What You Need to Know About Dangerous Drugs & Devices
Many Americans seek medical attention to help reduce their pain and suffering as well as improve their quality of life. Prescription medication and implant surgeries such as knee or hip implants can not only change but save lives.
However, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers cut corners where accuracy is most important— the safety of consumers. Insufficient lab testing and ambiguous marketing strategies cost thousands of patients their lives.
Because of the injuries sustained or even loss of life, dangerous drugs, medical devices, and products have brought about thousands of recalls, safety warnings, and lawsuits every year. In the United States, it is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect the health of the public, ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the country’s food, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, tobacco, and other products.
In order for drugs and devices to be sold in the United States, the FDA must approve them. Unfortunately, the FDA frequently inadequately tests medications and products before they are released to the public. Insufficient testing or misleading warning labels often dress up the products, causing patients to accidentally abuse certain drugs or medical devices.
A defective drug is an over-the-counter or prescription medication that can cause physical, intellectual, emotional injury, or even death. A defective device is a faulty device that has malfunctions and can cause severe damages or death to users. Sometimes, these types of cases can be classified as “Mass Torts” in legal terms because of the enormous amount of victims these drugs and products negatively affect.
Common Defective or Dangerous Drugs
Pharmaceutical companies and drug producers have the responsibility to manufacture safe medications and to organize all of the required tests to determine the safety of the drug before human use. Each of these companies is required to include a warning label of any potential side effects on the packaging so that consumers can make their own informed decision to use, or not use, the prescribed medication.
If, or when, a manufacturer fails to do so, you can suffer severe medical or physical consequences or worse, death.
Some of the most common defective or dangerous drugs that have affected our clients are:
- Steroid Injection
- & more
If you do not see the drug that harmed you on the above list, it doesn’t mean that you do not have a claim. Contact our dangerous drugs and devices attorneys about your case at a free, no-obligation consultation today. We serve the entire country with offices in many major cities.
Over the years, medical research has provided us with medications that can improve our health and extend both our quantity and length of life. However, some medicines pose a significant threat to consumers, causing serious injury as a result. Consumers who have been injured due to dangerous drugs can file a product liability claim against any pharmaceutical company that has failed to test or produce drugs in the proper way. Below are some common dangerous drugs and the health risks they cause.
Accutane and Birth Defects
Accutane is a prescription drug that is used as a last resort to treat forms of cystic acne. This drug is prescribed to those who still suffer from cystic acne even after using other types of skin products and antibiotics to treat their acne. While there are many benefits to Accutane, there have been proven results of birth defects when used by pregnant women. There have also been many lawsuits that claim to link this acne-treating drug to depressive or suicidal behavior.
Depo-Provera is a contraceptive that is injected into the body that has been linked to numerous health risks. Women under the age of 35 who have taken the drug in the past five years may face a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer. This drug also increases the risk of developing blood clots in users, possibly leading to pulmonary embolism or stroke. Although all medications have certain foreseeable side effects, drug manufacturers still hold the responsibility to make their products as safe as possible for their intended users and inform them of any known risks they may pose.
Zoloft is a prescription medication to treat forms of depression and anxiety. This drug has been linked to many health issues, including increased risk of suicide, birth defects, bleeding problems (especially when coupled with aspirin, NSAIDs, or other drugs that affect bleeding), seizures, and a brain chemical imbalance called serotonin syndrome. While Zoloft does help many users in the way it is intended, it can also cause severe harm to some.
Defective Medical Devices
Medical device producers hold the same obligation to organize all of the required tests to determine the safety of a device. They must also include any necessary disclaimers on the machine to inform consumers of any side effects or issues the device may cause. If they fail to live up to their legal obligation of doing so, you or a loved one can suffer severe injury or death.
There are two main categories of medical equipment that can cause patient injuries.
- Defective joint replacement parts like:
- Hip implants (DePuy/Pinnacle/ASR)
- Knee implants (Zimmer Persona Knee)
- Modular Redapt Femoral
- Machines/devices intended to treat certain medical problems or are used in surgeries:
- Surgical robots (Da Vinci)
- Gastrointestinal scopes
- Birth control devices (Essure)
- IVC filters used to prevent blood clots (Cook & Bard)
- Power morcellators
If you do not see the particular medical device that harmed or injured you on the above list, it doesn’t mean that you do not have a claim. Contact our dangerous drugs and devices attorneys about your case at a free, no-obligation consultation today. We serve the entire country with offices in many major cities.
Some defective medical devices, such as stents, surgical instruments, pacemakers, and prosthetics, can lead to products liability claims. Although the FDA closely monitors these devices, they can still be defective in the design, production process, or even in their marketing strategies. In some instances, state lawsuits over defective products that are federally approved face strict legal barriers and sometimes receive national attention. Below are some common high-risk medical devices such as stents and defibrillators that link to product liability cases.
Metal hip implants were created to replace the ball-and-socket joint of the hip in a more durable way. Usually consisting of a combination of chromium and cobalt, these metal-on-metal implants were made to be more resistant but unfortunately have been linked to various severe health complications. These issues have resulted in many manufacturers withdrawing their devices from the market.
Transvaginal mesh is a flexible patch that is inserted into a female’s vaginal wall to strengthen its structure. It is usually used to correct two different conditions: stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). SUI is the loss of bladder control due to a cough, sneeze, laughter, exercise, or any other demanding activity. POP is the weakening of the pelvic muscles that allow for the organs to slip out of place. Unfortunately, TV mesh implantation has been linked to many serious complications, including the re-occurrence of POP or SUI, mesh erosion, and organ perforation.
The da Vinci surgical system consists of multiple mechanical arms and a nearby console. Surgeons use these robots from a sitting position at the console, using its high definition, three-dimensional view system, and modern instruments to operate on their patients. Surgical robots were created for a number of reasons, including reducing the risk of a shaking hand missing the mark, providing a clear line of sight to the operating area, and offering surgeons a way to operate from a seating position, so they are less tired by lengthy surgeries. Regrettably, patients have complained of complications after robotic surgery, such as pierced organs and tissue, infections, and electrical burns. These complications have been linked to common mechanical problems, including malfunctioning of the arms, electrical problems, and control freezes.
In June 2021, Philips, a Dutch medical equipment manufacturer, recalled millions of its breathing machines. These machines, used to treat sleep apnea, included CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and Bi-Level PAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) devices, as well as ventilators that were made between 2009 and April 2021.
CPAP and BiPAP machines manufactured by Philips, such as the first-generation DreamStation, use polyester-based polyurethane foam (PE-PUR) to decrease the noise the device produces. Over time, the PE-PUR foam can fragment into particles or release chemical gases that the user may ingest or inhale while sleeping. The particles are toxic, sometimes carcinogenic, and pose a severe risk to the user’s health and life.
The risk is so severe that the FDA has classified the recall as Class I, the most extreme type of recall, and indicates that the device could potentially cause serious injuries or even death.
Philips is recalling the following devices:
- *DreamStation ASV
- *DreamStation ST, AVAPS
- *DreamStation CPAP, Auto CPAP, BiPAP
- *DreamStation GO CPAP, APAP
- A-Series BiPAP V30 Auto Ventilator
- A-Series BiPAP A40
- A-Series BiPap A30
- C Series ASV, S/T, AVAPS
- Dorma 400, 500 CPAP
- E30 (Emergency Use Authorization)
- Garbin Plus, Aeris, LifeVent Ventilator
- OmniLab Advanced+ In-Lab Titration Device
- REMStar SE Auto CPAP
- SystemOne ASV4
- SystemOne (Q series)
- Trilogy 100 Ventilator
- Trilogy 200 Ventilator
These Philips devices are being recalled because of the foam breaking down into toxic particles and discharging chemicals. If this occurs, black debris can seep into the machine’s air pathways and unknowingly become inhaled or swallowed by the person using the machine.
Philips has admitted that they have received many complaints from users about black debris and particles being present in their machines’ airways.
According to the FDA, the shedding of the foam particles and chemicals can lead to serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause long-term disability, and have a need for medical intervention to prevent irreversible injury. Adverse health impacts include significant respiratory inflammation and irritation that may directly result from the poisonous and carcinogenic effects of chemicals produced by the machines being inhaled. Philips has also acknowledged that exposure and inhalation of these hazardous chemicals can trigger headaches, irritation, hypersensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Possible threats of exposure include negative impacts to the lungs, kidneys, liver, respiratory disease, and cancer.
Potential cancer caused by degrading foam in these CPAP/BiPAP machines include:
- Bladder Cancer
- Brain Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Nasal Cancer
- Nasopharyngeal Cancer
- Papillary Carcinoma
- Prostate Cancer
- Rectal Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Throat Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
Serious respiratory injuries that these defective breathing machines can cause include:
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
- Chemical Poisoning
- Chronic Asthma
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Heart Attack
- Interstitial Lung Disease
- Kidney/Renal Disease
- Liver Damage
- Lung/Pulmonary Damage
- Lung/Pulmonary Disease
- Pleural Effusion
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Recurring Pneumonia
- Respiratory Failure
- Severe Ear, Nose, or Throat Inflammation requiring medical intervention
- Make an appointment with your doctor ASAP: make sure that you speak with your physician before stopping or altering your current prescribed therapy. There are some instances where a ventilator provides life-sustaining treatment, or therapy disruption is not acceptable, and the benefits of using the machine outweigh the risks.
- Consider other options: Consult your physician on other adequate treatments for your condition. These could include: stopping the use of your machine, using a machine that is similar but has not been recalled, and substitute treatments for sleep apnea.
- No “Do It Yourself”: Do not remove the foam and continue using your recalled device. Removing the foam can potentially impact the machine’s performance and allow debris to enter the machine.
- Use an inline bacterial filter: Philips recommends this tactic only if your physician deems it necessary to continue using the recalled machine. However, the FDA believes there is no proof that this is a safe and effective way of filter to reduce the risks. Although it may help filter the toxic particles, it does not lessen the outpouring of chemicals that the foam releases. Again, this can also impact the machine’s performance and actually increase the resistance of airflow through the machine. If you choose this alternate form, the FDA suggests closely monitoring your machine for any increased accumulation of debris and resistance-related issues of airflow after you replace the filter.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a severe respiratory disease or cancer after using a Philips CPAP or BiPAP machine, our experienced defective medical device attorneys at The Cochran Firm Cleveland can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Filing a Claim
When someone suffers an injury from a dangerous drug or medical device, a medical malpractice or product liability claim may be an appropriate way to seek compensation for your sufferings.
If your injury occurred due to the malfunction of a medical device, a products liability case may be the better course of action, as it holds the product manufacturer or designer responsible for the injury. Medical malpractice cases may work in some cases where the negligence of the medical practitioner, for their unreasonable action or inaction, was the reason they suffered damage.
Suppose you have been injured due to a prescription medication that had risks you were unaware of. In that case, it is best to file a product liability case to hold the pharmaceutical company responsible for selling a dangerous drug without the correct warning.
No matter what type of dangerous drug or device has harmed you, you deserve to have an experienced lawyer by your side. At The Cochran Firm Cleveland, we understand the impact that dangerous drugs and devices have on the lives of you and your family. Such drugs and devices can cause severe physical damage, emotional pain, medical bills, the inability to work, and even death.
The attorneys at The Cochran Firm Cleveland are experienced in handling cases of this type and can help by:
- Evaluating your claim during a free, no-obligation consultation
- Researching the drug or device in question
- Consulting with their vast network of medical experts for learned advice and testimony
- Fighting for the financial compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other legally recoverable damages you may have suffered
The attorneys at The Cochran Firm have secured over $35 billion in verdicts, settlements, and judgments for our clients. While no claim is guaranteed to result in millions of dollars, we can guarantee that we will do whatever it takes to ensure you are compensated for every cent you are due. We have helped clients across the country receive the justice they deserve:
- Over $1 Billion in recoveries for victims of the weight loss drug Fen-Phen. The lawsuit was against the drug manufacturer American Home Products.
- $182.5 Million Jury Verdict against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Baxter Healthcare Corp., and McKesson Corp gave three clients contaminated vials of propofol that resulted in the individuals contracting hepatitis C.
- $42 Million Jury Verdict against Pfizer, the parent company of the drug manufacturer Warner Lambert Company, on behalf of a client who suffered side effects from the diabetes drug Rezulin.
We are proud to know that much of our work in and out of the courtroom has been vital in changing government and corporate policies for the better. We always set out to obtain the justice our clients deserve. We are prepared to do whatever it may take to make certain that justice is served for you and your loved ones.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous drug or device, contact our tenacious attorneys today. We serve clients throughout the United States.
Why Choose The Cochran Firm Cleveland
Johnnie Cochran had long dreamed of creating a national law firm of men and women from all races, religions, creeds, and backgrounds to show how well we could all work together to make the world a better place. When Mr. Cochran started The Cochran Firm, his mission was “a journey to justice.” Today, with more than 35 offices across more than 20 states, the attorneys at The Cochran Firm work every day to fulfill that dream and continue that mission by working for our clients with the same work ethic and dedication to justice exemplified by Mr. Johnnie Cochran himself.
The Cochran Firm is a diverse group of highly skilled and experienced lawyers that are dedicated to bringing high-quality representation to injured people and their families. Our experienced attorneys at The Cochran Firm Cleveland are among the nation’s most recognized and successful attorneys in the country. When navigating through the legal process, you deserve to have an experienced attorney by your side. Our attorneys at The Cochran Firm Cleveland know how to fight for you.
Here at The Cochran Firm Cleveland, our dangerous drugs and device attorneys are ready to help victims who have been injured by a dangerous drug or device receive the maximum compensation and financial recovery for all injuries sustained. Our attorneys work closely with each of our clients using pooled resources and their access to legal expertise to ensure the most effective legal representation available is provided.
You need the help of an experienced attorney who has proven successful results in other similar cases to guide you through the process and help you to receive the monetary damages you are entitled to under the law. At The Cochran Firm Cleveland, we have the offices, the experience, the results, and the resources to aid clients throughout the northeast Ohio.
If you’re looking for an experienced lawyer to help you pursue justice for your medical costs, lost work, lasting injuries, and more, please contact our defective drugs and device attorneys at The Cochran Firm Cleveland today for your free, no-obligation initial consultation today. 216-333-3333.