH, the problem is if you have an ICH, it becomes very difficult to treat as the doctors are dealing with bleeding and no “off switch” or “antidote” to the Xarelto.
As with any drug, talk to your medical doctor about your medical options and talk to a lawyer about your legal options. You are free to reach out to us and we’ll be glad to walk you through your options if you or a family member have been harmed by this drug that we strongly believe is defective. And is causing a needless risk to our communities.
Defective medical devices also are not worth the risks
In a similar way, we believe these medical devices are defective because the risks of using them outweigh any benefits. We’ll talk about each of them in more detail but the following is a simple summary to help you identify if you might suffer from these.
These lawsuits are against 3M and relate to a device (a warming blanket that circulates hot air) that keeps the body at a normal temperature during surgery. This is a good thing.
But here’s the bad thing.
The hot air the device blows out hits the floor, picks up bacteria and then goes upward. Remember, hot air rises?
It rises and then goes back into the patient’s open incision area. So the bacteria gets into the body and causes havoc.
There are now over 1,000 lawsuits against 3M.
It appears clear that 3M knew there was a massive problem but chose to continue, surgery after surgery, to expose unsuspecting patients to this massive danger.
Profits over patients, right? This is a (very) common explanation for why smart people at health care companies continue to harm patients. It is not very satisfying but it is the only reasonable explanation we can find.
If you have developed infections after a surgery, you need to see what your legal options are. We commonly see “deep joint infections” especially after major surgeries like hip and knee replacement surgeries.
Sometimes follow up surgeries are needed and other times massive antibiotic treatment will get the infection under control.
If you think you may have been a victim of this, let us know and we’ll walk you through your options.
These problems are just now coming to light. Hernia mesh failures are becoming so common. Often this means the patient has to undergo surgery yet again to fix the defective mesh.
To be fair, sometimes a hernia mesh is a good idea especially in large hernia surgeries. But it is never a good idea to place a defective product in someone’s body. Especially someone who just underwent surgery!
The last thing you want to do is get cut on, develop massive problems, and then have to go under the knife again. Especially if you don’t know it was a defective hernia mesh that caused the problem.
Problems can range from (relatively) minor all the way to terrible infection to partial bowel removal to having to wear a bag (colostomies).
Any minor benefit of reducing a future hernia is dwarfed (to say the least) by these types of horrific consequences.
To help you, we start with first figuring out which mesh was put in you in the first place. Then we see the type of problem that developed and after this we can let you know your options.
These devices have a good motive — to prevent fatal clotting.
So here is how it works (or doesn’t work).
A little anatomy lesson — the inferior vena cava (IVC) is a major vein. The purpose is to carry blood from the lower body into the heart.
If a clot develops in the lower body, and it travels to the heart, then you can die. So the IVC filter is used in patients that perhaps cannot use typical blood thinners (anticoagulants).
Here’s the problem — this device breaks.
It is in this major vein (IVC) and it breaks. Or “migrates” (moves) and then the whole thing or pieces start puncturing internal parts of your body. Even clots are forming which is the whole purpose of sticking this medical device in you in the first place.
Many many lawsuits have been filed against the various manufacturers of the different IVC filters.
If you have been told you need to have an IVC removed, or if you have been told that’s not even possible anymore, you need to see your legal options. Find out if it makes sense for you to sue and if so, where and when should you sue. We’ll be glad to help you think through your options.
These lawsuits are against LivaNova PLC for its Stockert 3T heating/cooling device used in major open chest surgeries.
The basic idea is when a patient is having valve replacement, open heart surgery, etc. temperature regulation becomes a safety issue. The patient needs to be kept at the appropriate temperature to maximize chances of success and minimize the dangers.
So the Stockert 3T comes onto the scene.
But here is the crazy part of a device that is supposed to be helping you. It has, we believe, on numerous occasions cause a specific type of infection in the patients. The infection has been traced back to the manufacturer’s plant.
Crazy, right? The device to help you comes pre-loaded with an infection. Like buying a computer that is already infected with a virus.
But instead of being annoying or even costly in the case of a computer virus, this infection can cause terrible damage to a person. The list of diseases is too long to list out here. And to add insult to injury, it can take a number of years to develop.
So if after a major chest surgery, you are having unexplained infections or other problems, it is a good idea to ask your doctor if you should be tested for a specific type of infection. Nontuberculous mycobacteria infections (NTM), such as Mycobacterium chimaera, may be the culprit.
Definitely do whatever you need to do medically to get better.
And look into your legal options because that was never part of the deal. You never agreed to have a defective device put on you that would infect you with a hideous infection.
Some estimates put 70% of major open chest surgeries involved a Stockert 3T device. Not everyone will be infected (or at least we hope not) but significant numbers of innocent patients are infected.
Insanity to go through this type of major surgery and then face this type of infection.
If we can help you think through your options, get with us and we’ll be happy to help you.
Lawsuits are now being filed against Zimmer Biomet for a particular type of shoulder surgery device.
The long name is Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder Humeral implant and it is sometimes called the Zimmer Biomet Reverse Shoulder.
The target market includes folks who have severe rotator cuff injuries that don’t respond to other treatment.
Well, it is good to have options, right?
Except no one agrees to having the (major) surgery involved in the Zimmer shoulder implant if they knew the implant would break.
It simply is defective as a whole or there was a large batch of defective devices. Either way, bad shoulder replacement hardware is going into patients and then breaking.
You can imagine — or maybe you are unfortunately experiencing it — the pain this causes. And then a second (at least) surgery is needed to try to undo the damage and fix the shoulder.
If you have problems with your implant, go see your doctor for medical advice. And call us for legal advice on what your options are going forward.
Speaking of all of these defective drugs and devices, why would a company take the risk of being sued?
Why would a pharmaceutical type of company risk the lawsuits by putting out a defective device or drug?
This is an argument that many make and it is a reasonable argument to make. If these companies have to pay out millions and millions of dollars in mass tort lawsuits, then how can that be worth it?
Think of it this way.
A certain drug brings in a billion dollars worth of revenue a year. Let’s say two hundred million is profit for the drug company.
So in 2004, it realizes there is a major problem with the drug. Warnings need to be added to make the drug safer but to do so will cut sales by 40%.
Sales would drop to $600,000,000 a year and profits would go from $200,000,000 to $80,000,000. Note the profit drop is greater than 40% because there are certain fixed costs that have to be covered first. The more revenue after that, the greater the percentage of profit.
So changing the drug costs $120,000,000 a year.
But what if the change was never made and the drug company doesn’t get sued until 2017?
By not changing, it makes a $120,000,000 profit for the next 13 years. That’s a big number!
But then it gets sued and ultimately has to pay out $600,000,000 in settlements to the mass tort cases against it.
That’s a lot of money BUT it is much smaller than all the profits the drug company gained by not changing the drug or at least the warning labels.
Now if these drug companies were committed to doing the right thing, they wouldn’t just run the numbers to see what to do.
But the allure of the massive amount of profits is too much for morally weak people who run these crooked companies and they are willing for many innocent consumers to be badly injured or even killed. All to make the extra illicit profit.
The injured need to be compensated and the illegal blood money profits need to be pulled out of the company or else your community will be unsafe…..
These cases matter to you because you may have been injured by defective drugs or devices and these lawsuits will help make future drugs and devices safer
If the drug companies know you won’t do anything, then they’ll continue to put your community at risk. They’ll continue to drop defective drugs and devices into your community. Innocent people will continue to suffer and die.
But if enough people stand up. If enough people sue these companies in legitimate lawsuits, then the companies will have to “redo the math”.
We want these executives to say, “We will have to put this to the calculator” to see if breaking the law still makes them enough profit to be worth the risk.
When the money gets to be too much, then they will change. Not out of a moral obligation but out of a sense of self preservation. If they pay too much, profits go away and the leaders get fired.
That gets their attention.
And along the way those consumers who were injured (or even killed) will be compensated. The compensation is never a 100%. No consumer ever said, “I think this was a good trade to get $X dollars and have my kidneys wrecked.”
It is some compensation.
When compensation is paid, when punitive damages are imposed, then the executives have to refigure the math and eventually will stop doing this type of illegal conduct that hurts so many families in America.
Finding out if you have a mass torts lawsuit and taking action is the key to you getting compensation and protecting your community…. If you don’t stand up, who will?
If you have questions about mass torts lawsuits or you want us to help you understand your options, contact us
You can always call us at 205-879-2447 and ask for Carolyn. Tell her what the issue you are facing and she will then set us up a call so we can discuss your options.
Or you are welcome to click the button below and tell us what your situation is and we’ll be glad to help you figure out your options.
Thanks and best wishes!