Product Liability


Defective Tires Rolling Back Around


Posted By on Mar 8, 2015

There have been several instances when manufacturers for design or manufacturing defects have recalled millions of tires. The most recent one was announced on March 10, 2015 by Toyo Tires, which involved more than 190,000 tires sold in North and South America. The Japanese tire manufacturer state that these may have a manufacturing defect that affects the integrity of the belt edge.

Such announcements usually excite a blip or two in the news, but certainly not enough to capture the attention of many viewers that may be closely concerned i.e. they have the same kind of tires on their vehicles. That is, until a serious accident happens.

Tire recalls are problematic because of saturation. Even when distributors and dealers pull the products in question out of the market, tires that have already been sold may have gone to car owners that are not aware that they may have a potential problem on their hands. This is compounded by the fact that some distributors and dealers continue to sell these defective tires after a recall has been issued.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the failure to take old and defective tires off the road is an issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Every year, 6,000 people are injured and 200 die in defective tire accidents.

Defective tires are dangerous because they can explode at speed, causing the driver to lose control or the vehicle to roll over. The same applies for old tires, which weaken over time and should be replaced at least once every 6 years even if there is hardly any wear and tear. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, however, many tire blowouts are a result of design or manufacturing defects.

If you have been sustained serious injuries in a defective tire accident, you may have the right to seek compensation for what you have gone through. Consult with a defective tire lawyer in your state to find out your legal options.

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Current Indications for Xarelto


Posted By on Sep 4, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for assessing and approving new drugs that are being proposed to be marketed in the US as well as for deciding if the conditions for which an existing drug is already approved for can be expanded. This is a long, complicated process, requiring extensive preparations including properly designed clinical trials, and even then there is no guarantee that the FDA will give its blessing.

A good example for this is the oral anticoagulant drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban), which was first approved by the FDA in July 2011 for distribution the US, initially for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). Currently, Janssen Pharmaceutical can market Xarelto as a treatment for six conditions, namely:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE)
  • Recurrent DVT or PE post acute venous thromboembolism treatment
  • Post-surgical prophylaxis following knee replacement procedures
  • Post-surgical prophylaxis following hip replacement procedures

This puts Xarelto on the top of other anticoagulants in terms of broadness in its indication profile, and J&J together with the drug’s manufacturer Bayer are making significant efforts to broaden it even more by including acute coronary syndrome (ACS), peripheral artery disease, and embolic stroke. So far, though, the FDA has withheld approval for these latest applications.

Different anticoagulants target specific factors in the coagulation cascade, and may have varying degrees of risk of side effects. Xarelto is a direct factor Xa (10-a) inhibitor, a class of drugs known as “xabans.” According to an article on the website of lawyers Williams Kherkher, serious side effects can happen with Xarelto which include uncontrollable bleeding in the brain and liver failure. Even worse, there is no known way to reverse its effects, which can lead to potentially fatal complications.

If you have been prescribed with Xarelto and suffered serious injuries because of it, you need to get legal representation to help you get compensation. Make an initial consultation with a Xarelto lawyer as soon as possible to find out how to get started.

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manufacturing defects

Most categories for the basis of personal injury require proof of negligence. Manufacturing defects, however, fall under strict liability. This means that even if there is no negligence on the part of the manufacturer, it can still be held liable for any injuries or deaths that result from manufacturing defects.

Manufacturing defects are defined as an unintentional departure from the design of the product which renders the product dangerous to consumers or users. Under the strict liability rule, manufacturing defects renders the manufacturer liable even if “all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product” (American Law Institute, Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability).

Victims of manufacturing defects can sue for compensation for their injuries. Some manufacturing defects have more serious consequences for the user than others, such as car parts. A defective brake, for example, or faulty ignition assembly can malfunction at any time and case a catastrophic accident for the driver, passengers, and other people or vehicles that may be in the immediate vicinity. This can render the car part manufacturer liable for all the injuries or deaths resulting from an accident caused by the defective part.

However, it is not always easy to prove that a part was defective, or that it was this defect that caused an accident. In a car accident, for example, the damage to the car may be so extensive that determining whether a part was defective or not may be impossible. The defense may also propose that it was human error rather than a defective part that was responsible for the incident.

Because the legal ramifications of a manufacturing defects claim can be difficult for a layman to follow, consultation with a products liability lawyer should be the first order of business. It is important to establish as early as possible whether manufacturing defects was the cause of an accident, and a lawyer experienced in these matters will know what steps to take to accomplish this.

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A recurring theme in many da Vinci robot lawsuits naming Intuitive Surgical Inc. as a defendant is that of inadequate training of surgeons in the use of the company’s robotic surgical system. Surgical injuries can occur with robot-assisted surgery in a number of ways, most commonly when blood vessels are nicked or organ linings are punctured by accident. It is also possible for a patient to be harmed when the electric current jumps from the instruments to the patient, causing burns that can lead to serious health issues or even death.

The surgeon’s training comes into play in this last instance with the simple act of cleaning an instrument that came with the da Vinci system in the midst of a procedure. Properly trained surgeons would know not to scrape instruments together to clean them as this causes the protective coating to be scraped off as well. This increases the risk of “arcing,” which is when an electrical current appears to jump from one surface to another.

Plaintiffs in the cases against Intuitive claim that the company knew of this particular risk, yet failed to inform surgeons about it.  Moreover, in order to increase the number of surgeons who are credentialed for its use and thus increase demand for the product, da Vinci system salespeople aggressively push hospitals relax credential requirements for surgeons being trained to use it. Since robot-assisted surgery is physically easier on the surgeon and comes at a premium, the tendency is for surgeons who have credentials to recommend the da Vinci system to their patients needing gynecologic, cardiothoracic, urologic and general surgery.

In most cases where burning occurred, surgeons are seldom listed as a defendant in personal injury claims because they are not considered to be at fault. The manufacturer is responsible for providing users of the new technology with the skills and knowledge to use the tool safely and effectively.

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Over-the-counter medication that is readily available in most household first-aid cabinets now includes warnings about components that could lead to overdoses.

Tylenol, produced by McNEIL-PPC, Inc., now comes in bottles where the caps include warnings that the medication contains acetaminophen, a pain reliever that has long been misused, possibly resulting in overdose and liver problems.

Many people think that over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are harmless and may be ingested with impunity. The truth is, it is easier to abuse and misuse OTC medications because it is so readily available. Pharmaceutical companies are not always so concerned with consumer awareness, which is why the potential for product liability lawsuits is present. Not so with the makers of Tylenol.

In general, acetaminophen is safe as long as the dose does not exceed 3,000 milligrams a day. This is about six tablets of Tylenol, which is a lot even on the most stressful of days. However, an overdose can occur accidentally when the medication is taken with another drug which already contains acetaminophen such as Sudafed or other prescription medication, or when it is mixed with alcohol. In roughly 50% of overdose cases, the excessive amounts were taken deliberately. The most recent additional warnings in the cap is to ensure that no liability can be attached to the drug manufacturer in case of an overdose.

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