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Articles Posted in Featured Lawsuits

Xarelto, part of a new generation of anticoagulants, is a prescription medication used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots.  It is currently at the center of a new lawsuit filed by the wife of a man who died because of uncontrollable bleeding.  This is just the latest of a rapidly growing number of Xarelto bleeding lawsuits that are currently being filed through the country.   

What is Xarelto, and what is the problem?

Xarelto, introduced in 2011, is a joint venture between Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary. Kind of like Big 3 of the Miami Heat coming together.  But in this case, the goal was not championships but to make gobs and gobs of money.  Intended to replace warfarin (Coumadin), Xarelto has been promoted as superior to warfarin, and others like it, because it is easier to take and requires less frequent monitoring to maintain the correct dose.  The downfall?  First, it causes excessive bleeding.  Second, there is no good reversal agent or antidote to stop bleeding should an event occur.  While Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have indicated that they are working with a company to develop a reversal agent for Xarelto, there is not one currently available, making the drug unreasonably dangerous and defective.

additional testosterone warningsWe’ve told you a lot over the past few months about the medical concerns linked to testosterone or “Low T” drugs. The FDA has now woken up from its slumber on this and is now requiring the manufactures of AndroGel and other testosterone replacement drugs manufacturers to add new warnings about the link between the medications and potential blood clots, including DVT (deep vein thrombosis), pulmonary embolism, or VTE (venous thromboembolism).  If you have been following for this at all, this comes as no surprise.  This was predictable as a new crisis in Kim Kardashian’s life.  


What does it mean?  Well, it will make settling these cases a lot easier. Why?  Now we have a new warning.  I’ll bet these cases eventually get divided for settlement purposes in cases where the injury was before the warning and cases where the injury was after the warning.

lower testosterone drug lawsuitAll product liability lawsuits involving injuries associated with the use of any testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) will now be centralized in the Northern District of Illinois before Judge Matthew F. Kennelly.

A panel of federal judges has ordered the lawsuits to be centralized as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, in order to reduce the risk of duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting rulings from different judges, and to serve the convenience of parties, witnesses and the courts. The ruling currently affects approximately 45 lawsuits, however, any future cases filed will be transferred to the MDL. Plaintiffs are suggesting that the total number of cases will be in the thousands.  So many people have taken this stuff and suffered and injury or died and they (or their survivors) don’t even know that this may have been the cause of the injury/death.

Is it a class action?  For all practical purposes, it is a class action for discovery and, hopefully, settlement.  The cases are consolidated as the plaintiffs’  attorneys get information that can be applied to all cases.  At this point, both parties should understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case and be able to make a reasonable settlement offer.

bard avaulta mesh settlement

Another vaginal mesh settlement

The last case in a series of Bard Avaulta Mesh bellwether trials has settled just weeks before it was scheduled to go to trial.

Anyone paying attention could see this coming.  C. R. Bard does not want to take another verdict in these cases.   Why not just work harder to settle them all?   Well, that is a question I don’t have an answer to… it just makes no sense. It will happen soon.  But I think Bard’s defense counsel will make a lot more money first.

While details of the settlement have not been disclosed, it brings an end to the three cases chosen for early trial dates in attempts to assist the parties gauge how juries might respond to evidence and testimony that will more than likely be repeated through the litigation of these cases.

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testosterone multidistrict litigationUpdate: there is an MDL.

Federal lawsuits filed by or on behalf of men who allegedly suffered a heart attack, stroke, blood clot, or other injury caused by side effects of low testosterone drugs have prompted the need for centralization of the cases.  But, with more than 74 product liability lawsuits filed in the federal court system against Testosterone drug makers, not quite everyone is on board for the creation of an MDL (multidistrict litigation).

Last month, a Plaintiff filed a motion seeking to centralize all federal AndroGel lawsuits before one judge for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings.  Most of the cases filed involve Androgel, which accounts for approximately 60% of the testosterone replacement therapy market, though other claims have been filed against AndroDerm, Testim, Axiron, Foresta, and Depo-Testosterione.  Subsequent to the filing of the motion to centralize AndroGel cases, a second motion was filed by a group of plaintiffs, seeking to consolidate all federally filed testosterone drug lawsuits.  In response, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., maker of Testim and Testopel, opposed the request indicating that it is only named in seven of the cases, and therefore an MDL is not warranted.

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morcellator cancer lawsuit

Doctors are being discouraged from using morcellators

The FDA last week for the first time discouraged doctors from using morcellators when performing hysterectomies.  The FDA also said morcellators should be avoided when removing uterine fibroids. The concern is that if there is cancerous tissue in the abdomen, it will hurt a patient’s chance of recovering from the cancer.  In some cases, surgeons can be stirring up cancer that neither the doctor or the patient even knows exists.   How real of a concern is that? The FDA says that 1 in 350 women who are undergoing a hysterectomy or myomectomy for fibroids have a uterine sarcoma, an unsuspected type of uterine cancer that can be deadly.

What is a morcellator?

A morcellator is a surgical device that is used to divide and remove tissue masses during laparoscopic surgery.  In a hysterectomy, the device divides the uterus.   It is also frequently used to dissect uterine fibroids during myomectomies/fibroidectomies.

This surgical device cuts the tissue mass into pieces.  The surgeon then pulls out the pieces through extremely small incisions.   There is no question there is an upside to this technique.  It is minimally invasive surgery which means no big scars, shorter recovery time, and less of the other risks that come with surgery.

So the FDA’s announcement is a major development.   Morcellators are being used in massive numbers.  It is used in tens of thousands of hysterectomies each year.

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benicar diarrhea claimsBenicar, also known as Olmesartan, is used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure.  Used alone or with other medicines, Benicar works by decreasing the effectiveness of a chemical known as angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow or constrict.  As a result, Benicar causes blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure.

Recently, Benicar has been linked to some pretty serious side effects.  Our attorneys are now reviewing potential lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo, manufacturer of Benicar.

Since it was approved in April 2002, a number of negative side effects of Benicar have come to the surface, including:

  • Sprue-like Enteropathy or Colitis
  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Colon Perforation

Research and studies revealed that consumers taking Benicar were experiencing symptoms similar to celiac disease, including unexplained chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and enteropathy.  But, whereas those with celiac disease can control these symptoms with a gluten-free lifestyle, those taking Benicar/Azor/Tribenzor did not improve until they discontinued their use.  Studies revealed that patients taking Benicar gained an average of 27 pounds after discontinuing their use.

The last problem on that list, colon perforation, is the latest and maybe the biggest.  What happens is a hole develops through the wall of the colon.  We see these cases a lot during surgery when a doctor makes a mistake during abdominal surgery.   Often, the problem has to be solved with surgery.  It is definitely not what you sign up for when you want to take a drug to reduce high blood pressure.
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lower testosterone drug heart risksRecently, we told you that there is a lot of research suggesting that testosterone treatments for men can cause an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, leading to serious injury and death.  European drug regulators have jumped on board and have now launched their own investigation into the heart risks associated with low testosterone drugs.

Unfortunately, many men lose the ability to produce testosterone as they age, and their testosterone levels decrease. Testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues, as well as promotes secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle, bone mass, and the growth of body hair.

Without adequate testosterone, a man may lose his sex drive, experience erectile dysfunction, feel depressed, and have difficulty concentrating.  In steps treatment for low testosterone.  Unfortunately, with this treatment, in steps the risk for problems.

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stryker hip replacement settlement

Stryker hip settlements are being reached

Settlements are being reached in more Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement cases filed in New Jersey state court.   More resolutions of these cases are likely to be imminent.

The first phase, a group of 10 cases previously selected for early mediation, has resulted in the conclusion of all 10 cases. Additionally, at least two cases from the second phase have resolved.  This is a harbinger of broad agreements on the remaining cases, not only for the 950 cases pending in New Jersey state court but also for the cases pending in the MDL class action.

What are the Stryker Claims About?

Stryker Rejuvenate hip systems were removed from the market less than two years after the design was introduced. While originally designed to last 15 to 20 years, they began to fail immediately.   So that was the first problem.  The second problem is that the Stryker initially did little to try to cure the problem.

What was the complication with this device?  Consisting of modular neck-stems with two pieces that fit inside of each other, they were designed to allow the surgeon to customize the length of the femoral component.  Traditional hip implants consisted of a single femoral component.  So you can see how this was an innovation.  Why did it so epically fail?   What happened was the rubbing of the neck and stem can release microscopic metal debris into the body as the chromium-cobalt neck rubs against the titanium femoral stem.  In simpler terms, the debris is caused by the micromotion of the metal joints rubbing in the artificial hip.  That’s not a good sign – or, a good product.
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ethicon transvaginal mesh lawsuit

$1.2 Million Verdict

After almost two weeks of testimony, a Texas jury has awarded $1.2 million in damages to a woman who suffered severe and debilitating injuries after receiving Ethicon TVT-O transvaginal mesh to treat stress urinary incontinence. Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has indicated that they plan to appeal. They always do.  But one thing is clear: juries looking at these cases are not happy with Ethicon or the other vaginal mesh manufacturers.

While finding the Ethicon TVT-O sling to be defective, the jury did not find that the manufacturer’s actions rose to the level of gross negligence.  As such, the jury declined to levy additional punitive damages designed to punish the manufacturer for their failure to warn consumers and the medical community.  So, in some ways, you can say that getting hit with a $1.2 million verdict was dodging a bullet for Ethicon.

As I’ve continued to say, these bellwether trials tell us about the value of these claims for the rest of the class.  So what are juries telling us?  They are telling us these cases are worth a lot of money.  The big risk for Ethicon at this point is that the class of victims- and their lawyers –  are seeing these verdicts it is driving up the price of tea in China.

The reality is the while plaintiffs will not win all of these cases, there will win the vast majority.  For reasons that completely escape me, these manufacturers have been willing to test the waters.

What is it all about?

Although the mesh was designed to be implanted to support a failing organic tissue lining, it often eroded itself. The FDA states that some common symptoms of a defective vaginal mesh are:

  • Mesh erosion through the vagina
  • Urinary complications
  • Pain (particularly during intercourse)
  • Organ perforation
  • Infection
  • Bleeding

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