RGLZ Personal Injury Law has always been active in pursuing medical device, drug and mass tort product liability cases, but we are expanding our mass tort practice with the addition to our firm of Tom Valet. Tom was a founding partner of the Rheingold, Valet law firm, where he worked for more than 30 years on mass tort, medical malpractice and product liability cases, for which his firm had a national reputation. Tom now brings that wealth of experience to RGLZ.
RGLZ is currently looking for cases involving the following drugs and devices:
Ethicon Physiomesh, Atrium C-Qur, And Bard Ventralex Surgical Mesh Failures:
There are a variety of mesh products used to surgically treat hernias and other soft-tissue defects, with doctors using these products in more than 1 million operations each year. Many of these mesh products are associated with serious complications including mesh failures and high infection rates. Over the years there have been numerous recalls and litigations involving surgical mesh and the newer designs continue to be associated with serious medical complications, particularly mesh made from polypropylene.
Physiomesh, manufactured by Ethicon, was voluntarily recalled from the worldwide marker last year after reports of significantly higher complication rates causing recurrence and the need for reoperation. In 2012, the FDA issued a warning letter to Atrium after it failed to investigate reports of high infection and failure rates tied to its mesh product, the Atrium C QUR. The Bard Ventralux mesh has also been associated with serious complications including bowel obstruction, bowel perforation and high infection rates. RGLZ is currently representing clients injured by these products and welcomes the referral of clients of yours who have experienced a problem related to the use of hernia mesh products.
Proton Pump Inhibitors:
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are drugs prescribed for the treatment of acid-reflux and other gastric-acid disorders of the upper GI tract. They include popularly known drugs such as Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and Protonix. For years there have been reports of issues with these drugs related to bone fractures and heart attacks, but new research suggests a link between PPIs and a form of kidney disease known as Acute Interstitial Nephritis. Adverse effects of PPIs appear to be more prevalent with long-term use of these drugs. RGLZ is currently handling a number of PPI cases and welcomes referral of any client of yours who used a PPI and has suffered an injury as a result.
IVC Filter Cases:
Inferior Vena Cava filters are medical devices implanted into a patient’s vena cava, the body’s largest vein which carries blood back to the heart from the lower body. IVC filters are designed to prevent blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs in patients at risk for formation of emboli who cannot be treated with blood thinners.
The devices are designed to be retrievable by the surgeon after short-term use, but in many cases the IVC filters are left in permanently. Retrieval of IVC filters is often not possible because the devices are prone to fracturing, migration and embedment in the wall of the vein. Bard and Cook are the most common brands of IVC filters and MDLs (Multi-District Litigations) have been established for coordination of cases in federal court. RGLZ is participating in the MDLs with a number of IVC filter cases in suit.
Drug manufacturers continue to develop and promote new drugs for treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, many of which are associated with serious medical conditions. Invokana and Farxiga are two such drugs, known as SGLT2 Inhibitors, which work to lower the patient’s blood sugar by helping the kidneys remove excess sugar through their urine. Starting in 2015 the FDA required enhanced warnings for Invokana and Farxiga. Previously unreported side effects for which additional warnings are now required include the development of ketoacidosis, a serious condition related to excess acid in the blood, and acute kidney injuries tied to these drugs.
This drug was developed and approved by the FDA for treatment of nausea in chemotherapy patients. The manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, however, improperly began promoting the drug off-label for use in pregnant women suffering from severe cases of morning sickness. Virtually no research had been done, however, into the effects of Zofran in pregnancy, and reports soon surfaced of a variety of birth defects believed to be tied to the drug. These birth defects include cleft palette and severe malformations of the heart.
Medical malpractice cases also exist against Obstetricians who prescribed this drug to their patients off-label despite the lack of research into its effects when used during pregnancy. RGLZ is currently handling a case involving a baby born with severe heart defects and other serious medical issues related to the use of this drug.
3M Bair Hugger:
This medical device is a forced-air blanket used during surgery to maintain the patient’s body temperature. The system, however, recirculates air contaminated with bacteria, causing infections in the patient. Patients undergoing knee or hip replacement are at particular risk of deep joint infections, which are extremely difficult to treat.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements:
Suits for defective and recalled artificial hips have been ongoing for years now, with several major settlements of litigations involving DePuy and Stryker hips. RGLZ is investigating any case involving metal-on-metal hips, including DePuy ASR Systems which were recalled in 2010, DePuy Pinnacle hips, and Stryker Rejuvinate hips which were recalled in 2012. Other metal-on-metal hips in litigation include those manufactured by Zimmer, Wright and Biomet.
Defective Carbon Fiber Bicycles:
High-end bicycle manufacturers charge a premium for bicycle frames made from carbon fiber, which are touted as being stronger and lighter than metal bike frames. Unknown to most consumers, however, is that despite their branding, these frames are not manufactured in Europe or the United States. Rather, they are made in China, with limited quality control. These defective carbon fiber frames can crack while riding, causing crashes and falls that have resulted in serious injuries and death.
Essure Birth Control Device:
The Essure Birth Control device is a metal coil inserted into a woman’s fallopian tube to provide permanent sterilization. The device, however, has been reported to be associated with a variety of complications, including perforation of the fallopian tube or uterus and migration into the abdomen or pelvis. Tom Valet handled one of the first cases involving this device, in which he successfully sued the implanting doctor who failed to recognize that the Essure device had migrated out of the fallopian tube and perforated his client’s uterus.