Italian dressing, SCUBA regulators, the Porsche Panamera, and more. Here’s the roundup of this week’s biggest product safety recalls.
Italian dressing, SCUBA regulators, the Porsche Panamera, and more. Here’s the roundup of this week’s biggest product safety recalls.
We are currently investigating reports of a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung) caused by exposure to diacetyl. Diacetyl-induced popcorn lung occurs most frequently amongst workers in the flavor industry who either heat diacetyl or mix flavorings containing diacetyl.
In one case, we represent workers of a coffee manufacturing plant in a suit against the flavoring companies that supplied their employer with diacetyl-containing products. These workers were exposed to diacetyl when they mixed flavoring agents with coffee beans during the flavoring process. Sadly, several of these workers were recently diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans caused by their exposure to diacetyl.
WHAT IS DIACETYL AND WHERE IS IT FOUND?
Diacetyl is a chemical used to give various food products a buttery flavor. Its use is especially common in popcorn and coffee manufacturing plants. Although there have been a few instances where consumers were harmed by diacetyl exposure, it is very rare for consumers to encounter toxic levels of diacetyl.
HOW CAN DIACETYL HURT ME?
Symptoms of popcorn lung include dry cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Unfortunately, these symptoms can become disabling. Treatment often requires a lung transplant. The disease itself is life-threatening and non-reversible.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SUSPECT I MAY BE SUFFERING FROM A DIACETYL-RELATED CONDITION?
Speak to a doctor as soon as possible about your symptoms and exposure to diacetyl. To assure your continued health, additional testing and monitoring may be necessary.
WE WANT TO HELP
Roberts & Roberts wants to help if you or a loved one believe you may have been harmed by exposure to diacetyl. Contact us today for a free consultation.
United States Food and Drug Administration continues to release warnings to physicians and their patients regarding use of surgical mesh to treat women's urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when the internal structures that support the pelvic organs such as the bladder, uterus and bowel, become so weak or stretched that the organs drop from their normal position and bulge or prolapse into the vagina.
The use of surgical mesh to treat this problem is becoming increasingly common. With its increasing use, however have come increasing problems. In 2008 the FDA issued a warning that use of vaginal mesh was associated with complications, but the FDA also indicated these complications were rare. Since 2008 however the FDA is receiving increasing reports of adverse events associated with use of the surgical mesh when used for POP repair. From 2008 to 2010 the FDA received 1,503 adverse event reports associated with mesh used for POP repair, five times as many as the agency received from 2005 to 2007.
More importantly studies suggest that women do not benefit from the use of surgical mesh. The FDA conducted a review of scientific literature published between 1996 and 2010 comparing mesh surgeries to non-mesh surgeries. The agency review suggests that many patients undergo trans-vaginal POP repair with mesh are exposed to additional risks, compared to patients who undergo POP repair with stitches alone. While the mesh often corrected the anatomy, there was no evidence that mesh provided any greater clinical benefits than non-mesh surgeries.
The FDA now recommends that health care providers:
1. Recognize that in most cases, POP can be treated successfully without mesh;
2. Know that surgical mesh is a permanent implant that can make any future surgical repairs more challenging and can put the patient at risk for additional complications and surgeries;
3. Consider that mesh placed abdominally for POP repair may result in more rates of mesh complications compared to trans-vaginal POP surgery with mesh; and be sure that patients are aware of the risks and benefits of trans-vaginal POP repair with mesh, and inform patients that mesh is being used.
The FDA further recommends that patients:
1. Ask the surgeon before surgery about all POP treatment options, including those that do not involve mesh, and understand why the surgeon may be recommending treating POP with mesh;
2. Continue with routine check-ups and follow-up care after surgery. Notify the surgeon if complications develop (persistent vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic or groin pain during sex); and those who have POP surgery but don't know if the surgeon used mesh should find out if mesh was used during the next scheduled visit with their health care provider.
When a doctor gives you a prescription, you assume the medicine the doctor prescribed is approved for the problem you have. While this is normally true, sometimes doctors are persuaded to prescribe drugs for uses that the drug has not been approved for. Such a case has been alleged against Johnson & Johnson the maker of Risperdal according to the New Jersey Real Time News.
Johnson & Johnson is one of the world’s largest health product companies in the world. One of its most popular drugs, Risperdal, was once one of its best selling drugs reaching $24.2 billion dollars in sales from 2003 to 2010.
The problem arose when the Food and Drug Administration, which approves medications, only approved Risperdal for certain psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. Unfortunately that is a very limited market.
The United States Government alleges that Johnson & Johnson began to try and sell Risperdal for by-polar disorder, dementia, mood and anxiety disorders and other unapproved uses. The U.S. Government has been investigating Risperdal sales practices since 2004. The State of Louisiana conducted an investigation into Johnson & Johnson sales practices in Louisiana and ultimately filed suit claiming sales people sold Risperdal to doctors, nursing homes, veterans’ administration facilities and jails for uses that the drug had not been approved for.
Currently Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $1 billion dollars to the United States and hopefully to most of the states involved in civil investigations into marketing the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. The State of Texas filed a separate law suit against Johnson & Johnson that is set for trial in 2012. If you have questions about dangerous drugs, unsafe products or in other personal injury matter contact us, we help.
Bayer's Mirena IUD was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000 and was prescribed for women who had at least one child. Bayer advertised that the device was safe and effective. Bayer also said that this small t-shaped plastic IUD that is implanted in women could be left in for up to five years without problems.
Unfortunately, this appears to be incorrect. On November 20, 2012 the Food and Drug Administration released its Adverse Event Report on Mirena. There were over 45,000 complaints about Mirena through June 2012. Those problems included device expulsion, device dislocation and device migration. More than 6% of the women with complications required surgery.
Device migration means that the IUD moves from its original position after being inserted. When it moves it can perforate or embed itself in the uterus. In these situations a doctor must locate and surgically remove the device.
The Mirena IUD may also migrate outside the uterine cavity and cause scarring or adhesions that can lead to infertility. Depending upon the type of damage caused by the migration, women may require a complete hysterectomy, and more serious complications can result in life-threatening injuries or death.
Because of the numerous complications caused by Mirena, many of the women who have used it are now considering lawsuits against the device and its maker, Bayer. In lawsuits already filed, the injured women are claiming that these complications were preventable if Bayer had properly researched Mirena and given proper warnings to women.
For over 30 years the personal injury law firm of Roberts & Roberts has been representing Texans injured by unsafe products and medical devices. Our lawsuits against national manufacturers have resulted in safer products and fewer injuries across the nation. If you or someone you love has been injured by Mirena IUD or other medical device, you should immediately consult with a Board-certified attorney experienced in handling complex claims involving defective products and medical devices.
The personal injury lawyers of Roberts & Roberts have the resources, skill and expertise to take on the manufacturers of unsafe products. Call us. The call with cost you nothing…it can mean everything.
The Zimmer Durom Cup was designed to be a new type of hip replacement component made from a single piece of material. First marketed in the United States in 2006, the cup became very popular and has been used in at least 12,000 surgical procedures.
Since that time, however, both the manufacturer and orthopedic surgeons have noted post-hip surgery complications requiring additional surgeries in about 5.7 percent of the patients. The problems with the Zimmer Durom Cup first came to light in 2008 when a prominent orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Larry Dorr, wrote a letter to American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons complaining of the Zimmer Durom Cup. According to Dr. Dorr’s letter, of the 165 Zimmer Cup implanted in his patients, 14 were revised or required revision within the first two years after the surgery.
Dr. Dorr stated he believed the Zimmer Durom Cup was defective. He believed the fixation surface of the cup was an issue as well as the circular cutting surface on the edges of the cup that prevented the cup from fully seating. After Dr. Dorr’s letter, Zimmer Corporation sent letters to doctors advising that they were conducting an investigation into complaints of the Zimmer Durom Cup.
In July 2008, after reviewing its own study, Zimmer announced that they were suspending sales of its Durom Cup until it could refine instructions for the surgical technique of implanting the cup. Although Zimmer claimed that it first became aware of the problems from Dr. Dorr’s 2008 letter; Senator Charles Grassy of Iowa has demanded Zimmer provide information to his Senate Subcommittee about how it handled complaints regarding its medical products. According to a New York Times article, Zimmer’s own consultants complained that the device was not working properly, but Zimmer continued to blame the surgical procedures… not the device.
If you, or someone you love, have been injured by a Zimmer Durom Cup, call the product liability attorneys of Roberts & Roberts. For over 30 years, the personal injury and product liability lawyers of Roberts & Roberts have been representing consumers in claims against manufactures for unsafe and defective products. The lawyers of Roberts & Roberts have gained a national reputation holding manufacturers accountable for their products. They have the skills, resources, and expertise to help. Call them. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.
The Senate Commerce Committee will soon be holding hearings on a bill that will prohibit automobile rental agencies from renting cars that have been recalled but have not yet been repaired. The bill is designed to fix a longstanding loophole in United States recall laws. Currently, car dealers are prohibited from selling a car that is the subject of a recall unless the car has been repaired. However, car rental agencies can rent or even sell a car that has been recalled but never repaired.
The law is named the Rachel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Act of 2013. The bill is named after Rachel Houck (24) and her 20-year-old sister Jacqueline Houck. They died in a 2004 PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise Rent-a-Car Agency.
The Houck sisters rented the car on October 7, unaware that the month before Chrysler recalled 439,000 2001 through 2004 PT Cruisers and the 2005 PT Cruiser convertibles. The reason for the recall was that the power steering hose could rub against the transaxle differential cover resulting in a power steering fluid leak and an under hood fire. At the time the Houck sisters were renting the PT Cruiser, Chrysler had already reported 126 PT Cruiser fires. Despite this recall notice, Enterprise continued to rent the PT Cruiser to its customers.
In the Houck’s case, on their way home their PT Cruiser did develop a power steering fluid leak and an under hood fire. The sisters lost control of their car and went into oncoming traffic striking a large 18 wheeler head on. Both sisters were killed. If this new law passes, it will protect unsuspecting customers from renting defective or recalled cars and will hold rental agencies accountable for maintaining safe vehicles.
For nearly 30 years, the car wreck attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have been fighting to make Texas roads safer and the cars Texans drive safer. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a car crash, motorcycle accident, big rig crash, or because of a defective automobile… call us. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.
Two of the most popular oral contraceptives in the country are Yazmin and Yaz, both manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Yazmin was introduced to the market in 2001, followed by Yaz in 2006. They were considered a new generation of birth control pills. They differ from older generations of birth control in that they use synthetic progesterone called drospirenone. Drospirenone has an anti-androgic property which means it works against testosterone and other hormones.
Ever since Bayer introduced these products into the market, it has had multiple warnings by the Food and Drug Administration about its aggressive advertising of these products. The FDA initially chastised Bayer for advertising these drugs as a cure-all for a multitude of known female menstrual conditions which in fact it did not treat.
As Yaz and Yazmin’s popularity grew, so did the problems associated with the drug. Drospirenone has been found to increase the levels of potassium in the human body. Potassium can lead to blood clotting. Although Bayer continues to downplay these dangers, the risks of blood clots and medical complications associated with taking Yaz and Yazmin continue to grow.
A study recently released in Canada linked the deaths of 23 Canadian women to Yaz and Yazmin. Many died from blood clots only weeks after beginning to take the drug.
Similar studies in the United States have also found some evidence linking women taking Yaz and Yazmin with blood clots. As of January 2012, there were approximately 10,000 lawsuits filed against Bayer Pharmaceuticals by women who claimed to have suffered blood clots and the families of women who died after taking the drugs Yaz and Yazmin.
According to one published report, Yaz and Yazmin are the most complained about drugs on the internet, with thousands of women enforcing complaints. Bayer countered these lawsuits with two studies that claimed that the risk of taking Yaz and Yazmin was no worse than taking other birth control medications.
For nearly 30 years, the dangerous drug lawyers of Roberts & Roberts have represented consumers injured by unsafe drugs and defective products. If you, or someone you love, has been injured or suffered a blood clot or fatal reaction from taking Yaz or Yazmin… call us. The personal injury lawyers of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, expertise, and resources to hold the manufacturers accountable. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.
On June 26, 2013, the Consumer Products Safety Commission released its most recent report on deaths and injuries caused by fireworks. In releasing the report, the CPSC not only stressed the number of injuries, but more importantly the severity of the injuries. An accident with a firecracker doesn't simply mean burned fingers or singed hair. It can mean loss of eye or eye sight, loss of a limb, and even death. In 2012, it is estimated that 8,700 consumers were treated in possible emergency rooms for firework-related injuries.
Most of these injuries occur around the 4th of July. Of the 8,700 injuries reported, more than 5,000 occurred between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, most injuries are the result of either malfunctioning fireworks or fireworks improperly used.
With more and more fireworks being imported, the risk of an improperly functioning firework has increased dramatically. In 2012, the Consumer Products Safety Commission working along with the Customs and Border Patrol inspected and tested shipments of imported fireworks. In 2012, approximately 30 percent of the fireworks tested were found to be in violation of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Therefore, assuming some fireworks slip through this inspection process, you can assume that 1 in 3 fireworks used by consumers violates federal safety laws.
More importantly, the large explosive fireworks are not the only dangerous ones. Fireworks designed to be used by children can also be extremely dangerous. We are constantly shown the image of young children playing with sparklers. Parents unfortunately may not realize how dangerous a sparkler is. Sparklers can burn at temperatures well above 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals and severely burn your child.
Other comments and safety measures are as follows:
For nearly 30 years, the personal injury attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have worked to protect consumers from dangerous and unsafe products. These products include prescription drugs, medical devices, and fireworks. If you, or someone you know, have been injured by an unsafe or defective product, call the product liability lawyers of Roberts & Roberts. They have the skill, expertise, and resources to help. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.
According to government studies, in 2012 more than 78 percent of all products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission were produced by foreign companies. The reason is simple. Foreign manufacturers can easily evade responsibility for their defective and unsafe products. Furthermore, by making unregulated and unsafe products they are able to produce less expensive products than the United States manufacturers that do have to meet strict safety regulations.
To sue a foreign manufacturer, the law typically requires that they be served in their country according to their laws. Unfortunately, many of these countries where cheap products are made have laws that favor their manufacturers, not United States consumers. Even if a United States consumer is successful in serving and suing a foreign manufacturer, collecting on that judgment is even more difficult.
Congress is now seeking to change this unfair situation. There is a bill currently pending in the United States House of Representatives called the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2013. The law would require foreign manufacturers or producers of covered products to register an agent in any state where the company does business to accept service of process for lawsuits and to consent to state and federal jurisdiction for all civil and regulatory claims making it easier to pursue claims where defective products are made by foreign manufacturers.
This law is intended to and will make American consumers safer and give American manufacturers a level playing field when they manufacture their products. The personal injury attorneys of Roberts & Roberts urge all of our readers and clients to contact their Congressman and demand that they vote for this law. It is one of the few laws that Congress should pass that would actually help both consumers and American manufacturers.
If you, or someone you love, have been injured by a defective product or unsafe machine or drug, call us. For nearly 30 years, the personal injury lawyers of Roberts & Roberts have been fighting to keep consumers safe from unsafe or defective products and drugs. We have the skill and resources to pursue that manufacturer and hold them accountable. Call us. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.
Tyler, Longview, and East Texas are quickly becoming a major medical center for Texas. While the growing numbers of doctors, hospitals, and health care facilities is a boom to the local East Texas community, it may come with a hidden price to pay, prescription drug abuse.
Tyler, Longview, and the East Texas Community are not the only areas where prescription drug abuse is a growing concern, however. According to The National Safety Council, for the first time since World War II, deaths from motor vehicle accidents are no longer the leading cause of accidental death for Americans ages 25 to 64. Today, accidental drug abuse is the leading killer.
In a major report released by The National Safety Council entitled Prescription Nation: Addressing America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic, The National Safety Council called on states to take prompt action to improve the monitoring and prescribing of prescription pain relievers. According to the report, 45 people die every day from overdoses from prescription pain medications. This accounts for more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. The report goes on to note that in the year 2010 alone, there were enough prescription pain medicines prescribed to medicate every American adult for a month. The National Safety Council concluded that only 3 states had implemented effective programs to minimize prescription drug abuse. Those states were Kentucky, Vermont, and Washington.
If you or someone you know or love has been injured by a prescription medication, drug overdose, or other medication error… call the personal injury lawyers at Roberts & Roberts. For over 30 years, the injury attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have been helping East Texans injured by medication error, dangerous prescription drugs, car wrecks, and unsafe products. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.