Articles Tagged with medical device

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Personal Injury LawyersA couple weeks ago, another Huntsville lawyer bragged on social media about the number of 3M earplug cases he signed. He posted on multiple social media platforms about his large number of clients and then solicited for more clients. While that lawyer is marketing for these cases, he’s really not handling them. He’s simply signing cases to refer. He’s signing and referring them to a law firm far away from Huntsville – A firm that likely never knows the client and likely never works the local evidence. If you are going to promote yourself as handling a specific type of case, make sure you really do handle those cases. At a minimum, you should probably be admitted to the court where those cases are actually pending!

When it comes to large-scale claims involving defective products or medications, you need an attorney who is actively involved in the court and litigation process. The products can be complicated. Your attorney needs to know more than the talking points to sign clients. He or she needs to know the science and experts behind the products. The legal process can be complicated. Your attorney needs to understand the courts where the claims are pending. Your attorney should be admitted to practice in those courts. He or she needs to understand the legal doctrines that can easily ruin a good case. The medical evidence can be complicated. Your attorney needs to be experienced in developing medical evidence and familiar with the local medical specialists.

Over the years, I’ve received literally hundreds of phone calls from people upset because their case went to some out-of-state law firm where they were simply a number. After a period of time, they realized something was wrong and they were not getting personal service. Nobody personally argued for them in court. Nobody personally prepared their evidence and claims. They started looking locally and then called to ask questions. By the time they called, it was usually too late to fix the damage caused by the huge settlement mill firm that had their case.

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersI recently read an article which indicated almost 2/3 of all injured plaintiffs in mass tort cases were unhappy. That’s no surprise! Many of these individuals suffered very serious injuries only to be lost in a system that treats them like numbers rather than people. The article discusses a study by Georgia Law Professor Elizabeth Burch and Federal Judicial Center visiting scholar Margaret Williams.

What is a mass tort? I’ll use the ongoing Zantac injury claims as an example. Zantac was a drug distributed across the United States for many, many years. You could even buy Zantac without a prescription for many years. The claim is that Zantac is defective and causes cancer. You have a common product used by everyone. But, the injuries (cancer in this case) are unique. Every person suffers uniquely and individually. Our office has filed several Zantac personal injury claims. Each of our clients is unique and deserves individual attention.

How are these mass tort claims handled? Our Federal Courts will typically assign the cases to a single judge for pre-trial purposes like discovery. The idea is that it saves time and resources for a single judge to oversee all pre-trial issues. Once your individual claim is ready for trial, it will be transferred back to the Federal Court where you filed the case. You get a trial on your unique injuries and damages. At least, in theory, that’s how it is supposed to work. The process is called Multi-District Litigation (MDL).

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Injured-by-a-dangerous-drug-or-defective-medical-device-200x300On December 22, the 11th Circuit issued a new opinion dealing with the Learned Intermediary Doctrine under Georgia law. Many states, including Alabama, follow the same or similar versions of this doctrine. The Learned Intermediary Doctrine is a key issue in personal injury cases involving dangerous or defective prescription medications. If you suffered a serious injury from a bad drug, this legal doctrine may decide whether or not you can recover damages for your injuries.

What Is The LEARNED INTERMEDIARY DOCTRINE? How The Doctrine Impacts Bad Medication Cases.

So, what is the learned intermediary doctrine? Let’s start with the new 11th Circuit case, Hubbard v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. The case involved a Georgia lady who suffered a catastrophic stroke while taking the prescription contraceptive Beyaz. Later, she sued Bayer claiming the company failed to warn adequately of the stroke risk.

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Serious Injury? We Can Help.
Consumer health and safety should be the NUMBER ONE GOAL of drug research. Yet, it’s not. The primary goal seems to be greed. Immediate greed for quick and massive profit. For some drug companies that means — conceal bad studies revealing drug dangers, give the FDA just enough positive information to get the drug to market, and then sell as much as possible until the dangers come to light. Because of this, many patients are needlessly injured each year by dangerous and defective drugs that should have never been sold. Often, it’s too late for the families harmed.

Below are just a few recent examples of how drug companies view real research and the documents that explore the safety of their products:

  • Transvaginal Mesh— My office represents numerous women in Huntsville and throughout northern Alabama who suffered injury from mesh products by manufacturers Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Coloplast, and American Medical Systems. These companies marketed their mesh products through a loophole in our law that allows certain dangerous medical devices to be sold prior to proper testing. Basically, the process is turned upside down and sales come before safety testing. Thousands of women suffered serious, and often disabling, injuries after being implanted with these dangerous and defective products. We have worked closely with attorneys in other states. The dedication of the many excellent attorneys representing injured victims of these defective products is the only reason the truth about the dangers is now coming to light. Yet, some manufacturers continue to avoid producing the complete information which the public deserves. On February 4, 2014, the Court hearing the claims against Ethicon, entered an Order saying the following:
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Our firm represents many Alabama clients who suffered serious personal injury from drugs and medical devices. Our current cases in 2013 include claims involving the diabetes drug Actos and transvaginal mesh. If you want to see our current focus on defective products, you can read detailed reports under the Hot Topics section of the Blackwell Law Firm website. When we begin researching a drug or device, I will typically write a report for this section of our website. So, it is regularly updated to include only current topics.

We follow a different philosophy or approach with drug and device cases. Our approach is different than the mass advertising firms you see and hear on television and social media. Those firms typically approach claims by casting a wide net begging for calls. Their approach is to sign-up everything, see what happens, and settle a volume of claims. What is our approach? We focus only on a few products at a time. We know our clients. We work our cases. Why do we limit our approach to only a few products at a time? We want to study these products and gain expertise in their science.

I recently viewed an interesting discussion on an issue important in the medical research. The issue — Why are negative medical tests often concealed or not published? Many consumers (and even doctors) do not realize the extent of research bias. In most cases, your doctor is relying on the directions and warnings approved by the FDA. When the underlying tests are biased (because negative results were omitted), the doctor’s information is not reliable. When it comes to tests, negative results are very important to patient safety.

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