Williamsport Pharmaceutical and Mass Tort Lawyers
Pharmaceutials and Medical Devices
Patients and consumers of prescription medications and pharmaceuticals trust that the makers of these medications have provided us with safe products. Unfortunately drug manufacturers and pharmacists sometimes let us down and we suffer serious consequences from their negligence.
Cliff Rieders and his team at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, have years of experience representing clients in pharmaceutical and medical device mass tort litigation, as well as pharmaceutical error cases. Cliff has decades of experience representing persons who have been injured by the negligence of others, including pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, hospitals and physicians. We are committed to helping our clients recover the full remedies available under the law. Contact us now to speak to an experienced attorney about your legal needs.
Mass Tort – Dangerous Drugs and Medical Devices
Here are a few examples of the cases we can assist you with:
We have been handling cases in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) concerning the strong link between Roundup weed control products and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) against the pesticide company Monsanto in Missouri federal court. Lawsuits involving Roundup are an extremely hot area of products liability litigation, and we are extremely interested in additional cases. While federal regulators in the EPA with the new administration have controversially rushed to the defense of Monsanto in recent months, several sizeable verdicts have come back with Plaintiffs verdicts in these cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in 2015 that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is a cancer causing agent, and these lawsuits have been quite successful to date. There have been three large Plaintiffs’ verdicts totaling $2 billion and over 18,000 lawsuits have been filed in state and federal court. Additional Roundup cases against Monsanto continue to be filed in the MDL, which is extremely active. If you have questions regarding your exposure to this product, contact us to consult with our Roundup lawyer today.
Numerous Valsartan lawsuits are being filed alleging that it causes cancer based on impurities found in the blood pressure drug. Since July 2018, a number of different generic valsartan recalls have been issued due to the presence of NDMA and NDEA, impacting a large portion of the pills available throughout the United States in recent years. There are also a number of pending class action Valsartan lawsuits of Plaintiffs pursuing damages for users of the medications who have not been diagnosed with cancer, seeking reimbursement for the cost of what were essentially worthless drugs, and funding for medical monitoring they may require for the rest of their lives due to their exposure to cancer-causing agents. A multidistrict litigation was formed for these Valsartan lawsuits in February 2019 in New Jersey federal court. If you have experienced harm from taking this drug, contact our Valsartan lawyer to discuss your legal options.
NEXIUM, PREVACID AND PRILOSEC PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS (PPIs)
We are currently reviewing claims involving the drugs Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec concerning acute renal failure and chronic kidney disease. Evidence mounting these drugs to renal issues has been mounting in recent years as evidenced by several recent clinical studies from well regarded medical journals JAMA and the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in 2016. A federal multidistrict litigation was formed for these cases in late 2017. Approximately 4,600 kidney injury lawsuits are pending before District Court Judge Clair Cecchi in the District of New Jersey. Recently, there has been some new research showing an increase in gastric cancer rates with Nexium and Prilosec, which is an additional concern with these products that is being investigated. The first bellwether trial has been scheduled for November 2021. Have you experienced renal issues related to taking these medications? Contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options related to a PPI lawsuit today.
TALCUM POWDER AND CANCER LAWSUIT
Another major type of case that we are currently reviewing and filing claims in the new multidistrict litigation concerns the risks of developing ovarian cancer from long-term use of ordinary talcum powder. Several scientific papers have come out in the last few years that have analyzed data to conclude that there is a statistically significant increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. There are allegations that a new investigative report which revealed there was a warning in 2006 from Johnson & Johnson’s supplier to the manufacturer that was never passed along to consumers and was never placed on the product labels. While thousands of consumers nationwide are pursuing lawsuits over ovarian cancer and mesothelioma diagnoses caused by trace amounts of asbestos present in talc products, an advisory panel of experts convened by the FDA indicates exposure to any level of toxic fibers in talc that could be inhaled should be considered too dangerous. The FDA held a hearing on methods of testing talc for asbestos, which was designed to take in and discuss scientific information on talc testing methodologies and criteria that should be used to measure and characterize asbestos found in cosmetic products that contain talc. Johnson & Johnson has questioned the FDA’s testing methods, but the agency stands by its findings.
More than 10,000 claims are pending in the federal MDL and in state court, and there have been several successful Plaintiff’s verdicts in recent months. If you think you may have a legal claim against Johnson & Johnson, talk with our attorneys about a possible talcum powder lawsuit
BYETTA LAWSUIT, JANUVIA LAWSUIT AND OTHER INCRETIN MIMETIC DIABETES DRUGS
A federal appeals court for the Ninth Circuit has recently re-instated a federal multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of California involving the drugs Byetta, Januvia, Victoza and Janumet. These lawsuits involve claims that these incretin mimetic diabetes drugs caused pancreatic cancer. The cases are specific to pancreatic cancer. The Ninth Circuit’s Ruling reversed an order dismissing the cases from the district court judge on appeal. The litigation has picked up steam in discovery and a series of bellwether trials are scheduled for 2020. If you have taken any of these medications and developed cancer, you may have a legal claim against Byetta, a Januvia lawsuit, or a legal case against the makers of Victoza or Janumet. Contact our diabetes drug lawyer to discuss your concerns.
HERNIA MESH LAWSUITS
We are considering cases involving several types of hernia mesh, Physiomesh, Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh and a number of various Bard hernia mesh products.
The Atrium C-Qur lawsuits involve Atrium Medical Corp’s polypropylene surgical mesh patches. Atrium promotes the C-Qur line of surgical mesh products for permanent abdominal wall reinforcement in hernia surgeries, claiming that the C-Qur hernia mesh’s proprietary Omega-3 barrier coating reduces scar tissue formation between the mesh and the patient’s intestines (clinically known as “adhesions”) while promoting permanent fixation of the mesh to the abdominal wall. Plaintiffs allege that the C-Qur mesh incites an inflammatory response that promotes bowel adhesion formation, impedes proper abdominal wall fixation, and causes additional severe complications. Many of these hernia mesh patients will need revision surgery. A multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been formed to manage Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh cases in the Northern District of New Hampshire.
In 2016, Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson recalled its Physiomesh hernia mesh implants due to higher-than-normal complication and reoperation rates. However, those patients who received the hernia mesh devices were not notified. The FDA has issued several warnings to Atrium Medical over risks associated with its C-Qur hernia mesh. These devices have been linked to severe allergic reactions, systemic infections and complicated removal procedures. However, the company has failed to recall the device. According to the company, unpublished data from two European registries indicated the recurrence and revision rates following laparoscopic ventral hernia pair were higher with the device than rates associated with the comparator set of mesh. An MDL is pending for Ethicon Physiomesh cases in federal court in Georgia where bellwether hernia mesh trials have been scheduled for 2020.
Our hernia mesh lawyers are investigating cases concerning various types of C.R. Bard Hernia mesh where an MDL is pending in federal court in Ohio, in addition to lawsuits consolidated in Rhode Island state court. C.R. Thousands of cases are pending, and bellwether trials have been scheduled for 2020. Bard is the manufacturer of numerous hernia mesh products. The Bard hernia mesh products include SepraMesh, Ventralex, Bard 3D Max, Kugel, Kugel Composix Mesh, PerFix Plug, Ventrio, Ventrio ST, Ventralex, Composix E/X Mesh, Visilex, Spermatix and Marlex. The Bard mesh products are made out of a material called Marlex HGX-030-01, which can degrade and break in the body, causing various complications. If you have suffered injuries from hernia mesh products, contact our attorneys to find out if you have a case.
ZANTAC RECALL AND ZANTAC LAWSUIT
In a new development, federal regulators revealed on September 13, 2019 that some forms of the reflux medication Zantac may contain cancer causing impurities. The FDA press release announced that it has learned some forms of Zantac (ranitidine) may contain carcinogenic N–Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Zantac is used to treat heartburn with acid indigestion, as well as stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other stomach acid production problems.
Accordingly, Zantac lawsuits have alleged that ranitidine in the drug produces high levels of NDMA. While multiple manufacturers have issued Zantac recalls September 2019, many consumers remain unaware that cancer diagnosed in recent years may have been caused by the heartburn drug. Zantac has been on the market since 1986. The public was not informed about the high levels of NDMA produced by Zantac until September 2019, when an independent pharmacy, Valisure, conducted testing that found each pill may result in levels of exposure that are substantially higher than the permissible daily intake limit for NDMA set by the FDA. Valisure indicates some 150 mg pills contained more than 3,000,000 nanograms (ng) of NDMA. The daily limit deemed safe by the FDA is 96 ng.
Last month, CVS, Walmart, Rite-Aid, Walgreens and other prominent pharmacies suspended sales of the drug amid concerns about a potential link between Zantac and cancer. On September 9, 2019, Valisure filed a Zantac recall petition with the FDA, calling for the drug to be removed from the market throughout the United States. The petition presents evidence that the manufacturers knew or should have known about the NDMA risks since Zantac first came to market, and sets forth ample data to this effect that was ignored by drug manufacturers.
The Judicial Panel on multidistrict litigation heard oral arguments on January 30 to determine whether the claim against Zantac should be centralized before one judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings. Our Zantac lawyer is here to help if you believe you have be injured by taking this medication. Contact us today to find out if you have a possible Zantac lawsuit.
HEARING LOSS AND 3M COMBAT EARPLUG LAWSUIT
A multidistrict litigation was formed earlier in 2019 to consolidate these 3M Combat earplug lawsuits. 3M Company currently faces more than 2,000 product liability lawsuits brought by military veterans who have been left with hearing loss or tinnitus due to alleged design defects associated with the company’s Combat Arms earplugs, which were standard issue to all service members between about 2003 and 2015. A number of class action lawsuits over the 3M earplugs have also been filed to obtain medical monitoring and other damages for all users of the earplugs. Have you suffered hearing loss while using these earplugs? Our 3M Combat Earplug lawyers are ready to help you. Contact us today to discuss your case.
In recent months, lawsuits have been filed involving the e-cigarette products on the market, the largest manufacturer being JUUL. These JUUL lawsuits allege vaping related illnesses. A multidistrict litigation was recently formed in the Northern District of California. We expect that many additional cases will be filed. If you suffered lung damage related to your use of e-cigarettes, you may have a case. Talk to our attorneys about a possible JUUL lawsuit today.
TRANSVAGINAL MESH LAWYERS
We are currently preparing several transvaginal mesh cases for trial, involving various products manufactured by Bard, Coloplast and Ethicon. Although the multidistrict litigations (MDLs) are no longer taking new cases, our transvaginal mesh lawyers have been handling a number of cases that had been filed in the MDLs and will be trying those cases, while we have settled others. Contact our attorneys today to find out if your injuries may lead to a transvaginal mesh lawsuit.
IVC FILTERS LAWSUIT
There are claims involving three different brands of Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters, or blood clot filters, Cook IVC Filters, Bard Recovery IVC filters and Bard G2 IVC filters. IVC filters, or blood clot filters, are small devices designed to catch blood clots that may break free inside the deep veins of the body and travel toward the lungs. The spider-like filters are implanted in patients who are at risk for a pulmonary embolism when they are unable to take anticoagulants or when anticoagulant medications were ineffective. Most of the IVC filder lawsuits have been brought following an FDA alert issued in August 2010, which warned about the risks with these products, indicating that the agency had received more than 900 adverse event reports. A large settlement in an IVC filter lawsuit was recently reached in many of the Bard cases, but a settlement has not yet been reached with Cook. If you believe you have a case regarding injuries you suffered from your IVC filter, contact our attorneys for help.
TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPIES – Two clinical studies published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and in 2014 in the medical journal PLOS One support a strong link between testosterone replacement therapies and the risk of heart attack or stroke. These drugs include AbbVie’s AndroGel, Auxilium’s Testim, Eli Lilly’s Axiron, and Actavis’s AndroDerm. In March of 2015, The Food & Drug Administration required the manufacturers of these medications to update their product labels to add information about the possible increased risk for heart attack and stroke. The FDA noted that testosterone replacement therapy is approved only for men who have low testosterone levels due to disorders of the testicles, pituitary gland, or brain that cause hypogonadism, and that the FDA has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging, while the benefits and safety of this use have not been established. The FDA concluded that there is a “possible increased cardiovascular risk associated with testosterone use,” and also previously required a warning about the increased risk for venous blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, for the labels of all prescription testosterone products.
After a number of successful testosterone replacement therapy lawsuits in the federal multidistrict litigation, the manufacturers have reached global settlements with plaintiffs, a successful resolution to thousands of these lawsuits. We are no longer taking these cases.
Claims have been filed involving the Type 2 diabetes drugs Invokana, Invokamet, Jardiance, Xigduo XR, Glyxambi and Farxigain patients who took these drugs since March 2013 to manage your Type 2 diabetes and suffered from kidney failure, heart attacks or ketoacidosis. Invokana lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals alleging side effects including an increased risk of kidney problems and cardiovascular problems. The FDA issued a warning about kidney problems and diabetic ketoacidosis. In May 2015, the FDA warned that Invokana was linked to ketoacidosis, a serious condition in which the body produces high levels of ketones. Patients were warned to watch for signs of ketoacidosis, including difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion and unusual fatigue or sleepiness and seek medical attention if any signs of ketoacidosis occur. These Invokana cases were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in New Jersey federal court in December 2016. A large number of these Invokana lawsuits were settled by Johnson & Johnson in October 2018, a success for Plaintiffs. Others remain scheduled for trial. If you believe injuries you suffered were caused by taking Invokana, we can help. Talk to our Invokana lawyers today about your case.
ANTIBIOTICS LAWSUITS — LEVAQUIN , CIPRO, AVELOX
Claims have been filed in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving the antibiotics Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox. This MDL is concerns lawsuits alleging nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy. There are currently nearly 800 lawsuits pending in the Minnesota MDL and a number of other cases are pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The FDA added a boxed warning for peripheral neuropathy with these drugs in mid 2016. Levaquin was quietly removed from the market by the manufacturer in late 2017 ahead of a new FDA boxed warning concerning mental health side effects of the drug. Our Levaquin lawyers are ready to help if you believe you have been harmed by taking this medication or Cipro or Avelox. Contact us today for help.
There are potential claims concerning the Essure birth control implant. Claims against Bayer have been filed alleging autoimmune diseases, perforated organs and severe pelvic pain. A multidistrict litigation is not in place, but many of these Essure cases have been coordinated and consolidated. More than 3700 women have filed Essure lawsuits against Bayer with more likely. Numerous cases are consolidated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Our skilled attorneys can help if you’ve been harmed by this implant. Call or use our online form to contact our Essure lawyers today.
VIAGRA AND CIALIS LAWSUIT
A multidistrict litigation was also formed in mid-2016 to consolidate cases where it has been alleged that the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Viagra (sildenafil) resulted in cases of melanoma. In the past year there have been medical articles published suggesting that the four other brand name ED drugs which are phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors — Cialis(tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil), Staxyn (vardenafil), and Stendra (avanafil) — are also associated with an increased risk of melanoma skin cancer, too. Essentially, the active ingredients sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, and avanafil which are found in these drugs act by inhibiting the phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5). In turn, PDE5 inhibition augments tumor cell invasiveness, which promotes the development of malignant melanoma. A number of Cialis and Viagra cases have been filed. If you were harmed by taking an ED drug, our Viagra lawyer can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.
DEPUY PINNACLE HIP LAWSUIT
Claims have been filed in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) covering injuries from the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Device. A number of years ago our hip replacement device lawyers were successful in obtaining numerous settlements in another MDL concerning the DePuy ACR hip device. The DePuy Pinnacle MDL consolidates cases involving severe injuries from the Pinnacle device and there are currently over 8000 cases pending. There have been a number of successful plaintiff’s verdicts in these DePuy hip cases, and a global settlement was reached in late 2018. Were you injured by your DePuy Hip replacement? Contact our attorneys to discuss your case and determine if you could pursue a DePuy Hip replacement lawsuit.
These are just a few of the countless devices and medications that have been associated with serious patient injuries and illnesses. Patients and consumers too often turn to the medical community for much-needed treatments only to suffer dire consequences in the form of adverse side effects.
FDA-approved pharmaceuticals may lead to very complex cases. There are numerous federal multri-district litigations are set up to handle claims involving injuries from many pharmaceutical drugs and devices. Oftentimes the issue is whether the drug manufacturer gave proper warnings and information to the FDA when seeking approval for their drug. These cases often involve failure to warn, manufacturer negligence and strict liability claims. Pharmaceuticals that are unreasonable dangerous, or lack appropriate warnings of potential side effects may give rise to legal claims.
The experienced Pennsylvania pharmaceutical and medical malpractice attorney Cliff Rieders and his team at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann is a leader in the field of pharmaceutical, and medical device litigation, including multi-district litigation and individual claims. Cliff is known for resolving cases efficiently and seeking the best possible resolutions for his clients that are available under the law. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of drug or pharmaceutical or dietary supplement injury, we may be able to help. We offer a free consultation, so contact us today to learn your legal options.
Pharmaceutical and Prescription Errors And Neglect
When a pharmacist fills a prescription your doctor ordered, the medication you receive should be correct and that it will help make you better. However, if pharmacy neglect should occur, your illness will not only be untreated, but you can develop harmful new symptoms and side effects that can make you sicker or even lead to death.
There are more than 10,000 prescription medications available in the U.S., and nearly one-third of adults take 5 or more medications. When a patient suffers harm as a result of medication errors, it is called an adverse drug event (ADE), and these events cause nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations each year. Nearly 5% of hospitalized patients experience an ADE, and ambulatory patients may have even higher rates, largely due to deaths from opioid medications.
Common Types of Errors
A medication error refers to an error at any step in the process that begins when a clinician prescribes a medication and ends when the patient actually receives the medication. The pathway between a doctor’s decision to prescribe a medication and the patient’s actually receiving the medication consists of several steps:
- Ordering: The clinician must select the appropriate medication and the dose and frequency.
- Transcribing: A clerk in a hospital, or a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in the outpatient setting must read and interpret the prescription correctly.
- Dispensing: The pharmacist must check for drug–drug interactions and allergies, then provide the right quantity of the medication in the correct form.
- Administration: The correct medication must be supplied to the correct patient at the correct time by nurses, patients or caregivers.
Medication errors that cause harm are often caused by:
- Wrong drug — Pharmacists may fill prescriptions with a drug having a similar name or appearance.
- Wrong dosage — Doctors may prescribe incorrect dosages, or pharmacists may instruct the patient to take the wrong amount of a product.
- Technology Errors — Computers and other technology that helps with medication monitoring can have system problems, fail, and have confusing software that leads to user mistakes. According to a study by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, in the first six months of 2016, Pennsylvania hospitals reported 889 medication errors or close calls related to electronic health records and other technology used to monitor and record patients’ treatment. Most of these errors involved missed doses, wrong or over doses, and extra doses.
What are Risk Factors for Adverse Drug Events?
Risk factors may be patient-specific, drug-specific, or clinician-specific. Common risk factors include:
Polypharmacy (taking more medication than clinically necessary) occurs most commonly among elderly patients, who take more medications and are more susceptible to adverse effects, and also among pediatric patients since many medications for children must be dosed according to their weight.
Caregivers and patients themselves may make medication administration errors, especially if they are not literate and have trouble calculating dosages.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has a list of high-alert medications that can cause significant patient harm if used in error. These include medications that have dangerous adverse effects and also look-alike and sound-alike medications, which have similar names and physical appearance but have completely different effects.
Doctors must be aware that there are some types of medications where the potential for harm generally outweighs the benefits (such as benzodiazepine sedatives in elderly patients), and they must use caution in prescribing them. They should carefully monitor patients taking other commonly-used medications that have risks but offer significant benefits if used properly. These medications include:
- antidiabetic agents (e.g., insulin)
- oral anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin)
- antiplatelet agents (such as aspirin and clopidogrel)
- opioid pain medications.
Together, these four medications account for more than 50% of emergency department visits for ADEs in Medicare patients.
In addition, pharmacies must be aware of dangerous drug combinations between drugs that may not cause harm on their own but will have adverse effects when taken together.
Non-prescription medications, including dietary Supplements/Vitamin Supplements
These are not prescribed by doctors. In fact, many doctors do not know their patients are taking these substances. The same is true with over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.
There are also doctrines which apply to these cases where there are warnings with respect to the drugs and pharmaceuticals. Sometimes doctors may be liable for prescribing the wrong drug or contraindicated drug and other times liability may be on the manufacturer. As indicated earlier, pharmacist liability may also be an issue.
Pharmacist, pharmaceutical, vitamin/dietary supplement litigation can be very complex. It is essential to have an experienced attorney and legal staff on your side. If you or your loved one has suffered injury from wrongdoing dangerous pharmaceutical, medical device, dietary supplement or from pharmacist negligence, time is of the essence. Do not delay. Contact Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling (570) 323-8711 or by using our online contact form for a free consultation about whether you have a legal claim.