Articles Posted in Products Liability

IKEA has issued a recall of 3 million more window blinds after a child was nearly strangled to death. IKEA has previously issued a recall for approximately 1 million blinds. This recall includes all Roman and roll-up blinds sold at IKEA from 1998 through June 2009.

The problem with window blinds is that children are choking on the blinds themselves when they are in reach. Certainly, it is quite hard to imagine how kids do this – it takes a series of “if then” actions on the part of the child. But there are a lot of kids in this country and a lot of window blinds which mathematically leads to outcomes that were unexpected.

The ultimate solution to this problem – automatic window blinds – are cost prohibitive for the average consumer.

I found this link from the Daily Record’s blog to a rare Daily Double about spotting a prospective hold out juror; it was both funny and educational. Of course, it would have been a lot more educational if Maryland had a voir dire process that allowed you to actually learn something about the jurors besides their name, rank and serial number.

An article that John Bratt and I wrote has been accepted for publication in December in Trial, the flagship publication for the American Association of Justice. The article is about mediations in catastrophic personal injury cases. We finished what I hope is the final draft today.

John Cord’s Drug Recall Lawyer Blog reports that Plaintiffs in 23 Yasmin/Yaz birth control lawsuits filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on MultiDistrict Litigation requesting consolidation and/or coordination of 32 and counting federal Yasmin/Yaz lawsuits.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is getting heat because before she was elected to Congress in 2006, she spend much of her career as a lawyer working at a mega New York law firm representing the world’s largest cigarette company, Philip Morris. She apparently spend a good bit of time between 1995 to 1999 helping Philip Morris fight the Justice Department’s efforts to get the tobacco company to produce damaging research and other internal documents regarding its knowledge about the health risks of tobacco products.

My first reaction is that you shouldn’t judge people for the clients the represent. I defended drug companies during that same period of time and while I’m not proud of this, I’m not ashamed either. I’m sure Martin O’Malley is not ashamed of defending criminals. But Dorothy Samuels has a different take on it in the New York Times that I think deserves airing:

Professor Stephen Gillers of New York University Law School, one of the country’s leading legal ethics experts, draws a distinction between publicly criticizing lawyers because of the people they represent, which he says he would not do, and how they carry out the representation.

Bloomberg reports that AstraZeneca “buried” unfavorable studies on its antipsychotic drug Seroquel, according to an internal e-mail unsealed as part of litigation over the medicine.

Specifically, Seroquel’s manufacturer is accused of doing what has been alleged of drug companies thousands of times over the course of human history: failing to publicize results of at least three Seroquel clinical trials and cherry picking the data that it did publish about the risks associated with Seroquel.

Apparently, Seroquel’s manufacturer saw the whole thing coming: John Tumas, an AstraZeneca publications manager, wrote in an email that AstraZeneca had “buried trials 15, 31, 56.” Tumas showed in the email that he realized burying Seroquel data was not without risk:

We added on the Miller & Zois website the internal list that our lawyers keep of arbitrators and mediators in Maryland who we believe mediate or arbitrate personal injury cases.

As we make clear, this is not a list our our recommended mediators or arbitrators, just a collection of those that are doing the work. We refer to the list if arbitrating or mediating a case so it occured to me that others might want to have the same option, be it another personal injury lawyer or even an insurance company.

NuvaRing

The NuvaRing (often misspelled as Nuva Ring or Newva Ring) is a low-dose hormonal, contraceptive device manufactured by Organon, a Dutch pharmaceutical company that was purchased last year by Schering Plough (which sells well known products such as Dr. Scholl’s and Coppertone)The NuvaRing is a small inter-vaginal device inserted by the user once a month to prevent pregnancy. Proponents of the NuvaRing advocate the ring’s low hormone dosage as well as its easy use, in comparison to the pill’s daily regimen.

Risks Associated with the NuvaRing

Urinary stress incontinence is a common problem for women – some 13 million of them in this country alone – particularly after childbirth and as they age. There are diaper-like products on the market for such women, but many choose to medically correct the problem so they no longer have this inconvenient embarrassment in their life. Imagine their horror when the very procedure meant to help them ends up harming them far worse than the original incontinence. This is what has happened to many women who had the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling surgically inserted.

Mentor is a California company that manufactured an ObTape Vaginal Sling, an implanted device that is designed to replace eroded or weakened muscles in the urethra and support the bladder. The problems occur because the material the sling is made of doesn’t allow the tissue where the sling is attached to heal; the material itself prevents the needed nutrients and oxygen from reaching the tissue. Women have suffered infection, scarring, painful intercourse, vaginal discharge, pain, mesh extrusions, abscess, and return of the very condition meant to be rectified by this device – urinary stress incontinence. The complications from the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling often required patients to undergo surgery and, unfortunately, often serious and permanent injuries. Mentor’s ObTape Vagina Sling came on the market in 2003, and in less than 3 years was taken off the market. Mentor never stepped up and issued a recall; Mentor simply stopped marketing the Ob Tape in March, 2006, but it never actually recalled the product – Mentor just let it die a slow death.

In October, 2006, the Journal of Urology reported on a study which looked at 67 women who had been implanted with the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling. More than 13% developed vaginal extrusions. Others had chronic vaginal discharge, and one patient developed an abscess that led to complications. The most telling part of the study was that none of the control group of 56 women who used another type of vaginal sling experienced the complications seen with the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling.