Williamsport Pharmaceutical and Mass Tort Lawyers
Our Pharmaceutical Error Attorneys in PA Can Help You with Multi-District Litigation Cases
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died due to a pharmaceutical error or a defective medical device, our pharmaceutical error attorney in PA can help you get compensation for your losses through a medical malpractice or product liability lawsuit. At Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, we understand the suffering that can result from pharmaceutical errors. We have the resources to investigate your situation, find the cause of the problem, and hold all parties who were negligent accountable.
Patients and consumers of prescription medications and pharmaceuticals trust that the makers of these medications have provided us with safe products. Unfortunately, drug and medical device manufacturers, the doctors who prescribe them, and pharmacists who dispense them sometimes let us down and we suffer serious consequences from their negligence that may lead to permanent damage or even death.
Cliff Rieders and his team at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, have years of experience representing clients in pharmaceutical and medical device multi-district litigation, as well as pharmaceutical error cases. Similar cases can involve a prescription for a medication that could cause harm when combined with over-the-counter vitamin or dietary supplements, product liability cases for defective products, and warning cases, where manufacturers fail to warn of a product’s dangers. Attorney Rieders has decades of experience representing persons who have been injured by the negligence and fault of others, including pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, hospitals and physicians.
Our attorneys who handle pharmaceutical, over-the-counter supplements and medical device claims are committed to helping our clients recover the full remedies available under the law. Call us now at (570) 323-8711 to speak to an experienced attorney about your legal needs.
What Is Pharmaceutical Drug Liability?
In addition to problems with the medication itself that result in liability, there can be pharmaceutical drug liability based on errors at any step in the process that begins when a clinician prescribes a medication and ends when the patient 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.
When and How Medication Errors Happen
Medication errors that cause harm leading to pharmaceutical drug liability 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 overdoses, and extra doses.
How Our Attorneys Prove Pharmaceutical Liability
Pharmaceutical errors may result from the actions or inactions of multiple parties. To win your case, our legal team would investigate what happened, gather evidence by examining medical records and interviewing doctors and pharmacists, and may hire expert witnesses to provide testimony that the injury was caused by negligence and violated the standard of care in the medical community.
In order to show that a healthcare provider was negligent, we would have to show the following:
- The medical provider, the defendant in the case, owed you a standard of care to act responsible and not cause harm.
- The defendant breached this standard of care by actions or failure to act.
- This breach caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result of those injuries.
Damages Our Medication Error Lawyer May Win for You
Each case is unique, so amounts you can receive as compensation for your injuries vary based on the individual circumstances. In a successful Pennsylvania medication error lawsuit you may receive an award, called damages, that are both economic and noneconomic.
Damage awards in Pennsylvania fall into the following categories:
1. Compensatory Damages — This is compensation for both economic damages and non-economic damages.
A. Economic Damages
Economic damages cover your calculable expenses, including:
- Medical, nursing, prescription, and rehabilitation expenses and ongoing care
- Lost wages from not being able to work, now or in the future
- Funeral expenses, if a death is involved
B. Non-economic Damages
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate you for losses that do not have a specific dollar value, but negatively affect your life. They may include:
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering, anguish, anxiety, and stress
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Physical impairment, disfigurement, and scarring
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
2. Punitive Damages
In rare situations, where the pharmaceutical error was caused by actions that were willful or wanton misconduct, you may also be awarded punitive damages, intended to punish the behavior and deter such actions in the future. Pennsylvania law caps punitive damages against healthcare professionals at 200 percent of compensatory damages if there is no intentional misconduct on the part of the healthcare professional.
In addition, 25 percent of all punitive damages awarded to a patient must go into a special MCARE fund. MCARE stands for “Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error” and requires that participating providers and hospitals carry a minimum of $500k in coverage per occurrence or claim, and the MCARE fund pays claims in excess of this $500k.
Get Compensation for Your Medication Error Injuries
If you have been injured by a medication error, we can help. Talk to our pharmaceutical error attorneys to find out what damages you may be able to receive. Call us today at (570) 323-8711 so we can start working toward getting you the compensation you deserve.
Cases Regarding Pharmaceutical Companies
FDA-approved pharmaceuticals may lead to very complex legal cases. There are numerous federal multidistrict litigations 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 unreasonably dangerous or lack appropriate warnings of potential side effects may give rise to legal claims.
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.
Multi-district Litigation Claims We Handle – Dangerous Drugs and Medical Devices
While drugs can cause major health issues and death, so can medical devices that are defective. They can lead to a range of problems — for example, infection or hearing loss. Here are a few examples of the cases we can assist you with:
There is scientific evidence connecting vision loss issues to taking the drug Elmiron, prescribed to help the pain associated with the urinary tract condition IC (interstitial cystitis). Studies now show that long-term use of one of Elmiron’s ingredients, PPS (pentosan polysulfate sodium), can potentially cause a condition called toxic maculopathy that can lead to permanent eye damage. The type of maculopathy linked to Elmiron is called pigmentary maculopathy, a type which studies have found seems to be unique to Elmiron users. Lawsuits are currently being filed against Elmiron’s manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., stating that the company failed to warn both doctors and patients that the drug could cause vision problems and possibly lead to blindness. Elmiron has not been recalled and is still prescribed despite the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) reporting 100 vision problem cases between 1997 and 2019, with eighty of these cases considered to be serious. While manufacturers are supposed to warn of possible harmful effects from their products, there was no warning from Janssen that maculopathy was a risk prior to June 16, 2020. A Multi-District Litigation was established in December 2020 for consolidating these claims in New Jersey federal court.
If you have been taking Elmiron long term and are suffering from eye damage from pigmentary maculopathy, our lawyers can help you file a lawsuit.
Paragard is a small, T-shaped plastic intrauterine device (IUD) that is implanted in the uterus by doctors to prevent pregnancy. Paragard is popular because it uses copper instead of hormones, and it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1984 and has been available in the U.S. since 1988.
While the arms of the device are supposed to fold up when removed and not cause harm, sometimes this does not happen. Paragard IUD lawsuits have been filed based on the claim that the device breaks upon removal, leaving pieces of the IUD in women’s bodies and causing serious injuries. Some women have required surgery to remove the device and treat complications that resulted when the piece became embedded in the uterus.
Claimants are seeking compensation based on the allegation that Paragard is defective and that manufacturers failed to adequately warn about the risk of device breakage and injury. Lawsuits are based on the claim that manufacturers are negligent because Paragard has manufacturing and design defects and its labeling does not adequately warn about breakage risk.
In December 2020, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated dozens of lawsuits across the nation in the Northern District of Georgia under Judge Leigh Martin May. If you have been injured by Paragard, our attorneys can help determine whether you qualify for a lawsuit.
Belviq, or lorcaserin, is a weight loss drug approved by the FDA in 2012 to treat obesity. It was also prescribed to overweight people who had serious weight-related health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Arena Pharmaceuticals manufactures Belviq in Switzerland, and it is marketed and distributed by Eisai Inc. in the United States. Both companies are named in lawsuits which allege an increased risk of cancer.
Based on results from a five-year study showing a potential cancer link, on Feb. 13, 2020, the FDA requested that Eisai Inc. voluntarily withdraw Belviq from the market. Belviq users who developed any one of three different types of cancer (pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer) can file a lawsuit. The JPML will be hearing arguments shortly seeking to consolidate Belviq cases into a multi-district litigation and the number of lawsuits is likely to increase. If you or a loved one is suffering from one of these cancers after taking Belviq, contact our attorneys to determine whether you qualify for a lawsuit.
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 by 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 linking 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 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 25,000 claims are pending in the federal MDL and in state court, and there have been several successful Plaintiff’s verdicts. In April 2021, Johnson & Johnson set aside 3.9 billion for the talc litigation, nearly double the amount that was set aside in the spring of 2020. If you think you may have a legal claim against Johnson & Johnson, talk with our attorneys about a possible talcum powder lawsuit.
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. The first trials are scheduled for July 2021.
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 the first trial is scheduled for June 7, 2021. To date, Ethicon has settled more than 40,000 of these cases.
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. The first trials were scheduled for mid-2021.
If you have suffered injuries from hernia mesh products, contact our attorneys to find out if you have a case.
The hernia mesh trials are expected to move forward shortly for all of these manufacturers after being delayed due to the pandemic.
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.
An MDL for these claims has been formed in the Southern District of Florida. 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. The first trials are expected in the fall of 2021.
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. The MDL recently survived motions to dismiss that had been unsuccessfully filed by the Defendants. 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.
A federal multi-district litigation has been formed in the Southern District of Illinois for claims alleging that the pesticide Paraquat may make it more likelu to develop Parkinson’s Disease. Paraquat is a weed and grass killer manufactured and sold since 1962, which has been widely used on a number of farms throughout the U.S. in recent years. The herbicide is also sold under a number of different brand name through farm supply stores, including Gramoxone, Blanco, Cyclone, Helmquat, Bonedry and others. Paraquat remains on the market in the United States, despite being banned in some countries.
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 developed melanoma while taking an ED drug, our Viagra lawyer can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Get Help Now — Call Our Pharmaceutical and Medication Error Attorney Today
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 multidistrict litigation and individual claims. Cliff is known for resolving cases efficiently and seeking the best possible resolutions available under the law.
If you or a loved one has suffered any type of drug, pharmaceutical, dietary supplement, or defective medical device injury, contact our firm for help. Do not delay, as Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations or deadline to file a legal claim that is generally two years from the time of the malpractice or from the time you knew or should have known that you had an injury. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work building your case and getting you the settlement and the justice you deserve.
We offer a free consultation, so contact us today to learn your legal options at (570) 323-8711.
Pennsylvania does not cap compensatory and non-economic damages., so there are no limits to how much a court can award you (see PA Statutes, Title 42, Chapter 71, Section 7102).