North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

Articles Posted in Defective Products

Drugs and medications are often the source of product liability claims that stem from patient injury or illness. Although all pharmaceutical companies have a duty to make sure their products are properly tested under U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, the fact that a drug is approved does not shield the manufacturer from liability if the drug proves defective. girlinnature

Many of these cases involve failure to warn. That is, while some products may be unavoidably unsafe (the drug is unsafe no matter how carefully its made, but it still has benefits), the company has a duty to adequately warn users of those dangers. This can be accomplished by directing warnings to “learned intermediaries,” such as the doctor or pharmacist.

Product liability lawsuits are often complex and challenging. Recently, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling that may make it somewhat easier for victims of defective drugs in that state to bring claims against drug companies that fail to make safe drugs or adequately warn of the risks.  Continue reading

A jury in Georgia has ordered medical device manufacturer Wright Medical to pay $11 million in the first federal trial concerning the Conserve hip implant. Of that sizable award, $1 million was in compensatory damages, intended to compensate plaintiff for losses, and $10 million was in punitive damages, intended to punish defendant. skiing

Jurors concluded not only was the hip implant defective and unreasonably dangerous, but that manufacturer misrepresented the safety of those products. For this, jurors determined defendant was 100 percent at fault for plaintiff’s injuries.

Plaintiff, who spent nearly 50 years as a children’s ski instructor and led a very active lifestyle, was advised by doctors to undergo a hip replacement in 2006. Her doctor, based on what he’d been told by manufacturer, told her the metal-on-metal hip replacement model was her best bet. But as we have discovered with so many hip replacement devices, this one failed prematurely. Continue reading

A $6.6 million verdict in favor of an asbestos injury plaintiff was reinstated after the Florida Supreme Court ruled an appellate court had wrongly reversed the trial court’s conclusion of the case. dust

Plaintiff in Aubin v. Union Carbide Corp. was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of terminal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Plaintiff claimed he was exposed to the toxic material by way of a product called SG-210 Caldria, a product designed and manufactured by defendant. He had worked as a construction supervisor at his father’s firm between 1972 and 1974, overseeing construction of a residential development in South Florida, and claimed it was during this time he was exposed to the dust during the sanding and sweeping of drywall compounds and ceiling texture sprays, which contained SG-210 Caldria.

At the time, plaintiff asserted he did not know the compounds he was working with contained asbestos, and therefore had no idea he was at risk of developing the serious illness. Continue reading

A new study conducted by researchers at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame suggests there is a noteworthy correlation between offering substantial stock options to the CEO and future product recalls.
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Published in the Strategic Management Journal, the findings indicate that these stock options, which are often used by boards of directors as a way to encourage CEOs to go after high-risk initiatives, can quite often result in a higher percentage of safety problems.

From the board’s standpoint, they want higher-risk initiatives that have the possibility of earning their shareholders more money. But CEOs tend to naturally be naturally more reticent to take chances. Stock option pay is one way boards try to balance this tendency.
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When Germany-based chemical company BASF acquired a manufacturing firm nine years ago for $5 billion, it was aware that had been prior product liability cases against the company for asbestos exposure.
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The smaller firm had been in the talc-mining business, and as the years wore on, those who worked in the mines, their family members and some in the public began to get sick. Some filed lawsuit once they learned that there was asbestos in the mine, which causes a number of latent diseases, primarily mesothelioma, asbestosis, COPD and lung cancer.

In the early 1980s, the company was sued by an individual who alleged they were harmed by the asbestos in the mines. During the deposition phase of the proceedings, officials with the company conceded there was asbestos in the mines. However, soon after that, before the case could go to trial, the company entered a confidential settlement agreement. The records were sealed. And from that point forward, the line from the company and its legal team was that there was no asbestos in the mines.
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Those who work within the manufacturing industry often rely heavily on large machinery to help them do their jobs. They have a right to expect those machines were thoughtfully designed and carefully manufactured so as to keep workers who use them safe.
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When that does not happen, workers usually have two options of civil remedy. The first is workers’ compensation benefits. Workers file these through their employer to cover their medical costs and a portion of lost wages while they recover. Critical injuries may warrant longer-term benefits, and a death usually entitles dependent relatives to workers’ compensation death benefits. Workers cannot additionally sue their employers for negligence. Workers’ compensation is almost always an exclusive remedy against an employer, as well as co-workers.

The second option for recovery is third-party liability. When a work-related accident was the result of a defective or dangerous machine, careful analysis by an experienced injury lawyer can help determine whether this is a viable option. These cases are often complicated, and, as the recent case of Kirkbride v. Terex USA reveals, they can present significant challenges. But when they are successful, injured workers may have the security of lifelong financial stability, with covered medical expenses and compensation for loss of earning capacity.
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One would think the most dangerous aspect of hunting would be the firearm. Or perhaps even the wild animals. But in fact, one of the leading causes of injury for hunters is the tree stand.
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Tree stands – also sometimes referred to as “deer stands” are platforms used by hunters. They are secured to the tree in order to raise the hunter up higher for a better vantage point.

However, there are many cases every year in which a hunter falls from one of these stands, resulting in severe or sometimes even catastrophic injuries. Not all tree stand falls may be ripe for litigation. But if the reason the hunter fell has to do with a defective design of the tree stand product, compensation from the manufacturer may well be in order.
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When we take medication prescribed by our doctors, we assume those products are as safe as possible and that any known risks will be disclosed so that we can make informed decisions.
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Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Pharmaceutical companies routinely market their drugs for off-label purposes, and they don’t always warn of the potential dangers of this.

This was the case in Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where a jury in California granted $6.5 million to plaintiffs in this product liability case against the maker of the diabetes drug Actos. Despite the verdict, the judge in the case granted a judgment notwithstanding verdict in favor of defendants, after deciding to strike the testimony of plaintiffs’ expert witness post-trial.
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Lawsuits against a blood-thinning drug manufacturer are piling up fast. One of the latest to join a multi-district litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana involving so far 250 complaints pertaining to the drug Xarelto is one that alleges a host of negligence claims in her 90-count complaint. stethascope3.jpg

Among the defendants are Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research, Janssen Ortho LLC, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and others.

The complaint alleges defendants manufactured Xarelto and marketed it as a safe and effective treatment in diminishing the risk of stroke and systemic embolism. However, plaintiff asserts the manufacturers became aware during drug trials that the drug increased the risk of dangerous internal bleeding. Defendants touted the benefits of the drug as outlined in a series of other studies, while failing to similarly highlight the dangers discovered in other studies – specifically the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and and bleeding so severe it required blood transfusions.
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In recent years, wearing large studio style headphones has become extremely popular. One of the main brands people associate with the popular trend is Dre Beats, which were first marketed by hip-hop recording artist and music producer Dr. Dre. Various recording artists, athletes, and Hollywood celebrities are using these headphones, and, as a result, these fairly expensive (around $200 to $400 a pair) headphones have been flying off the shelves of electronic stores, and Apple recently acquired the brand.

stereovision-491558-m.jpgAccording to a recent article from Sound Guys, Apple has announced it will be voluntarily recalling its Dre Beats Pill XL due to problems with “overheating.” Overheating is a relative term, since there have been allegations that the units heated up to the point where people were burned, and the products actually caught on fire.

First, it should be noted, the Beats Pill XL is a pill-shaped speaker, and not a pair of headphones like the other Dre Beats products, which people actually wear on their person. While the reports have ranged from minor overheating to physical burns, Apple has stated it does not want to take any chance with regard to customer safety and has voluntarily recalled the entire run of production for this item.
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