FAQs About Dangerous Drug Mass Torts
Here, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive about dangerous drug mass tort cases. Start learning the answers to your questions by browsing our frequently asked question section.
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Have any warnings been issued about Johnson & Johnson's baby powder?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not issued any formal warnings about the risk of talcum powder but is currently reviewing scientific studies and reports of asbestos contamination in talcum-based products. Talcum powder is not a drug that is regulated by the FDA. Instead, it is classified as a cosmetic under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
How the FDA Regulates Cosmetics
- Does not review or approve cosmetic products before they are sold to consumers in the United States
- Requires cosmetics to be properly labeled with all ingredients
- Requires cosmetics to be safe when used according to the directions on the label or consistent with customary use
- Monitors for safety problems with cosmetics and takes action when necessary to protect the public. However, any action may only be taken if the FDA has, “… sound scientific data to show that it is harmful under its intended use.”
Therefore, as a cosmetic, talcum powder is regulated in a very different way than prescription medications.
The FDA Has Not Issued a Talcum Powder Warning... But Others Have
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that repeatedly inhaling talc could hurt the lungs.
The World Health Organization through its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) claims that talc-based products are generally non-carcinogenic, but maintains that there could be a small risk of cancer when a talc-based powder is used on the genitals.
Additionally, the European Union has banned talc as an ingredient in cosmetic products. However, talc can still be used in cosmetic products in the United States and, to date, no agency has issued a strong warning about its safety.
What Johnson & Johnson Knew and When It Knew It
In the past, including in a lawsuit brought by a woman with mesothelioma in the late 1990s, Johnson & Johnson claimed that its baby powder was asbestos-free. However, the results of a Reuters investigation released in December 2018 found that Johnson & Johnson knew otherwise.
Specifically, the Reuters investigation found that from 1971 through the early 2000s:
- The talc used in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and the finished baby powder itself sometimes contained small amounts of asbestos
- Johnson & Johnson executives and others including scientists and lawyers knew about the test results
- Johnson & Johnson executives and others including scientists and lawyers worried about how to handle the asbestos problem without disclosing the information to federal regulators or the public
- Johnson & Johnson successfully attempted to influence scientific research about the potential health concerns associated with talc and U.S. regulators efforts to limit talc in cosmetics
Johnson & Johnson maintains that it never hid any evidence regarding the safety of its talcum-based products and the Reuters report is “false and misleading.”
You Can Take Action If You’ve Developed Cancer From Talcum Powder
Despite the lack of official warning about the dangers of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based baby powder, it is possible to pursue a legal recovery if you’ve developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after regularly using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.
Thousands of other people have already filed baby powder cancer lawsuits, and a few of these cases have already been heard in court and decided. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits are claiming that they have developed cancer or their loved ones have died from cancer because they used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based baby powder. They further allege that they were not warned about this potential risk before they used the product.
It can be challenging to go up against a big company like Johnson & Johnson on your own, but you don’t have to do this by yourself. You can join with other people who have suffered similar injuries to pursue a mass tort action. Our mass tort lawyers would be happy to meet with you, free of charge, to discuss whether you may have a claim against Johnson & Johnson and how a mass tort case works. Please contact us today to learn more about your rights and your possible recovery.
Are proton pump inhibitors safe for kids?
Acid reflux and gastrointestinal reflux diseases (GERD) are uncomfortable and potentially serious medical conditions that require treatment. One potential treatment is with a class of oral medications known as proton pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors reduce the amount of stomach acid that is produced in the body. Some proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec and Nexium are available without a prescription, while other proton pump inhibitors such as Prevacid and Dexilant require a prescription.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Are Prescribed for Children
Proton pump inhibitors are one option for treating pediatric acid reflux and GERD. In November 2016, researchers published an article about the use of gastric acid inhibitors in infants in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In the abstract for that article, researchers stated, “… proton pump inhibitors are widely and increasingly used, often without objective evidence or investigations to guide treatment.”
Different Studies Find Proton Pump Inhibitor Problems for Children
Despite their widespread use for infants and children, proton pump inhibitors may cause potentially serious side effects for children. These side effects include increased risks of:
- Respiratory infections
- Gastrointestinal tract infections
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Magnesium deficiency
- Bone fractures
- A significant increase in stomach acid once the medication is stopped
In the January 2018 Archives of Disease in Childhood researchers also cautioned that proton pump inhibitors could pose toxicity risks for infants and children that are not yet fully known.
Later in 2018, different researchers published a study in JAMA Otolaryngol Head & Neck Surgery. This study looked at the medical charts of 293 children under the age of two who had abnormal results on videofluoroscopic swallow studies at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2015 with follow-up in 2015 or 2016. According to the study:
- Approximately 53% of the 293 children had aspiration, and the other 47% had isolated laryngeal penetration.
- About half of the 293 children were hospitalized.
- Approximately 51% of the children with swallowing difficulties took proton pump inhibitors.
- Children who took proton pump inhibitors were about twice as likely to be hospitalized and two to three times as likely to spend the night in the hospital as compared with children in the study who did not take proton pump inhibitors.
According to the researchers who conducted the study and wrote the findings, “These results support growing concerns about potential risks of PPIs and suggest the need to reevaluate the use of pharmacologic acid suppression in children with aspiration…”
What to Do If Your Child Is Hurt by a Proton Pump Inhibitor Medication
Proton pump inhibitors have been on the market in the United States for decades. During this time, millions of people, including children, have taken the medication and may have been unaware of the serious side effects that could occur.
Pharmaceutical companies that make proton pump inhibitors have a duty to:
- Design safe medications
- Manufacture safe medications
- Provide reasonable warnings about a medication’s side effects.
If a pharmaceutical company fails to do one of these three things and your child is hurt as a result, then you may have a legal claim against the pharmaceutical company.
Pharmaceutical injury cases can be difficult to bring on your own. You need a lot of information that is in possession of the pharmaceutical company. Safety studies, manufacturing records, and other information may be important to your case.
You shouldn’t have to worry about how to get this information and make a successful claim as you care for your child. Instead, you have the right to work with a mass tort lawyer who can represent your child’s unique interests.
A mass tort case is not the same as a class action case. You may be able to share the costs of litigation and discovery with others who have been similarly hurt, but your lawyer will fight for your child’s personal recovery in a mass tort lawsuit.
To learn more about protecting your child’s rights, please contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Who takes Taxotere?
Taxotere is a type of chemotherapy drug that is used to fight various forms of cancer. It is available only by prescription and only for the treatment of certain illnesses.
Taxotere Treats Different Forms of Cancer
Currently, Taxotere (docetaxel anhydrous) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of:
- Breast cancer
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Metastatic prostate cancer
- Advanced stomach cancer
- Head and neck cancer
Since Taxotere already has FDA approval, doctors may also prescribe the medication if they think it would be beneficial in the treatment of other conditions such as small cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, and melanoma.
These types of cancers are not unique to one age group or gender. Therefore, Taxotere may be considered for both men and women.
Taxotere is commonly prescribed with other cancer-fighting medications. It is administered by infusion every few weeks. The dosage and frequency of infusion depend on numerous factors including the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, and the height and weight of the patient.
Taxotere—like other forms of chemotherapy—has significant risks. These risks include stomach upset, mouth sores, temporary hair loss, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, and an increased risk of infection. Most of these side effects will go away once chemotherapy treatment ends.
However, one major side effect may be permanent. After Taxotere treatment, some women experience permanent alopecia or hair loss. The consequences of permanent hair loss for women can be significant. This type of injury is about much more than physical appearance. A woman who suffers permanent hair loss may always be reminded of her cancer, and she may suffer from low self-esteem. This may impact her ability to get a job, her confidence, her personal relationships, and her quality of life.
Women Have Suffered Permanent Injuries From Taxotere
Sanofi-Aventis, the pharmaceutical company that makes Taxotere, did not warn women about the risk of permanent alopecia until December 2015. The warning came 19 years after the FDA first approved the drug for use in the United States.
During the 19 years between FDA approval and the drug company’s warning, thousands of women used Taxotere not knowing about the risk they faced. During this time, other chemotherapy drugs were available. These other FDA approved chemotherapy drugs were allegedly as effective as Taxotere in the treatment of cancer, but they did not carry the risk of permanent alopecia.
Women were denied the right to make an informed decision about their cancer treatment because of Sanofi-Aventis’s delay in providing an adequate warning about this known risk. Lawsuits filed by women who suffered permanent alopecia from Taxotere indicate that the drug company knew of the risk by 2005. By 2005, the results of a study that began in the late 1990s showed that 9.2% of women who used Taxotere suffered permanent hair loss. Yet, it would take another decade for Sanofi-Aventis to add a warning about permanent alopecia to its drug label.
How to Get Help If You’re Hurt by Taxotere
Women who have suffered permanent hair loss from Taxotere are taking action to protect their legal rights.
Thousands of women have filed Taxotere cases that are currently part of multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDL means that you may hire your own attorney and retain control over your own settlement, but that you may also share in the efficiencies of having the cases heard in the same court. The first Taxotere trials are scheduled for 2019 and 2020.
Don’t wait any longer to find out about your rights. Our Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire mass tort attorneys are here to help you. If you are a woman who took Taxotere or its generic equivalent to treat breast cancer prior to December 2015 and if you have suffered permanent alopecia, then we encourage you to contact our mass tort lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation about your rights and potential recovery.
Who takes Xarelto and who is at risk of being hurt by this medication?
Xarelto was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011. Since then people in the United States have been able to take Xarelto with a doctor’s prescription.
FDA Approved Uses for Xarelto
Currently, Xarelto may be prescribed in the United States to a person who has:
- Atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem. People with atrial fibrillation have hearts that do not beat as expected. This can cause dangerous and potentially life-threatening blood clots to form. Xarelto can reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes for people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve issue.
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs. Blood clots in the veins of the legs, known as deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the lungs, known as pulmonary embolisms, may be treated with Xarelto. Additionally, people who continue to be at risk for developing these types of blood clots after six months of treatment may take Xarelto to try to prevent future blood clots from forming.
- Recent knee or hip surgery. Xarelto can help prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in people who recently had hip or knee replacement surgery.
- Coronary artery disease or peripheral arterial disease. Xarelto combined with a low dose of aspirin can help reduce the risk of serious heart problems, stroke, or heart attacks in patients with these conditions.
Xarelto is a blood thinner that can prevent dangerous blood clots from forming, but it is not without risks.
Xarelto Users Risk Serious Injuries
As an anticoagulant, Xarelto works by thinning out your blood to prevent clotting. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes Xarelto, advertises Xarelto as “a latest-generation blood thinner” because it specifically targets one blood clotting factor as compared to older generation blood thinners such as Warfarin that impact six different blood clotting factors and interfere with the body’s vitamin K.
However, newer drugs are not synonymous with risk-free drugs. Xarelto creates certain risks for patients, such as:
- An increased risk of dangerous bleeding. Uncontrollable bleeding is a risk for people taking Xarelto. Brain bleeds and internal bleeding are risks that can result in death. Retinal bleeding is also a risk and can cause permanent vision damage. If you are coughing up blood, if you are dizzy or faint, if you experience vision changes, if you develop any amount of paralysis, if you have a cut that won’t stop bleeding, or if you experience any other signs of a potential bleed then it is important to get emergency medical attention.
- An increased risk of blood clots once a patient stops taking the medication. The very risk that you were trying to control by taking Xarelto may increase when you stop taking the drug. Do not stop taking Xarelto without speaking to your doctor. Your doctor may want to put you on a different type of blood thinner to prevent a blood clot and monitor you more closely.
Anyone who takes Xarelto may be at risk of suffering from these serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications. These complications may occur during treatment or soon after treatment ends.
What to Do If You Have Been Hurt by Xarelto
Even though the side effects of Xarelto are now known, that does not mean that your recovery for Xarelto-related injuries will be automatic. Xarelto cases can be difficult for injured people to win. Janssen Pharmaceuticals has had some success at trial on claims brought by people injured by Xarelto or their surviving family members.
Thus, before you pursue a Xarelto claim, it is important to know all of your rights and to understand whether you may truly have a legal case that can result in an award of damages. Our New England Xarelto injury lawyers would be happy to review your potential claim for you, free of charge if you have suffered a Xarelto side effect in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire. To find out more, or to schedule your free consultation with us, please fill out our online contact form or call us directly.
Who is at risk of developing cancer from talcum-based baby powder?
The smell of baby powder may conjure peaceful memories of your child’s infancy or the relaxed feeling you have after a shower. You likely used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based baby powder on your child or yourself without a second thought about its safety.
Now, however, reports have come out, warnings have been issued, and lawsuits have been filed alleging that talcum-based baby powder can cause cancer, and you want to know if you, or a loved one, may be at risk.
The Dangers of Talcum-Based Baby Powder
The primary risk of talcum-based baby powder is that talc is contaminated with asbestos when it is mined. Asbestos is a known carcinogen.
A December 2018 Reuters investigation revealed that Johnson & Johnson has known for decades that asbestos may be in its baby powder. Specifically, Reuters found that from at least 1971 through to the early 2000s, Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder sometimes tested positive for asbestos. Johnson & Johnson allegedly knew about the test results and the dangers of asbestos but failed to tell government regulators or consumers.
According to the World Health Organization, and others, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against the use of any baby powder—whether talc-based or not—because of the potential dangers from inhalation.
While the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet issued a warning about talcum powder and cancer, Health Canada issued a talcum powder warning in December 2018. The Canadian public health agency issued a letter to health care providers advising them to advise their patients to stop using talc in their genital areas because of the risk of ovarian cancer and to avoid breathing in talcum powder to avoid lung problems. The Canadian government is also considering further actions to restrict the use of talc.
Women May Be at Risk for Ovarian Cancer
Some women who have used talcum powder in their genital areas have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that the talcum powder they used near their vaginas traveled to their ovaries and caused ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages. This allows the disease to progress and becomes more difficult to treat. By the time many women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer it is often a stage III or IV cancer and the five-year survival rate may be 50% or less.
Men and Women May Be at Risk for Mesothelioma and Lung Conditions
Like ovarian cancer, mesothelioma often presents with vague symptoms or is asymptomatic in its early stages. In its later stages, mesothelioma is nearly always fatal.
Lung conditions and mesothelioma may develop if talcum powder fibers that contain asbestos are inhaled. While the American Cancer Society does not yet recognize this risk from cosmetic talcum powders, a New Jersey man convinced a court that his mesothelioma was the result of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and Health Canada has linked loose talc powder to decreased lung function, breathing difficulties, and fibrosis. These conditions may affect people of any gender.
Know Your Rights If You Develop Cancer After Using Talcum-Based Baby Powder
The potential dangers of talcum-based powder may impact both men and women. Anyone may be hurt, although the specific injuries that are suffered may depend on how the product was used.
If you have developed ovarian cancer or a lung condition that you think might be related to your use of baby powder, then the time to act is now. Our experienced attorneys would be happy to review your case, free of charge, and to advise you about your legal options. If there is a causal connection between your cancer or lung condition and baby powder, then we will fight for your fair and just recovery. To learn more, please contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule your free consultation.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit if I was hurt by a dangerous drug?
Prescription drug injury lawsuits—like all lawsuits—are subject to laws known as statutes of limitations. Each state has its own statute of limitation laws. These laws provide a certain time by which a person must file a lawsuit in court or forego a claim. The time varies depending on the type of case that you are filing. For example, a personal injury statute of limitations may be different from the statute of limitations for a breach of contract.
Drug injury cases are subject to state statutes of limitation. However, statutes of limitations issues can be complicated in these types of cases because it isn’t always possible to know that you were hurt immediately after taking a medication. Accordingly, it is important to understand the general statute of limitation law, how to comply with the law in a prescription drug injury case, and why you can’t let the statute of limitations expire without filing a case in court.
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island Prescription Drug Injury Statutes of Limitations
The following statutes of limitations apply if you were hurt by a defective drug:
- The Massachusetts Statute of Limitations provides you with three years to file a lawsuit.
- The New Hampshire Statute of Limitations provides you with three years to file a lawsuit.
- The Rhode Island Statute of Limitations provides you with three years to file a lawsuit.
Typically, this means that you must file a formal complaint with the court before the three-year statute of limitations expires. While statutes of limitations typically start running on the date that the action took place that caused your injury, that is not always possible to determine in a defective drug case. Furthermore, your injury may not develop or may not be diagnosed for some time after you take the medication. For this reason, the statute of limitations will begin to run when you knew that you were hurt or when you should have reasonably discovered your injury.
How to Make Sure You Don’t Miss the Statute of Limitations
While every case is different, there are important things that you can do to make sure that you don’t miss the statute of limitations. Specifically, you can:
- See your doctor as soon as you begin to exhibit any symptoms of illness or injury. When you see your doctor, it is important to report all of the medications that you have used, your dosage, and the date that you began and stopped the medications.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. This is important both to your health and to your potential legal case if there is a connection between your symptoms and the medication that you took. It can help create a medical record showing causation and show that you took the recommended medical steps to get better.
- Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can determine both whether you have a potential case and when the statute of limitations began to run.
These steps will help you file your case on time and make a fair recovery.
What Happens If You Miss the Statute of Limitations in Your Drug Injury Case
If you miss the statute of limitations and you file a complaint in court after the statute of limitations has expired, then you can expect the pharmaceutical company to motion the court to dismiss your case. If the court agrees that the statute of limitations has expired, then your case will be dismissed without you recovering anything. The pharmaceutical company will not negotiate a settlement with you because they know that you have no recourse in court.
Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, contact a mass tort lawyer as soon as you think that you might have suffered a prescription drug injury. Our lawyers would be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation initial consultation so that you can learn more about your rights and about how to protect them. Simply call us or reach out to us via this website to schedule your meeting.
What is a prescription medication manufacturing defect?
Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to design, manufacture, and market safe medications. If something goes wrong at any of these three stages, then the consequences can be devastating for many people who take the medication.
What Can Go Wrong During the Manufacturing Stage of a Prescription Medication?
A manufacturing defect happens after the medication has already been safely designed. If the medication had been made according to the specifications of the design and then marketed accordingly, then the prescription drug would not be defective.
In the case of a manufacturing defect, something went wrong while the medication was being made. In other words, the medication was not made according to the specifications in the design. This could happen if, for example:
- An ingredient that was included in the design was left out of the drug during the manufacturing process.
- An ingredient that was not included in the design was added to the product during the manufacturing process.
- The right ingredients were used but at the wrong dosages. This will result in a mediation that is stronger or weaker than expected.
- There were unsanitary or contaminated conditions that tainted one or more batches of the medication.
- The wrong label was attached to the medication.
Since the medication that was created was more dangerous than consumers expected it to be given its design and marketing, it is considered to be defective.
Evidence of a Manufacturing Defect
In order to win a defective manufacturing claim, you will need to prove that:
- The medication was defective and became defective during the manufacturing stage.
- You suffered injuries that occurred because of the medication’s defect.
This will require evidence. Much of the evidence that you need will be in the control of the pharmaceutical company that is trying to defend itself. This may include:
- Design plans for the medication. In order to know if the medication was manufactured incorrectly, you need to know if it was made according to the approved design.
- Samples of the medication. The samples can be tested to determine what is in them.
- Quality assurance reports or witness testimony. This can help you determine if anything happened during the manufacturing process that should not have happened.
Obviously, the pharmaceutical company is not going to hand this evidence over to you unless they are legally required to do so. An experienced mass tort lawyer can help you get the evidence you need through the legal discovery process. This may include requests for production of documents, interrogatories, depositions, and other requests that the pharmaceutical company is legally bound to answer.
Get the Damages You Deserve If You Have Been Hurt by a Manufacturing Defect
When a mistake is made in the manufacturing of a medication, serious injuries or death can result. Many people who took the medication, or a batch of the medication, may suffer similar side effects. Together, the injured parties or the loved ones of those who have died may join together in a mass tort action to hold the pharmaceutical company accountable for its negligence.
The pharmaceutical company may aggressively defend itself against your allegations. If you are alone in your attempt to make a legal recovery, then the pharmaceutical company may overwhelm you with its defense.
However, in a mass tort case you and other similarly affected plaintiffs can join forces in discovery and in seeking justice. While you will work together on the legal case, your recovery will be unique. You may recover financial damages for the specific injuries that you suffered.
To learn more about your rights, your recovery, and how a mass tort case works, please contact our mass tort drug injury lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation today. We would be pleased to review the facts of your case, to provide you with our honest opinions, and, if appropriate, to fight for your full and just legal and financial recovery.
The pharmaceutical company did not warn me about the potential side effects of my medication. Is the pharmaceutical company liable for the injuries I suffered?
The pharmaceutical company may be legally responsible for the injuries that you suffered if it knew, or should have known, about the potential injuries and if it failed to warn you about those injuries.
Two Ways a Pharmaceutical Company May Fail to Warn
A pharmaceutical company may have failed to warn you about potential injuries if it:
- Did not mention potential side effects while advertising or marketing the medication. Pharmaceutical companies are not required to advertise their products. However, if they choose to advertise by sending representatives to doctor’s offices, by promoting their medication on social media, or by running television, radio, internet, or print ads, then they must be truthful in their advertisements or marketing efforts. This means that they must disclose the risks of the medication along with the benefits of the medication.
- Did not include information about side effects in the warnings or instructions that accompanied the medication. Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to include known side effects in the prescribing information that accompanies a prescription drug.
Copies of advertisements, information about marketing strategies, copies of drug inserts, information about what the drug company knew about potential side effects, and other information that may be important to your claim.
You Deserve to Make a Fair Recovery If the Pharmaceutical Company’s Failure to Warn Resulted in Your Injury
You can only rely on the information that you are given. If the pharmaceutical company fails to provide you with complete or accurate information, then you are forced to make a decision about using a medication without the facts that you need.
This can cause you to make a decision about using a drug that you would not have otherwise made and it can cause you to suffer significant injuries. The failure to warn about a potential side effect can be as dangerous as designing a defective drug or manufacturing a defective drug.
You may not be the only one who was hurt by the pharmaceutical company’s failure to warn. Other people may have suffered similar injuries and together you may be able to join in a mass tort action against the pharmaceutical company—so that you can recover the individual damages that you deserve. To learn more, please contact our prescription drug injury lawyers directly via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights and possible recovery.