Articles Posted in Products Liability

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced that Graco is recalling 11 models of car seats. The recall affects approximately 3.7 million car seats, one of the largest recalls of car seats ever. Graco said the recall impacts all harness buckles used on “all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013.”

Graco car seats contain a red release button which can be very difficult to unbuckle, or become stuck altogether. The fear is that it would take additional time to remove a child during an emergency.

Graco announce it was offering a new replacement buckle at no cost. People can obtain one by calling 800-345-4109 or emailing consumerservices@gracobaby.com. The recalled models are as follows: the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70 and Smart Seat. The harnessed booster seat models that are part of the recall are as follows: Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is calling for a renewed search for cedar chests with lids that automatically latch shut when closed. Recently a Franklin, Mass. brother and sister suffocated inside one of the chests after they climbed inside and the chest automatically latched shut. The CPSC and Lane Company, Inc. are asking consumers to check their “Lane” and “Virginia Maid” brand cedar chests.

An initial recall of 12 million Lane chests with latches that automatically secure the lid when closed took place almost twenty years ago. The 1996 recall included reports of six children suffocating to death and a seventh suffocation death and two near fatalities occurred between 1996 and 2000.

The old style latches on all “Lane” and “Virginia Maid” brand cedar chests manufactured between 1912 and 1987 need to be replaced. The company now offers new latch/locks free of charge that prevent children from being trapped inside.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reporting that approximately 350,000 GE dehumidifiers in the United States and 2,700 in Canada are being recalled due to a fire risk.

There have been 16 reports involving the recalled dehumidifiers with 5 of these reports being for fires that spread beyond the dehumidifier itself. The recall involves 30, 40, 50, 65-pint dehumidifiers with the GE brand. Consumers should immediately turn off and unplug the dehumidifiers.

For more information and a list of recalled model numbers visit the CPSC website here.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of 1.25 million pacifier holder clips made by Playtex. The pacifier holder clips allow a pacifier to be attached to items like clothing, hi-chairs and strollers in order to attempt to keep the pacifier from falling too far away from the baby. The hazard presented is the potential for clips to crack, become ingested and choked upon.

The CPSC advises to immediately cease use of the clips and contacting Playtex for return of the product. The clips at issue were sold between July 2010 and through October 2013 at major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon. For more information click here.

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A Kentucky woman has filed suit against Mirena IUD manufacturer Bayer Pharmaceuticals, alleging that she suffered substantial injuries as a result of the Mirena IUD. Specifically, the woman alleges that just one year after implantation with the Mirena, it was discovered by her physician that the IUD had migrated outside of her uterus and had adhered to her right fallopian tube. Laparoscopic surgery was required to remove the device.

Now the woman is seeking compensation for severe and permanent injuries, lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. Like thousands of other women nationwide, the plaintiff is alleging that Bayer Pharmaceuticals was aware that the product was defective but failed to adequately warn the public of the product’s substantial risks.
The FDA has previously warned that the Mirena IUD can cause perforation of the uterine wall, ectopic pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, uterine perforation, Group A streptococcal sepsis and pelvic inflammatory disease. The Mirena IUD has also been linked to infertility, interstitial cystitis, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, acne, migraines, decreased libido, mood swings, amenorrhea, depression, pelvic pain and abdominal pain.
Bahe, Cook, Cantley & Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting these cases on behalf of women injured by implantation with the Mirena IUD.

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Transvaginal mesh has been long used in the treatment of conditions such as stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. In recent years however, serious risks and complications associated with the product have increasingly been exposed.

The FDA has released information showing mesh erosion as being the most common and consistently reported complication associated with the medical device. This occurs when the synthetic mesh erodes into the surrounding uterine tissue and perforates the pelvic cavity organs. This often causes chronic pain and can require multiple revision surgeries. In some cases, revision surgeries are inadequate to entirely resolve the complication and remove the embedded mesh.
Many women have reported that the chronic pain they suffered allegedly as a result of implantation with transvaginal mesh has precluded them from performing many daily activities and sexual intercourse.

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Metal-on-metal hip implants have been considered by some to be one of the most hazardous and defective medical products on the market, with some countries such as Great Britain banning the products altogether. A study published in the Orthopedics Journal divulged that within just two years of implantation with metal-on-metal hip implants, over three-fourths of patients observed required a revision surgery. The study further revealed that 92.5% of observed patients had to have a subsequent revision surgery within three years from the date of implantation.
The premature failure of these medical devices has led to mounting lawsuits being filed against metal-on-metal manufacturers nationwide. Such manufacturers include DePuy, Zimmer Durom, Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Biomet, Stryker and Smith and Nephew. Many of these lawsuits claim that the recipients of these implants suffered from dangerously high levels of metal in their blood, a condition known as metallosis, infection, dislocations, femoral stem fractures, false tumor formations and allergic reactions.
Many claim that the devices’ failure stems from a poor manufacturing and engineering process. Some also point to regulatory failures and lack of adequate clinical testing.

Bahe, Cook, Cantley & Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting these cases.

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The last of the bellwether trials in the C.R. Bard transvaginal mesh multi-district litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia involving 5,500 lawsuits is set to commence January 10. Originally scheduled to take place in December, the trial was pushed to January after scheduling conflicts.
The first bellwether trial involving C.R. Bard and plaintiff Donna Cisson resulted in a $2 million verdict. Just days later, the second bellwether case set for trial was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Bellwether trials are a way to assess insight into how juries may decide lawsuits which involve similar facts and allegations. The results of bellwether trials are considered to be indicative of overall trends in a multidistrict litigation.

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The Mirena Intrauterine Device (IUD) has become increasingly popular amongst American women in the last several years, with roughly 10% of women using some form of an intrauterine device. The Mirena is a t-shaped plastic device which is implanted in the uterus and secretes small amounts of a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel. Unlike many contraceptives, which prevent ovulation, the Mirena prevents fertilization and implantation by impeding sperm’s ability to get to a woman’s ovaries and by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall.

Despite the product’s popularity, the list of potential side effects is quite long. These include intermenstrual bleedings and spotting, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, acne, migraines, decreased libido, mood swings, amenorrhea, depression, pelvic pain and abdominal pain.

Further, the FDA has received thousands of complaints regarding more severe complications associated with the Mirena including uterine embedment, uterine perforation, spontaneous migration, pelvic inflammatory disease, sepsis, scarring, damage to organs, interstitial cystitis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Accordingly, the numbers of lawsuits facing the Mirena IUD’s manufacturer, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, are stacking up.

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In a recent investigation highlighted on BBC Newsnight, the plight of the metal-on-metal hip implants is being characterized as a “collective and systematic failure of the regulatory-industrial complex.” According to the report, manufacturers of the metal-on-metal hip implants as well as federal regulators played down studies and evidence pointing to metallosis in patients who received the implants. Metallosis is toxic levels of carcinogenic and neurotoxic metal ions that have chipped off of the implant seeped into the blood and tissue surrounding the implant.

Further, the manufacturers were accused of effectuating design changes in the implants to expand the range of motion that were approved by federal regulators without any clinical testing. It is alleged that these design changes increased the risk of metal leakage from the implant.

At numerous periods both the manufacturers of the implants and the federal regulators charged with overseeing the products had chances to order a suspension, to require additional research, limit the use of metal-on-metal implants, or mandate scheduled censoring of patients’ metal ion levels. Recurrently they did not do so.

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