Every day, people rely on drugs and medical devices to live better lives and even save their lives. Unfortunately, many companies place profit above safety, which endangers millions of consumers.
In cases where a drug or medical device has caused injury, victims may band together to demand compensation for their injuries, or they can pursue their claim individually. The best choice for you will depend on multiple factors. These include the nature of the defective drug or product and your injuries.
Class and Mass Tort Actions
Class actions and mass torts allow many injury victims to bring claims for similar injuries caused by a defective drug or medical device.
Class action victims file a joint lawsuit and go through a single trial, and all the victims share a portion of the settlement if the case is won. In a mass tort action, each injury victim has his or her own trial and is awarded an individual settlement based on the facts of the case. A court approves a mass tort claim if there are multiple victims in the same geographical area who all have similar injuries.
Defective Medications and Medical Devices Putting Seminole and St. Petersburg Residents at Risk
New products come on the market every day, each with the potential to cause injury to consumers. If a company failed to warn users about the risks, failed to conduct proper testing, or falsely advertised a product in order to profit, consumers are entitled to seek justice and payment for the complications they suffered.
Some of the defective drugs and medical device cases we represent include:
- 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs. Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan may have suffered tinnitus and hearing loss as a result of faulty military-issue earplugs.
- Abilify. This antipsychotic medication is used to treat schizophrenia but has caused compulsive conditions such as pathological gambling.
- Actemra. This rheumatoid arthritis drug is implicated in more than 1,000 patient fatalities, with causes of death including lung disease, heart attack, and stroke.
- Bair Hugger Warming Blankets. This medical device keeps patients warm during surgery, but it is also blamed for causing and encouraging severe bacterial infections.
- Depakote. This medication for the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines is linked to a variety of serious side effects, including birth defects.
- DePuy Attune Knee Implants. These devices are more likely to loosen or break away from the bone than other implants, causing extreme pain, swelling, and lost bone and muscle tissue.
- Essure. The Essure implant was marketed as a way for women to achieve permanent birth control without undergoing surgery, but some women suffered organ perforation and severe bleeding.
- Hernia Mesh. Physiomesh, C-Qur, and other hernia mesh implants used to treat organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence are known to cause pain, infection, and even bowel perforation.
- Invokana and Farxiga. Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are given to patients with type 2 diabetes, and they have been linked to heart problems, kidney failure, and ketoacidosis.
- IVC Filters. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters were created to catch blood clots in surgery patients who are resistant to anticoagulants. If these devices are left in a patient’s body, they can break apart and migrate to the heart and lungs; perforate or become embedded in tissues; and even lead to pulmonary embolism.
- Januvia, Janumet, Byetta, and Victoza. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warnings about the potential for side effects with these diabetes medications, including pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer.
- Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants (DePuy, Zimmer, Biomet, Wright Medical). The grinding together of all-metal hip joints has led to device loosening and failure, inflammatory response, and metal toxicity (metallosis) requiring revision surgery.
- Onglyza, Kombiglyze and Kombiglyze XR. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced these diabetes medicines may increase a patient’s risk of heart failure.
- OxyContin and Oxycodone. Manufacturers of these prescription painkillers have faced lawsuits for encouraging off-label uses and failing to disclose the risks of abuse and addiction associated with the drug.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Aciphex, Protonix, Zegerid, Dexilent). Patients who depend on heartburn relief offered by these drugs may not be aware of an increased chance of kidney failure.
- Propecia and Proscar. The active ingredient in this hair loss medication is linked to sexual dysfunction and male breast cancer.
- Risperdal. Gynecomastia, also known as male breast enlargement, has been reported in patients taking this schizophrenia medication.
- Roundup Weed Killer. This common herbicide recently came under fire for its associations with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, soft tissue carcinoma, and bone cancer.
- Smith & Nephew Modular SMF and REDAPT Hip Implants. Patients have experienced a wide range of ill effects from these implants, including bone loss, blood poisoning, and painful loosening of the device that requires revision surgery.
- Stryker Rejuvenate, ABG II, LFIT V40, and Accolade Hip Implants. Metal corrosion in these implants has led to premature device failure, metallosis, and inflammation that require additional surgeries.
- Talcum Powder. Johnson & Johnson’s popular product, Baby Powder, and other talcum-based powders have recently been linked to the development of ovarian cancer.
- Tasigna. This popular leukemia treatment has caused some patients to suffer high blood pressure, artery disease, chest pain, and kidney problems.
- Taxotere. Many women suffered permanent hair loss as a result of taking this popular chemotherapy drug.
- Valsartan. In 2018, the FDA issued a safety recall of Valsartan products worldwide after discovering several batches of the hypertension medication were contaminated with a carcinogenic compound.
- Viagra and Cialis. Sexual performance medications such as Viagra are suspected of raising the risk of skin cancer (melanoma).
- Xeljanz. This medication prescribed for rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis may increase the risk of potentially fatal blood clots.
- Zimmer Biomet Shoulder. The FDA received so many reports of fractures associated with this shoulder replacement device that the Zimmer Biomet was eventually recalled.
- Zimmer M/L Taper, Kinectiv, and VerSys Hip Components. Reported defects in these hip systems include the release of the metals cobalt and chromium into the bloodstream and extreme pain that leads to revision surgery.
- Zofran. Women who took Zofran to combat nausea during pregnancy could have unknowingly placed their children at risk for birth defects.
- Zostavax. Some patients developed blindness or other serious side effects after receiving the Zostavax shingles vaccine.
How Is a Mass Tort Different from a Florida Injury Case?
The biggest difference between a personal injury case and a mass tort is strength in numbers. While a large company may be able to ignore the claims of one or two injured people, multiple claims affect a company’s reputation and profits, making the company more likely to pay attention.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Under Florida law, an injured person has four years from the time the injury is discovered to file a personal injury or mass tort claim. However, an injury victim should seek the advice of an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible, for a number of reasons.
- First, evidence may be lost or destroyed if an attorney doesn't make a legal request for records pertaining to your claim.
- Second, it will take time to gather evidence and build a case, all of which can add to the time before filing
- Finally, knowing the answers to your questions straight from an attorney prepares you for the road ahead, and lets you know how best to cope with your medical bills and treatment plan as your case progresses.
If you've been hurt or have lost a loved one due to a dangerous drug or medical device, we can help. The Seminole injury attorneys at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis will advise you every step of the way, and you won't pay any fees or costs unless we win your case. Call 727-397-5571 or contact us using the form on this page to begin your first consultation.
General Product Liability Claims in Florida
Not all product liability claims involve drugs and medical devices or even related to healthcare. Defective and dangerous products injure and kill countless Florida residents every year. Sometimes the products release poisons or contain lead, which can impact a growing child's health, and sometimes dangerous and defective products start fires or break bones. All of these injuries are serious and manufacturers who release these products to the general public should be held accountable.