Articles Posted in Pharmaceutical Errors

A Colorado jury has signed its verdict for $14.9 million to a couple in Colorado. This medical negligence lawsuit alleged that an outpatient surgery center was negligent in administering a steroid that caused Robbin Smith’s paralysis from the waist down.

The jury determined that The Surgery Center at Lone Tree LLC, the defendant in the case, was negligent in treating Smith in 2013 by injecting a steroid called Kenalog in her spine despite the drug company’s warning. Two years before the injection was done, the drug maker of the steroid drug, Kenalog announced that Kenalog should not be used for epidural procedures as Smith was given.

The Colorado jury found that the surgery center’s negligence and its choosing not to obtain Smith’s informed consent to the steroid injection was a cause of her paralysis. This record-setting verdict was entered on March 23, 2017.
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More than 25 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Corporation, in consolidated cases in the Louisiana federal district court regarding the serious side effects of the blood-thinning drug, Xarelto.

Xarelto has been associated with serious side effects, including internal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, brain bleeds and death.

It has been reported that thousands of individuals — patients who have been prescribed Xarelto as a blood-thinner  — have been affected. The presiding federal judge is Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

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There are more than 2,000 cases filed in the Actos Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) pending before a United States District Court judge in the Western District of Louisiana. The Actos MDL bellwether cases involve identifying two of the best plaintiff cases and a third case selected by the defendant Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Takeda is the manufacturer of Actos, which has been associated with bladder cancer. Actos is in a class of insulin-sensitizing drugs known as Thiazolidinediones, which was approved to treat Type II diabetes.

The Western District of Louisiana bellwether trials are scheduled to start Jan. 27, 2014;  a second will begin in April 2014.

There are about 3,000 cases pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill.  The bellwether process here is under way.  The cases in Chicago’s Circuit Court are being handled by Judge Deborah Dooling. 

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An Illinois jury found that Abbott Laboratories was negligent and ordered it to pay $2,244,063 for an infection suffered by Delores Tietz after she took the rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira.

The Cook County Illinois jury entered its verdict for the plaintiff,  Milton Tietz, who was the personal representative of the Delores Tietz estate. She  died in March 2013.

The jury found that Abbott was negligent for not taking reasonable measures to make sure that Delores Tietz’s doctors had a “high index of suspicion for histoplasmosis,” which is a fungal lung infection. She contracted this infection while taking the arthritis drug, Humira.

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The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments soon on whether a generic drug maker can be held responsible for a patient’s injuries. The case is considered very important for pharmaceutical companies, federal regulators and patients who take generic drugs. Some experts estimate that generics make up 80 percent of all drugs taken by people in the United States.

The case before the high court will involve Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., which sold a drug called sulindac, an anti-inflammatory. This medication was given by a pharmacist to a patient named Karen Bartlett, who was suffering mild shoulder pain in 2004. Bartlett, who lives in New Hampshire, claims she began taking the drug and, only a few weeks later, suffered an intense reaction to it. Her skin began to peel off, she was forced to live in a burn unit in a nearby hospital and later was in a medically induced coma. She lost her vision and is now legally blind. Also, she alleges that the medication permanently damaged her lungs and esophagus.

Bartlett sued Mutual, saying the company should be liable for her injuries. She took her case to federal district court, where a jury awarded her $21 million. An appeals court upheld that verdict in 2010; now the case is headed for the high court.

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A class-action lawsuit brought by a named plaintiff, City of Livonia Employees’ Retirement System, has resulted in a $67.5 million settlement of the class-action lawsuit brought by former shareholders of Wyeth, Inc. The lawsuit alleged that shareholders were misled about the risks associated with the antidepressant, Pristiq.

The settlement was made public on Nov. 9, 2012, one month after Pfizer agreed to pay $164 million to settle a separate lawsuit accusing it of misleading investors about clinical trial results for the arthritis drug, Celebrex.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refused to approve Pristiq to treat “hot flashes” in post-menopausal women until it learned more about the potential for heart and liver side effects, Wyeth share value lost more than $7.6 billion.

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More Yasmin birth control lawsuits have made their way through the court system against the manufacturer Bayer. According to a recent report, Bayer has settled many cases and paid a reported $402 million setting aside another $600 million for future settlements. Approximately 11,000 lawsuits have been filed in the federal multidistrict litigation consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois.

Some of the lawsuits brought by injured plaintiffs are for blood clots while others claimed gall bladder problems.

Bellwether trials, those cases found to be most meritorious, were scheduled to go to trial early in 2012. But the parties instead wanted to mediate cases resulting in settlements in at least some of them. Other settlements have been reached in blood clot lawsuits, but there have been no settlements of gall bladder claims.

GlaxoSmithKline has settled with 38 state attorney generals for $90 million in connection with its unfair and deceptive promotion of a diabetes drug, Avandia. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum led the way in the allegations that GlaxoSmithKline marketed its brand-name medication, Avandia, to treat Type 2 diabetes.

The attorney generals alleged that GlaxoSmithKline misrepresented the drug’s safety or left out facts about its effects on cholesterol and cardiovascular health.

“Our investigation demonstrated that GlaxoSmithKline had little regard for the facts or for the health and safety of the patients it targeted with its misleading marketing,” Illinois Attorney General Madigan stated.

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The New York Times has reported that long-time use of prescription antacid drugs can result in certain illnesses, including severe anemia, bone fracture and infections. The medications can be especially dangerous for older patients, who are urged to used them as briefly as possible.

The Times cited the example of a medical student, Jolene Rudell, who fainted; she assumed that the stress of being in medical school had caused her to pass out. Two weeks later, she lost consciousness again.

Blood tests showed Rudell’s red blood cell count and iron level were dangerously low, even though she is a hearty eater (and a carnivore). Her physician pointed to another possible culprit: a popular drug used by millions of Americans to prevent gastroesophageal acid reflux, or severe heartburn.

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The United States Preventive Services Task Force has issued a draft statement recommending that healthy women should not take low doses of calcium or vitamin D supplements to prevent bone fractures.

The group is an independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care and was appointed by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. In a report, the task force said there was insufficient evidence to recommend taking vitamin D with or without calcium to prevent fractures in postmenopausal women and men.
Scientists who took part in the study said a normal healthy diet provides enough vitamin D and calcium.

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