When we use a product, we rarely think about what could do wrong. We read the directions and see the side effects, and then proceed to use the product. However, when there’s a mistake with the product or with its directions and general information, people can get seriously hurt. This can be any kind of product that you could find in your household or it can also apply to medicine or medical devices. When these If you’ve been harmed by a defective product, you can seek help from Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO.
Let’s take a look at some of the largest mass torts happening in the United States right now, but first, let’s define the term and what these types of cases often entail:
On October 17, 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a recall that spans several companies and multiple grocery stores. The recall was issued because of possible listeria and salmonella contaminated ready-to-eat and premade vegetables. Items potentially affected include corn and onions.
All the recalled vegetables, which initially involved 217 to 940 pounds of salad, were produced by the company McCain Foods. The premade foods are sold at retailers like Walmart, Trader Joe’s, 7-Eleven, Whole Foods, Teeter, Harris, and Kroger.
On July 20, 2018, Bayer announced they would be halting the sale of the Essure birth-control device in the U.S. by the end of the year. An estimated 750,000 devices have been sold, mostly in the United States.
The device, designed to cause sterilization, was approved by the FDA in 2002 and was deemed a nonsurgical alternative to tubal ligation. It was developed by Conceptus Inc. in California and acquired by Bayer in 2013. Essure consists of two-inch-long flexible coils made from nickel and titanium.
Thousands of woman blame the implant for serious health problems including persistent pain and perforations of the uterus and fallopian tubes, autoimmune problems, unintended pregnancies, and migration of the device into the pelvis or abdomen. Some have had to have the device surgically removed.
Paint removers are used daily in the United States by homeowners, construction workers, home repairers, and other professionals. What many may not realize is that paint strippers can be lethal—and their effects can cause a person to collapse and die in a very short amount of time. According to an article on Slate, at least three people died last year when using pain strippers on bathtubs and other items.
The chemical in paint removers that’s fatal is called methylene chloride. Research suggests that methylene chloride can cause cancer and carries other long-term health risks, but the main concern is that it places users at risk for asphyxiation. Methylene chloride acts as an anesthetic at high doses, knocking users out and stopping them from breathing when the fumes are inhaled in an enclosed area. More than 50 deaths in the U.S. have been linked to the chemical since 1980.
When undergoing surgery, it’s common for people to be nervous about the procedure. They may worry more if the surgery involves adding a medical device to their bodies. One medical device that people may receive is surgical mesh, which helps damaged tissues by providing them with support.
But sometimes surgical mesh doesn’t do its job and causes more health problems for the patient that requires more surgery to correct them. If this happens to you, you should know that you don’t have to go through this alone. An Omaha hernia mesh lawyer from Welsh & Welsh can go over your case and get you compensation for your injuries.
Last October, a three-day hearing was held to discuss the safety of a product used during surgeries. 3M Products is a manufacturing company that makes the Bair Hugger warming blanket, which has caused a number of infections for people who have undergone surgery. The Bair Hugger blanket is a warming blanket meant to keep patients warm during surgery and help with healing.
It’s also supposed to prevent infections. Many people have come forward and said the forced-air device caused an infection during serious surgeries, such as joint-replacement surgeries. The surgical site needs to be sterile and safe so the patient doesn’t receive an infection and get health complications later on. But the Bair Hugger device may not keep the surgical site completely sterile.
Evidence suggests that in some cases, the device carried air with bacteria onto the patients and prevented the air flow that kept the bacteria away from the surgical site. The contaminated air got into the surgical site and caused deep-joint bone infections.
Eva Echeverria recently sued Johnson & Johnson last August for $417 million dollars because she claims their talcum powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The 63-year-old woman says she had used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder on a regular basis since she was 11.
There are hundreds of other ongoing cases against Johnson & Johnson in California. Echeverria, who lives in Los Angeles, is part of a handful of people who have verdicts against the company.
Echeverria stated during the court case that she wouldn’t have continued to purchase the powder if there had been a label informing the buyer of possible risk of ovarian cancer. Legally, Johnson & Johnson didn’t have to do this because powder is considered a cosmetic, so the US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have to review it.
Surgical blankets are used during long surgeries to help regulate a patient’s body temperature. One of the most popular surgical blankets, used in 4 out of 5 hospitals today, is the 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket. Since 1987, the Bair Hugger has been used in over 200 million surgeries nationwide.
The Bair Hugger warming blanket works by sending heated air through a hose and into a blanket that is draped over a patient during long surgical procedures. These single use blankets are common in orthopedic joint replacement surgeries, like knee and hip replacements.
Artificial joints are especially susceptible to infection. Bacteria naturally found in the air enters the body and immediately begins to search for a place to settle and grow. Anything that is artificial inside the human body will be a bacteria’s first choice location, as it is not living material with antibodies ready to fight the bacteria off.
A mass tort lawsuit, often referred to as a multidistrict litigation claim or MDL claim, is a type of personal injury case consisting of multiple claims from multiple clients across different areas going up against the same company, institution, or group. Plaintiff attorneys work together to handle the claims and bring them before a judge and jury as one cohesive case. This simplifies the trial process for every client and lawyer involved and helps strengthen the overall case.
The most common types of mass torts are product liability claims and dangerous drug lawsuits. Defective medical device claims are also common. These claims are ideal for multidistrict litigation since the claims often mirror one another. When multiple plaintiffs file claims against a drug manufacturer, for instance, the victims often share common complications, symptoms, and negative side effects that serve as grounds for that lawsuit.
Flexible hernia mesh patches are often used to repair abdominal wall (ventral) hernias in patients to reduce the chances of hernia recurrence. Having a hernia patch inserted during repair surgery can also lessen the amount of complications that may cause the patient to require extra surgeries. Most types of hernia patches are made from porous, bioabsorbable materials that the body is able to partially absorb. This allows the body’s tissues to become stronger over time, reducing the chance of recurrence.
Many patients undergoing hernia repair surgery understandably ask themselves, “How dangerous is hernia mesh?” All surgeries are potentially dangerous, of course, but repair surgery that involves a hernia patch is generally safe and less invasive than other types of repair procedures that require the use of temporary sutures or multiple surgeries. Due to the natural components of most flexible hernia patches, the body’s tissues rarely react negatively to the patch, allowing for a faster and safer recovery.