Articles Posted in Product Liability

The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm of Anapol Weiss is proud to announce its new Alloderm lawsuit website, www.alloderm-hernia-recurrence-lawyers.com.The website features a resource center that includes information on the side effects, complications, surgery re-dos and hernia reoccurrences that patients who have taken the drug may experience. In addition, the website provides valuable resources for anyone who may be seeking information regarding dangerous drug lawsuits nationwide and in the Pennsylvania area.

AlloDerm is a medical device that is used to repair hernias which is manufactured by LifeCell Corp. It is made from donated cadaver skin that has had all of the cells removed in order to limit the chances of patients having adverse reactions due to the device being made of organic, not manmade, material. However, some patients have experienced AlloDerm hernia recurrences in addition to other side effects that have caused further harm. Originally, AlloDerm was manufactured for burn victims, but the medical field found other uses for it in treating various kinds of hernias and for some procedures involving heart, cornea and bone tissue.

The AlloDerm hernia injury attorneys at Anapol Weiss understand the financial, physical and emotional burden that an injury of this sort can have on a patient and their family. We created this website in order to provide helpful information and insight for those who may have experienced the negative side effects of AlloDerm. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that the products they design and manufacture are safe for patient use. In the event that a patient sustains injury due to AlloDerm or other similar medical devices, Anapol Weiss can help victims understand their rights and fight for fair and just compensation.

DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson has issued a recall of two of its hip replacement systems, according to the Associated Press. Approximately 93,000 patients worldwide are affected by this recall.

The ASR XL Acetabular System, which is the cup portion of the hip joint replacement device, as well as the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which is the ball and stem portion of the joint, are included in the recall due to a high number of patients needing corrective surgery. The recall does not necessarily mean that the device needs to be removed. DePuy Orthopaedics suggests that patients be evaluated by their surgeon and monitor the performance of the implant. Hip replacement devices that do not work properly can cause severe pain and the patient may have trouble walking.

Recent data that is soon to be released shows that one in eight recipients of the implants needed to have corrective surgery within five years of the original surgery.

Approximately 1.5 million Graco strollers, including specific model numbers of Passage, Alano and Spree Strollers and Travel Systems, have been recalled due to a significant fingertip amputation and laceration hazard. According to a fox43.com report, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the stroller recall on January 20, 2010 due to the risk posed to children when the canopy of the designated strollers are opened or closed. Consumers are advised to stop using the strollers and contact Exton, PA-based Graco Children’s Products Inc. for a free repair kit.

The strollers were recalled after Graco received reports of five children having their fingertips severed, leaving them disfigured, and two children receiving cuts on their fingertips. Apparently the risk of these injuries is presented when a child places their fingers in the stroller’s canopy hinge as the canopy is being opened or closed. The strollers were sold nationwide between October 2004 and December 2009 at multiple stores including Target, Wall-Mart, Babies R Us, Sears, Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, and many others.
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Energy conservation is becoming more and more commonplace amongst not only private citizens, but businesses and other entities who are seeking to be more eco-friendly. However, not all ideas are as effective as they are in theory when put into action. According to an ajc.com article, energy-efficient traffic lights are doing more than just cutting down on energy usage. They’re also cutting down on how safe motorists are while traversing city streets equipped with the LED-powered lights.

Reportedly, the traffic lights outfitted with the energy-efficient light bulbs are not creating enough heat during their usage, which makes traveling in freezing temperatures rather difficult. The reason for this is that frost can now easily build up over the traffic light lens, making it impossible for a motorist to be completely sure as to which traffic law must be obeyed. The issue has already led to dozens of traffic accidents, one of which included a motorist fatality. While governing authorities cite monetary savings as a significant factor in installing the efficient bulbs, opponents of the move can cite several cases where individuals were involved in car accidents as a result of the low heat-producing light bulbs that contributed towards the obstruction of a traffic signal.

Municipalities have a responsibility to provide and maintain safe road conditions for city residents and visitors alike. In the event that a governing body fails to provide such conditions, then that government entity may be held liable for damages resulting from said instance of improperly maintained conditions. Ultimately, if a city fails to provide safe conditions and does not address and correct known problems in a timely manner, then the city is exercising negligent behavior that needs to be addressed in a court of law.
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As consumers, we assume that the products we use are safe. This is never more applicable than in our consumption of food. According to a nj.com article, a long-awaited bill proposed by the Senate to overhaul the food safety system set forth by the Food and Drug Administration has been unanimously approved. However, it still needs to go for a floor vote, which is speculated to not take place until sometime in 2010. The bill will allow the FDA to recall tainted food rather than simply make a request to the manufacturer of the food to do so, and will also require food manufacturing plants, especially high-risk facilities, to be regularly inspected.

Currently, the FDA is responsible for safeguarding nearly 80% of the food supply in the U.S. However, safeguarding against food-borne illness does not always prevent the public from falling ill due to tainted food. Currently, it is estimated that nearly 76 million Americans are affected each year by food-borne pathogens. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5,000 people die annually due to such illness.
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Unilever, the maker of the popular weight loss drink Slim-Fast, has recalled 10 million cans of its canned diet drinks because they may be tainted by bacterial contamination. According to a yahoo.com report, Unilever believes that the dietary aid may be tainted by Bacillus cereus, a bacteria that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The recall only affects ready-to-drink Slim-Fast products, and not the brand’s powdered shakes or snack bars.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became aware of the problem and notified Unilever of the possible contamination on December 2, 2009. The FDA is currently investigating the matter, paying particular attention to a production facility in Covington, Tennessee. Customers who have in their possession such canned drinks should immediately discard those drinks and may contact Unilever at 1-800-896-9479 for a full refund.
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The H1N1 vaccine is doing more, and less, than it’s supposed to. According to reports from both ABC News and MSNBC.com, the swine flu vaccine is not always providing the necessary safeguard against the swine flu, and is even ladling some users with unwanted side effects in the form of allergic reactions.

An ABCNews.com report has revealed that a batch of the H1N1 vaccine has been recalled in Canada. Its maker, U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline, has recalled the vaccine because it has caused at least six known cases of severe allergic reaction in its users. So far, 170,000 doses of the vaccine have been recalled in Canada. Although reports claim that this side effect is limited to the vaccine distributed in Canada, it has yet to be seen whether or not other users in different locations are also affected by this defect. A total of 7.5 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in Canada thus far.

MSNBC.com reports a completely different issue, this time one that has affected children. According to the article, over 800,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been recalled by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine’s division of France-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis Group. It has been determined that these particular doses of the vaccine are ineffective in preventing the onset of swine flu, thus putting children inoculated with the vaccine at risk of contracting the illness. The doses in question have minimal to no potency, and were distributed amongst children.
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In what many people are referring to as “long overdue”, the FDA has recently announced its new program called “The Safe Use Initiative” to help lower wide-ranging problems associated with drug dose errors. According to a latimes.com report, the problem of drug dosage error takes a staggering toll on consumer and patient health in addition to costing about $4 billion a year. In fact, based on a study by the Institute of Medicine in 2007, approximately 1.5 million preventable “adverse drug events” take place in the United States every year. With this information in mind, it is no wonder that the Food and Drug Administration is calling on doctors, consumers, and various other healthcare professionals to help in identifying drugs and circumstances that may be particular problems.

In its efforts to lower the deaths and severe health problems brought about by misuses of medication, the FDA adverse event reporting system and the organization as a whole are trying to determine the most serious threats, dangers, and risks, and find ways to prevent them from happening. The agency is supposed to hold public hearings to gather information pertaining to the following drug concerns:

  • Overuse of acetaminophen (a pain reliever that can cause liver damage if too much is taken)
  • Information given to patients (i.e. package inserts, labels and instructions that pharmacists distribute when giving prescriptions)
  • Ways to lower dosage errors in liquid medications by including a spoon or cup to accurately regulate a dosage

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After suffering a stroke and additional related health problems, a 39-year-old Newark woman has filed a suit against Bayer Corp., the makers of the popular birth control product, Yaz. According to an insidebayarea.com article, the woman took Yaz, a prescription-only product, for four weeks in the summer of 2007 to help reduce premenstrual pains, which is one of Yaz’s advertised uses. She then suffered a stroke that resulted in six months of hospitalization.

In attributing her health problems to using Yaz, the woman had part of her skull temporarily removed, due to excessive swelling of her brain, until the affected portion of her skull was later replaced. The woman’s attorney stated that she also suffered a reduced IQ and is now close to being mentally handicapped in addition to experiencing a drastic change in her speech and mood.

Although Yaz is one of the most popular birth controls used in the world, it has been at the forefront of much debate and criticism for presenting additional health risks not associated with other birth-control pills. The woman in the aforementioned case and over 100 others have filed suit against Yaz’s maker, Bayer Corp.
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According to recent news reports, many insurers have been dropping policies or sending notices of non-renewal based on the existence of toxic Chinese drywall in homes. This problem, although relatively small at the moment, is having a monumental impact on the lives of homeowners. Furthermore, this issue will only become widespread, and possibly grow out of control, as insurance companies continue to process the hundreds of claims currently in the works.

While families are being told that their insurance claim for defective drywall is denied, some are also being informed that their complete insurance policy will not be renewed due to the drywall that corrodes pipes and emits sulfuric fumes.

The insurer’s actions do not seem reasonable to many citizens. State and federal agencies have found that the defective materials in the affordable Chinese drywall emit “volatile sulfur compounds” and have remnants of strontium sulfide, which can create a rotten-egg odor, in addition to organic compounds not found in American-made drywall. Not only do the fumes destroy personal possessions such as jewelry and silverware, and damage parts of a home including pipes and air conditioners, but some reports of illness due to the wallboards have been made as well.
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