Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s long-term (5 year) birth control product known as Mirena has been linked to a debilitating brain condition that develops when cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the skull and increases pressure on the optic nerve.
Pseudotumor cerebri, or intracranial hypertension, exists when cerebrospinal fluid is not absorbed properly, leading to the increase in pressure. The condition is named for the fact that the symptoms mimic a brain tumor, although no tumor is actually present.
PTC is much more common in women of child-bearing age, and particularly overweight women or those with sudden weight gain. Since Mirena is only prescribed to women of child-bearing age, it is even more important that potential patients are aware of the increased risk of developing PTC with Mirena.
Mirena’s label fails to warn of PTC whatsoever. In fact, other than warning of migraines and headaches, Mirena’s manufacturer fails to even warn of the symptoms of PTC. This failure is dangerous given that prescribing and treating doctors may not realize that the Mirena is the cause of a patient’s PTC, thus, they may not know that it should be removed immediately once a patient develops the condition.
Mirena is a long-term (up to 5 years) reversible birth control in the form of an intrauterine device that also treats heavy menstrual bleeding. Mirena contains a single hormone, called levonorgestrel.
Levonorgestrel has been linked to the PTC condition as far back as the 90s, when another birth control implant called Norplant that also released levonorgestrel changed its drug label to warn of PTC. Although Bayer claims Mirena releases less levonorgestrel and is therefore, less dangerous than Mirena’s predecessor, recent studies show that blood serum levels of levonorgestrel with Mirena use are potentially much higher than what Bayer claims.
Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone, and although its natural counterpart, progesterone, has actually been found to reduce brain swelling and edema after traumatic brain injuries, levonorgestrel has been reported to do the opposite. Thus, it is vitally important for patient safety that the hormone be looked at with greater scrutiny.
Patients filing Mirena PTC lawsuits claim Bayer failed to test Mirena appropriately to prevent foreseeable injuries like PTC. In fact, despite pointing the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to studies based on Norplant’s safety and efficacy, Bayer failed to test Mirena to see if it too could cause PTC. Patients also claim that Bayer failed to warn, and continues to fail to warn of the devastating PTC condition, which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent blindness.
The lawyers at Jones Ward PLC are currently evaluating Mirena cases for patients suffering from papilledema or pseudotumor cerebri/intracranial hypertension. For more information, contact attorney A. Layne Stackhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-882-6000.
Users of drug giants’ Bayer and Johnson & Johnson billion-dollar blood thinner, Xarelto, have begun filing suit, claiming the drug led to severe internal bleeding, which sent them to the hospital.
The blood thinner is widely prescribed to aid in the prevention of strike and blood clots in patients who suffer from arterial fibrillation or who have recently undergone a hip or knee replacement surgery.
The FDA approved the blood thinner known as Xarelto (rivaroxaban) in 2011. Since it’s approval, the drug has been linked to hundreds of bleeding injuries and deaths.
Xarelto is a blood-thinning (anticoagulant) drug prescribed to treat a variety of heart problems, including blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolisms.
Part of its appeal, Xarelto is one of two blood-thinning drugs offered as an alternative to the well-prescribed blood thinner warfarin, which requires frequent dosage adjustments and certain limitations like dietary restrictions.
Xarelto Use Leads to Internal Bleeding
Unlike warfarin, a trusted anticoagulant used for decades, Xarelto has no antidote to stop uncontrollable bleeding, which can be fatal.
If a patient treated with Xarelto experiences a traumatic event, even a minor one, there’s no way to prevent uncontrollable bleeding due to Xarelto’s blood-thinning agent. Even if a patient makes it to the ER on time, there’s no guarantee that physicians will be able to stop the patient from bleeding out.
Studies have linked Xarelto to exposing patients to a higher risk of bleeding for acutely ill patients. The lawsuits claim Xarelto’s manufacturers downplayed the risks of bleeding and blood clots with use of Xarelto.
Help with Xarelto Lawsuits
Unfortunately, the drug makers of Xarelto continue to fail to warn of the dangerous and even deadly risks of Xarelto. Unlike Xarelto, older drugs like warfarin are reversible with vitamin A—making them much safer for patients who suffer from bleeding events.
The lawyers at Jones Ward PLC are evaluating Xarelto cases. For more information, contact attorney A. Layne Stackhouse at email@example.com or 502-882-6000.
Recall lawyers at Jones Ward PLC are warning consumers about harmful bacteria in baby wipes sold at Sam’s Club.
The members-only warehouse chain, part of Wal-Mart, issued a recall on October 10 to consumers who purchased Simply Right baby wipes in a 900-count package. The wipes, made by Nutek Disposables and First Quality Enterprises, are tainted with Burkholderia cepacia bacteria, which can cause severe respiratory infections in certain individuals, especially those with weakened immune systems.
Warning issued to customers
Sam’s Club removed all packages of affected Simply Right wipes from its store shelves, and issued the following statement to customers: “Any consumer who purchased affected product should discontinue further use and promptly return any remaining product to Sam’s Club for a full refund. Consumer Contact: Contact Sam’s Club toll-free at (888) 746-7726 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Sunday or anytime online at SamsClub.com”
The recalled packages were sold from June 30, 2014 until the recall date. Multiple customers of Sam’s Club have already contacted Jones Ward PLC with concerns about infection and other injuries. Sadly, customers falling sick from the bacteria are suffering from the exact same type of harm they were trying to avoid by purchasing hypoallergenic wipes for their cleaning needs.
The recall lawyers at Jones Ward PLC represent consumers injured by a variety of defective and recalled products, from baby wipes to automobiles and prosthetic hips to bank loans. For a free consultation, call Attorney Alex C. Davis at 502-882-6000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recalled metal hip implant is the subject of a mass tort, but a recalled can of peanut butter might lead to a class action lawsuit. Likewise, claims over a defective camera are treated as a class action, while injuries caused by dangerous hormone therapy medication are dealt with using a mass tort vehicle known as Multi-District Litigation, or MDL.
In a case with hundreds or even thousands of plaintiffs, most consumers think of a class action lawsuit as the most common vehicle to bring their claims against a defendant. But there are many instances when an MDL is the more appropriate tool to seek justice. What is the difference between the two? Here’s a primer:
Class Action Lawsuits
Most class action lawsuits involve similar claims made by large numbers of people regarding a defective or recalled consumer product. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which covers class actions, requires the following:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and
(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
The above requirements often fit well with a case where the injuries are very similar. For example, thousands of people from the same neighborhood are evacuated due to a train derailment; their property is polluted with chemicals from a spill; they become sick after buying the same tainted food from the grocery store; or their cars — the same make and model — lose value due to a series of recalls. The remedy in a class action can be large or small; it can be in the form of a coupon for $20, or a single payment of $1 million. Deciding to file a class action lawsuit depends on many factors, including the venue, the class representative(s), the defendant, the chance of class certification, and the product or service at issue. The attorneys at Jones Ward PLC represent consumers in numerous class action cases, from pharmacies and banks to railroads, camera equipment, and consumer data breaches.
Mass Torts and the MDL
The phrase mass tort can apply to either a class action case or an MDL. However, in practice, this phrase is more often used to describe a case with multiple plaintiffs that is part of an MDL. Congress created the MDL tool with 28 U.S.C. §1407, which allows a panel of judges to centralize similar cases before a single federal judge to promote efficiency, conserve resources, and prevent inconsistent pre-trial rulings. Unlike a class action, plaintiffs in an MDL retain their right to an individual jury trial, and their cases may be remanded back to their home jurisdiction once discovery and other pre-trial matters are finished. This gives plaintiffs greater control over the outcome of their individual cases, while at the same time, sharing resources in a common struggle against a larger and better-funded defendant. Here are a few examples of current MDLs in which Jones Ward PLC is involved:
• In re: DePuy Orthopaedics ASR Hip Implant Litigation MDL 2197 (defective metal hip implants).
• In re: Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 2100 (birth control pills).
• In re: C.R. Bard Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation MDL 2187 (one of half a dozen cases involving failed vaginal mesh).
In recent years, the MDL has replaced the class action as the primary means of litigating complex mass torts. More than 89,000 cases were pending in MDLs nationwide at the end of the last fiscal year, from the sprawling mesh litigation mentioned above (more than 30,000 cases overall), to Skechers Toning Shoe cases (490 plaintiffs) in front of Judge Thomas Russell of the Western District of Kentucky. Compared to class action cases, MDLs are more likely to include claims with physical injuries caused by medical devices made by companies such as DePuy, Biomet, Zimmer, Stryker, or Smith & Nephew, or pharmaceutical products made by Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and others.
Free Case Evaluation
To read an article with more details about settling mass tort lawsuits, click here. Every case is different. Class action lawsuits can even be consolidated into their own MDL. If you have been injured by a defective product or service, and you want to learn more about a possible class action or MDL case, call Attorney Alex C. Davis for a free case evaluation at 502-882-6000, or send an email to email@example.com.
Defective products are recalled almost every day in the United States. They include medical devices such as metal hip implants, as well as tainted prescription drugs, children’s toys, and fruits and vegetables.
These recalls span a wide variety of industries and products, but they usually share one thing in common: regulatory oversight by the federal government. For food and drugs, that oversight is performed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA for short. This federal agency is often criticized for lax enforcement of safety rules, but it still plays a critical role in protecting American consumers from dangerous and defective products. Other non-food items such as toys, furniture, and clothing are scrutinized by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC.
Latest recalls published by FDA
The FDA exerts pressure on companies that make thousands of consumer products, inspecting factories, evaluating proposed design changes, and crafting rules that keep us safe. You can read about some of the latest product recalls at this section of the FDA’s website. Another source of information that spans multiple agencies and types of recalled products is www.recalls.gov.
But not all dangerous products are subject to a recall. Every year, thousands of consumers seek compensation for injuries caused by defective drugs, devices, and other products that fail at a dangerous rate, even though they are not recalled. Here’s a case in point: patients injured by the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant will soon have their day in court as the first trial begins September 1 in Texas.
More than 6,000 lawsuits are pending in federal court against DePuy and its parent, Johnson & Johnson, maker of the Pinnacle device. Unlike its cousin, the DePuy ASR, which has been recalled, the Pinnacle is not subject to a recall. However, it was pulled from the market by DePuy after numerous reports of patient injuries due to metallosis. The lawsuits were consolidated in May 2011 before Judge Ed Kinkeade in a process known as Multi-District Litigation.
Plaintiffs claim that the metal-on-metal parts of the Pinnacle, including the Ultamet liner, release tiny particles of cobalt and chromium into the patient’s bloodstream, in some cases leading to a dangerous condition called metallosis. For many patients, the injuries ultimately require a costly and painful revision surgery to remove the defective device.
Hip implant defects: Zimmer, Biomet, Stryker, Smith & Nephew
The attorneys at Jones Ward PLC represent many people with injuries from the DePuy Pinnacle, as well as the DePuy ASR, the Biomet Magnum, the Zimmer Durom, the Smith & Nephew BHR and the Stryker Rejuvenate hip device. Some of these devices have been recalled, such as the ASR, the Durom, and the Rejuvenate. Others have not. In some cases, a product with a high failure rate will be quietly removed from the marketplace in a maneuver known as a silent recall.
Recalled products: free case evaluations
Even as the first DePuy Pinnacle trials are about to get underway, DePuy and Johnson & Johnson are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to patients with defective and recalled DePuy ASR hip devices. The ASR device has a similar mechanism of injury compared to the Pinnacle — metallosis caused by adverse tissue reaction, pseudotumors, osteolysis, ALVAL, and loosening.
If you have a question about a defective hip implant, medical device, or prescription drug injury, call Attorney Alex C. Davis at 502-882-6000 for a free case evaluation, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you borrowed money for college using the Higher One loan service, you may be entitled to participate in a class action lawsuit settlement in the coming months.
College students and others whose loans were processed by Higher One Holdings, Inc., can make a claim to receive part of a $15 million settlement fund. You can make a claim online at this link. The attorneys at Jones Ward PLC, along with several other law firms, reached the settlement agreement with Higher One and its business partners after filing multiple class action lawsuits in Kentucky and other states. The lawsuits claimed that Higher One’s fees were unfair and deceptive, that it didn’t have enough ATM machines on college campuses, and that it forced students to use its services against their wishes.
Email notices detail settlement program
The amount of the Higher One settlement payments depends on how long the account holder used the company’s services, and during which years. Email notices will be sent to class members first as part of an effort to control costs. If a potential recipient’s email address is no longer valid, he or she will receive a notice in the mail. The deadline to respond is Jan. 23, 2015. You can read the entire settlement agreement at this link. Higher One customers, including thousands at the University of Louisville and dozens of other colleges, typically had an agreement with the company called a OneAccount. Here are the criteria for participating in the settlement:
“All persons who opened a OneAccount between July 1, 2006 through
August 2, 2012 and who incurred a OneAccount Fee during that
More details on Higher One program
If you have questions about the Higher One settlement, the best source of information is the settlement Web site, which also has a Question and Answer page. If you have a question about a consumer protection or financial issue, call Attorney Alex C. Davis at 502-882-6000 or send an email to email@example.com.
Stryker hip implant lawyers at Jones Ward PLC have been receiving calls in recent weeks from concerned patients with the recalled Rejuvenate and ABG II device implanted in their bodies. The source of their anxiety: a series of advertisements on television and the Internet that claim there is a deadline in July 2014 to file a lawsuit against the company.
How to Calculate the Statute of Limitations
This is simply not true. Most likely, the ads are part of an effort to scare patients into filing a lawsuit quickly without weighing important considerations such as the level of experience that the law firm has in dealing with complex product liability cases. Any experienced hip implant lawyer will tell you that when a recall is announced for a medical device, that date is an important milestone for litigation. However, in most cases it has nothing to do with the Statute of Limitations for an injured person. That’s because the Statute of Limitations does not begin until the patient is actually injured. The injury in a recalled Stryker hip case is usually the date of revision surgery, when the recalled Rejuvenate or ABGII stem is removed by a surgeon due to fretting, corrosion, elevated levels of cobalt or chromium, or all of the above. The Statute of Limitations sets a deadline beyond which a patient may not make a claim against the manufacturer. It is different in every state.
Why the Ads are Wrong
The date of the recall does create a deadline in and of itself. Here’s why: when a company announced a hip recall, such as the DePuy ASR, the Zimmer Durom, or the Stryker Rejuvenate, the notice typically tells patients to have their device checked by a surgeon. Sometimes it must be removed immediately. Other times, it will last for a year, two years, or longer. Plaintiffs are still filing lawsuits even today over the DePuy ASR device, even though it was recalled in August 2010. The Rejuvenate was recalled in July 2012. But if the device never fails, there is no injury. In most states, the Statute of Limitations does not begin to run until the patient gains knowledge of, or “discovers,” the actual injury. Keep in mind that the rules vary from state to state, and the so-called discovery rule is not applied uniformly.
If you are injured by a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, don’t believe everything you see on television. For a free consultation, contact Attorney Alex C. Davis at 502-882-6000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Heating pads sold under the Sunbeam and Kaz brand names are under scrutiny again due to consumers suffering burn injuries.
The lawyers at Jones Ward PLC are currently reviewing injury cases involving heating pads, which in some cases may not adequately warn about the dangers of burn injuries if the pads are used a certain way. Kaz USA, Inc. and Kaz, Inc., both part of a larger company called Helen of Troy, Ltd., recently settled a class action lawsuit in California for claims of false advertising and personal injury. The settlement was valued at up to $2.7 million, but it covered California residents only.
Heating Pad Warnings
Heating pads come in a variety of sizes and brand names, and the packaging may vary. Some companies have updated their warnings in recent years. If you are a heating pad user, make sure the box carries a warning about the dangers of falling asleep on the pad, lying on the pad, using it for a specific amount of time, and other potential hazards.
The lawyers at Jones Ward PLC are committed to making consumer products safer for all Americans. If you have been injured by a defective heating pad made by Sunbeam or Kaz or another company, contact Attorney Alex Davis at 502-882-6000 or send an email to email@example.com.
Jones Ward in the press moving to consolidate 9 cases, more to follow
The news recently reported that Jones Ward PLC, which currently represents dozens of victims of Bayer’s Mirena IUD who developed pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), has sought consolidation of these cases in a multi-district litigation (MDL). With 9 cases already filed on behalf of women who have developed this debilitating disease, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension or benign intracranial hypertension, Jones Ward is leading the legal community in standing up for the rights of Mirena users nationwide.
Where are these cases filed?
So far, Jones Ward has filed cases in Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia. However, the MDL consolidation of these cases will mean that they are transferred to a single United States District Court. Consolidation is great for plaintiffs, who are able to share the costs of litigation with others. In addition, consolidation is great for the courts because it minimizes duplicative processes. Jones Ward and our clients believe that consolidation of these cases will also streamline discover and allow for consistent rulings across cases that share common legal and factual issues.
What is pseudotumor cerebri?
Pseudotumor cerebri is a neurological condition characterized by too much cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). When CSF pressures become elevated, it causes severe headaches, debilitating nausea, and swollen optic nerves. If left untreated, PTC can cause blindness. When optic nerves swell, they can eventually die– so that a person’s blind spot becomes progressively bigger. The final result has been described as permanent “tunnel vision”.
PTC is a diagnosis of exclusion. The literal meaning of “pseudotumor cerebri” is a false tumor of the head. When a woman presents to her healthcare provider with headache, nausea, and ringing of the ears, it is often diagnosed after a visual exam shows swollen optic nerves. From there, her provider usually will order an MRI to ensure that she does not have a brain tumor. Finally, her doctor must perform a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. Spinal taps are extremely painful and come with a host of other potential complications.
The condition is chronic, meaning that once it develops a woman must be treated and monitored for the rest of her life. Most women end up taking a drug called Diamox, a diuretic. If the medication does not sufficiently reduce CSF pressure, then they may have to undergo therapeutic spinal taps to remove the fluid. Finally, some women require more invasive surgical interventions, such as shunts to siphon off the excess CSF or optic nerve sheath fenestration, where a surgeon cuts tiny holes into the optic nerve.
How is Mirena linked to PTC?
Mirena is a plastic IUD infused with a birth control hormone called levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel has been linked to pseudotumor cerebri for years. The correlation between levonorgestrel implants and PTC was first discovered with Norplant. Norplant was a plastic stick that could be inserted into the arm to release hormones for years. Despite the known connection between levonorgestrel releasing implants and PTC, there is no warning about the risk on Mirena’s label. As a result, women and their doctors had no notice that Mirena could increase the risk that a woman develop PTC.
Jones Ward PLC is the leading firm to handle Mirena pseudotumor cases. Our attorneys are committed to fighting for just compensation for women who have been hurt by their Mirena IUD. If you or your loved one developed PTC while on Mirena, we would be happy to speak with you about your rights. Please contact attorney Lauren Horner at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at (502) 882-6000 for more information.
Dangerous drugs and medical devices including testosterone therapy and metal hips will be on the agenda at this week’s meeting of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, or JPML.
The panel of seven federal judges will meet at 9:30 Thursday morning in Chicago to hear arguments about dozens of mass tort cases, including MDL 2545, In Re: Androgel Products Liability Litigation. Androgel is among several brands of testosterone therapy medication, or Low T, which can lead to increased risks of cardiac problems for men. Lawyers for injured plaintiffs are suing the makers of Low T pills for failing to adequately warn about the dangers of heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism and other injuries.
GM Ignition Switch Litigation
Another matter on the JPML agenda is MDL 2543, In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation. Earlier this month the attorneys at Jones Ward PLC filed three class action cases over the GM/Chevy recall of defective ignition parts. The cases were filed in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana on behalf of residents who owned or leased certain recalled vehicles.
Mass Tort Cases Heading toward Consolidation
The above two cases and dozens of others are being submitted to the JPML for possible consolidation under a proceeding known as Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL for short. Congress created this tool with 28 U.S.C. §1407, which allows a panel of judges to centralize certain cases before a single federal judge to promote efficiency, conserve resources, and prevent inconsistent pre-trial rulings in cases that share similar facts. Unlike a class action, plaintiffs in an MDL retain their right to an individual jury trial, and their cases may be remanded back to their home jurisdiction once discovery and other pre-trial matters are finished. After a case is consolidated, a plaintiff has the right to challenge a motion to transfer their case to the MDL. Part of Thursday’s meeting at the Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse is devoted to several cases where the plaintiff was injured by a defective metal-on-metal hip implant made by DePuy Orthopaedics, but their lawyer does not want to join the MDL for the defective device. Jones Ward represents numerous plaintiffs in cases over the DePuy Pinnacle and DePuy ASR, as well as the Zimmer Durom, Biomet M2a, Stryker Rejuvenate, Smith & Nephew BHR, and other metal-on-metal hip implants.
Free consult for your mass tort case
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dangerous drug or medical device, call Attorney Alex Davis at 502-882-6000 for a free consultation, or send an email to email@example.com.