Congenital Heart Defects

Since 1991, many women suffering from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy have turned to Zofran (Ondansetron), a drug originally approved to treat these same symptoms in cancer and post-surgery patients but often prescribed to pregnant women “off-label.” Unfortunately, recent studies have linked Zofran as the cause of several congenital heart defects such as the following:

  • Atrial Septal Defects – Holes in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart
  • Ventricular Septal Defects – Holes in the walls separating the heart’s lower chambers
  • Atrioventricular Septal Defects – Holes between the chambers and valves of the heart

Symptoms related to these defects include difficulty breathing, irregular or rapid heartbeats, easy tiring, heat palpitations, lung infections, heart murmurs, and cardiac arrest.

In 2013, one study found that women who are prescribed Zofran during pregnancy have about a 20 percent increased risk of having a child with a serious heart defect. Specifically, children’s risk of developing atrial septal defects is increase by 2.1 times, ventricular septal defects by 2.3 times, and atrioventricular defects by 4.8 times. Another study conducted in 2014 found similar results and concluded that when women are given Zofran early in their pregnancy, they are 1.62 times more likely to give birth to a child with an underdeveloped heart. View more information regarding the dangers associated with Zofran.

Although complications due to Ondansetron most commonly develop in children prior to birth, young children are also at risk at developing heart complications after birth. In early 2015, two cases, one involving a 10-year-old and one involving an 86-day-old infant, resulted in the death of both children after being given Ondansetron and having heart complications.

The Relation Between Monsanto PCBs and Cancer

ANNISTON, ALABAMA – it was in 1979 that Congress issued a ban on the use and manufacturing of products that contain the hazardous chemical substance known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Monsanto Company has been cited to having been the lead manufacturer of the substance as there has been the presence of the chemical in various products of theirs that range from electronic equipment, to food packaging, to paint under the name of “Aroclor”, which was trademarked to the company.

Toxic Monsanto PCBs have been cited by sufferers of certain ailments, including some rare cancers, as the primary cause for their diseases. Three plaintiffs filed legal action against the company in 2009, claiming a link between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There is some precedent for the claim as a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proved the significant effects of exposure to PCBs with the immune system through the study of the effects of the same substance on the Rhesus monkey, a species that is 93% compatible with people – making them the prime test subject for the effects of certain substances on humans. The monkey’s thymus gland was quite significantly shrunk and the thymus gland is highly linked with the immune system. It has, through a series of studies, been assessed that PCBs are “probable human carcinogens”.

Early in 2015, Ben Unglesbee of the St. Louis Business Journal reported that San Diego has filed for legal action against the company for the chemical pollution that the San Diego Bay has sustained. In the report, it has been discovered that the Monsanto Company has been dealing with the production of PCBs for 40 years. Though the company allegedly stopped production of the substance two years before the government imposed ban in the late 1970s, there have been reported files that rooted from an internal memo within the company that states that the company has been aware of the detrimental nature of their products since the 1960s and yet continued with production anyway.

Potential Dangers of Defective Products for Children

For 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued 17 million product recalls for merchandise that was intended for children. Several items like cribs, strollers, clothing, and toys were pulled out of the market for failing to follow safety protocols required federal law. Left unnoticed, these defective products could pose serious risk of injury for children.

Such was the case back in the year 1998, when a tragic accident involving a defective crib took the life of a 16-month old baby. The infant Daniel Keysar suffocated and was strangled under the weight of his collapsed Playskool Travel-Lite crib. Despite having been recalled 5 years prior, plenty of other infants met similar accidents while using the said crib.

These tragic incidents were able to spark a conversation about the potential dangers of defective toys and products for children. In response, the government was soon able to impose stricter policies and regulations for manufacturers and distributors to follow. Through the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, also called ‘Danny’s Law’, the public can rest assured that the items they buy are safe for use and consumption of their children.

Still, as the earlier data suggest, the law isn’t a fool-proof way to assure the safety of consumer products. That’s why the CPSC keeps a close eye on products that may have fallen through the established safety nets. A recent recall posted on the CPSC website alerts the public on a defective stroller whose handle can break and cause the infant to fall.

Now, only one question remains: What happens when these recalls are issued too late? In March 2015, a recall for a residential hydraulic elevator came after causing an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury for a 10 year old child. According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm Houston personal injury attorneys, the only way to prevent similar incidents is by holding manufacturers and distributors accountable for their negligence.

Above Ground Pool Accidents: The Pool Owner’s Responsibility

After having their own family car, having a swimming pool right in their own backyard is the next best thing for many American families. Besides ensuring great time for kids, pools make family bonding more fun and worthwhile. Thus, despite the failure to have their own custom pool constructed, many families still try to get the next best thing: an above-ground pool.

An above-ground swimming pool is usually designed as an inflatable structure, which is able to keep its shape when filled with water, or a vinyl liner attached to metal frames. This is the easiest (and the cheapest) kind of pool to build that even the person who bought it can assemble it by himself/herself. It can also be disassembled, making it easy to be moved to another location and, like any custom pool, it’s very tempting to dip into, especially during the hot summer months. But just as a custom pool can be a cause of accidents, so too can an above-ground swimming pool.

The advantage of being able to set up an above-ground pool without needing the help of a professional can also backfire and turn to be a disadvantage itself. Improper installation is the usual consequence of a do-it-yourself installation, which happens to be one of the most common causes of above-ground pool accidents. Some of the other causes of accidents include overcrowding, raucous behavior inside the pool, failure to anchor the pool properly, placing the pool on uneven ground, and holes or tears that can make the pool collapse.

Many think that the worst effect a collapsing pool could only be possible minor bruises. On the contrary, many have resulted to back injuries, lacerations, head injuries and fractures to the skull, based on cases reported. It is also a fact that the larger the pool is, the more serious the injury may be sustained if it collapses and the ones most prone to serious injuries are kids, of course.

Adding to the frustration of a collapsed pool is the possible worry of legal consequences if the person injured is a friend’s or a neighbor’s kid. An injured victim (or his/her family on his/her behalf) has the option to pursue legal action for the compensation that will cover medical expenses among others. While a pool may be a source of real fun, its owner is primarily responsible and liable for whatever happens in it or because of it.

Personal Injury: Product-related Injuries

Product-related injuries and deaths tracked and recorded by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), include the following:

  • Toy-related injuries for the years 2001 and 2006 were 255,100 and 220,500, respectively;
  • 200,000 laptop batteries, which could overheat and cause fire, were recalled by Dell in 2005
  • Nearly 30,000 electric blankets had to be recalled in 2003 due to a tendency to overheat and burn the user when these are folded or bunched
  • In 2006, due to defective parts, Toyota recalled over 1.4 million of its cars
  • Due to the use of the Ortho Evra® birth control patch, a number of young women were found to have developed blood clots, which also caused their death

With regard to the conflict between manufacturers of products, which present some form of hazard or risk to safety, and consumers who may be injured through the use of such products, Marshall S. Shapo, a product liability expert from the Northwestern University School of Law, said that it’s a continuous rivalry that will have no end.

According to the website of Abel Law Firm, thousands of product liability claims are filed in various US courts every year, leading to settlements or court decisions in favor of consumers who have either been directly or indirectly injured by poor quality and defective products. Rather than spend millions of dollars in continuously paying settlement claims or court and lawyer’s fees, many companies find it more logical to invest on whatever will make their products definitely safe, including in product labeling and packaging. Nevertheless, some companies continue to cut corners when it comes to safety, and people are hurt as a result.

The Federal government’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, the nation’s consumer protection agency, protects American consumers from defective, misleading and defective goods by preventing any form of fraudulent and unfair business practices; it also formulates, upholds, promotes and enforces fair marketplace laws, investigates complaints on defective and substandard products, accepts complaints from consumer, files suits against individuals or firms that mislead consumers or violate consumer rights, and educates both consumers and businesses on matters concerning their (purchasing or manufacturing) responsibilities, duties and rights.

Products that cause personal injuries (an injury resulting from the negligence of a person, firm or any party) require the payment of damages to victims. Being represented by a highly-qualified legal professional would be wise, as victims will necessarily need good representation whether in court or acquiring an out-of-court settlement.

A Houston personal injury lawyer would be another commendable choice for the chance of meriting the maximum legal amount of compensation the victim may be entitled to receive. Whether in Houston or in Chicago, victims should know that there are totally dependable people who are always prepared to represent them anytime and anywhere, and who are just a phone call away.

Dangerous Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

It takes years of research and big funding before a pharmaceutical company finally comes up with a particular drug or product that will serve as a safe and effective treatment to a certain health condition. And before such drug or product becomes available in the market the US Food and Drug Administration will need convincing results, proven through a series of tests funded by the pharmaceutical company itself, that it will provide safe and effective treatment.

Though it is impative that medical products are efficient, their safety is of greater priority. This is why pharmaceutical companies can be held legally liable and mandated by courts to compensate those harmed by any medicine or pharmaceutical item that they produce which are proven unsafe and the cause of severe medical conditions or death in some patients, instead of providing cure.

Over the past years a number of health products from giant pharmaceuticals have been linked to the development of either severe or life-threatening complications in patients. Two of these are AlloDerm, a surgical mesh, and testosterone supplements intended to enhance the production of male hormones.

AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix, more commonly known as AlloDerm, was introduced in 1994. It was approved by the FDA as an alternative to the traditional skin grafting method (a surgical procedure for skin transplantation), which required skin coming from the very patient having the transplant. AlloDerm uses rigorously processed cadaveric skin instead, all the cells of which are removed, reducing the skin to a basement membrane.

Since it became available in the market, AlloDerm has been used in many different applications, including treatment of skin injury and damage due to surgeries, radiation or burn, facial reconstruction, abdominal wall or abdominal hernia repair (hernia is a condition wherein an internal organ pushes through a weak tissue or muscle and causes swelling under the skin) and, its more recent use, breast reconstruction after mastectomy or complete breast removal.

Despite its remarkable versatility, complaints, like mesh tear or perforation, infection, or abscess, were made by patients who had AlloDerm implanted in their bodies. Abscess, particularly, is probably the most dangerous complication resulting from the use AlloDerm, especially if it develops inside the patient’s body (which is hard to detect and treat) who has had a hernia-repair surgery. An abscess can cause extreme pain and, if not given timely treatment, can cause fever, chills, nausea, fatigue and even death.

Testosterone supplement, which was approved by the FDA as an enhancement for the production of testosterone, was intended for men suffering from Hypogonadism, also known as low testosterone or low T. Testosterone, specifically, is the male sex hormone responsible for sperm production, regulation of sex drive, growth of male hair, development of muscle size and strength, red blood cell production, and so forth. The drug supplement, however, has been linked to cases of strokes, heart attacks and deaths in males who take it.

Whether it’s AlloDerm or testosterone supplement, so long as there is harm to the individual taking it, then he/she is encouraged to report his/her case and file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer. By January 2013, more than 300 lawsuits had already been filed (in New Jersey alone) against LifeCell Corporation, the manufacturer of AlloDerm. Millions of individuals have had AlloDerm transplant in the past; millions of men had received prescriptions for testosterone too.

Fighting a legal battle against the drugs’ manufacturers is not easy, however. Depending on the product used or taken, victims should seek the help of experienced and competent AlloDerm lawyers or testosterone supplements lawyers, both of whom can effectively address victims’ individual cases and fight for their rights to help them get the full compensation that they legally deserve.