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Keyless Ignition Systems Could Lead to Fatal Carbon Monoxide Buildup

by Staff Blogger | May 15th, 2018

Being able to start or stop your vehicle with the touch of a button is both convenient and practical. However, the safety of that feature depends on its reliability, and recent reports suggest that not all vehicles shut off when drivers or passengers exit them with keys in hand.

Per a report by the New York Times, keyless ignition systems are standard in more than half of the 17 million vehicles sold every year in the U.S. The keys work by transmitting radio signals from their fobs to the electrical systems of the vehicles, and when the keys are in close proximity to those systems, the vehicles can be started with the touch of a button.

But a combination of vehicles with quiet engines and engines that don’t always shut off when keys are taken from vehicle interiors means that many vehicle owners and their families face extreme dangers—especially when vehicles are parked in garages.

Vehicles that aren’t shut off may continue to run for hours, causing a deadly concentration of carbon monoxide to buildup inside garages. Eventually, the gas may even seep into homes, putting families at risk for fatal inhalation-related complications.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, it’s our goal to product innocent victims from the hidden and not-so-hidden dangers lurking in many common consumer products. Get in touch with our defective product lawyers today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you maximize your chances of getting full compensation.

What Are the Differences Between Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma?

by Staff Blogger | December 12th, 2017

People who are exposed to asbestos may be at risk of developing deadly conditions in and around their lungs, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Both conditions cause similar symptoms during their development, including coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue.

Both conditions are serious and can even be fatal, but some of the differences between them include:

  • Location of the disease – Lung cancer forms in the tissue of the lungs themselves, while mesothelioma typically affects the lining between the lungs and ribs known as the pleura. Both conditions can spread to other parts of the body, with mesothelioma often spreading to the abdominal organs and the heart.
  • Survival rate – The prognosis for both lung cancer and mesothelioma is grim. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is around 18 percent, while it’s less than 10 percent for mesothelioma. Early detection is key, but many sufferers don’t become symptomatic until their diseases have progressed into advanced stages.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we know how devastating mesothelioma can be for patients and their families. Treatment options are often ineffective, and many patients undergo difficult therapies with little hope of going into remission.

If you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, our mesothelioma lawyers want to help. We’ve helped many victims of this condition and their families, and we’ll do everything we can to help you get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Call today for a free consultation.

Talcum Powder Cancer Verdicts Exceed $100 Million

by Staff Blogger | July 4th, 2017

Talcum powder has been manufactured for decades and is commonly used in baby powders, body powders, cosmetics, and feminine washes. In recent years, products containing talcum powder have been linked to ovarian cancer in women. Talcum powders do not break down in the body, compounding the risk the longer the product is used. If you or someone you love developed ovarian cancer after using products containing talcum powder, you may be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer.

In a landmark case, jurors awarded $72 million in damages to a family of a 62-year old woman who died of ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products for decades. During the trial, evidence showed that Johnson & Johnson knew the risk of ovarian cancer linked to their products, but kept them on the shelves anyway. Soon after, another jury awarded $55 million to a woman in Missouri. To date, more than 1,200 lawsuits have been filed connected to talcum powder.

If you or someone you love was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call our defective product lawyers today for a free evaluation of your case. You may have a strong product liability case, and we’re happy to help you determine your next steps. Contact us today.

Something to Talc About

by Christina Feller | March 24th, 2016

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Every day we hear news of another drug or device causing injuries and often women are the victims. Women are more likely to use prescription drug medications than men by a large margin, 53.5 percent to 43.2 percent, and prescription drug use is rising steadily.[1] Drug companies are targeting women in every natural phase of their lives with misleading advertisements and manufactured diseases. Frequently the products they advertise are later proven to be ineffective, unnecessary, and sometimes deadly.

Without touching on any stereotypes, it is safe to say that women differ from men anatomically and physiologically. Drugs and medical devices respond differently in women and men, yet historically, women have been underrepresented in drug and medical device trials. The FDA actually recommended excluding women of child bearing age from studies fearing fetal harm. In the 1990s, the FDA changed course and began advocating the inclusion of women in clinical studies and in 2011 submitted draft guidance for the evaluation of sex differences in medical device clinical studies.[2] These guidelines are a step in the right direction, but progress has been slow and more transparency is needed.

Talcum powder is a great example of product marketing that played on female insecurities and resulted in unnecessary harm. Talcum powder has been used cosmetically for decades and was advertised as a safe product to mask genital odor with slogans like “a sprinkle a day keeps the odor away” and “your body perspires in more places than just under your arms.” It seems like a harmless product, often used on babies, so it must be safe, right?  Wrong.  Studies have shown that when used in the perineal area, particles travel up through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes, into the ovaries, where they settle and can cause ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest cancers that affect the female reproductive system.[3]

For decades, the dangers of talcum powder were reported, but no action was taken. The first report linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer came as early as 1971, and numerous studies and publications followed showing the same causal link. In 2003, the journal Anticancer Research published a review of the previous studies which indicated a 33 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who used talcum powder regularly. According to a recent Harvard study, that number could be as high as 42 percent. Two Citizen Petitions have been submitted to the FDA requesting a warning of the risk of developing ovarian cancer, but both were denied. The FDA still has not ruled on whether talc is toxic or safe and the product continues to be unregulated by the federal government.[4]

The first talcum powder case was tried against Johnson & Johnson in October 2013 in South Dakota. The plaintiff used talcum powder regularly for over 30 years and developed ovarian cancer. Talcum powder particles were found in her cancerous tissue.  The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, holding that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn the plaintiff of the risks of developing ovarian cancer after using their product. One of the doctors testifying in this case stated talcum powder could be responsible for over 10,000 ovarian cancer cases per year. The Mississippi Attorney General’s office has also launched an investigation and subpoenaed information on Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder promotions.

In February 2016, a jury awarded a woman’s family $72 million dollars for her injuries caused by Johnson & Johnson. This verdict included $62 million dollars in punitive damages, showing just how upset the jury became after hearing evidence regarding Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to hide the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

At Ferrer, Poirot, Wansbrough, Feller, Daniel, Abney & Linville, we are committed to helping victims of harmful products and devices. Russ Abney, a partner with our firm, was heavily involved in developing and deposing experts for the talcum powder trial that resulted in the recent $72 million dollar verdict. It is our hope that increased awareness, more involvement from the FDA and verdicts like the most recent talcum powder award will encourage large corporations to value human life more than big profits. If you or a loved one suffered from talcum powder side effects and are interested in a talcum powder lawsuit, please call our office at 1-800-521-4492 to speak with our experienced staff who can connect you to a talcum powder attorney.

 


[1] Gu, Q., Dillon, C. and Burt, V. 2010.  “Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008.”   NCHS Data Brief, no 42.  Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.  September 2010.  Web. 19 February 2014.

[2] Diaz, Robyn and Steuer, Katherine.  Reforming Women’s Health Research: A Renewed Focus on Sex Differences in Clinical Trials.”  ABA Health Esource.  Vol. 8 Num. 7.  19 March 2012.  Web. 19 February 2014.

[3] U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. “United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2010 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report.” Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute.   2013.  Web. 20 February 2014.

[4]  Epstein, Samuel. “Talcum Powder: The Hidden Dangers.”  The Huffington Post.  21 September 2009.  Web. 21 February 2014.

E-Cigarettes Linked to Serious Injuries

by Staff Blogger | March 1st, 2016

Over the past few years, e-cigarettes have garnered incredible success, making millions for manufacturers. These devices contain a cartridge filled with nicotine solution. Battery operated coils heat this solution and turn it into a vapor, which the user inhales. Part of the appeal for these devices is the assumption that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. However, many users are discovering that some e-cigarettes pose significant injury risk.

Recently, there have been several reports of the lithium ion batteries that power e-cigarettes catching fire or even exploding. At least one-third of these fires occur while the e-cigarette is in use, causing severe injuries to the user, such as:

  • Severe burns and scarring
  • Loss of vision
  • Finger amputations
  • Facial and limb disfigurement

The other two-thirds of incidents occur while the device is still on the charger, leading to home fires that endanger lives and cause substantial financial loss. The e-cigarette industry remains unregulated, putting millions of Americans using these devices at risk of bodily harm. At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we believe these manufacturers should be held accountable for the injuries their products cause, which is why our product liability lawyers are actively seeking cases involving defective e-cigarette devices.

If you or someone you love was injured by a defective e-cigarette, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. Call us today for a free evaluation of your claim.

Transvaginal Mesh Case Verdicts Can Be Significant

by Staff Blogger | February 16th, 2016

For years, transvaginal mesh was used in surgeries to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women. The mesh was surgically implanted to keep internal organs in place so they didn’t sag within the body cavity. Although initial results seemed promising, in the last several years, transvaginal mesh has been linked to serious and painful health conditions that can require additional surgeries to correct.

Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough is actively taking cases of individuals who suffered complications due to transvaginal mesh implants. And now, some of these cases are being settled for millions of dollars. For example, an $11 million verdict was recently returned in New Jersey against Ethicon for injuries caused by its Gynecare Prolift, a transvaginal mesh product. In addition, a $3.27 million verdict was awarded to a woman in West Virginia for a similar product.

If you suffered medical complications from a transvaginal mesh implant, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our product liability attorneys today for a free evaluation of your claim. We’ll investigate your case and help you hold the manufacturer that is responsible accountable. At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we’ve been helping the victims of defective products for more than 35 years, and we’re ready to help you too. Contact us today.

Letter to the FDA Addresses Risks of Power Morcellator Cancer

by Staff Blogger | December 29th, 2015

Controversy continues to swirl around the use of a device known as the power morcellator to remove uterine fibroids from the bodies of women.

In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered doctors and surgeons to discontinue the use of the power morcellator when performing procedures like hysterectomies due to an increased risk of the patient developing cancer. Research linked the disease to the device after it was discovered that dormant cancerous cells could be released into the body by the device, which led to several power morcellator cancer lawsuits being filed.

Doctors are now contesting these claims, saying the FDA relied on flawed research when issuing the ruling. An article from Reuters explains the medical professionals say the studies that were used during the FDA’s decision-making process were flawed and lacked credibility. For instance, the studies included three cases where the patient developed leiomyoma, which doesn’t meet the current standards and definitions for cancer.

The doctors go on to claim that making women undergo more invasive procedures than the use of the power morcellator increases the risks for hospital-acquired infections and other surgical complications, including death.

The legal staff at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough recognize the dangers the use of a defective medical product can pose to patients and our team is anxiously awaiting the FDA’s response to the claims that have recently been made regarding the use of the power morcellator during surgery.

Automated Endoscope Washing Machines to be Recalled by the FDA

by Staff Blogger | December 22nd, 2015

Hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading causes of hospital readmittance in the United States today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that as many as 700,000 such infections are reported each year.

With so many infections being reported, many wonder what is causing this phenomenon. The defective medical device lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain that it seems as though a lack of proper sanitation may be to blame in a number of cases.

Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled as many as 2,800 automated endoscope washing machines made by Custom Ultrasonics after it was discovered that the devices may not completely sanitize the devices they cleanse.

The problem was first discovered in 2007, but the company was allowed to continue marketing the devices after changes were made to the product’s software. However, continued violations were highlighted during a recent FDA inspection of the company’s manufacturing facility and has resulted in the agency calling for the defective medical products to be pulled from the market.

The FDA is also encouraging anyone who has acquired an infection as a result of using a device that wasn’t properly sanitized by the affected machines to report their injuries to the agency.

The legal staff at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are hopeful these actions will be enough to protect the health and safety of patients undergoing medical procedures nationwide.

 

Boston Scientific’s Chariot Guided Sheath Faces FDA Recall

by Staff Blogger | December 15th, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with the task of regulating the safety of medical products in our country. When a product doesn’t meet certain standards, the agency initiates a recall. One of the latest potentially defective medical products to face an FDA recall is Boston Scientific’s Chariot Guided Sheath.

A long tube that’s used to diagnose and clear blockages in a patient’s blood vessels, reports indicate the shaft of the Chariot Guided Sheath’s catheter can separate from the insertion device during an implant procedure.

Officials say the pieces that can break free from the device may become lodged in a patient’s circulatory system, which can lead to stroke, heart attack, or damage to the kidneys. According to the Boston Business Journal, there have been 21 reports received of the Chariot device malfunctioning. No fatalities have been reported.

This is the second recall involving the company this year. In November, Boston Scientific partnered with the FDA to recall the RotaWire Elite Guidewire system after documents surfaced indicating the device could break in a patient’s body and cause serious harm.

Being aware of the risks that medical products can pose is one of the best ways to avoid injury. That’s why the defective medical device lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are hopeful this information helps keep you and your loved ones safe.

Popular Medical Devices That Can Prematurely Fail

by Staff Blogger | December 1st, 2015

When Medical Devices Fail

Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a medical device, the product must undergo rigorous testing. However, problems with medical device are often discovered after the product is released to the public.

One of the most common issues with medical devices is abnormal wear and breakage of the device. The attorneys at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough want to share just a few of the high-profile cases involving medical products linked to an increased risk of patient injury.

Rotablator System Breakage

Boston Scientific Corp. has recalled its RotaWire Elite Guidewire and wireClip Torquer Guidewire as part of a system that is used to clear clogged arteries and improve blood flow. The recall was initiated after reports began to surface that the wires could break free from the device, causing perforations. The Boston Globe says that at least one patient has died as a result of the malfunction.

IVC Filters

An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a spider-like device implanted into the largest artery of the body to prevent blood clots from reaching the heart or lungs. The wiry legs of the device have been known to break free though, causing a number of serious health complications.

Hip Replacement Devices

A number of metal-on-metal hip implant devices have been recalled after they were found to prematurely wear out, causing users to suffer pain, inflammation, swelling, and a condition known as metallosis. Many of these cases resulted in the filing of a hip recall lawsuit.

Know Your Rights

If a defective medical product has harmed you, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. You can learn more about your rights and what you can do to protect them by visiting our website.