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Articles Posted in Defective Products

Transvaginal mesh is a medical device used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, the device is also linked to severe pain, organ damage, and several other serious complications. In fact, more than 100,000 women have suffered damages as a result of poorly-designed transvaginal mesh devices. As such, thousands of women have been compensated after filing lawsuits against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh.

When complications with transvaginal mesh implants arise, procedures to remove or fix the implant can be expensive, and extremely painful. In addition, the damages can be permanent. Some women have been unable to fully recover from their injuries; sexual intercourse may be painful, and many women report the inability to sit comfortably months after the injury. A Boston defective medical products attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by transvaginal mesh.

How Did Such a Dangerous Device Get Approved?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved transvaginal mesh devices through a fast track process. In layman’s terms – the devices were never thoroughly tested. By 2008, thousands of adverse event reports had been received by the FDA. Women reported injuries due to erosion of the mesh, and to organ perforation due to device migration. In response, the FDA updated its information saying complications could occur, but that they were rare. The following year, the FDA ordered stricter monitoring of transvaginal mesh devices. Multiple companies immediately pulled their devices.

But the stricter regulations came too late for many women. Thousands have filed lawsuits, claiming that the companies knew about the risks involved and still sold the devices. More than a dozen women have received multimillion dollar verdicts against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh. Among them is Christine Scott, who was awarded $2 million in 2013 for injuries she suffered due to an Avaulta mesh product. The C.R. Bard-manufactured device caused severe pain and bleeding, painful intercourse, and bladder spasms. As a result, Scott required multiple revision surgeries. There are currently more than 60,000 lawsuits pending against vaginal mesh manufacturers nationwide.

Injuries Linked to Transvaginal Mesh

Injuries are varied and often include emotional trauma. Some of the most common serious injuries linked to mesh devices are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Severe pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Organ damage due to mesh erosion
  • The need for revision surgeries.

In 2014, four separate lawsuits were consolidated into one trial in federal court. Carol Sue Campbell, Jeanie Blankenship, Chris Rene, and Jacquelyn Tyree claimed that their Boston Scientific Obtryx transvaginal mesh devices had eroded, resulting in organ perforation and extreme pain. The women received a total of $14.5 million in compensation for their damages.

Another woman, Patricia Hammons, filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson following the failure of her Profift implant. After multiple revision surgeries, the company was ordered to pay Hammons $5.5 million to compensate her for her damages. A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by transvaginal mesh. Continue reading

At first glance, this might sound like a silly question – how can shopping carts be dangerous enough to result in a personal injury lawsuit? But studies show that about 24,000 kids are injured by shopping carts every year. Injuries are most prevalent during peak shopping hours and peak shopping days (a.k.a. Black Friday). If your child is injured by a shopping cart inside our outside of a store, who do you sue?

Elements of a Personal Injury Claim

For a personal injury claim to be successful, you have to show that another’s negligence caused your injuries. When it comes to accidents involving shopping carts, the following four elements must be present:

  • The other shopper had a legal duty to use the shopping cart with reasonable care, or the store employee had a legal duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances.
  • The shopper or store employee breached that legal duty.
  • The breach of duty caused the injuries.
  • Actual damages occurred, whether property or bodily, or both.

Is the Store Responsible?

In some cases, the store itself may be responsible for damages. You can sue the store under three legal theories. These are:

  • Premises liability: This occurs when the store owner or property manager knew about, or should have known about, a dangerous condition.
  • Negligence: This may be a factor when, for example, an employer fails to properly train or supervise employees.
  • Vicarious liability: Under certain circumstances, a store can be held liable for the negligent actions of an employee.

Shopping Cart Injury Statistics

The questions of if, how, and who to sue following a shopping cart injury can be difficult to answer. The help of an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer is essential to a favorable outcome. Although shopping carts don’t seem particularly dangerous, young children actually have a relatively high risk of injury in a shopping cart. Between 1990 and 2011, more than 65 children ended up in emergency rooms with shopping cart-related injuries every day. Among them, most were under the age of four, and more than 80 percent of the injuries were to the head, 15 percent to the upper extremities, and six percent to the lower extremities. In order of frequency, cart injuries were caused by:

  • Children falling out of carts
  • Carts tipping
  • Children running into a cart
  • Extremities becoming trapped in the cart

In 2004, voluntary shopping cart standards were introduced. However, the frequency of injuries has not dropped. “The take-home message is that the standard can be strengthened and we can do much better,” said Dr. Gary A. Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “These injuries can be prevented.” A MA personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a shopping cart. Continue reading

The leading cause of death for young children is motor vehicle crashes. For this reason, the use of child safety seats is crucial to the safety of your child. However, an improperly installed or defective safety seat can be even more dangerous than using no seat at all because it provides parents with a false sense of security. To reduce the risk of serious injury or death to a small child, thoroughly review seat features and customer ratings prior to purchase, have your installation of the seat base professionally checked, and regularly monitor for recalls or product safety reports to determine if your seat has a potential defect.

Earlier this month Graco, the leading manufacturer of safety and convenience products for children, recalled more than 25,000 child safety seats due to a concern that an important feature of the seat may break in a crash. Webbing on the harness that restrains children in a collision is the culprit. Shockingly, despite the harness being one of the most important components of a child safety seat, Graco claims that it’s safe to use seats while waiting for a replacement kit. A Boston defective products lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by a faulty or dangerous product.

Recalled Models

If the webbing of the My Ride 65 Graco seat breaks in a crash, the entire harness system could malfunction, resulting in improper restraint of the child. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards regulate the design and safety features of child restraint systems; the My Ride 65 Graco child safety seat did not meet these standards. As such, a total of eight models produced between May and August of 2014 are being recalled. The model numbers included in this recall are:

  • 179433
  • 1813015
  • 1813074
  • 1853478
  • 1871689
  • 1872691
  • 1877535
  • 1908152

If you have a My Ride 65 with one of these model numbers and a code tag of 2014/06 on the webbing, Graco will send you a free replacement harness. A MA defective products attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by a defective or dangerous product.

Child Safety Seats Save Lives

More than 650 children age 12 and under died in car crashes in 2011, and more than 148,000 were injured. Of those children, a whopping 33 percent were not restrained. Despite these sobering statistics, a one-year CDC study revealed that more than 618,000 kids between infancy and age 12 rode without proper safety restraints at least part of the time.

How to Use Your Child’s Safety Seat Correctly

Safety seats only save lives when they are used correctly. Studies show that up to 84 percent of these restraints are being misused. It is extremely common, for example, for children to be in a seat that is not suited to their age and weight. Other common problems are improper attachment to the vehicle’s seat, and a loose harness. Incorrect use of a safety seat more than triples your child’s risk of serious injury. So how can parents ensure that their safety seat is properly installed?

  • Prior to installing your child safety seat, carefully read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer for the seat. In addition, review your vehicle owner’s manual for instructions on how to install child restraint systems in that particular vehicle. Every seat and vehicle is different.
  • Child safety seats should be placed in the back seat of your car or truck.
  • Place your child in the seat to properly adjust harness straps. Ensure that the belts and harness fit your child comfortably and securely.
  • Regularly check the fit of the belts and / or harness as your child grows. You may also have to adjust them seasonally, to accommodate for heavy winter coats and layered clothing, or the removal of these items.
  • Ensure that the base or seat (depending on whether you are using an infant seat or a booster) is tightly and securely fastened to the vehicle’s seat using the vehicle’s safety belts.
  • Children should remain in a rear-facing seat until the age of two years.
  • Have your seat’s installation professionally inspected by a certified technician.

Continue reading

Pressure cookers are food preparation devices which utilize a pressurized chamber (kept sealed by special lids) and electricity to heat up water to well beyond boiling temperatures while the food ingredients inside are quickly cooked.

The combination of pressure and highly-heated water (among other possible liquids depending on what is being cooked) is not only a recipe for nutritious food cooked fast, it is also a recipe for potential disaster – as unfortunately too many people have learned through experience.

Injuries caused by malfunctioning pressure cookers can range from superficial, minor burns to life-altering third degree burns that can permanently scar and disfigure victims. Many of these injuries may occur from incorrect use of pressure cookers, but other accidents have occurred in recent years that have led to lawsuits against certain pressure cooker manufacturers.

These lawsuits allege that there are serious design flaws in some of these cookers that enable the lid to become compromised, allowing the scolding hot contents to explode out of the pressurized chamber and burn those using the cooker.

Tristar pressure cooker the subject of multiple suits

The “Power Pressure Cooker XL,” manufactured by Tristar Products, is one of the few “As Seen on TV” pressure cooker products available. In its advertisements, the cooker is touted to be almost miraculous in how quickly it can deliciously prepare a huge range of different foods. The product even makes a point to tout how safe it is, with a special lid that locks and prevents opening until the cooking is done.

However, people have filed claims against Tristar in recent years because of serious allegations that the cooker has a design flaw which leads the cooker to exploding randomly and without warning, hurling its dangerously-hot contents everywhere and burning the consumer.

The first lawsuit against Tristar was filed on June 12, 2015 by a Texas couple who had unplugged the cooker, only to have the lid explode a full two hours later, sending boiling liquid and pinto beans flying at them. The wife wound up spending 20 days in the hospital to treat her severe burns.

Just a couple weeks later, a Florida couple experienced almost the exact same thing; the lid of their Power Pressure Cooker XL blowing off for seemingly no reason. Both the wife and husband incurred burns as a result of this. Continue reading

Have you ever had a surgery to correct a hernia? Chances are, if you had such a surgery in the last ten years you were fitted with some type of hernia mesh to help the repaired hernia heal. Hernia mesh can be made from synthetic materials or animal tissue, and is placed inside the body to support a healing hernia.

Statistically, the use of hernia mesh to help aid in the recovery of hernias does decrease the likelihood of future complications in the area of the hernia, and decreases the risk of needing any follow-up surgeries.

Unfortunately, not all hernia mesh products are equivalent, and some have been outright recalled due to problematic and potentially life-threatening complications that they create. The following hernia mesh products have been officially recalled.

Ethicon – a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson

  • Proceed (FDA approval in 2003, recalled in 2006, 2011 and 2014)
  • Physiomesh (FDA approval in 2010, withdrawn from sales by company in June, 2016)

Atrium Medical Corporation of Maquet Getinge Group

  • C-QUR surgical mesh (gained FDA approval in 2006, recalled in 2013)

Bard Davol, a subsidiary company of C.R. Bard

  • Kugel
  • 3DMax
  • Perfix
  • Sepramesh

Ethicon’s ‘Physiomesh’ product is the most recent large-scale recall of hernia mesh, and occurred in 2016. The mesh is made from a chemical compound called polypropylene, which can be incredibly dangerous should it come into contact with human tissue because of its tendency to “stick” to the tissue; opening up a whole host of potential complications depending on where the mesh is placed within the body.

Physiomesh was coated in multiple other materials to prevent contact between the polypropylene and the inside of the human body, however the decision to pull the product from the market indicates that there were too many people experiencing the complications to continue to push the mesh on the market.

C.R. Bard’s products resulted in three Class 1 recalls (potentially life-threatening) between 2005 and 2007. Complications included fistulas and perforation of bowels.

No matter what the product, there is always a risk that the mesh will not perform its duties entirely correctly and will require a second, or more, surgery to correct the complication. Hernia mesh can also cause a number of other side effects, including:

  • Pain and bleeding
  • Adhesions (scar tissue that sticks together)
  • Seroma (a buildup of fluid at the site of incision)
  • Nerve damage
  • Infections
  • Shrinking/migrating/compromised mesh
  • Bowel and intestinal blockage
  • Autoimmune reactions/mesh rejection
  • Reoccurrence of hernia
  • Fistulas (irregular points of connection between separate organs)
  • Organ tears and perforations

Should any of these complications occur to you or a loved one, you may be entitled to significant compensation for the pain that you’ve endured and the expenses you have incurred as a result of the faulty medical procedure. There are thousands of ongoing hernia mesh lawsuits happening today, and you may be able to recover damages for your own experience.

When you go to the hospital to receive surgery, you should feel comfortable that a procedure will not lead to further complications down the line due to a faulty product, such as some of these hernia mesh products have been revealed to be. Continue reading

A tire blowout can be extremely dangerous, especially at high speeds. When a blowout occurs, the incident often leads to damage, motor vehicle accidents, and injuries. However, determining liability is rarely an easy task. Negligence on the part of the vehicle owner / driver may have been a contributing factor, but it’s also possible that the tire was defective. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a tire blowout, a MA injury lawyer can help you determine who’s liable for any resulting injuries or property damage.

Do You Have a Product Liability Claim?

If your tire blowout caused an accident, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the tire or wheel. In these types of cases, it is common for experts to be consulted. They can analyze the details of the blowout and testify to how it most likely occurred. If the tire was relatively new, properly installed, and recently inspected, your chances of success will be much greater than if the tire is old and worn. Improper installation may have also played a role in the blowout. If a new tire blows out on the road, it is likely due to improper installation or driver negligence.

Driver Negligence

If you are injured or suffer a financial loss due to another driver’s tire blowout, you may have a claim against the driver. Did negligence play a role? This is generally easier to prove than a product defect or improper installation because you only need to show negligence on the part of the driver. And proving negligence, as it pertains to a tire blowout, may be a relatively easy task. The fact is, drivers rarely inspect tires as often or thoroughly as they should, even though they are bound by duty to do so. However, even individuals with brand new tires, a solid tire-maintenance schedule, and whose tires were properly installed can have a blowout due to driver negligence. If you have been injured due to a tire blowout, a Boston injury attorney can help.

Common Tire Defects

A tire can be defective for multiple reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects
  • Improper or inferior materials
  • Old tires that appear new
  • Improper tires for the vehicle type

The side effects of the above defects may include:

  • Tread separation
  • Bead failure
  • Belt separation
  • Tire explosion or blowout

In most single vehicle accidents and rollovers, tire blowouts are to blame. When an older tire is sold as “new,” the tire may appear fine until the driver reaches high speeds. This can be especially dangerous in hot weather. If you are concerned about the safety of your tires, have them professionally inspected as soon as possible. Don’t let something as simple, and inexpensive to fix as a faulty tire, cost you your life. Continue reading

If a product you used caused injury or illness, you may be able to file a defective product liability claim. The injury itself isn’t enough to justify a claim. For example, if you trip over a space heater in your bedroom and are subsequently injured in a slip and fall accident, suing the space heater’s manufacturer isn’t likely to produce results. However, if you are injured when your new space heater catches fire for no apparent reason, it’s a different story. Unless you misused the product, the fire may have been caused by a product defect.

The Elements of a Defective Product Liability Claim

Three main elements must be present for a successful defective product liability claim. These are:

  • An injury or financial loss occurred.
  • There is a defect in the product.
  • Your injury was caused by the defect.
  • You were not misusing the product when the injury occurred.

Keep in mind, you must have actually suffered a loss. If a defective product caused you to slip and fall, but you weren’t injured and no property damage occurred, there’s not much point to filing any type of injury claim. A Boston injury attorney can help you determine if you should file a defective product liability claim for your injuries.

Design Defect or Manufacturing Defect?

If the product was designed correctly but an error occurred during the manufacturing process, the claim is generally easier to prove than if the product was manufactured correctly but the design was flawed.

Olympus Duodenoscope Design Defect

A good example of a product with a serious design defect is the Olympus duodenoscope. This medical product was redesigned in 2010 to keep infectious material from entering the scope. Unfortunately, the new design, which involved closing off a narrow internal channel, actually allowed dangerous bacteria to remain in the product after cleaning. As a result, multiple superbug outbreaks occurred in hospitals throughout the country, and many people were seriously injured or died. Working with a skilled MA injury lawyer is crucial to a positive outcome in cases involving any type of product liability claim.

Takata Airbags

Determining whether a product is defective is not always an easy task. In some cases, the answer is clear. But proving that a product is unreasonably dangerous can be a complex process. Take airbags, for example. Airbags can cause injuries when they deploy, but most of these injuries are considered to be “reasonable” when you take into account their potential for saving lives. However, not all airbag injuries are reasonable. Takata airbags caused multiple injuries and deaths when a defective inflator caused airbags to explode with too much force, hurling metal debris at vehicle occupants. In fact, Takata was just ordered to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties after pleading guilty to wire fraud related to this ongoing case.

Did the Manufacturer Fail to Warn You of a Hazard?

If you can show that the defect was not obvious to an ordinary customer, you will have a better chance at winning your defective product liability claim. If the product had bright red warning stickers on it, you removed them, and got injured doing what the stickers warned you not to do, your chances of a successful claim are limited. If, however, the manufacturer failed to warn you about an inherent danger, you may have a solid case. Continue reading

The controversy surrounding Bair Hugger surgical warming blankets doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Just one year ago, there were approximately a dozen lawsuits pending against the medical device’s manufacturer, 3M. Today, there are nearly 900. Lawsuits claim that the warming blankets caused surgical site infections. Even worse, new evidence shows that 3M may have known about the risks for years, but failed to warn patients and physicians.

Most commonly used in knee and hip replacement surgeries, surgical warming blankets are associated with an even greater risk of causing infections in people with certain conditions. Some of these high-risk conditions include diabetes, immune deficiencies, obesity, and peripheral vascular diseases. Although the Bair Hugger warming blankets continue to be used widely throughout the medical world, questions about the device’s safety are quickly taking center stage. If you’ve been injured by a surgical warming blanket, contact a Boston defective medical product attorney today.

How Can Surgical Warming Blankets Cause Infections in Patient?

It may seem far-fetched to imagine a blanket causing life-threatening infections in a patient. How is this possible? Well, it’s not really the blanket itself that causes the infection, but rather the warming system that forces warm air into the blankets to keep a patient warm. Because the warming system sits on the floor, it can easily become contaminated. If contamination occurs, the warm air being forced into the blankets can also be contaminated. Having just undergone surgery, the patient will likely have at least one open wound on his or her body. If contaminated air reaches a surgical incision or wound, the bacteria may enter the patient’s body, resulting in infection. Basically, the warming system can circulate the contamination from a hospital floor into warming blankets that are placed directly on the patient’s skin. If you’ve been harmed by a defective medical product, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.

Why Are Bair Hugger Warming Blankets Still Being Used?

If these devices are so dangerous, why are they still being used? Short answer – it’s complicated. For starters, the same question could be asked of a seemingly-infinite number of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, vehicle parts, and other consumer goods. The desire to get products to market fast can cast a dangerous shadow on potential dangers. Furthermore, determining the exact source of an infection is not exactly easy. This is especially true in hospitals. Patients acquire infections in hospitals with shocking frequency. In addition, infections can take weeks to become apparent. Proving that the nearly 900 claimants acquired infections via surgical warming blankets, therefore, can be challenging. That being said, the medical community isn’t going to voluntarily shoulder the blame for warming blanket infections.  And in light of new evidence, physicians are becoming increasingly skeptical of the product’s safety. Continue reading

Seat belt use first became regulated in 1983, when many states adopted laws requiring drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts. Beginning in 1989, laws went into effect that required children in the back seat to buckle up as well. Although injury accidents have seen a dramatic reduction since the beginning of seat belt regulation, seat belts aren’t perfect. They can’t prevent every injury and sometimes they can actually cause them.

What Ford Models are Affected?

Seat belt-related injuries are usually a result of improper use or a manufacturing or design defect. In recent years, multiple vehicle recalls have been issued due to seat belt defects. The most recent recall comes from Ford Motor Company and involves the recall of about 680,000 Ford vehicles due to a seat belt issue. The models affected by the recall include:

  • Ford Modeo cars: 2015-2016
  • Lincoln MKZ: 2013-2015
  • Ford Fusion passenger cars: 2013-2015

Apparently, in all of the models above, heat generated can cause seat belt cables to break during the deployment of a belt pre-tensioner. The pre-tensioner tightens the seat belt in a crash, therefore, this defect may result in less protection during a collision. In fact, two injuries associated with the defect have already been reported.

Ford says it will instruct dealers to fix the problem by injecting a substance into the pre-tensioner that will protect the component from increased temperatures. Ford Dealers should begin fixing the defect at no cost beginning the week of January 16, 2017. If you’ve been injured due to a defective vehicle part, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.

Major Vehicle Recalls of 2016

In many ways, 2016 has been a year of controversy, and lots of folks are ready to see this year come to an end. In addition to a politically-divisive presidential campaign and the loss of several music legends, 2016 saw a significant number of vehicle recalls. As this challenging year comes to a close, let’s look at some of the largest vehicle and vehicle part recalls of 2016.

  • Takata airbag recall: Due to defective inflator and propellent devices, metal fragments could shoot from the airbags when deployed, injuring or killing vehicle occupants. One of the largest vehicle part recalls in history, the Takata airbag recall impacted about 34 million vehicles worldwide.
  • Honda airbags: Nearly three million Honda vehicles were affected by this recall. In some Honda airbags, moisture intrusion could cause the inflator to rupture upon deployment.
  • Nissan passenger occupant classification systems: More than three million Nissan vehicles were impacted by a faulty occupant classification system which could incorrectly register an occupied seat as empty or an adult occupant as a child. This error could, in turn, result in the shut-off of a front passenger airbag.
  • Continental Automotive Systems airbags: Nearly five million vehicles with these airbags were involved in this recall. Due to possible corrosion of the power supply component, these airbags could fail to deploy during a crash or could accidentally deploy for no reason.

Continue reading

When most people think of IKEA, they think of affordable, sleek, modern furniture that customers assemble themselves. However, three recent tragedies may change the way some of us think about the stylish Swedish furniture company. Three wrongful death cases have been filed against IKEA for the deaths of three toddlers who were crushed when defective dressers fell onto them. The lawsuits, for three separate incidents, were filed in the state court in Pennsylvania. IKEA has agreed to settle the lawsuits, which claim the company was negligent in its manufacturing of the dressers, for $50 million.

Although these recent tragedies are especially disturbing, they are not the only wrongful death lawsuits filed against IKEA for defective furniture. In fact, there have been a total of seven deaths linked to the company’s unstable furniture. Further, new evidence shows that IKEA may have known about the risk of death. If you have been injured by a defective product, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.

In the cases involving the three toddlers, IKEA initially denied blame, arguing that the parents were at fault for not properly anchoring the dressers to a wall. The manufacturer’s assembly instructions did, indeed, include this last step. However, the court ruled in favor of the victims’ families, saying that consumers commonly ignore instructions to anchor furniture to a wall. Although this last step may provide better stability, a reasonable person wouldn’t think that ignoring it would result in the death of a child. User error is certainly taken into account in defective product cases, however, it can only go so far. In the above cases, a warning to anchor the dresser was not sufficient to insulate the company from liability.

Massive IKEA Recall

Earlier this year, nearly 30 million IKEA dressers were recalled because they didn’t meet safety and stability standards. In addition to the recall and the large settlement, IKEA is increasing efforts to raise awareness about the importance of furniture anchoring through its “Secure It” program. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, contact a MA injury lawyer today.

The Four Elements of a Defective Product Liability Claim

If you have suffered personal injury or property damage because of a product, you may have a defective product liability claim. To win your case, you must prove that the elements below existed:

  • You were injured or suffered a loss as a result of using the product
  • The product was defective
  • The product’s defect directly caused your injury
  • You were using the product for its intended use

If any of these elements did not exist, you may have a difficult time winning a defective product lawsuit. With the help of a skilled defective product attorney, however, your chances of a successful lawsuit are dramatically improved. Defective product liability is a complex area of the law; find an attorney who has extensive experience in this specific area. Continue reading