The JPML Creates Paragard MDL

Judicial Panel Rules to Consolidate Paragard IUD Cases Into Multidistrict Litigation

On December 16, 2020, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (US JPML) ordered that Paragard IUD products liability cases be consolidated in Georgia’s Northern District.

The litigation to which the transfer order pertains involves 55 Paragard IUD actions pending in 31 districts. The JPML was notified of an additional 25 Paragard cases that are potentially also related and, therefore, could become part of the MDL.

What Is Paragard and Why Are Women Filing Paragard Lawsuits?

Paragard is an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) made from copper. It is the only FDA-approved non-hormonal IUD available in the US. Paragard has been the subject of a robust national marketing campaign touting the IUD as a safe and effective non-hormonal form of birth control.

Many women across the country, however, have reported serious complications and injuries caused by Paragard. Many of these victims have filed product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers and marketers of Paragard. The lawsuits claim that the Paragard IUD has a defective design, manufacturing defects and that the makers of Paragard failed to warn women of its dangers.

It is these lawsuits that are being consolidated into an MDL.

The JPML Selects Georgia for Paragard MDL

The plaintiffs and defendants in the cases acknowledged that no one district is the focal point of the Paragard IUD litigation and that the cases are all in the earliest of stages. The JPML concluded that since six actions are currently pending in the Northern District of Georgia and that it is a convenient and accessible location, it is a forum that makes sense.

The panel assigned the Paragard IUD litigation to the Honorable Leigh Martin May in the Northern District of Georgia for coordinated, consolidated pretrial proceedings.

Panel Consolidates Paragard Lawsuits Over Defendants’ Objections

The JPML considered the arguments of the defendants who jointly opposed centralizing the cases for various reasons. Teva Women’s Health, LLC, Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R & D, Inc., The Cooper Companies, Inc., and Cooper Surgical, Inc. In opposing centralization, defendants argued that the named defendants vary somewhat from action to action. This point was deemed irrelevant by the panel.

The Defendants also argued that the panel should not consolidate the claims because they would fail as a matter of law. However, the panel determined that it has no authority or inclination to rule on or even consider the merits of the actions before it when deciding on centralization.

The defendants also expressed to the panel their concern that creating an MDL would lead to the filing of numerous Paragard lawsuits, many of them frivolous, that would escape real scrutiny. This, the defendants argue, would put unnecessary pressure on the defendants to settle non-meritorious cases.

The panel determined that it is the attorneys’ role to weed out and take action against frivolous claims and that there are a variety of ways to do this.

JPML Concludes that Paragard Lawsuits Involve Common Questions and Allegations Surrounding the Paragard IUD

The Panel stated in its Transfer Order,

“After considering the arguments of counsel, we find that these actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in the Northern District of Georgia will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. These actions involve common allegations that the Paragard intrauterine device (IUD) has a propensity to break upon removal, causing complications and injuries, including surgeries to remove the broken piece of the device, infertility, and pain. The actions thus implicate questions concerning the device’s development, manufacture, testing, labeling, and marketing.”

Although Judge Leigh Martin May has not yet presided over an MDL, the panel expressed confidence in her ability to do so.

Did You Suffer Injuries Because of Paragard? Call Our Lawyers Today

If you were injured by a Paragard copper IUD, call our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP, at 800-403-6191. Call now to find out if you are eligible to file a Paragard Lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries.

Research Connects Covid-19 and Protein Pump Inhibitors

Research Seeks and Finds Connections Between Protein Pump Inhibitors and Covid-19

Protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been the subject of many studies about their side effects and risks.

This should be no surprise given the fact that millions of Americans take these drugs either by prescription or in their over-the-counter versions. PPIs are sold under a variety of names, including Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid. They are used to treat acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and more serious gastrointestinal ailments.

During the last several months, researchers sought and gathered information about a connection between the use of PPIs and Covid-19. Since stomach acid is one of the body’s most effective defenses against viruses and bacteria, what would it mean if stomach acid production was suppressed?

Can PPIs Make People More Susceptible to Covid-19? Can PPIs Make Covid-19 Worse?

Many studies have been conducted, and findings have been published. What do they say?

Initial results indicated that the current use of PPIs greatly increased the risk of severe Covid-19 “health outcomes.” According to one BMJ abstract, the risk among patients with Covid-19, “the current use of PPIs conferred a 79% greater risk of severe clinical outcomes. Those with current PPI use starting within the previous 30 days was associated with a 90% increased risk of severe clinical outcomes of COVID-19.”

The increased risk for those who reported past use of PPIs was deemed insignificant.

The severe health outcomes included things such as admission to the ICU, the need to be placed on a ventilator, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and death.

Initially, studies did not indicate a relationship between getting Covid-19 and PPIs, only the severity of illness. However, a recent nationwide survey indicates that “use of PPIs is associated with increased odds for reporting a positive Covid-19 test; the highest risk is seen among individuals taking PPIs” twice a day.

Why Can Taking PPIs Increase Your Risk of Covid-19 and Complications?

PPIs treat ailments and symptoms caused by stomach acid. They work by blocking or suppressing the production of acid. What does this have to do with Covid-19?

Stomach acid and your gut health in general can be significant factors in fighting off all viruses and infections. When you decrease the amount of acid, you are potentially limiting your body’s natural ability to fight off illnesses.

Scientists believe that one characteristic of Covid-19 is that it cannot thrive in acidic conditions. People with low amounts of stomach acid may be creating conditions that allow the Coronavirus to linger, giving it the opportunity to travel, replicate, and cause severe side effects.

Covid-19 replicates and invades the intestinal walls. With less acid protecting the intestinal walls, the greater the opportunity for Covid-19 to do damage.

What Does This Mean for You?

It means that if you take a PPI, consider speaking with your doctor about your need to do so and a safe dosage under the current circumstances. You and your doctor can weigh the benefits and risks and come to a conclusion you can all live with, keeping you as safe as possible in the process.

Contact Our Lawyers to Protect Your Legal Rights if You are Injured by a Dangerous or Defective Drug

At Alonso Krangle, LLP, our lawyers fight for the rights of victims injured by dangerous drugs. If you have been injured by over the counter or prescription drugs, call us at 800-403-6191 to find out how we can help protect your legal rights.

 

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Nursing Home Neglect Goes Beyond Covid-19

Professor Reminds Us That “Nursing Home Horrors” Go Beyond Covid-19

In a December 1, 2020 opinion article in the New York Post (“the Post”), Professor Charles Camosy provided a grim reminder that nursing home residents are suffering during this pandemic in ways that exceed the scope of the virus itself.

Nursing home residents make up approximately 1 percent of our nation’s population. Yet, they make up a startling 40% of deaths caused by Coronavirus. Some reports allege that in New York alone, the “failure to protect nursing home residents” from Covid-19 resulted in at least 6,000 deaths.

According to the Associated Press (AP), at least 40,000 nursing home deaths have been the result of “straight-up neglect.” Has the Covid-19 pandemic made conditions worse for all nursing home patients – even those without the virus? Has nursing home neglect caused tens of thousands of deaths? Perhaps.

Horror Stories Highlight Nursing Home Neglect Across the Country

One report involves Donald Wallace. The 75-year-old who lived in an Alabama residential nursing facility survived Covid-19.

The AP reported that Wallace’s son, Kevin, claims neglect ultimately killed his father. Kevin maintains that the facility stopped taking care of his father and that he became so dehydrated and malnourished that his weight dropped to 98 lbs. Wallace allegedly suffered septic shock and choked on his own food while dining unsupervised.

While the facility denies any negligence, Kevin feels strongly that it was pure neglect that resulted in his father’s death.

Camosy cites other horror stories to support the notion that neglect is widespread in nursing homes, especially now. There are reports of unchanged diapers, causing skin peeling and infections. There are also reports that patients aren’t being moved enough and that they are suffering from such bad bedsores that their bones are visible through the sores.
People are also suffering from the “profound isolation” that has resulted from the pandemic, their death certificates simply stating the cause of death as “failure to thrive.”

According to Camosy, many of these “practices were hiding in plain sight before, but the pandemic has forced Americans to examine how we treat our parents in the twilight of their lives.”

How Does Nursing Home Neglect Occur?

What type of negligence might be causing the suffering and death of non-Covid-19 nursing home residents during the pandemic?

  • Nursing homes tend to be chronically short-staffed, which makes conditions ripe for neglect.
  • Nursing home employees might be responsible for the well-being too many patients to treat them all with the level of care that is required by law
  • Nursing home administrators may not be providing adequate training and supervision to employees to ensure they are performing their duties adequately
  • Nursing homes might not be providing adequate supervision of residents, ensuring their safety
  • Isolation policies make it hard for family members and friends to notice early signs of neglect and seek remedial action or medical attention
  • Isolation policies also make it harder for nursing home residents to speak up about neglect
  • Isolation and staffing shortages have made it difficult for nursing home residents to obtain the emotional, physical, and social stimulation they require and expect, leading to a very fast health deterioration for many elders.

Camosy hopes that the pandemic forces America to look at the way we treat our elder population, especially those in a nursing home. He calls on the government to assess the situation and make changes to “protect and honor our elders.”

He emphasizes the need to address understaffing and stop paying nursing home employees “less than a living wage.” Camosy insists that these factors, which go hand in hand, are crucial to resolving the rampant nursing home neglect occurring across our nation.

If Your Loved One is the Victim of Nursing Home Neglect, Call Alonso Krangle, LLP for Help.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home who is suffering from neglect or you suspect their death was caused by neglect, call our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP. We have experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect claims and can determine if you are entitled to collect compensation. We believe in holding nursing homes accountable when their negligence causes injuries to innocent victims. We fight for the rights of nursing home residents and their families when neglect has severe consequences.

Call our New York nursing home neglect lawyers today at 516-350-5555 for a free case evaluation.

 

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Winter Driving Tips from NY Personal Injury Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP

Winter Driving Tips from NY Personal Injury Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP

Winter is here. A winter storm – even a flurry – can bring snow, ice, and sleet that cover our roads quickly. In places like New York, this will happen frequently. According to the Department of Transportation, over 70 percent of our nation’s roads are in areas that get over five inches of snow annually. Every year, nearly 900 people are killed, and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes that occur while it is snowing or sleeting. Even a small flurry can cause serious accidents as cars lose traction on snowy and icy roads.

While some of us might not be traveling far this winter because of Covid-19 restrictions and precautions, it is still important to remember that accidents can and do occur close to home.

Accidents on Snow Happen on Long Island for Many Reasons

Winter driving accidents often happen on local roads that might be dangerous because of negligent plowing, speeding cars that can’t safely brake at stop signs, or power outages that make it difficult to navigate busy intersections. Others occur because drivers simply lack the proper skills to drive safely on snow. Even staying “local” can require driving on highways, dealing with traffic, and icy roads.

If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident this winter, call our personal injury lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP. We fight for the legal rights of accident victims when they suffer injuries because of someone else’s negligence. If you need help, call our New York car accident lawyers at 516-350-5555.

Tips from the NHTSA for Safe Winter Driving

We hope everyone stays safe on the roads this winter. Here are some of the tips provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that might help you and your family remain safe when traveling by car during the cold, snowy winter.

Check Your Car at the Start of Winter

The NHTSA recommends that drivers take some measures before winter sets in to ensure their vehicle is safe and you are prepared to drive. These might include:

  • Checking for recalls on your vehicle
  • Servicing your car, especially checking:
    • Brakes
    • Tires
    • Lights
    • Wipers
    • Wiper fluid
    • Cooling and heating system
    • Floor mats
  • Reading the owner’s manual or refreshing your knowledge of your car’s safety features like antilock brakes or different driving modes.
  • Making sure your seatbelts work and that car seats and booster seats are age-appropriate, size appropriate, and installed properly.
  • Filling your gas tank

Prepare Your Car with Safety Items Before Heading Out on Snowy Roads

The NHTSA recommends stocking your vehicle with some items that might become useful in the event of a breakdown or accident. Preparedness can mean the difference between surviving or not if you are in a car crash during a storm or frigid temperatures. Consider putting the following items in your car before heading anywhere during the winter months:

  • Ice scraper
  • Snow shovel
  • A broom
  • Something abrasive like sand in case your car gets stuck in the snow
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Flares
  • Blankets
  • Water
  • Food
  • A fully charged cell phone
  • A few days’ supply of essential medications

Ready to Go? Drive Carefully!

You should always be careful when driving—alert, attentive, reasonable. During the winter, it is essential that you exercise extra caution to avoid accidents from happening. What does it mean to drive carefully?

Stay alert and avoid distractions.

  • Try not to use your phone unless it is an emergency.
  • Don’t read or respond to texts.
  • Don’t drive while tired.

Avoid risky driving behavior.

  • Obey the speed limit.
  • Do not drive with any alcohol or drugs in your system.
  • Do not text and drive.

Use Caution Around Snow Plows

  • Drive behind snowplows when possible
  • Be extremely cautious passing snowplows.
  • Remember snowplows stop frequently, may drive in more than one lane, and make wide turns.

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, if You Are Injured in a Car Accident on Snow or Ice This Winter

We hope these tips and suggestions are useful and that you and your family remain safe while navigating the icy and snowy roads this winter. Should you get injured in an accident, call our experienced personal injury lawyers for help.

We provide exceptional legal services and fight for the rights of victims of accidents. Our goal is to ensure you collect the compensation your injuries warrant when someone else’s negligence causes them.

Call our New York car accident lawyers today at 516-350-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation. Find out if you are eligible to collect compensation after being injured in a car accident.

 

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Paragard – the Newest IUD Safety Concern Spanning 40 Years

After 40 Years, IUDs Continue to Raise Safety Concerns

Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs) have been on the market for decades and rank as some of the most commonly used birth control devices around the world. However, in the US, where “the pill” is the most popular form of birth control, approximately 6% of women choose the IUD. Six percent may sound like a low number, but is actually a significant increase from the 1% reported in the early 2000’s.

The history of the IUD in the US is a controversial one and continues to be so today. Its proponents tout the IUD as an extremely effective, comfortable, safe, and reversible form of birth control. However, some detractors say otherwise.

Is Paragard IUD the Next Dalkon Shield?

The concerns of the women who question the safety of the IUD are not without some merit. Their worries about IUDs’ safety might be based on recent claims about the Paragard Copper IUD, the non-hormonal IUD, which is currently at the center of litigation.

Other nay-sayers might have hard-to-shake-memories of the Dalkon Shield, an IUD popular in the 1970s. The Dalkon Shield caused a stir when hundreds of thousands of women reported suffering severe injuries because of the IUD.

There were also reported fatalities.

These women filed lawsuits seeking compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering.

The Dalkon Shield became popular in the US after various factors led to public mistrust of the long-term use of birth control pills. The Dalkon shield worked the same way current IUDs work. A doctor implanted the device into a woman’s uterus, where it released substances that prevented fertilization. The Dalkon shield was more complicated than today’s simple t-shaped IUDs. It had 5 prongs springing from its center.

According to many, the Dalkon shield quickly became a disaster. Thousands of women experienced severe infections, some fatal. Others developed pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility.

More than 200,000 women joined in a lawsuit against A.H. Robins Company, the maker of the Dalkon Shield.

The result of the litigation? A.H. Robins went bankrupt, and the IUD virtually disappeared from the US. Women in America, unlike the rest of the world, were skeptical about the safety of IUDs.

As IUDs have regained some of their popularity over the years, they have not been without controversy and safety issues. Most recently, Paragard is at the center of a new round of lawsuits filed by women who claim Paragard caused serious injuries.

While the number of plaintiffs has not reached the level of the Dalkon Shield litigation, many more Paragard lawsuits are expected to be filed.

Lawsuits Allege the Paragard Copper IUD Causes Injuries

Paragard has been marketed by its manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, as the only available IUD that prevents pregnancy without hormones. The IUD is made from copper. It prevents fertility by creating an inhospitable environment that prevents fertilization from occurring. Other IUDs release small amounts of hormones, which some women prefer to avoid.

The lawsuits allege that the Paragard IUD is a dangerous, defective drug and that Teva did not provide warnings of its dangers. Some claims include:

  • Paragard can break apart over time and cause damage to nearby organs and tissue, especially the uterus
  • Paragard can break upon removal
  • Paragard can result in ectopic pregnancy
  • Women were not warned of the risks of using Paragard
  • Paragard can cause infections
  • Paragard can result in the need to have surgery
  • Teva knew about the risks of Paragard and did not warn patients
  • Paragard was defectively designed

Hundreds of women have filed lawsuits containing similar allegations seeking compensation for their Paragard injuries. Our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP, are interviewing women injured by Paragard to determine if they are entitled to file a Paragard Lawsuit.

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP Today For a Free Evaluation of Your Paragard IUD Injury Claim

If you were injured by Paragard, call Alonso Krangle, LLP, to find out about your legal right to collect compensation for your injuries from this defective drug. Call our Paragard IUD injury lawyers at 516-350-5555 or 800-403-6191 today if you were the victim of an IUD injury.

NY Court Affirms Huge Jury Award in Burn Injury Case

Court Upholds Jury Award of $59 Million in High School Burn Accident Case

When negligence causes accidents that result in injuries, the victims of those injuries often have the right to collect damages. Sometimes victims recover damages from insurance companies. At other times, they file personal injury lawsuits, which either settle or go to trial.

When personal injury cases involve severe injuries, victims can receive significant compensation for things like medical expenses, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering. The amount will vary depending on the injuries, how the injuries occurred, and how much the victim suffered and will continue to suffer. The goal is ensuring that the victims collect compensation that accurately represents the true nature of their injuries and their suffering.

In July 2019, a New York jury awarded Alonso Yanes $59 million after he suffered severe burn injuries in 2014 while in his high school chemistry class. In August 2020, a New York State Supreme Court Justice upheld the verdict, making it one of the largest awards for pain and suffering ever to be affirmed in New York.

Chemistry Explosion Caused 10th Grader to Suffer Third Degree Burns

In 2014, Alonso Yanes was 16 and a sophomore student at Beacon High School. His chemistry teacher Anna Poole attempted to conduct an experiment called “the Rainbow” to demonstrate how salts change color when exposed to methanol.

The result of her attempt was a huge fireball that immediately engulfed Yanes in flames.
Yanes testified that he was “hopelessly burning alive.” One witness testified at the trial that Yanes was burning for at least one full minute.

Yanes suffered third-degree burns over much of his body, leaving him disfigured and facing various health problems. He spent over five months in the hospital after the accident and has had over 120 medical procedures in the years that have followed.

Burn Victim Filed Negligence Lawsuit Against New York City Education Department and Teacher

Yanes filed a lawsuit against Poole and the New York City Department of Education. The defendants argued in their defense that the chemistry experiment gone awry was nothing but a tragic accident and that there was no negligence. However, weeks before this horrible “accident,” the United States Chemical Safety Board issued a video warning of the dangers of this exact experiment.

Yanes prevailed, and in 2019 the jury found the defendants liable for Yanes’ injuries, pain, and suffering. The city felt that Yanes should not receive more than $5 million for his pain and suffering. The jury, however, “granted $29 million for past pain and suffering, including Mr. Yanes’s surgeries, and another $29 million” for future suffering and rehabilitation.

Defendants in Burn Injury Case Asked Court to Reduce the Amount of Damages

The defendants asked the court to reduce the damage award. Judges can do this when they find that an award deviates from what is reasonable under the case’s circumstances.
Justice Alexander Tisch wrote in a 38-page opinion that “the emotional suffering that Mrs. Yanes must endure on a daily basis is tremendous.” Tisch laid out dozens of facts, including Yanes’s own testimony, which indicate the jury award was indeed “based upon a fair interpretation of the evidence.”

Tisch stated, “the jury carried out its duty based upon this Court’s charge on the law that if ‘the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant, it must render a verdict in a sum of money that will justly and fairly compensate the plaintiff for all losses resulting from the injuries and disabilities he sustained’ … including the loss of enjoyment of life.”

Contact Alonso Krangle, LLP if you suffer injuries in an accident. We represent victims of burn injuries, car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other innocent victims of negligence. Call us at 800-403-6191 or 516-350-5555 today for a free case evaluation.

 

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