Recent 'Lawsuits'

Invokana Lawsuit

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Invokana is a prescription drug used to treat type-2 diabetes. It is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a division of Johnson & Johnson corporation). A lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging the plaintiff suffered a life threating reaction to the drug.

The plaintiff in this case stated in the court filing that she suffered from diabetic ketoacidosis after taking the drug Invokana. She also suffered severe kidney damage. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition where the body begins to burn fat to energy because cells had not received the glucose needed for energy. Ketones are chemicals that are created when the body burns fat for energy. When ketones begin to build up in the bloodstream, the blood becomes acidic. High levels of ketones can cause diabetic ketoacidosis, where the body is poisoned. Patients can become comatose, suffer kidney damage, and in extreme cases die.

The FDA has issued two major safety warnings about Invokana. The drug was approved by the FDA for use in 2013. The first warning was issued in May 2015 and stated that diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when using the drug. In September 2015 a warning was issued that there is an increased risk of bone fractures and decreased bone density from using the drug.

Other side effects that have been reported include kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney impairment or failure.

Zofran Birth Defects

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Zofran (ondansetron) is an anti-nausea drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It is intended for patients experiencing nausea after chemotherapy or surgery. Many doctors had also prescribed Zofran as a help for women experiencing severe morning sickness during pregnancy. However, the drug was not approved for this type of use. (The term “off-label” prescribing is what is used to describe using a drug for something other than its original intent.)

The U.S. Department of Justice charged GlaxoSmithKline of marketing Zofran to physicians for the treatment of morning sickness even though it was not approved to do so. In 2012 the company pled guilty to “resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from the company’s unlawful promotion of certain prescription drugs” and paid $3 billion to resolve the case.

Studies have shown the association between the use of Zofran and birth defects. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the maker of Zofran claiming that the company knew of the adverse effects of Zofran on fetal development yet did not do anything to adequately warn the public or medical professionals of this possible outcome. As of 2015 the company had received more than 200 reports of birth defects suspected to be caused by the use of Zofran during pregnancy.

Eliquis Lawsuit

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

In February, 2016 a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against the makers of Eliquis (Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Pfizer Inc.). Wilma Lewis, the plaintiff, accuses the company of claiming the drug was safe and effective but neglected to warn patients and doctors of the serious side effects that can happen while taking the drug.

Eliquis is a prescription blood thinning medicine designed to prevent blood clots that cause strokes. It is often prescribed to individuals who experience a medical condition called AFIB (atrial fibrillation) that causes a quivering or irregular heartbeat.

Older blood thinning drugs (i.e. Warfarin) have an antidote that can be administered if a patient begins bleeding. A doctor can administer Vitamin K to counteract the effects of Warfarin. If bleeding is caused by taking Eliquis, there is no known similar antidote. Doctors often struggle to reverse the effects of Eliquis if a patent begins bleeding. The bleeding risks that exist when taking Eliquis include internal bleeding (such as gastrointestinal bleeding or cerebral hemorrhage), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism.

Cymbalta withdrawal

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Cymbalta is a prescription medicine manufactured by Eli Lilly that is used to treat the medical conditions of depression and anxiety. It has also been prescribed to help relieve nerve pain that people with diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis or chronic back pain experience. It is estimated that more than 25 lawsuits have been filed against Eli Lilly that state the manufacturer did not make it clear that users can experience severe withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing the medicine. A class action lawsuit was also filed in October 2012 and amended in January 2013 (Saavedra v. Eli Lilly and Company).

Many individuals experience withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing an antidepressant drug such as Cymbalta. However, the plaintiffs in these lawsuits have experienced withdrawal symptoms above and beyond the normal ones. The symptoms that can occur with Cymbalta withdrawal include changes in sleep and mood, nausea and vomiting, nightmares and brain “zaps” (electric shock-like sensations felt in the brain).

In 2009 the FDA issued a report that stated the withdrawal symptoms experienced by users of Cymbalta “can be severe” and can last for weeks, or even months.

Claims that have been made against the manufacturer in lawsuits include that the company deceived users by saying only 1% experienced severe withdrawal while in reality the number is closer to 45%; the company downplayed or failed to state the true effects of withdrawal of the drug; and that Eli Lilly failed to warn patients about the risks of the drug.

Xarelto lawsuits

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Xarelto (also known as rivaroxaban) is a prescription blood thinning medicine. It is prescribed for people to lower the risk of stroke, pulmonary embolisms or deep vein thrombosis, among other conditions. Patients who experience atrial fibrillation are also often prescribed Xarelto. The drug was approved for use in 2011.

There have been lawsuits in the news regarding negative side effects from Xarelto. Because the drug is a blood thinner, there is a risk that the drug can cause unintended internal bleeding, such as gastrointestinal bleeding or bleeding in the brain. The lawsuits that are being filed against this drug stem from the fact that the plaintiffs claim the drug company either did not adequately warn them about the potential for internal bleeding while taking the medicine or continued to sell the drug even while knowing the risks.

One major problem with Xarelto is that there is no known antidote to stop uncontrolled bleeding. Warfarin, a blood thinner that has been in existence since the 1950’s does have a known antidote if uncontrolled bleeding happens.

Other side effects that can happen while taking Xarelto include difficulty breathing and swelling of the lower limbs.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Talcum powder seems like an innocent product. After all, it is marketed as a product for infants. However, there have been class action lawsuits in the past few years stating that talcum powder can cause cancer.

In 2014 Johnson & Johnson was the defendant in two class action lawsuits. The lawsuits claimed that the company did not warn omen that the use of their products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower could increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Studies have been done about the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer and in 2003 an analysis of 16 of these studies found that women who use talcum powder had an increased risk (33% more likely) of developing ovarian cancer at some point in their lives. In fact the first study that linked talcum powder to cancer was done in 1971.

Women who use talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product might have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer at some point in their lives.

The American Cancer Society on its website lists talcum powder use near the genital area as possibly a risk factor for ovarian cancer. However, the website makes a distinction between talcum powder that has asbestos and those products without. In the 1970’s laws were enacted that required talcum powder to be asbestos free.

EOS Lip Balm Lawsuit

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Many people have been using the EOS brand of Lip Balm, those cute ones that come in an egg shape and have yummy flavors. However, news of a class action lawsuit against EOS has many people questioning their use of the product.

Rachel Cronin filed the class action lawsuit on January 12, 2016 against the very popular EOS lip balm. The suit claims damages to the lips and skin around the mouth when people have used it. Ms. Cronin said the Summer Fruit flavor version of the lip balm made her lips feel like sand paper, and that she had such a severe case of blisters and rashes around her lips that she had to seek medical attention. The lawsuit also states that after Ms. Cronin shared pictures of the damage on social media sites other individuals who experienced similar negative reactions after using EOS lip balm reached out to her.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District court for the Central District of California, alleges that “A substantial number of consumers, upon information and belief in the tens of thousands, and potentially in excess of hundreds of thousands, who have purchased and used the product –spanning all gender, ages, and race, have experienced devastating adverse reactions to the product, consisting of mild to severe rashes, dryness, bleeding, blistering, cracking, and loss of pigmentation, lasting from a few days, to a few months, and some consumers with long lasting and perhaps permanent symptoms.”

EOS made the following statement:

“Some of you may have seen reports of a lawsuit filed against our company. We wanted to be sure that you, our valued customers and fans, know that the health and well-being of our customers is our top priority,” the company posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday, January 13. “Our products are safe to use, are made with the highest-quality ingredients and they all meet or exceed all safety and quality standards set out by our industry. An independent laboratory puts each of our products through a battery of rigorous testing to ensure this is the case. For these reasons, we firmly believe this lawsuit is without merit, and we will continue to create new and exciting products that delight our customers. Thank you. EOS.”

Skechers Sued for Shape-Up Shoe Injury

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Holly Ward, a 38-year-old Ohio woman, has filed a class action lawsuit against Skechers, claiming that their popular brand of toning shoes called Shape-Ups caused stress fractures in both her hips.

Ward, a waitress, said that because of the hip fractures, she now has to endure physical therapy and has had pins inserted into both hips. She believes the cause is extended use of the Sketcher’s Shape-Ups while waitressing. She developed pain in her hips after wearing the shoes for approximately five months.

Ward’s lawyer, Ronald Johnson, pointed out in a statement, “We do not know of any testing or safety studies that Skechers did to determine safety. If they’re going to invent a whole new way for a human being to walk, the very first thing they should do is studies to make sure that’s not going to harm their customers.”

Salt Lake City chiropractor Mark Dudley, in addition to many other orthopedic doctors contacted by ABC News, has been quoted as saying that while a stress fracture in both hips is possible, it would be highly unlikely. Dudley said, “When people wear these shoes, their biomechanics do change, and they’re told to step differently with those shoes.” He suggested that women wanting to wear the shoes should ease into wearing them gradually. Dudley also said other health factors such as slips, falls, or body alignment issues could have been factors in Ward’s his fractures. Dudley did have positive things to say about the shoes, “I think these shoes are good, I think exercising is fantastic.” He added, “Any excuse to help motivate people and get out and start moving is good, as long as your body can handle and adapt to it.”

While Johnson says he has heard from other women with similar problems, Skechers issued a statement saying, “Since this lawsuit is brand new, Skechers has not had an opportunity to thoroughly review the plaintiff’s allegations, claims, or medical records. Millions of people wear Shape-ups without experiencing what the plaintiff alleges.”

Class Action Lawsuit over Taco Bell’s Beef

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Taco Bell in the federal court in California on behalf of Amanda Obney. The lawsuit claims that Taco Bell’s beef is anything but. Obney is suing the company for false advertising for calling the filling they use in their products “beef.”

Taco Bell calls the product “seasoned ground beef” or “seasoned beef.” But, it actually contains only 35 percent beef, for a total of 15 percent protein overall claims the lawyer who filed the suit, W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III of the Montgomery, Ala. Law firm Beasley Allen. The lawsuit claims the rest of Taco Bell’s ground “beef” is made with such items as water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate.

Miles states, “Taco Bell’s definition of ‘seasoned beef’ does not conform to consumers’ reasonable expectation or ordinary meaning of seasoned beef, which is beef and seasonings.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines beef as “flesh of cattle.”

While Taco Bell uses real chicken and carne asada steak in other products, the lawsuit claims the beef is “not beef.” The lawsuit also contends that within the industry, Taco Bell officials refer to the beef as “taco meat filling.” The lawsuit is not asking for any monetary damages, simply that the company stop advertising the filling as beef.

Taco Bell has said the lawsuit is “absolutely wrong” and plans its own legal action. A statement was released which said, “We start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef. Then we simmer it in our proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture.”

Birth Control Pill Lawsuits

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Birth control pills have been used by the public since 1960, but that doesn’t always mean they are safe. There are currently several lawsuits against manufacturers of birth control pills.

Yaz

There are several lawsuits filed again the manufacturers of Yaz, also known as Yasmin and Ocella. This drug has also been used to treat acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for use in 2001, but some users have reported serious side effects which include heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, kidney damage, gallbladder disease and removal, and even death. The FDA has yet to release an official warning about Yaz or issue a recall, but several lawsuits have been filed.

Ortho Evra

Ortho Evra is a birth control patch which releases ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin into the blood stream, thus preventing ovulation. The FDA approved Ortho Evra in 2002, but some users have reported serious side effects which include blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and venous thromboembolism (VTE), which can lead to pulmonary embolism. A study conducted on the behalf of Johnson and Johnson resulted in a warning being added to labels that women between the ages of 15 and 44 were at a higher risk of VTE if they used Ortho Evra. However, the FDA still thinks Ortho Evra is safe and effective. Still, numerous lawsuits have been filed by those who feel they were harmed by the patch.

If you have taken either Yaz or used an Ortho Evra patch and suffered from serious side effects, you should contact an attorney to protect your legal rights.