United States of America

  1. What is Zostavax?

Zostavax is a single shot vaccine that helps prevent herpes zoster, also known as the shingles. It is a weakened live form of the virus, meant to train the immune system to fight it off. Zostavax is primarily meant for individuals 50 years and older. Developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck & Company, the FDA approved it in 2006. It is a stronger version of Varivax, another shingles’ vaccine also developed by Merck.

  1. What are the shingles?

The Washington Post wrote an article Monday underscoring fact that is well-known to lawyers handling malpractice cases in Maryland: doctors struggle to accurately read tests that determine medical conditions. Unfortunately for patients, this can have serious long-term consequences.

Most of these errors do not lead to malpractice cases because they show false positives.  Sometimes these are malpractice cases because the unnecessary test is the harm — we tried that very case in Baltimore County last year and our client received a $1.45 million verdict.

Below are a few examples that I think really highlight the consequences of this problem.  Each of these following examples and studies highlights the need for us to find a path to help doctors to improve their ability to assess tests more accurately.

Earlier this month the FDA announced a major recall of prescription blood pressure and heart drugs which contain the active ingredient valsartan.  You can expect a large number of valsartan lawsuits to follow.

Valsartan is an active ingredient that is widely used in a number of brand name and generic drugs used to treat hypertension and heart failure.  It was recently discovered that when valsartan is manufactured in a certain way it can contain a dangerous impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA).

NMDA is a known human carcinogen.  The valsartan medications containing the dangerous NMDA impurity have been linked to a specific pharmaceutical ingredient distributed by a Chinese company — Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals.  Zhejiang Huahai was manufacturing the contaminated valsartan component and selling it to several U.S. pharmaceutical companies including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Solco Healthcare.  Zhejiang Huahai discovered NMDA impurities in its product which eventually led to the FDA recall.

A recently published California-based survey on mothers found that health care providers do not usually listen to mothers about their birth preferences. Even worse, these providers seem to listen to black women the least. This suggests that black women in America do not receive the same quality of care as their white counterparts. A University of Virginia study seems to cement this case. It concluded that racial biases among white health care professionals are directly related to the standard of care provided to black patients.

I’m writing about this because this problem flows into medical malpractice cases where the victims are disporportionately black.

Results of the California Survey

In Oakland County, Michigan, a jury awarded a $130 million settlement on behalf of a boy suffering from cerebral palsy. The jury found two medical technicians liable for causing the child’s severe and permanent brain damage that resulted in cerebral palsy. The $130 million incident was one of the largest jury settlements in Michigan history.

The Facts of the Case

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the boy and his mother in 2016. The child was 2 months old when the injury occurred in 2006. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the child requires help getting in and out of the bathtub. The boy’s mother is a full-time caregiver for her son.  These are tough cases.  You can hear about 1,000 of them but every time it is like you are hearing the facts for the first time.  It is heartbreaking.

In August 2018, the FDA warned that sodium-glucosecotransporter-2 (SLGT2) inhibitors such as Invokana can cause a rare but serious infection that could result in an amputation of the genital area.

This is a big deal because Invokana is a commonly used diabetes medication. The list of diabetes drugs that have let patients down is long.  The money in these drugs is unreal.  To make the most money, you need to rush your product on the market without fully testing the drug.  That is the biggest problem.

Long before the FDA got involved, I have been looking at potential Invokana lawsuits.  These are the 11 questions victims have about Invokana and the Invokana litigation.

This post is about a large verdict in Georgia after an awful circumcision mishap caused a boy serious and permanent injuries.  In this post, I talk about this tragic case and I also take a deep dive into the statute of limitations in Georgia in birth injury cases.

The Big Verdict

A jury in Clayton County, Georgia awarded a mother and her four-year-old son $31 million for a circumcision gone wrong. This incidence of malpractice took place at an OB/GYN and pediatric clinic.This is a big verdict for the most common surgical procedure in the country and one that is rarely the subject of a malpractice lawsuit.

A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences concludes that glucocorticoids can treat hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) by reducing the amount of brain damage. This can prevent cerebral palsy (CP) and other brain injuries from becoming more severe.

 What is hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy (HIE)?

HIEHIE is a brain injury resulting from a lack of oxygen. This can happen prior to birth, during birth, or even well into childhood.

The Roundup weed killer cancer lawsuits have gather a lot of recent attention.  A $289 million verdict will do that.

These cases are now pushing along with great steam. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California is pushing to have MDL cases go before a federal jury by February 2019. Judge Chhabria has been presiding over all federal Roundup lawsuits. Many of these lawsuits allege that Monsanto failed to warn consumers that their Roundup weed killer brand might cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.

  1. Roundup

According to a new study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, exposure to drugs found in the family fluoroquinolone increased the risk of aortic aneurysms and dissections. Fluoroquinolone drugs include Levaquin and Cipro.

What are fluoroquinolones?

aveloxFluoroquinolones are a family of antibacterial agents that are used primarily for respiratory and urinary tract infections. Drugs found in this family include Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox.