Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough | Injury Law Blog

Zoloft® Side Effects Prompt FDA to Request Warning Label Changes

by Keith Adkins | September 29th, 2015

Warning labels on prescription medications  educate consumers about risks a drug may pose. The problem is, many drug side effects aren’t discovered until after many consumers have been exposed to them.

Recently, a controversy erupted over allegations that warning labels on the antidepressant, Zoloft®, failed to inform female patients of  the risk of congenital heart defects in children if the medication is taken during pregnancy.

Several Zoloft side effects studies showed that taking the drug while pregnant can lead to an increased risk of birth defects, such as persistent pulmonary hypertension or omphalocele.

The makers of Zoloft have maintained the drug is safe for pregnant women despite the findings.

An article from Bloomberg Business says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked Pfizer, Inc., the drug’s manufacturer, to change the warning labels to address the risk of birth defects.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury lawyers are hopeful changes are made to the warning labels on Zoloft to better protect patients and their families.

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Petition Focuses on Antibiotic Side Effect Warnings

by Keith Adkins | September 22nd, 2015

Antibiotics play a crucial role in the treatment of many serious infections, but many can have serious side effects. The Levaquin® injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough think it’s important for you to know the risks associated with this drug in particular.

For years, federal regulators were aware of risks associated with using Levaquin. But because of the drug’s capability of warding off dangerous and serious infections, it remains on the market.

To reduce the number of patients who suffer side effects, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated the warning labels several times over the years. In 2004, warning labels advising patients of the risk of temporary peripheral nervous system damage were added to the drug’s packaging, Then, in 2013, a warning of permanent peripheral nervous system damage was added.

Now, some patients who have experienced Levaquin side effects are calling for another warning label to be added to drug packaging. ABC 2 News reports a petition is calling for a black box warning to be added to Levaquin that informs patients about the risks of developing a condition known as mitochondrial toxicity.

If you are taking Levaquin or another medication to ward off infection, it’s crucial that you’re aware of antibiotic side effects, as well as your rights as a patient. You can learn more about these topics by visiting our website.


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Settlement Offered to Victims of Transvaginal Mesh Complications

by Keith Adkins | September 15th, 2015

Many women suffering from conditions like pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence undergo corrective procedures utilizing transvaginal mesh. Many of these patients have suffered transvaginal mesh complications, including pain, swelling, and perforation of organs or tissue.

Some patients who suffered injuries filed civil litigation against the makers of the transvaginal mesh products. A large portion of these cases may soon be resolved if a settlement offered by one transvaginal mesh maker is approved.

According to Bloomberg Business, transvaginal mesh manufacturer, C.R. Bard, Inc., has offered $200 million dollars to settle roughly 3,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed against them. If the terms of the settlement are approved, it could mean each victim getting as much as $67,000 in compensation.

The decision to offer the settlement came on the heels of a court order for the company to pay a West Virginia woman $2 million in compensation for injuries she sustained due to transvaginal mesh implanted into her body.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we recognize the struggles many victims of a transvaginal mesh failure face along their journey to recovery. That’s why our transvaginal mesh lawyers are hopeful the settlement will bring a sense of closure to each of the victims harmed by Bard’s product.



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Did Pharmaceutical Companies Hide Data Indicating Risperdal Side Effects?

by Keith Adkins | September 8th, 2015

For years, some young male patients using Risperdal® have claimed the medication caused them to develop gynecomastia—a condition in which males develop excessive amounts of breast tissue. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, the makers of the drug, have denied these allegations, but now there may be proof that the medication’s manufacturer hid data indicating there may be a link between Risperdal and gynecomastia.

The Risperdal® drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain that new data was discovered when the results of a study conducted in 2003 were reexamined. Investigators found that certain data and tables in preliminary versions of the study’s conclusions were not present when the study was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the drug approval process.

According to Forbes, early versions of the study showed a large number of young male patients using Risperdal had increased levels of hormones that play a role in breast development. However, this data was not present when the study was submitted to the FDA. Now, the drug makers behind Risperdal are being accused of hiding the data about Risperdal side effects to get the drug approved and boost sales.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury lawyers are hopeful that officials investigate these allegations further.

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The Latest on Bair Hugger™ Hospital Infection Lawsuits

by Keith Adkins | September 1st, 2015

Patients undergoing surgical procedures often need assistance in maintaining their core body temperature while under anesthesia. However, the defective medical device lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough say new studies show one popular medical device used to keep patients warm may be putting their safety at risk.

The Bair HuggerInflatable blanket fills with warm air to keep a patient’s body temperature from dropping to a dangerous level. In fact, it’s so popular, as many as 80 percent of hospitals in the U.S. utilize the device.

While the device may be effective in keeping patients warm, research shows it can increase a patient’s chances of developing an infection. A study published in the The Bone and Joint Journal found that patients who underwent a procedure utilizing the Bair Huggermay face up to a 380 percent increase in the chance of serious infection.

These injuries have resulted in some victims filing Bair Hugger™ hospital infection lawsuits. The victims claim they were not warned about the risks posed by the blanket.

According to Reuters, attorneys for the victims in some of these cases have filed a motion to move certain claims to the U.S. District Court for Minnesota.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we are aware of the serious damages defective medical devices can cause, and our staff is hopeful that the decision reached in the Bair Huggerhospital infection lawsuits will help bring closure to victims and their families.

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Decision Reached in Cymbalta® Withdrawal Lawsuit

by Keith Adkins | August 25th, 2015

Cymbalta® is an antidepressant medication known to cause severe withdrawal symptoms among patients who stop taking the drug. Many patients claim they were not properly warned of how common these side effects are, which has led to a Cymbalta withdrawal lawsuit on behalf of about 250 patients against drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company.

One of the first trials stemming from these lawsuits came to an end in early August, and Eli Lilly was cleared of any wrongdoing. The victim claimed that she began taking Cymbalta in 2006 to treat anxiety. When she tried to stop taking the drug in 2012, she experienced sensations of electricity in her body, as well as other symptoms.

The woman filed suit against Eli Lilly, claiming the company failed to warn patients of the prevalence of withdrawal symptoms. The company states only one percent of patients experience these types of side effects, but another study found as many as 44 percent of patients report such adverse effects.

The courts sided with Eli Lilly finding that the drug manufacturer had sufficiently warned patients and doctors of the risks.

This isn’t the end of the legal battle against Cymbalta, though. According to Claims Journal, three other similar cases are expected to be heard this month.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we understand how drug injuries can impact victims’ lives, and our drug injury attorneys are hopeful the decisions reached in these cases help bring closure to victims and their families.

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Cybersecurity Risks Present New Challenges for Medical Device Manufacturers

by Keith Adkins | August 18th, 2015

Many manufacturers of medical devices now design products that can be integrated with wireless technology. While this can be convenient for sending and receiving data, the defective medical device lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain this technology may also compromise the safety and security of the device.

For example, infusion pumps deliver small amounts of medication to patients over an extended period of time. The amount of drug being delivered can be altered wirelessly in certain units, which may present serious safety risks if a unit is ever hacked.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team identified cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the Symbiq Infusion System. This prompted the agency to instruct facilities using the devices to switch to alternative infusion pump systems immediately. The FDA also offered tips on how to safely make the transition to another system.

While no injuries or deaths have been reported , not all problems with defective medical products are discovered before an incident occurs.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we understand the risks defective medical products pose to patients, and we are hopeful the warnings issued regarding the Symbiq Infusion System can prevent patients from serious harm.


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New Regulations May Increase Defective Medical Device Injury Risk

by Keith Adkins | August 11th, 2015

Regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are supposed to ensure the safety of all drugs and medical devices in the United States. But the defective medical device lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough point out that a proposed law may do more harm than good.

According to Health News Review, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed last month by the House of Representatives and consists of new regulations that would overhaul the FDA’s pre-market approval process for medications and medical devices. The act would allow companies to submit sources other than clinical trials as evidence of a product safety. This would allow simple case histories to replace hard data and facts as proof that a medical device functions properly.

The new rules would also require all companies marketing “breakthrough technologies” to have products approved for use even faster than current laws allow. Considering the number of recalls on defective medical products approved based on minimal safety evidence, this change could present an increased safety risk to the public.

The 21st Century Cures Act would also allow companies to be able to hire third parties to conduct safety testing on products, which may present serious conflicts of interest.

Promoting the protection of the public’s health and safety is a top priority of the legal staff at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbourgh. That’s why we’re hopeful lawmakers will carefully consider the impact of the 21st Century Cures Act will have on the lives of Americans.

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Power Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits Bring Up Liability Questions

by Keith Adkins | August 4th, 2015

Technological advances in the field of medical devices has led to the development of safer and more efficient procedures, but some of these devices may be putting patients’ health in jeopardy.

Hundreds of power morcellator cancer lawsuits were filed after patients developed cancer after undergoing procedures utilizing the devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that women with uterine fibroids have a 1-in-350 chance of carrying cancerous cells. When the morcellator is used to remove fibroids, these cancerous cells can be released into the body where they can metastasize in a very short period of time. The FDA has called for tighter restrictions on the device, and many patients who developed cancer are now seeking compensation.

So, who is responsible for covering the expenses associated with power morcellator cancer? Is the manufacturer of the device to blame? Is the FDA responsible for failing to warn the public about the dangers of the device, or should the doctor who used the device be considered at fault?

One Texas lawmaker stated in the Dallas Observer that the doctor should be held liable. Still others say the manufacturer should have conducted further testing to ensure patient safety.

A petition was started calling for the lawmaker to explain his stance.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our defective product lawyers are hopeful this debate can be useful in determining who is to blame for the hundreds of injuries associated with power morcellators.

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Drug Injury Risks Associated With NSAIDS and Acetaminophen

by Keith Adkins | July 28th, 2015

It’s estimated that more than 30 million Americans use over-the-counter pain relievers on a regular basis. That’s why the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough feel it’s so important for patients to know that taking these products may be putting their health at risk.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of pain relievers that work by blocking and reducing enzymes that promote pain and inflammation. NSAID drugs include ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, and Aleve.

Taking these drugs can increase a patient’s chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Because of these risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently called for more detailed warning labels to be placed on NSAID packaging.

Since some patients choose to avoid NSAIDs due to cardiac risks, acetaminophen is often used as an alternative. Our acetaminophen injury lawyers explain medications containing this drug can present risks to users too.

Research has shown that taking too much acetaminophen or using the drug while under the influence of alcohol can significantly increase the chances of liver damage.

Talk With Your Doctor

The best way to avoid an over-the-counter pain reliever injury is to speak with your physician about any concerns you may have before beginning to take the medication.

We hope this information can help to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.

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