When products malfunction serious or even life-threatening injuries can be the result. In many cases, these injuries could be avoided if not for the negligence of the manufacturer. Below is a complete product liability resource center where you will find a bevy of information on a variety of product liability cases. If you’d like to speak with an attorney about your case, give Estey & Bomberger a call today: (800) 925-0723
Product Liability Resource Center
Q. I’ve never heard of product liability. What is it?
A. When a consumer’s injury or death results from the use of a poorly designed, manufactured or labeled product, a product liability claim may be filed. Under product liability law, product manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are held accountable for harm brought to a consumer by the use of a defective or faulty product.
Q. What is the difference between a design defect and a manufacturing defect?
A. Design defects occur during the initial planning stages of a product’s inception while a manufacturing defect occurs during the production of a product. Design defects are an inherent characteristic in every product that is manufactured. For example, a chair designed with only three legs could pose a considerable risk for users and would be considered a design defect. A manufacturing defect typically only affects a portion of a product’s inventory. A well-designed product may be produced poorly and therefore, pose a risk to consumers.
Q. What is failure to warn?
A. Manufacturing companies are required to warn consumers of the risks associated with the use of a product and what the consequences may be if the warning is not adhered to. Manufacturers are also required to advise a consumer on how the risk may be avoided.
Q. What kinds of products can harm a consumer?
A. Any product has the potential to be defective. Some examples of common products that have caused harm to a consumer include prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, children’s toys, auto parts, household cleaning items, medical devices, baby products, furniture, apparel, beauty products, household electronics, power tools and food.
Q. What types of damages can be obtained in a California product liability case?
A. Injured victims may be entitled to damages for the costs associated with their injuries. In order to receive financial compensation, victims must first file a product liability lawsuit. Once a lawsuit has been filed, the injured victim is burdened with proving that the product’s design, manufacturing or marketing contributed to or was directly responsible for the victim’s injury. Without the assistance of an experienced California product liability lawyer, it can be challenging for victims to recover compensation. At Estey Bomberger, we have obtained more than $100 millions dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients’ damages. The types of damages we have recovered include medical expenses, lost earnings, lost benefits, disfigurement, diminished quality of life, and pain and suffering.
Q. How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
A. In California, product liability cases are subject to a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time given to victims to file a lawsuit. The actual time allowed by the state varies with each case, however, in most cases the time given is two years from when the injury occurred. It is crucial that victims contact a California product liability lawyer at Estey Bomberger to ensure their claim is filed within the time given. If a lawsuit is filed after the statute of limitations has expired, victims will be denied any chance of obtaining monetary compensation.
Q. What does it mean when a lawyer says they work on a contingency fee basis?
A. At the law firm of Estey Bomberger, our legal fees are contingent upon the outcome of your case. We only get paid when you do and there are no out-of-pocket expenses. In the unlikely event we do not win your case, you will owe us nothing. Phone our firm at (800) 890-6722 to begin the claims process. Our California product liability attorneys are here to help you in your quest for justice at any time of the day or night. Consultations are free of charge.
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The California auto product liability lawyers at Estey Bomberger have a long history of representing people who have been injured in auto accidents as a result of defective auto products or unsafe automobiles. Providing safe products is a responsibility auto manufacturers cannot overlook. Failing to provide consumers with a reasonably safe automobile can result in devastating consequences for the consumer. Consumers seriously injured in an auto accident caused by a defective auto part or unsafe automobile may be entitled to financial compensation from the auto manufacturer. Some of the types of auto product liability cases we have handled, involve:
- Roof crush accidents
- Defective tires
- Seatbelt defects
- Tire tread separation
- Occupant ejections
- Airbag failure
- Defective gas tank
- Acceleration system defects
- Defective seat backs
- Brake failure
- Defective floor mat
- SUV and 15 passenger van rollover accidents
- Defective child car seat
- Defective door latches.
Auto Product Liability FAQ’s
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE AN AUTO PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIM?
In California, you have two years to file with the Rule of Discovery, which means two years from the time you first find out you’ve been injured as a result of your accident. Sometimes it takes months or even years for an injury to manifest. However, if you’ve been injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a defective vehicle; you should contact an experienced auto product liability attorney as soon as possible.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO FILE A PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIM?
In most cases involving an auto product liability claim that results in personal injury, fees are based on contingency. This means that there is no up-front cost for you to pay and your attorney only gets paid if he/she earns you a monetary settlement. At that point, a percentage of your settlement will be taken as their fee for representing you. However, if your attorney doesn’t get a judgment in your favor, you pay nothing.
WHAT KIND OF COMPENSATION AM I ELIGIBLE FOR?
That depends. A number of factors go into determining how much compensation you’re entitled to. Some of the factors include severity of injuries, recovery time, medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering; however, your attorney will be able to help you establish the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
THE OTHER PERSON’S INSURANCE ADJUSTER WANTS TO SETTLE AND SAID I DON’T NEED A LAWYER. IS THIS TRUE?
This is absolutely not true. Insurance adjusters are paid to settle claims at the lowest possible rate. They are promoted based on how much money they DON’T pay out. Even if the figure they give you sounds like a lot, it could be substantially less than what you’re entitled to. Do not settle with an insurance company until you’ve consulted with a reputable California auto product liability attorney.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A VEHICLE DEFECT?
A vehicle defect is a flaw that renders the vehicle unsafe for its intended use by motorists. There are usually two kinds of defects: design flaws and manufacturing defects. A design flaw means that there was an imperfection in the design before the vehicle was manufactured. A manufacturing defect means that the vehicle was compromised during the manufacturing process by poor factory practices or negligence.
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES CAN RESULT FROM A DEFECTIVE VEHICLE?
The extent of injuries sustained in an accident involving a defective vehicle depend on how severe the accident is and what went wrong with the vehicle. Injuries can range from broken bones, spinal cord injuries, head trauma and brain damage, amputation, paralysis, and in some cases, death.
WHAT IS CRASHWORTHINESS?
Crashworthiness is the ability of the vehicle to protect the motorist and passengers, should a collision occur. When determining an automobile’s crashworthiness, auto manufacturers evaluate how a vehicle will protect occupants in terms of the impact with other vehicles as well as the impact of passengers with parts of the vehicle. The later part of these examinations of vehicle safety in the event of a crash relates to the effectiveness and functionality of seatbelts, the dashboard, airbags, the windshield, the steering wheel, and doors.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY VEHICLE OR ITS COMPONENTS ARE INCLUDED IN A RECALL?
You can find out if your vehicle is included in a recall by visiting the auto maker’s website or by visiting www.recalls.gov. In addition, http://www.safercar.gov/ also provides information about vehicle safety recalls.
15 Passenger Van Accidents
The use of 15-passenger vans is common when traveling in large groups or for long distances. For those people who are afraid of flying, these vans can be a great alternative travel method. As with any vehicle that carries heavy weight or drives hundreds of miles at a time, proper precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of all passengers in the vehicle. But what happens when proper precautions are ignored and a defective vehicle is allowed on the road? When negligent parties forego proper inspection, they run the risk of causing an accident.
Reliable Legal Solutions
Vehicle collisions can be very stressful situations. Because 15-passenger vans are much larger than a typical coupe or sedan type vehicle, the results of a crash are oftentimes more severe, with some resulting in death.
The experienced attorneys at Estey & Bomberger are no strangers to accidents involving 15-passenger vans. When catastrophe strikes, we are the law firm you can rely on for results. Some possible injuries that can occur from a 15-passenger van accident include:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Partial or full paralysis
- Eye injury
- Nerve damage
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 10,000 people die each year in rollover crashes. Of those 10,000 people, 476 die as a result of roof crush. While that number may not seem very high, statistically-speaking, it is a substantial number to those who have lost a loved one because their vehicle roof wasn’t strong enough. In 2005, the NHTSA proposed that the roof strength of all passenger and multi-passenger cars, buses and trucks weighing 6,000 pounds or less, be increased from 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight to 2.5 times the vehicle’s weight. However, the proposal has not been approved yet. As a consequence, vehicles with weak roofs are still being used by motorists, posing the risk of severe injury or death due to the lack of roof strength.
Seat Back Failure
Parents take their children everywhere – from the grocery store to school to soccer practice. They lovingly strap their children into the back seat of the vehicle making sure they are safe. Unfortunately, in the event of a rear-end collision, the seat back may not be strong enough and may collapse causing the child to fall back from the safety of their seat belts and air bags. Because a child’s body is much smaller and much more fragile than an adult’s, catastrophic or fatal injuries can occur in the event that a seat back fails. It is the responsibility of every automotive maker to design and manufacture vehicles that are safe. However, when that duty is overlooked and safety standards are not upheld, defective vehicles leave the production line for America’s roads and highways.
Between 1990 and 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported more than 260 individuals were killed by airbags in low-speed crashes. Intended as a supplemental safety device, airbags can save lives. However, a defective airbag can cause as much harm as it can help save lives. Airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes, but a defective airbag may not deploy at all. The result of an airbag not deploying can be serious injury or death for the occupants of a vehicle. Serious injuries and death can also result when an airbag inflates for no apparent reason or in low-speed auto collisions. Frontal and side-impact airbags can inflate with extreme force – as fast as 200 m.p.h. The force created by an airbag can inflict blunt trauma injuries, contusions, chemical burns, broken bones, hearing damage and blindness.
Children and Defective Airbags
Small, fragile children can be killed by a deployed airbag in any circumstance, which is why California law does not permit children under the age of six (or under 60 pounds) to ride in the front seat of a car. Some child health experts recommend that children do not ride in the front seat of a car until they are twelve or 4 feet, 5 inches in height. If your child was injured by a defective airbag, contact a California defective airbag lawyer at Estey & Bomberger. We can help protect your child’s legal rights.
Who Is Responsible for Defective Airbag Injuries?
Injured victims may be entitled to monetary compensation from a negligent or careless auto manufacturer. Any costs related to the injury, such as hospital visits, medical expenses, medical devices, medicine, lost earnings and care-giving services may be won in a product liability lawsuit. In addition, victims may be compensated for diminished quality of life, physical pain and emotional distress.
Defective Door Latches
Victims of auto accidents caused by defective door latches should not have to suffer because of bad decisions on the part of the auto manufacturer. However, the unfortunate reality is that some will suffer for the rest of their lives. While no amount of money can give victims the lives they had before the accident, the attorneys at Estey Bomberger can make sure they have the proper compensation to live the rest of their lives as comfortable as possible. While the amount rewarded for damages varies from case to case, some reasons for compensation may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of future wages
- Punitive damages
The quality of the tires on a vehicle plays an important role in the overall performance and safety of the vehicle. Tires support a vehicle’s weight, ensure proper maneuvering when making turns, and lessens the impact of the road. If a tire is improperly manufactured, blow outs and tread separation can occur, which can lead to rollovers and collisions. If a motorist is injured in an accident due to one or more defective tires, the manufacturer could be held liable for negligence.
Gas Tank Explosions
As one of the most vital components of a vehicle, gas tanks are supposed to be safe containers for gasoline, which is widely known as a highly flammable liquid. Considering that they are a major part of a vehicle’s engine system, gas tanks range in size and complexity; making its design, functionality, and positioning extremely important for motorist and passenger safety. Car designers and manufacturers take on the responsibility of creating and producing safe vehicles that both motorists and their passengers can depend on. This duty revolves around making sure that nothing goes wrong during the manufacturing process that could, in turn, potentially harm someone operating a vehicle.
Both designers and manufacturers of automobiles have standards to uphold when producing new cars. While automobile defects should not occur in the first place, when a vehicle does have a serious defect, it is the duty of the auto maker to inform consumers of the flaw in a timely manner and correct the problem. However, in some cases, a flaw in the design of a car, such as the fuel tank, can lead to catastrophic injury and in some cases, death, before a vehicle defect recall is announced.
Consequences of Gas Tank Explosions
When gas tanks explosions occur and cause severe injury that would not have taken place had the design and manufacturing process of the vehicle been conducted properly, injured individuals can seek compensation from negligent auto makers. Victims of exploding fuel tanks can sustain life-altering injuries that often require extensive therapy and medical attention for extended periods of time, if not forever.
With over 254 million vehicles on the road in the United States alone, the safety of those vehicles should be the number one priority to auto manufacturers. When motorists get behind the wheel, they don’t think that they could ever be involved in an accident that could leave them anywhere but inside their vehicle. However, due to leniency on safety regulations and in some cases, defective parts, motorists and their passengers may run a higher risk of being ejected from their vehicle in a collision.
In a recent study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 14% of the occupants were ejected from their vehicles during crashes. Should a safety function in the vehicle fail to work properly, those injured or killed in these types of collisions may hold the auto maker liable.
An estimated 12 million women in the United States take oral contraceptive birth control pills. “The pill” is a popular contraceptive choice because it is so effective in preventing pregnancy. With perfect use as prescribed, the chances of getting pregnant while using the pill are less than one-half of one percent. However, when pharmaceutical companies make packaging mistakes that greatly compromise the effectiveness of the pill, women may unexpectedly become pregnant, even when taking the pill exactly as prescribed. In such cases, birth control manufacturers may be liable for consumers’ medical expenses, associated loss of earnings due to being unable to work, and other damages.
Qualitest Birth Control Packaging Error
In September 2011, Qualitest Pharmaceuticals USA recalled 1.4 million packages of birth control pills, which due to a packaging error that rotated “inactive” pills into the “active” pill blister slots, could cause women to become unexpectedly pregnant. The class one drug recall included specific lots of Cyclafem, Emoquette, Gildess, Orsythia, Previfem and Tri-Previfem. The recalled pills were either manufactured by Qualitest Pharmaceuticals USA or Patheon, Inc., a contract pharmaceutical company based in Ontario. Although taking the recalled birth control pills does not pose any immediate heal risks, women taking the affected products could unexpectedly become pregnant, according to the manufacturer.
Compensation For Medical Expenses
The medical care expenses associated with an unexpected pregnancy and childbirth can be financially debilitating. If you became pregnant while taking birth control pills that were recalled due to a packaging error, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your medical expenses, including doctor visits, imaging tests, prescription medications, hospitalizations, and surgeries. If you experience any complications that cause you or your baby to need extended hospitalization or long-term medical care, you may be entitled to additional compensation as well. Women may also be entitled to compensation for taking time away from work to have a child.
Every year, thousands of people suffer serious injuries from using defective or hazardous products. Many times, the same defective product is responsible for causing injury to a group of consumers. This group of injured consumers may decide to file a lawsuit collectively against a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer, which is called a class action product liability lawsuit. California class action product liability lawsuitsoffer injured victims lower litigation costs, larger settlements and the ability to recover compensation for a case where the amount of damages may have been too small to warrant pursuing a lawsuit alone. Typically, class action lawsuits also ensure every victim is compensated. Class action product liability lawsuits can apply to any type of defective product that poses a danger, including:
- Auto parts – faulty brakes, defective tires, acceleration system defects
- Household products – toxic cleaning solutions, faulty electronics
- Toys – toxic jewelry, electronic toy defects, hazardous toy parts
- Power tools – defective drills, improper warning labels
- Pharmaceuticals – prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs
- Clothing – flammable pajamas, formaldehyde ridden clothing
- Food – contaminated or poorly packaged food
- Furniture – unsafe design, improper warning labels.
Although a class action product liability lawsuit can be beneficial for consumers suffering only minor injuries, if a defective product seriously injured you, it may be within your best interest to pursue a product liability lawsuit individually. A knowledgeable California product liability attorney at the law firm of Estey & Bomberger can review your case, explain your options and help you determine what legal course is best suited for you. Our California personal injury attorneys’ goal of recovering the highest amount of compensation possible will not change no matter what path you choose. Contact our firm as soon as possible for a free consultation.
Drugs designed and manufactured to help people may have the opposite effect on an individual. A drug’s adverse side effects can seriously harm or kill an unsuspecting individual. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests and approves every drug on the U.S. market, but not every adverse reaction to a drug is known before marketed to the general population. In the competitive world of pharmaceuticals, drug manufacturers often push the FDA to approve a drug quickly so that a new drug can be brought to the market to either compete with, or replace another company’s product. The pharmaceutical industry is a big business, generating billions of dollars in revenue every year. Many drug manufacturers sacrifice the public’s safety for profit and bottom lines.
Dangerous drugs can have dangerous side effects on people. Some of the more adverse side effects of dangerous drugs, include:
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular issues
- Kidney failure
- Birth defects
- Psychological problems
Gadolinium is a contrast agent used in preparation for MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). In patients with kidney problems or kidney failure, gadolinium may cause a rare but serious medical condition called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF). NSF is a serious condition with no recognized cure, and no genetic basis. It is linked with exposure to gadolinium in patients with kidney failure or impaired renal function. Gadolinium is injected before an MRI by an intravenous line, and is used as a contrast agent to make certain tissues easier to see during a MRI scan. If you have been diagnosed with NSF after being injected with a gadolinium based MRI contrast agent, you may be entitled to compensation through a lawsuit.
About Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF)
Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis is a recently discovered disease; the first case was diagnosed only in 1997. It was originally only considered a skin condition (Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy), but it was later learned to damage internal organs, such as the lungs, diaphragm and abdominal muscles. NSF was formally recognized in 2000 as a systemic disorder that affects the skin as well as internal organs. About 5% of all cases of NSF are fatal.
Gadolinium-Based MRI Contrast Agents and NSF
Most patients that receive an injection of a gadolinium based MRI contrast agent will not develop NSF or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSD). The condition is linked to patients with renal failure or impaired renal function. Patients undergoing dialysis are at the highest risk. Symptoms of NSF and NSD can develop within two days to 18 months after an injection of a gadolinium based contrast agent.
Symptoms of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
NSF is a progressive fibrosis of the skin. It causes skin to become so tight that the patient slowly loses their movement ability. Skin may become so thick and tight that eventually movement could result in bone fracture. Some of the recognized symptoms of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis and Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy include:
- Burning or itching sensations
- Darkening patches of skin
- Dry scaly skin
- Itchy skin
- Kidney/renal problems
- Muscle weakness
- Pain in ribs or hip area
- Problems moving or straightening arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Reddened skin patches
- Skin hardening or tightening
- Stiff joints/difficulty in movement
- Yellow raised spots on the whites of the eyes.
Types of Gadolinium Contrast Agents
The following gadolinium contrast agents may contribute to NSF, NFD, and other skin problems, joint problems, kidney failure and renal failure:
- Magnevist (gadopentetate dimeglumine)
- Ominiscan (gadodiamide)
- OptiMARK (gadoversetamide)
- MultiHance (gadobenate dimeglumine)
- Prohance (gadoteridol).
In the United States, guidelines that are dialysis patients should only receive gadolinium contrast agents when absolutely necessary, and dialysis should be performed immediately after the MRI scan is complete. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required the manufacturers of the five named gadolinium contrast agents include a boxed warning – the strongest possible warning – alerting physicians and patients of the risk gadolinium poses to those with kidney problems. Use of gadolinium for MRAs (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram) is considered an off-label use and is not approved by the FDA.
Gadolinium Compensation Information: NSF Lawsuits and Settlements
If your doctor has diagnosed you with Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis or Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy, or if you have kidney disease and have had any MRIs or MRAs since 1988, contact the law firm of Estey & Bomberger. You may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer of a gadolinium contrast agent and possibly other defendants. By law, you have a limited time to file a claim. Contact California gadolinium lawsuit attorneys toll-free at (800) 925-0723 or request a consultation. Our seasoned trial attorneys have represented thousands of victims of dangerous and defective drugs, including patients with NSF due to gadolinium exposure. Call us to see how we can help you obtain the most compensation for your claim. We do not charge a fee unless we win money for you.
In 1997, the FDA approved the diet drug Meridia (sibutramine hydrochloride monohydrate) for patients struggling with obesity. Almost from the start, Meridia has been linked to serious complications in patients with heart problems. Meridia, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, works by blocking the re-uptake of two chemicals, norepinephrine and serotonin, ultimately affecting the part of the brain that controls hunger. Essentially, Meridia is supposed to make patients feel full and satisfied, causing them to eat less food and lose weight. Meridia is indicated for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or for patients with a BMI of 27 or higher in the presence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, or a large waist circumference.
SCOUT Trial Reveals Increased Heart Attack and Stroke Risk
Both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) reacted strongly to a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT) on the safety of Meridia, which is also sold under the brand names Reductil and Ectiva. The results of the trial, which began in 2002 and studied 10,000 patients with a history of cardiovascular disease or Type 2 Diabetes, indicated that Meridia increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with existing cardiac health problems.
Suspended Sales in Europe and Stronger Warnings in the US
In response to the SCOUT results, the EMEA asked doctors and pharmacists to stop prescribing and dispensing the European equivalents of Meridia. The FDA, looking at the same results of the recent SCOUT study, requested Abbott Laboratories to put a stronger warning label on the medicine, emphasizing that it should not be given to patients with a history of congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke, heart arrhythmias, uncontrolled hypertension and peripheral arterial disease.
Heart Patients Most at Risk
The American Heart Association was quick to urge caution about the safety of Meridia after the FDA approved it more than 10 years ago. According to a report in Time Magazine, the American Heart Association says that Meridia could raise blood pressure and increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Between 1997 and 2003, the FDA received reports of 30 deaths of people who died while taking Meridia. An additional 224 nonfatal cardiovascular events were reported, including strokes and heart attacks and other heart-related problems.
The use of intranasal Zicam Cold Remedy products, over-the-counter oral medications used to prevent or treat the common cold, may cause permanent or long lasting loss of smell. If you or a member of your family have used Zicam Cold Remedy products and suffered a loss of smell, you may be entitled to compensation from Zicam’s manufacturer, Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.
June 2009 FDA Consumer Warning
On June 16, 2009, the FDA issued an advisory warning to consumers to stop using Zicam Cold Remedy products, including Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs. The public warning advisory was released after the FDA received approximately 130 reports from physicians and patients that the use of Zicam products caused anosmia, a total loss of smell. Hyposmia, a reduced ability to detect odors, has also been reported. The problem may be due to the product’s pump shooting soluble zinc too high into the nose, and permanently damaging olfactory nerves. The FDA reported receiving complaints since 1999, when Zicam first came on the market. More than half of patients who have suffered anosmia or hyposmia have had no return of function or improvement.
Zinc Gluconate and Zicam
One of the ingredients in Zicam cold remedy products is zinc gluconate, a zinc compound that has long been liked to the loss of smell or taste. Zinc gluconate, also called zincum gluconium, is an ionic compound consisting of the zinc salt of gluconic acid. Zinc is commonly used in nasal sprays, gels and oral lozenges because it is known to kill the rhinovirus, the virus that causes colds. Although some studies have led consumers to believe zinc is a miracle cold cure, studies of the benefits of zinc in treating and preventing the common cold have been inconsistent.
Anosmia Caused by Intranasal Zinc Gluconate
The use of soluble zinc, the active ingredient in Zicam, has long been known to cause loss of smell, since intranasal zinc was used to treat thousands during the polio epidemic of the 1930s. Anosmia may not occur in all patients with the use of Zicam Cold Remedy products. However, permanent loss of smell is not an acceptable side effect and certainly may not be worth the risk of using Zicam.
Zicam Lawsuits and Settlements
Zicam has been linked to anosmia and hyposmia for nearly a decade, and its manufacturer has already paid millions to consumers. In January 2006, Zicam’s manufacturer, Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., settled more than 300 cases in a class action lawsuit for $12 million. Despite this, Matrixx has long denied use of Zicam had anything to do with the complaints of loss of sense of smell, and did not admit fault in the 2006 litigation. Although a formal recall was not issued, on June 16, 2009, Matrixx Initiatives voluntarily withdrew Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel.
Pradaxa is a prescription anti-clotting drug by Behringer Ingelheim that had first been approved for marketing and sales in the European Union on March of 2008. While a large clinical trial of 18,000 patients had shown similar rates of major bleeding events to warfarin (another blood thinning drug), recently, the unusually high reports of adverse effects have caused the Food and Drug Administration to review the bleeding risks associated with Pradaxa. Between March 2008 and October 31, 2011, more than 260 fatal bleeding events had been reported worldwide. Patients who had been prescribed Pradaxa and have subsequently suffered adverse events may be entitled to compensation. Contact our Pradaxa lawyers for more information regarding your eligibility to recover compensation.
Pradaxa and its Risks
Many patients are prescribed anticoagulants to prevent stroke or blood clotting in patients undergoing hip replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery, and non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Bleeding side effects are not unique to Pradaxa, other blood-thinning drugs also report serious and even fatal bleeding as possible side effects. However, Pradaxa related bleeding, is more dangerous than internal bleeding caused by older, traditional blood thinners because there is no antidote for bleeding caused by direct thrombin inhibiters like Pradaxa.
The overwhelming reports of serious and fatal bleeding have caused the FDA to initiate further investigation of the drug Pradaxa. The rate of failure may be indicative of the unsafe formula of the drug, in which case Behringer Ingelheim can be held accountable for endangering the lives of thousands of patients.
Pradaxa Bleeding/Hemorrhaging Side Effect Symptoms
Pradaxa was first approved for sale in the United States in October 2010. Since then, around 1.1 million prescriptions of Pradaxa has been prescribed to over 371,000 U.S. patients. To prevent fatal bleeding, it is important to be alert for signs of complications. Symptoms of bleeding or hemorrhaging include:
- Unusual bruising or bleeding/hemorrhaging
- Pink or brown urine
- Coughing up blood
- Vomit that resembles blood
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Joint pain or swelling
- Weakness and swelling in any or all extremities.
Medical device manufacturers introduce new devices every year designed to improve a patient’s mobility, enhance a patient’s appearance or prolong a patient’s life. A pacemaker may be implanted to regulate a heartbeat or a prosthetic hip may be surgically inserted to help a patient regain mobility. When a defective or dangerous medical device is used, however, serious injury or death may result. The California product defect lawyers at the law firm of Estey Bomberger represent victims and victims’ families who have suffered a serious injury or loss because of a defective medical product. Our AV® rated firm is known throughout the state as one of the best in defective medical device cases. We can navigate through the complexities a medical device case presents and have handled defective medical cases involving:
- Hip replacements
- Knee replacements
- St. Jude Riata Defibrillators
- Cosmetic implants
- Joint replacements
- Infusion devices
- Mesh patch
- Other medical devices.
Medical Devices Overview
Medical devices are tested and approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for effectiveness and safety of use. The FDA has not been as careful in the screening process of devices as it has in the past. There has been increasing pressure placed on the FDA by U.S. medical device manufacturers to get a product on the market as soon as possible. The lack of testing and screening of medical devices has ended tragically for many patients relying on the safety of a product. If the design of the device was inherently unsafe or the device was manufactured poorly, the injured victim may be able to pursue financial compensation from the medical device manufacturer. Compensation for a serious injury may include money for medical bills, lost income, lost benefits, diminished quality of life, physical pain and mental anguish. The types of compensation a victim’s heirs may be entitled to for the loss of a loved one include medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, loss of deceased’s income, loss of deceased’s love, support, companionship and parental guidance (if applicable).
How Soon Should I Contact a California Defective Medical Device Attorney?
It is never to soon to contact a California defective medical device attorney at Estey Bomberger. Our legal team can make sure you are within the time parameters for filing a claim. The time period given by the state varies with each case. In most cases, victims have two years from when the injury occurred to file a claim. When we review the particulars of your case, we will be able to inform you of the time you have to file a claim. You will be denied the opportunity to fie a claim once the time given has expired, so don’t delay taking action.
Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft
In July 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning regarding the “off-label” use of the Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft, a medical device used to replace and repair damaged spinal discs. Over the course of four years, the FDA received at least 38 reports of complications associated with the use of the bone graft in the cervical (neck) area of the spine. (The FDA has only approved the Infuse Bone Graft to be used in the posterior lumbar (lower back) spine and in some dental bone grafting procedures.)
According to the FDA, patients were experiencing serious complications after implantation of the bone graft in the neck area. The various types of injuries associated with off-label use of the Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft, include cancer, ectopic bone growth, inflammatory cyst formation, severe dysphagia, compression of neurological structures in the neck, male sterility, paralysis, and death.
Accountability and Justice
The Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft attorneys at the law firm of Estey & Bomberger are currently investigating claims involving the use of the bone graft in the cervical area. If it is determined that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with the off-label use of the bone graft, victims may be able to pursue compensation from Medtronic. We believe that our job is to not only secure clients maximum compensation for injury-related expenses, but to also ensure corporations like Medtronic are held accountable for failing to warn users of the risks associated with a product.
Medtronic Infusion Pump
In 2011, the FDA issued two class I recalls for certain Medtronic infusion pump products: the SynchroMed II (Model No: 8637), SynchroMed EL (Model No: 8626 and 8627) and Refill Kits (Model No: 8551, 8555, 8561, 8562, 8564, 8565, and 8566). The recall was issued after 55 confirmed cases of implant failure had been reported to the FDA. Approximately 140,000 of the defective devices have already been implanted worldwide. And while the recall only affects systems that have not yet been implanted, the failure of an implanted infusion pumps can cause serious health ramifications and even death to the patient.
Defective Drug Infusion Pumps
Many patients rely on implanted infusion pump systems like the Medtronic SynchroMed products to receive regulated dosages of drugs such as:
- Morphine sulfate
The Medtronic kits that were marketed towards people suffering from chronic pain, spasticity, and cancer were designed to administer these drugs based on a programmed timetable and dosage. However, in the first recall issued on January 14, 2011, the FDA alerted consumers of the potential for unintended injection of drugs (also called pocket fills) that could lead to overdose or underdose. On July 5th of the same year, FDA issued an additional recall after discovering many implants inject improper amounts of drugs due to poor battery performance caused by a film that forms within the pump battery.
Identifying a Defective Infusion Pump
Medtronic is not recalling any product that has already been implanted because of the existence of pump alarms and the estimated rate of failure does not merit the risks associated with revision surgery. Patients with a recalled device should carry their patient identification cards at all times and contact immediately contact their doctors at the sign of any of the following:
- Pump alarm goes off
- Signs of baclofen withdrawal
- Inadequate dosing
- Return of old pain
- Local pain at the site of the pump
St. Jude Riata Defibrillator
Implanted heart defibrillators are small battery-powered devices that constantly monitor heart rhythm in patients who are at risk of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmia. If the device detects cardiac arrhythmia, it delivers a shock to correct it. In the last decade thousands of devices have been implanted in cardiac patients in the US. One of those devices, the St. Jude Riata defibrillator, has been recalled due to problems with the devices’ leads (wires).
High Failure Rates Reported in St. Jude Riata Device
In May 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Minneapolis Heart Institute cardiologist expressed concerns with St. Jude Medical Inc.’s Riata defibrillator lead, after a new multi-year, multi-center study revealed a failure rate three times higher than what is considered acceptable. The Riata lead was taken off the market in late 2010 and recalled by the FDA in late 2011. According to a Wall Street Journal report, about 79,000 devices are still implanted in patients in the U.S.
The new study followed more than 1,000 Riata and Riata ST leads patients and found that the lead, the wire connecting the implanted defibrillator to the heart, failed in nearly 2 percent of patients each year. One possible reason for the failure was that lead’s inner wires worked their way through silicone insulation. Additional reasons for lead failure included electrical malfunction and delivering an inappropriate shock. The study reportedly raised more questions than provided answers, as no common traits predicted what caused the wires to fail.
Health Risks for Defibrillator Lead Failures
The consequences of defibrillator lead failure and necessary revision surgery can be debilitating and even life threatening. One study published in 2012 linked the defective Riata implants to twenty short-circuit cardiac deaths. As a medical device manufacturer, St. Jude is responsible for providing devices that work correctly and do not fail when implanted. Patients who have suffered side effects or complications from defective St. Jude defibrillators may be entitled to compensation for their medical care costs, including hospitalizations and revision surgery, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages. If a loved one’s death was caused by a defective defibrillator, family members may pursue a wrongful death product liability claim and recover damages for funeral and burial expenses, final medical care, loss of companionship and other damages.
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The design and construction of a road is vital to the safety of California motorists. A safely designed road is defined as one that allows motorists sufficient time to see, process and react to other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists on the road. State and federal government agencies design and maintain the million of miles of road in California. Government agencies have a responsibility to inform motorists of any unusual road conditions, provide signs and directions for road users and provide a controlled road or highway. When a motorist is harmed or killed in an accident caused by a defective road design, a government agency may be held financially liable.
The California hazardous road lawyers at Estey Bomberger can help you file a personal injury claim. Let us handle all of your legal matters so that you are not denied the opportunity to fair and just compensation. In cases where a government entity is at-fault for an accident, the statute of limitations (time allowed to file a claim) is shortened. Make sure you do not endanger your chance of filing a claim. Contact out law firm today to start the claims process. We will take care of all paperwork, begin a private investigation and handle all negotiations with insurance companies.
Types of Defective Road Design
Types of road defects that can contribute to an auto accident occurring, include:
- Slope of road
- Blind corner
- Poor sight lines
- Poorly graded curve
- Lack of signs warning of a sharp turn or dip in the road
- Absence of guardrails
- Narrow lanes
- Misplaced or non-existent speed bumps
- Missing or malfunctioning traffic signs or lights
- Poor water drainage
- Lack of shoulder
- Poorly lit roads and highways
- Unfilled potholes
- Overgrown landscaping blocking traffic signs or lights
- Open trench or pit
- Uneven road surface.
At Estey Bomberger, our California defective toy attorneys have been protecting the legal rights of children seriously injured or killed by a defective toy or children’s product for several decades. We have seen the devastation and sorrow a parent or guardian experiences when discovering their child was the victim of a defective toy. Despite strict federal regulations and guidelines, toy manufacturers are producing toys and children’s products, such as furniture, cribs, car seats, playpens and clothing that fail to meet federal safety standards. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2007 there were more than 170,000 toy-related injuries involving children under the age of 15. The number of toy-related injuries has increased since the early 2000’s, reports the CPSC. Defective toys have caused serious injuries, such as lacerations, permanent scars or disfigurement, head injuries, and burn injuries, asphyxiation, blindness, bone fracture injuries and death. The types of dangers a child may be exposed to by a toy or children’s product, include:
- Lack of warning labels on toys or products. The risks associated with a toy or product may not be made known to parents if a product is not marked with an appropriate warning label.
- Jagged, sharp or pointed edges of a toy or product. In some cases, sharp edges are not discovered until a toy has been disassembled.
- Tiny toy parts. Small toy parts that are not properly fixed to a toy can break off and become a choking hazard.
- Product packaging. Toy or product packaging can suffocate a child.
- Defective electric or battery-powered toys. Malfunctioning electric or battery-powered toys can overheat or electrocute a child.
- Hearing loss. Loud toys can result in hearing loss or damage.
- Toxic chemicals. Toys are often manufactured with toxic chemicals, such as phthalates, arsenic or cadmium.
Although the number of children’s products and toys produced with lead has decreased, HealthyStuff.org reports almost one in three of popular toys tested in 2009 still contained one or more harmful levels of chemicals, including lead. Small children are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of lead because of developing brains and bodies. Over time, lead can attack a child’s nervous system and result in permanent learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Lead poisoning can be difficult to detect. Associated symptoms don’t usually surface until dangerous amounts of lead have accumulated in the body. Children suffering from lead poisoning may exhibit loss of appetite, weight loss, irritability, lethargy, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain and learning difficulties.
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Manufacturing companies are required to provide clear instructions on product handling, and warn consumers of the potential dangers and possible side effects associated with the use of a product. Products that carry a risk for a consumer should be marked with a visible word that prompts the user to take notice, such as “warning” or “caution”. A warning should accompany why there is a risk associated with the use of the product, what the consequences are for the user if a warning is not followed, and how a consumer can avoid the risk of danger. For example, the manufacturer of a hair dryer should warn users of the possibility of electrocution if used around water or dropped in a bathtub. The manufacturer should also advise users to unplug a hair dryer when not in use. If an injury or death results from the use of a product that did not have a warning, the victim or victim’s family may be entitled to monetary compensation from the product manufacturer.
The California defective product attorneys at Estey Bomberger are known throughout the state as persuasive negotiators, ready to take on big corporations on behalf of their clients. Upon hiring, we will immediately begin a thorough investigation to preserve as much evidence as possible. Preserved evidence can affect the outcome of a client’s case and the amount of compensation recovered. Our California defective product lawyers have obtained compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, disfigurement, permanent scars, and pain and suffering.
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The California product recall lawyers at Estey Bomberger have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients harmed by contaminated food. Because of contamination, mislabeling, and other dangerous risks, food manufacturers and distributors recall hundreds of food products every year in the United States. We have seen the pain and suffering victims have experienced from consuming a food product that has inflicted food poisoning, gastrointestinal discomfort, digestive system problems or infection. Our highly skilled legal team and group of investigative experts can help victims prove that a food manufacturer, distributor or retailer is responsible for an unsafe product and resulting injuries. Contact our law firm today for legal counseling and representation.
Consumption of a contaminated food or drink can result in food poisoning. Food poisoning causes approximately 76 million illnesses and up to 5,000 deaths each year in the U.S., reports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms of food poisoning can occur immediately or take several days to surface. Food poisoning symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, chills and weakness. Food poisoning can be caused by:
- Botulism – illness caused by bacteria that can result in paralysis and death if left untreated.
- E.Coli – bacteria that can cause kidney failure, a urinary tract infection and meningitis.
- Listeria – bacteria that can result in sepsis and meningitis
- Salmonella – bacterial disease that can cause severe dehydration.
Who is Responsible for Food Recalls?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) are just two of the many federal agencies responsible for regulating food safety. The FDA is responsible for issuing warnings and involuntary recalls of hazardous food products, and also oversees voluntary recalls conducted by food manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Unfortunately, thousands of innocent victims may have already been affected before a food recall is put into effect. Types of foods that have been recalled in the past, include:
- Beef jerky (Listeria contamination)
- Frozen dumplings (glass in mixture)
- Tuna (improperly sealed cans)
- Alfalfa sprouts (Salmonella contamination)
- Cereal (packaging odor)
- Croissants (undeclared milk)
- Ground beef (E.Coli contamination)
- Fruit and nut trail mix (Salmonella contamination).
As a victim of a tainted food product, you have legal rights that may entitle you to damages from a negligent or careless food manufacturer, distributor or retailer. Damages may be collected to compensate you for the costs of hospital stays, past, current and future medical treatment, lost earnings from missed time at work, physical pain and emotional anguish.
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Despite federal agencies efforts to keep consumers safe from defective products, thousands of injuries and deaths occur every year in the U.S. as a result of manufacturing defects. Manufacturing defects, which are defects that arise out of the manufacturing process and were not intended in the design of the product, can happen at any stage of the manufacturing process. Manufacturing defects can affect the performance of a product and put the user of the product at great risk for serious injury or death. With many manufacturers cutting costs and the federal governments leniency of industry regulations, manufacturing defects are happening more and more frequently. Manufacturing defects are associated with almost any type of product, including:
- Auto parts
- Children’s toys
- Power tools
- Heavy machinery
- Children’s products
If you have been injured by the use of a product with a manufacturing defect, the California manufacturing defect attorneys at Estey Bomberger can help. Our service to our clients is our number one priority here at our law firm. We take great pride in our seeing our clients compensated fairly for their injury expenses. Clients may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
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Every year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and multiple other federal agencies issue hundreds of product recalls due to hazardous risks associated with the use of a product. Many product recalls are not issued immediately after a product’s placement on the market because investigating product issues and complaints can take years for government agencies. Even after a product recall has been issued, only 15 to 30 percent of products are returned, leaving a large amount of dangerous products in consumers’ hands. In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 27,000 deaths are caused by the use of a defective product every year.
If you have been injured by a defective product or have lost a loved one who used an unsafe product, contact a California product recall lawyer at Estey Bomberger. American consumers deserve safe products. We will hold manufacturing companies accountable for their actions and fight to make sure negligent manufacturers compensate you for the devastation they have caused. Together, we can send a message to product manufacturers that they cannot continue to put consumers’ safety at risk for profit.
Types of Defective Products
The types of products that can have a design flaw, manufacturing defect or marketing inadequacy, include:
- Auto parts and accessories
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Power tools
- Sports equipment
- Children’s products
- Medical devices
- Medical equipment
- Beauty products
Children and Product Recalls
Children’s toy and product recalls account for a large percentage of all product recalls every year. Cribs, bassinets, playpens, swings, highchairs, clothing, shoes, car seats, strollers, bikes, jewelry and baby walkers are just a few of the types of children’s products that have been recalled in recent years. According to the CPSC more than 220,000 children are injured every year because of dangerous toys. Children’s developing bodies and brains are more susceptible to serious injury when exposed to hazardous chemicals, such as lead and cadmium (two toxic chemicals recently found in toys). Lead poisoning can severely affect a small child’s mental and physical development, and can be fatal if high levels are present in the body. Cadmium poisoning can lead to anemia, and kidney and liver failure.
What to Do in the Event of a Product Recall
After a product recall has been issued for a particular item, you should stop using the product immediately. Make every effort to remove the defective product from your home, away from children and other family members. If a dangerous product seriously injured you or a family member, seek medical attention to prevent further health complications and death. Once the injury has been treated and you or your loved one’s condition is stabilized, it is highly recommended that you seek the counsel of a skilled California product liability injury lawyer at the law firm of Estey Bomberger. With the use of cutting-edge technology and a team of investigators and forensic specialists, we will determine why the product caused you injury and how it could have been prevented. We will proceed aggressively to ensure our clients receive the compensation they need and deserve. Past, current and future medical bills, lost earnings, permanent scars, and pain and suffering can be compensated.
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