Articles Posted in Products Liability

Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC partner Will Nefzger is handling cases involving Mavic R-Sys bicycle wheel failures.  The wheel spokes are made of carbon fiber composite.  Carbon fiber composite can and does fatigue over a relatively short period of time.  When the fatigue occurs, the spokes can and do fail.  When the spokes fail, the integrity of the entire wheel is compromised and results in its failure.  Obviously, a catastrophic wheel failure can lead to a crash and very serious injuries or death.
There are a couple of major problems with this.  First, Mavic does not warn its consumers that the spokes fatigue to the point of failure in a relatively short amount of time or give any instructions regarding changing the spokes after a certain amount of time due to fatigue.  Second, even though fatigued to the point of failure, the damage to the spokes often is undetectable.  Thus, a purchaser of the wheel has no notice of the potential problem and most likely will never be able to detect it on its own anyway.  Mavic markets and sells these wheels to casual riders, in addition to more serious riders and racers.
Will Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting these cases from consumers that have been injured as a result of the failure of a Mavic R-Sys wheel.  He is accepting cases on a nationwide basis.

GM announced yesterday that nearly 3.4 million more vehicles will be recalled in light of its review of ignition switch issues following the first set of recalls affecting 2.6 million cars earlier this year. This move brings the total number of vehicles recalled by GM this year over 20 million.

GM admitted in February that its engineers first knew of the ignition switch issues as early as 2004, leading to an investigation into the nearly 11-year delay in recalling the faulty vehicles. Less than two weeks ago, GM announced its decision to dismiss 15 employees, and to discipline 5 additional employees, in wake of the three-month investigation by former federal prosecutor Anton Valuka. While Valuka’s report did not reveal a conspiracy by the corporation to cover up relevant facts over the 11 year delay, it did point to “a pattern of incompetence and neglect” throughout the company, especially in regards to the 20 employees the report found to be the most at fault.

At least thirteen deaths have been attributed to the faulty ignition switch, which can fall out of the “run” position while the vehicle is in operation, shutting down crucial safety features such as airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that the number may, in fact, be much higher.

The company’s CEO, Mary Barra, has said that GM will voluntarily create a program to compensate those who have suffered injuries or death due to the defective cars, but she has not indicated how large that fund may be. According to GM president Dan Ammann, compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg will be in charge of determining who is eligible and to what extent. Feinberg will also be responsible for determining whether there have been more than 13 deaths caused by the defect.

GM is set to start accepting claims on August 1. Bahe, Cook, Cantley & Nefzger, PLC is currently seeking damages for a client who sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by the faulty ignition and air bag deployment. We are also currently reviewing and accepting more of these claims.

Transvaginal mesh is an implant typically manufactured with a plastic material called polypropylene. The product was created to repair conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The mesh is inserted through the vagina in order to provide support for the pelvic organs in the case of pelvic organ prolapse, the vagina in the case of a hysterectomy, and/or the urethra in the case of stress urinary incontinence.

According to court documents, more than 50,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits are not pending in several cases in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Manufacturers facing these mounting lawsuits include American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, Ethicon, Inc. and Coloplast. Endo International, PLC, without admitting fault or liability, agreed last month to pay $830 million to resolve legal claims of approximately 20,000 women who have been injured by transvaginal mesh devices.

Many of these lawsuits claim, among other things, that the transvaginal mesh products are defective in both their design and manufacture which has resulted in side effects such as mesh erosion, severe pain, infection and scarring. In many cases, the spouses of women who have experienced these complications are also bringing claims for loss of consortium.

Less than two weeks ago, two studies were presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting. These studies suggested that even when a woman has undergone surgical removal of a transvaginal mesh device, the injuries allegedly caused by these devices may be permanent. (medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-faulty-mesh-incontinence-women-symptoms.html, HealthDay News, May 19, 2014). The first of these studies followed 123 women who had the devices surgically removed due to chronic pain. Only 67% of these women reported being pain free after recovering from their surgeries. The second study reported that of the 214 women surveyed three years after surgical removal of their transvaginal mesh devices, more than a third continued to suffer moderate-to-severe pain. Similarly, more than a quarter of these patients reported urine leakage at least once a day.

Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting on behalf of women injured by transvaginal mesh.

Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger is currently evaluating legal claims on behalf of men who may have suffered cardiac problems due to their use of AndroGel and other similar testosterone therapy medications.

The FDA began reviewing these products for safety in January after two studies published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that on average the medications doubled the risk of stroke, heart attack, or even death after a mere 90 days of treatment in men over the age of 65 with no heart problems, as well as in men under age 65 with heart problems.   (Stephen R. Braun, “Promoting Low T: A Medical Writer’s Perspective” JAMA Inter. Med. 2013; Lisa M. Schwartz, et. Al, “Low T as in Template: How to Sell Disease” JAMA Intern. Med. 2013).  More recent studies have shown that all men may face a 30% risk increase within weeks of beginning treatment with these products.

Sales of Testosterone replacement therapy products have doubled since 2006, and are expected to triple to $5 billion by 2017.  Some of the more popular testosterone therapy medications include Androgel®, Androderm®, Fortestra®, Axiron®, Testim®, Bio-T-Gel®, Delatestryl®, Depo-Testosterone®, Striant®, and Testopel®. If you or someone you know are using any of these drugs, take caution.  It is also important to be wary of the generic versions of these products.

Since the FDA announced its investigation, law suits against pharmaceutical manufacturers have been increasing exponentially.  Multiple law suits are now active across the country, with claims that (1) the companies failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the increased risks to cardiovascular health and that (2) marketing tactics were not up to the required ethical or legal standards and in fact resulted in prescriptions being issued to men who did not even have low testosterone levels.  The most recent of these lawsuits was filed against Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on May 8th, less than two weeks ago.  Our firm is currently investigating and accepting these cases.

GM is in the process of recalling 2.6 million sedans in order to repair faulty ignition switches and lock cylinders after studies revealed that under certain conditions the ignition switches in these vehicles have a risk of moving out of the “run” position, thus deactivating the airbag deployment process.  GM has stated that if the ignition switch is not in the “run” position at the time of a collision, the air bags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury or fatality.  So far, thirteen deaths have been linked to the faulty ignition and airbag deployment issues.

GM has declared on their website that the vehicles are safe to drive if the driver follows instructions to remove all other keys, key chains, and key rings from the key used to operate their vehicle.  GM states that the weight of just the ignition key by itself has proven insufficient to cause the ignition to shift out of the “run” position, thus making these vehicles safe to drive under these conditions.

While companies do not intentionally manufacture defective products in terms of its design, manufacturing flaws, and/or inadequate warnings, such incidents do occur. This can be a result of a manufacturer’s negligence or recklessness. If an individual is injured or killed due to such a product defect, the product’s manufacturer and/or seller may be held liable for the injuries suffered.

Even if a product has not been recalled, consumers still have the capability to bring a legal action for any injuries suffered due to a defective product as long as the defect is due to a manufacturing error, defective design, or inadequate warnings and/or directions.

Bahe, Cook, Cantley & Nefzger is seeking damages for a client who sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by the faulty ignition and air bag deployment.  The firm is also currently reviewing and accepting more of these cases.

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.