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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dothan, Alabama Residents, Beware: Wellbutrin May Cause Serious Adverse Effects

For over twenty years now, Wellbutrin (generic bupropion) has been a popular and highly effective anti-depressant that is also prescribed for obesity, smoking cessation, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and sexual dysfunction. Now it has come to light that this drug, and its variations (Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR), may cause a variety of very serious side effects including:

  • Depression
  • Psychological disturbances
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Memory problems
  • Psychosis
  • Mania
  • Changes in personality
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Seizures

If you have taken Wellbutrin and have suffered any of these side effects, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The product liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm’s Dothan, Alabama office are now accepting Wellbutrin cases. Product liability claims are often complex and require expert knowledge of product liability law in the state in which you live. The attorneys at The Cochran Firm have both the knowledge and resources necessary to fight these difficult cases.

When we take a prescribed drug, we would like to think that it is safe and will achieve its intended purpose. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case. The problem with defective or dangerous drugs is that their side effects can be deadly, and the side effects may not surface for years after beginning taking the drug.
If you or a loved one has suffered ill effects as a result of taking Wellbutrin or any other drug, please contact the Dothan, Alabama office of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless you receive a settlement. We will work tirelessly to hold accountable anyone who caused you undue pain and suffering.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:52 PM

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Traumatic Brain Injury in Detroit, Michigan

Statistics reveal that over 1.5 million people will suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) this year. Over 50,000 of those will die from their injury, and over 80,000 will have long-term, life changing disabilities. Suffering an injury to the brain can be a devastating event for the victim and his or her family. The compassionate, experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm's Detroit office have helped countless victims recover the compensation they deserve if the TBI was a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.

Common causes of traumatic brain injuries include motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports-related injuries, and criminal assaults. Motor vehicle accidents are responsible for the most traumatic brain injuries, both fatal and non-fatal. A motor vehicle accident involving even a minor collision can result in a severe traumatic brain injury caused by whiplash, in which the head whips back and forth in a violent motion causing injury to the spinal cord and vertebrae.

The effects of a traumatic brain injury may include, but are not limited to, memory loss, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, severe headaches, confusion, personality and behavioral changes, and in severe cases paralysis, coma and death.
The traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm have many years of experience in handling cases for clients that have sustained a TBI. We are ready to fight aggressively to protect your legal rights and get you the financial compensation you need and deserve to cope with your injuries.

If you live in the Detroit, Michigan area and have sustained a traumatic brain injury or someone you love was injured or died due to a TBI, please contact the experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to begin the process of obtaining the financial compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay us no money unless we win your case.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:50 PM

Friday, October 29, 2010

Defective Hip Implant Could Affect Residents of Dallas, Texas

In August 2010, two types of hip implants were recalled: the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket replacement, and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System. These implants were manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics and were recalled due to what is believed, at this time, to be a design defect. The metal-on-metal hip implants, when improperly placed, can release metal particles into the body and inflame surrounding tissue and cause bone loss. Serious pain and corrective surgery often accompany defective implants.

Currently, over 93,000 implants have been recalled, and since 2008, the FDA has received over 400 complaints of implant failure. The product liability attorneys of The Cochran Firm’s Dallas, Texas office are now accepting these cases. If you or someone you love has suffered the serious pain associated with this defective device or if you have had to undergo additional surgeries to correct the problem, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.

Experts have reported that the DePuy Hip Implants were introduced without adequate testing and research of the devices, and, because of this, hundreds, maybe thousands of Americans have suffered needlessly. When companies place profits over patients, those companies and the people involved should be held accountable. That is where our hard-working, dedicated product liability attorneys come in. Our attorneys and legal team will fight diligently to get you the compensation to which you are entitled if you suffered due to this defective artificial hip. The pain associated with these devices, according to victims, is severe, and the surgeries to correct the problem can require weeks, months, or even years of recovery time.

Let us fight your legal battle while you focus on healing. If you live in the Dallas, Texas area and have suffered due to a defective DePuy hip implant, please contact The Cochran Firm's Dallas, Texas office today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation so we may hear the details of your case.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:49 PM

Recall of Hyland’s Teething Tablets

The company that makes Hyland's Teething Tablets is now under investigation by the FDA for irregularities in manufacturing that may have caused inconsistent amounts of the active ingredient, belladonna, which showed up in the FDA's laboratory testing.

Belladonna comes from a plant in the nightshade family used as both a medicine and a poison since antiquity. The belladonna alkaloids in Hyland's Teething Tablets are intended to relieve teething-related symptoms in children, but in higher doses can cause:

  • Agitation
  • Difficulty or slowed breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Depressed level of consciousness
  • Constipation
  • Trouble urinating
  • Dry skin and mouth
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Sleepiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Muscle weakness

Reports of adverse effects that fit the symptom profile of belladonna toxicity combined with dosage inconsistency found in lab tests prompted the FDA to issue a warning that instructs parents to stop using Hyland's Teething Tablets and to discard any remaining tablets.

In response, the manufacturer of Hyland's Teething Tablets has issued a voluntary defective product recall and submitted to investigation by the FDA. The company claims that Hyland's Teething Tablets are safe and that the recall was issued in "an abundance of caution."

If your child shows any of the symptoms listed above after using Hyland's Teething Tablets, contact your physician right away to check for belladonna toxicity. Parents can report adverse effects of Hyland's Teething Tablets to the FDA's Medwatch program online or by calling 1-800-332-1088.

As a law firm with experience in defective product lawsuits, The Cochran Firm is ready to help families seek compensation for any injuries caused by this defective product.

If your child has become sick or been injured by Hyland's Teething Tablets, please contact the product liability attorneys of The Cochran Firm today for a free evaluation of your case.

posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:35 PM

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Defective Consumer Products in Chicago, Illinois

Laws have been enacted to protect consumers against harm caused by a defective product. They allow an injured consumer to receive financial compensation from the manufacturer or distributor of the product for injuries and damages caused by the defective product. The Cochran Firm's Chicago, Illinois office has hardworking, dedicated, and knowledgeable defective product attorneys available to hear the details of a defective product injury you have suffered.

Financial compensation for injuries sustained from a defective consumer product may include payment for any of the following:

  • medical expenses
  • pain and suffering
  • disability and disfigurement
  • loss of income
  • rehabilitation expenses
  • any other expenses incurred as a result of the injuries inflicted

Unfortunately, defective consumer products include items we encounter on a daily basis that can inflict serious bodily injury and death on an unsuspecting public. Defective tires and motor vehicles and the injuries and deaths they cause are on the news channels every day. Stories of the injuries and deaths of small children due to defective cribs, strollers, and toys have become almost commonplace.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or even killed because of a defective consumer product, the experienced product liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm want to help you protect your legal rights and hold those responsible for your losses legally accountable.

If you live in Chicago, Illinois or the surrounding area, please contact the experienced product liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm today so our investigative team can help you get the financial compensation you need and deserve.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:47 PM

Nissan Announces Worldwide Recall

Nissan has announced a worldwide recall of over two million vehicles for an ignition problem that can stall the engine. The recall affects vehicles in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Asia. Most of the recalled vehicles are in the US, Canada, and Japan. The Yokohama-based company has said there have been no accidents reported that are related to the recall.

The problem is with the relay in the ignition system and affects vehicles made between 2003 and 2006, including the Cube, March, Micra, and Note, as well as other models like the Tiida, Titan, and Infiniti QX56. Altogether, there are over a dozen models affected by the faulty ignition. The vehicles were built in the US, Britain, Japan, Spain, China, and Taiwan.

The automaker states that vehicle owners may take their defective vehicle to a dealership where the fix may take less than half an hour.

One of the main reasons so many millions of vehicles have been recalled over the last year is that the large automakers are using common components across several models in an effort to cut costs in design and production. As a result, you don't just see a few thousand vehicles in the same model recalled, you see dozens of models. Companies wind up losing not only money, but the even more valuable consumer brand loyalty.

If you have been affected by this or another defective automobile, please contact the experienced product liability attorneys at the Cochran Firm today for an initial case consultation. We have offices nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:56 AM

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birmingham, Alabama Residents Should Know Danger Associated with Wellbutrin

We like to think the medications our doctors prescribe for us are safe and will serve their intended purpose. In most cases, prescription drugs do their job and do not cause any adverse side effects. However, there are those instances that a drug will make its way to the consumer and cause serious side effects and even death. Wellbutrin (generic bupropion) is manufactured by drug giant, GlaxoSmithKline, and has been on the market since 1985. Wellbutrin is an anti-depressant but is also prescribed for ADHD, sexual dysfunction, obesity, and smoking cessation. Wellbutrin may be a dangerous drug, and if you’re taking this drug, you may want to ask your doctor about its safety.

Since the Food and Drug Administration approved Wellbutrin, it has also approved variations of the drug including Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR. It has now been discovered that Wellbutrin has been known to cause serious side effects including:

  • Depression
  • Psychological disturbances
  • Mania
  • Memory problems
  • Changes in personality
  • Psychosis
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

The product liability attorneys at The Cochran Firm’s Birmingham, Alabama office are now accepting Wellbutrin injury cases. Product liability cases are complex and require a great deal of knowledge and resources. A strong legal team is an absolute necessity in order to collect monetary compensation.

Our defective drug attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and resources to get you the compensation you deserve following any harm suffered due to the dangerous drug Wellbutrin. Please contact our Birmingham, Alabama Cochran Firm office today to schedule a no-obligation, confidential consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means we do not collect any money until we win your case.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:44 PM

Judge Denies Bank of America’s Motion to Dismiss Wage-and-Hour Class Action Claim

A federal judge recently denied Bank of America's motion to dismiss a multidistrict litigation class action claim charging the bank with wage-and-hour violations. The lawsuit was filed by branch and call center employees who claim Bank of America intentionally did not pay overtime wages mandated by federal and state laws. The class action lawsuit may include upwards of 200,000 employees.

The judge ruled that the plaintiffs supplied ample documentation of "numerous alleged ways in which the Bank routinely denied overtime compensation to its retail branch and call center employees and details the nature of the work that employees were allegedly required to perform off-the-clock."

The lawsuit claims that employees were required to work before shifts, after shifts, and during meal breaks without receiving the appropriate compensation. According to the complaint, call center employees were required to retrieve headsets, review memoranda, respond to email, and shut down the workstation after clocking out.

The same judge also ruled against Bank of America in another related decision. This ruling has halted the running of the statute of limitations until all potential class members are notified. This is a devastating ruling against Bank of America, since restarting the statute of limitations right away would potentially prevent many injured employees from joining the class action lawsuit.

If you have a wage-and-hour claim, the experienced employment law attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:55 PM

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Defective Medical Device May Affect Atlanta, Georgia Residents

Two types of hip implants have been recalled: the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket replacement, and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, both manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics and put on the market in 2005. The implants are causing serious, painful problems for recipients, and additional surgeries have been necessary to correct the problems caused by these defective implants. If you have been harmed, or a loved one has died, due to a defective product, you may need the assistance of a product liability attorney, such as the ones at The Cochran Firm’s Atlanta office. Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to fight these complex cases, and we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation to which you are entitled.

At this time, it is believed there is a design defect in the DePuy Hip Implants, and it is difficult to properly position the metal-on-metal hip implants. When the implant is improperly placed, the metal particles can loosen and inflame surrounding tissue, which can lead to bone loss. This causes serious pain and often results in additional surgery to repair the problem.

In August 2010, a recall of the defective medical devices was announced after several studies confirmed the DePuy implants had an "unreasonably high rate of failure." At the time of this writing, over 93,000 of the implants have been recalled.

Our Atlanta, Georgia product liability attorneys stand ready to hear the details of your case and advise you on how to proceed. Please contact The Cochran Firm in Atlanta, Georgia today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation so we may hear your story and begin our work to get you the compensation you deserve.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:42 PM

GlaxoSmithKline Agrees to Settle Defective Drug Lawsuit for $750 million

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed today to a $750 million in a US government lawsuit over a number of defective drugs. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2004 under the U.S. False Claims Act, and stems from the sale of a number of mislabeled drugs that originated in the company's plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico. The suit accused GSK of selling tainted drugs under false pretenses. The affected drugs include:
















Paxil CR





This case was most dramatically illustrated by the seizure of affected medications by US Marshalls in March 2005. The seized lots were of Paxil CR and Avandamet, where the tablets did not have accurate amounts of active ingredients. The Paxil CR tablets were prone to splitting and may have included either no active ingredient, or had an active ingredient but did not have the time-release feature. The action came after a voluntary recall of tainted drugs by GSK failed to include all affected lots. Avandamet is a variation of Avandia, and the affected tablets may have contained an inaccurate dose of the dangerous drug rosiglitazone.

According to the government's filing, the marketing of defective drugs "arose out of chronic, serious deficiencies in the quality assurance function at the Cidra plant and the defendants' ongoing serious violations of the laws and regulations designed to ensure the fitness of drug products for use."

If you or a loved one was affected by these or other tainted drugs, the lawyers of The Cochran Firm can help. Please call or email us today to learn how we can help you.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:20 PM

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pre-Halloween Candy Recall: Raisinets

If you have bought Raisinets to hand out to trick-or-treaters, be sure to check the packages to see if they have been recalled. Otherwise, you may be endangering any vampires, ninjas, and princesses with peanut allergies who show up at your door!

Generally products that contain peanuts (or are processed on equipment that processes peanuts) are clearly and properly labeled so that consumers with often-dangerous peanut allergies can avoid them. However, Nestle USA has announced a recall of "fun size" Raisinets because they may contain peanuts, but lack the proper warning. Nestle has already received three complaints about this product, the company reports. So far, no product liability lawsuits stemming from the recall have been reported.

The recall of these defective products is limited to bags of 10-oz. "Fun Size" Raisinets with production code 02015748, UPC barcode number 2800010255, sold in Target, Shop Rite, and Don Quixote stores nationwide. If you have the recalled Raisinets, you can call the company at 1-800-478-5670 or email to ask for a refund. Do not return the recalled candy to the store.

Warnings on food products that contain peanuts are very important because peanut allergies are often severe, causing anaphylactic shock that can be deadly if not treated in time. Even if no one in your family has a food allergy, remember this Halloween that the trick-or-treaters you see may be allergic to peanuts.

If you or a family member has been sickened or injured by a defective product, please contact The Cochran Firm promptly to find out if you are entitled to defective product injury compensation.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:44 PM

Friday, October 22, 2010

ProPublica Report Outs Doctors on Drug Company Payrolls

The results of a new investigation into financial relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical companies were published online this week by ProPublica. Seven of the nation's largest drug manufacturers and marketers—AstraZeneca, Cephalon, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Pfizer—have disclosed payments they made in 2009 and 2010 to physicians who promoted their drugs. Together, these companies account for about 36% of the US prescription drug market, which is worth about $300 billion.

Long an industry secret, these payments to physicians for speaking engagements, promotions, and consulting work are being disclosed due to settlements with the government and other reasons. The healthcare reform law signed by President Obama in March will require all pharmaceutical companies to make this kind of disclosure starting in 2013.

ProPublica has analyzed and compiled data from the individual companies' disclosures, which the companies made as difficult and confusing as possible, into a database of doctors who received payments from drug companies. On ProPublica's website, you can find out if your doctor received drug company money.

While doctors interviewed by ProPublica claimed they were not influenced by the drug money cash, the former pharmaceutical company marketers they interviewed told a different story. The psychiatrists, physicians, and nurses that drug companies select for speaking engagements, the marketers said, were chosen as "thought leaders" because of the high volume of prescriptions they write. Drug companies have found that medical professionals who are paid to promote a drug nearly always write more prescriptions for that drug, providing a significant return on investment for the pharmaceutical companies.

What consumers worry about is that many of these doctors may have been paid to promote defective drugs or drugs with dangerous side effects, such as Avandia. In fact, patients injured by drugs that their doctor was paid to promote may potentially have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Since many of those in ProPublica's database are psychiatrists, psychiatric malpractice may also be involved. Indeed, ProPublica reports that more than twenty doctors on their list have two or more medical malpractice settlements or judgments against them.

If you have been injured by a defective prescription drug, please contact the personal injury attorneys of The Cochran Firm to set up a free evaluation of your case.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 2:16 PM

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Toyota Recalls over 1.5 Million Cars Worldwide

Toyota has announced the recall of 1.53 million Avalon, Lexus, and other models globally for fuel pump and brake fluid issues. Most of the recalled vehicles are in the US and Japan, but others are spread throughout the global market.

According to Toyota, the recalled models need to have the brake master cylinder fixed. A problem with it could cause weak braking power. A slow leak of the fluid can result in the brake warning lamp lighting up. Other models in Japan have an electrical problem with the fuel pump, which can lead to stalls. There have been no accidents reported due to this vehicle defect, but the company is taking precaution now.

The affected cars include:

  • 2005 and 2006 Avalon
  • 2004 through 2006 non-hybrid Highlander and Lexus RX330
  • 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250, and IS350

Toyota will contact vehicle owners by mail to tell them to take their cars to the dealership for repairs at no charge.

Over the last year, Toyota has recalled over ten million cars and trucks for several different problems. The latest recall was in August when over 1.3 million Corollas and Matrix hatchbacks were said to be prone to engine stalling.

If you have been injured by these or other defective autos, please contact the experienced defective auto attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:30 AM

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Former Chargers Linebacker Junior Seau Drives Vehicle off Cliff

Early Monday morning, former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau drove his SUV off of a cliff near his home in San Diego. Police reports indicate that the car accident was caused by Seau falling asleep behind the wheel. He did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.

Seau was driving a 2004 Cadillac Escalade near Carlsbad State Beach. Witnesses said the SUV suddenly accelerated and drove off the road down a 30-foot cliff. Emergency crews rescued Seau, who was still inside the crumpled vehicle when they arrived at the scene. Seau suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. He was released Tuesday morning.

The car accident occurred about five hours after Seau was released from jail after being arrested on domestic violence charges.

Seau retired last season from the New England Patriots. He spent the bulk of his career playing for the Chargers, where he distinguished himself as one of the premier defensive players of his era.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, the attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:32 AM

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Tylenol Recall Issued

Continuing in a long string of drug recalls, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil yesterday issued a recall for another Tylenol product. The recall focuses on Tylenol 8 hr caplets 50 count packages. The McNeil website shows seven other recent recalls, including:

  • Tylenol Extra Strength and Tylenol PM
  • Benadryl Allergy Ultratab
  • Motrin IB
  • Children's Tylenol, Infatns' Tylenol, and Children's Tylenol Meltaways
  • Chidren's Motrin and Infants' Motrin
  • Children's Zyrtec
  • Children's Benadryl

In the current Tylenol recall, the defective drugs are being recalled largely due to a contaminating odor, similar to that responsible for a number of other recalls. A statement from McNeil said the "risk of adverse medical events is remote," the exact language it has used about previous recalls. However, investigation of reports of serious injuries due to Tylenol related to previous recalls is still ongoing. According to the FDA, nearly 800 reports of serious side effects associated with these recalls have been received.

Although these adverse events have not all officially been linked to the recalled Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl, an FDA inspection of a McNeil plant in Connecticut recently revealed a number of shocking violations of FDA standards. These violations included not just missing record and failure to follow-up on potentially anomalous batches of medication, but even the failure to establish "scientifically sound and appropriate test procedures designed to assure [sic?] that drug products conform to appropriate standards of identity, strength, quality, and purity." The list also includes a failure to provide proper instructions for the cleaning and maintenance of equipment and, not surprisingly, a failure to properly clean and maintain equipment.

With these defects in manufacturing, it would not be surprising if the highly odiferous 2,4,6-tribbomoanisole (TBA) were only the most olfactory sign of a more serious contamination.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as a result of contaminated batch of Tylenol, Motrin, or Benadryl, the product liability lawyers of The Cochran Firm may be able to help you get compensation. To learn more, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.

UPDATE: McNeil has confirmed that the over 125,000 units involved in Monday's recall were in fact made at the Fort Washington plant with the poor inspection report cited above. In addition, a spokesman for McNeil said that although there were a number of adverse events reported, only one of them was associated with the odor itself, lending credibility to the theory that other, subtler contamination may also be present in the tainted Tylenol.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:08 PM

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chevy Impala Recall

Last week, General Motors recalled approximately 300,000 Chevy Impalas containing defective seat belts which may not properly protect front seat passengers in the event of a car accident. The recall includes 2009 and 2010 model year Chevrolet Impalas sold in the United States and Canada.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the seat belt webbing many not be properly attached to the lap belt anchor on the door-side of front seats. Dealers will examine the recalled vehicles to make sure the seat belts are properly anchored. All repairs will be made free of charge.

GM has received 32 warranty reports for the defective vehicle. Currently, they are not aware of any injuries or deaths related to this issue. Vehicle owners will be contacted later in the month. However, you can call Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438 at your earliest convenience to learn more about the recall.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of the defective Chevy Impala seat belts, the experienced defective product attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:36 AM

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Registry Will Track Implant Injuries

With the Johnson & Johnson/DePuy hip implant recall still in the news, a new effort to track injuries from hip implants and other joint replacements is attracting serious attention. The idea behind the American Joint Replacement Registry is to catch problems with surgical implants before they lead to costly defective product recalls, medical device injuries, and product liability lawsuits.

Big manufacturers of joint implants, including J&J, Zimmer Holdings, and Stryker Corp, are backing the new registry, hoping to avoid future harsh regulation from the FDA as well as defective product lawsuits. Similar registries are already in place in the United Kingdom and other countries, but no such joint implant registry currently exists in the United States. In fact, it was the UK registry that spotted the increased rates of revision surgery stemming from DePuy's ASR hip implants, helping prompt the massive DePuy hip implant recall in August.

The American Joint Replacement Registry will begin this month as a pilot program with fifteen hospitals participating and a goal of covering ninety percent of the thousands of hospitals that perform joint replacement surgery in the United States. This would make the new registry the biggest of its kind, covering more joint replacement procedures than all other registries put together.

If you or someone you love has been injured because of a defective DePuy hip implant or another joint replacement surgery, please contact The Cochran Firm today to find out about your legal right to defective product injury compensation.

posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:49 PM

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FDA Issues Bone Drug Warning

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning on Wednesday, Oct. 13, linking use of a popular osteoporosis drug with fracture of the thigh bone. The drugs, known as biophosphonates, are used around the world and have been heavily marketed drawing in as much as $8 billion.

Biophosphonates reportedly slow the loss of bone mass, and reduce the risk of hip or spine fractures in older women. Oral biophosphonates include Actonel, Atelvia, Boniva, and Fosamax, and injectible drugs include Boniva and Reclast.

The FDA has previously looked at the link between biophosphonates and jaw osteonecrosis, esophageal cancer, and arrhythmias. The bone breaks in the thigh are rare breaks known as a subtrochanteric femur fracture, which occurs just below the hip joint, and diaphyseal femur fractures occurring in the long part of the thigh.

The FDA says it has not proven that biophosphonates cause the fractures, but they show up in disproportionate levels among patients taking the drugs, especially in those who have been taking the drugs long term.

Genentech, which markets Boniva, is working closely with the FDA to add a statement about the bone fractures to the label. Merck, the drug maker of popular Fosamax, says they have not found an increase in fractures, but complied with the FDA in June 2009 to add the risk of thigh fractures to their label.

If you or a loved one has been injured from taking a biophosphonate, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:17 AM

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hospital Investigated after Surgical Error Leaves Drill Bit Inside Patient

The Rhode Island Department of Health has initiated an investigation into an incident at Rhode Island Hospital on August 4th when one of the hospital's doctors left a piece of drill bit inside a patient's body following an operation.

The surgical error was discovered two days after the procedure during a post-operative diagnostic imaging. The drill bit piece was removed as soon as it was discovered. The hospital suspended the operating doctor as well as all staff assisting with the procedure.

Hospital officials have not released the names of the medical professionals involved; however, they insist that the appropriate disciplinary measures were administered.

Rhode Island Hospital has been under investigation by the Rhode Island Department of Health in the past for other medical malpractice violations. In 2009, a doctor at Rhode Island Hospital operated on the wrong finger of a patient, resulting in a $150,000 fine for the hospital. That incident was the fifth wrong-site surgery recorded at the hospital since January 2007.

As part of the consequences meted out in that incident, Rhode Island Hospital was required to install cameras in their operating rooms and to retrain surgical staff.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a surgical error, please contact the medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm today to schedule your initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:00 AM

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Factors in Tanker Rollover Accidents

Tanker truck rollover accidents can be very dangerous. Tanker trucks often carry toxic chemicals, flammable liquids, or otherwise dangerous fluids, and when they roll over their cargo is likely to spill. This can create a dangerous situation for other drivers on the road and may lead to subsequent accidents and injuries.

To prevent this more dangerous type of truck accident, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in conjunction with the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) has identified four major factors in tanker truck rollover accidents:

  • Vehicle design and maintenance
  • Load effects
  • Roadway factors
  • Driver factors

Cargo tank trailers have a relatively high center of gravity, making them more liable to roll during a sudden maneuver. Vehicle maintenance can also impact the performance of a truck. Poor brake performance, damaged suspensions, and under-inflated tires all increase the risk of rollover during truck operation. To reduce the risk of accidents, drivers are required to perform pre-trip inspections to ensure that their vehicles are in working order adequate to the trip ahead.

A liquid load behaves differently than a solid load, sloshing in the tank and increasing the risks involved in any sudden maneuver. To prevent sloshing from causing a rollover accident, drivers are encouraged to avoid speeding and tailgating, and to anticipate maneuvers.

Roadway factors include curves that are too tight, especially on ramps or hills. Also important is the nature of the shoulder, curb, or margin around a road or driveway. It may not seem like it, but tanker trucks, like SUVs, are susceptible to tripping, which is one of the main causes of rollover accidents.

Overall, many of these factors are dependent on the driver to properly identify the situation and respond appropriately. A driver's failure to shift properly or taking a turn too tightly, can easily lead to a rollover accident. Driver fatigue, driver inattention, and, of course, alcohol and drug use can impair a driver's judgment and increase the risk of accidents. Overall, the prevention of rollover accidents depends on the truck driver, who in turn depends on the trucking company to provide proper training, plan routes safely, and allow adequate time for the completion of deliveries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a tanker truck rollover accident, the chances are it wasn't just the driver, but may have involved maintenance, scheduling, training, and other elements of the trucking company. At The Cochran Firm, we are prepared to pursue those who hold ultimate responsibility for your accident to ensure you and your loved ones receive full compensation for your injuries. To learn whether we can help you, please call or email us today for a free case evaluation.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 1:36 PM

Construction Accidents in New York City

Construction workers, by the very nature of their work, face some extremely dangerous conditions day in and day out. Especially those who work on high-rise buildings such as those found on every block in New York City. Crane accidents are one type of construction accident you hear about in the news as construction workers are required to work on buildings that are hundreds of stories tall. Construction accidents often result in catastrophic personal injuries and death.

The New York City construction accident attorneys at The Cochran Firm have represented countless construction workers following work-related accidents, injuries, and deaths. We can help you, too, if you have suffered a serious injury, or have lost a loved one due to a construction accident in New York.

The causes of construction accidents are numerous and include:

  • Falls from scaffolds or roofs
  • Explosions/fires
  • Unsafe equipment
  • Chemicals
  • Electrical incidents
  • Being struck by falling objects
  • Careless behavior
  • General unsafe working conditions
  • Not receiving proper training on the use of specialized equipment
  • Poor supervision

Construction accident cases are often very complicated and involve several parties. If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, and if you receive benefits, you cannot sue your employer. However, if you collect workers' compensation, you can sue a third party who contributed to your injury such as the manufacturer of a faulty piece of machinery that caused an injury such as a loss of limb or broken bones. After hearing the details of your injury, our experienced, knowledgeable construction accident attorneys can advise you on how best to proceed with a claim.

If you live in the New York City area and have been injured in a construction accident, please contact the New York branch of The Cochran Firm today to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:02 AM

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nursing Home Abuse in New Orleans, Louisiana

As the population of the United States grows older, the needs of vulnerable elderly people increase. Likewise, the instances of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are increasing. More and more aging citizens are finding themselves the victims of verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse in nursing care facilities that have been entrusted with their care by unsuspecting families. The New Orleans, Louisiana Cochran Firm nursing home abuse attorneys will fight to get you and your family the compensation you deserve if your loved one was harmed or died due to negligent or abusive care in a nursing home.
Common signs of negligence and abuse in nursing care facilities include:

  • Poor personal care involving bathing, toileting and feeding
  • Signs of chronic sores and infections
  • Unexplained bruising
  • The heavy use of medication to sedate
  • Signs of depression, anxiety and agitation in the resident

Financial exploitation of the elderly takes many forms and can involve stealing personal possessions, withholding or misusing the resident’s money or property, and promises of personal care in exchange for money or possessions.

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at The Cochran Firm are dedicated to exposing incidents of abuse and neglect in nursing homes throughout Louisiana and will work diligently to make sure those responsible for any abuses are held legally and financially accountable.

If you live in New Orleans, Louisiana or the surrounding area and you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse and neglect in a nursing home, please contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at The Cochran Firm today.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:00 AM

FDA Requests "Voluntary" Withdrawal of Dangerous Drug Meridia

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Abbott Laboratories withdraw its diet drug Meridia (sibutramine) due to the drug's increased risk of stroke and heart attack. The action comes years after the drug's 1997 approval, which was given over the objections of the FDA's own advisory panel, which voted 5-4 that the benefits of Meridia did not outweigh the risks, and 8-0 that the drug's side effect of increasing blood pressure was "clinically important." The FDA's medical officer further commented that the drug "has an unsatisfactory risk-benefit ratio" and that it "does not improve and in some cases it aggravates major obesity-related co-morbidities."

However, the dangerous drug was approved, with restrictions, and even survived several subsequent petitions for Meridia's removal, notably in 2002-2005 by consumer advocate group Public Citizen. However, the publication of the results from the Sibutramine Cardiovascular OUTcomes (SCOUT) trial showed that sibutramine use increased the risk of:

  • All major cardiovascular problems by 16%
  • Non-fatal heart attack by 28%
  • Non-fatal stroke by 36%

In advocating for the drug's removal at the September 15 advisory committee, Public Citizen notes that since its original petition, over 3.6 million Meridia prescriptions have been written, and a conservative estimate says that nearly 3000 of them have suffered a heart attack or stroke as a result of this medication.

The SCOUT trial was the first large-scale, long-term study of a diet drug, completed 12 years after the drug's approval. As a result of the Meridia "fiasco," many people have called for large-scale, long-term trials of diet drugs to be undertaken before drug approval rather than after. Such trials should be extended to all drugs in order to prevent the approval of dangerous drugs like Accutane and Avandia, whose large-scale risks are only hinted at in pre-approval trials.

In its defense, Abbott Laboratories said that the trial misrepresented the true risk of Meridia because it focused on a contraindicated patient population (those with existing cardiovascular problems), and did not follow labeling recommendations on when to discontinue Meridia use. Abbott Laboratories maintains that the drug is safe and beneficial for the small population that experiences significant weight loss on the drug, which can typically be identified in the first three months of use.

If you have suffered a heart attack or stroke during or shortly after use of Meridia for weight loss, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. The Cochran Firm is prepared to fight for your rights. To learn whether we can help you, please contact the personal injury lawyers of The Cochran Firm for a free case evaluation.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:56 AM

Friday, October 8, 2010

Allergan Pleads Guilty in $375 Million Verdict

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – On Thursday, US Attorney Sally Quillian Yates announced that pharmaceutical giant Allergan pleaded guilty to charges of illegal off-label marketing and promotion of BOTOX® Therapeutic and was sentenced to pay $375 million. The criminal case involved charges that Allegan promoted BOTOX® for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finding doctors who prescribed BOTOX® for off-label uses and instructing them in billing for off-label injections and providing illegal rewards and training.

BOTOX® Therapeutic is only FDA-approved to treat:

  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Blepharospasm (eyelid spasms)
  • Cervical Dystonia (neck spasms)
  • Primary Axillary Hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating)

Any other uses of BOTOX® are considered off-label uses and are not approved by the FDA. The danger of off-label marketing is that it encourages and (unlawfully) incentivizes physicians to prescribe potentially dangerous drugs in ways that the FDA has not certified as safe and effective. This has the potential to lead to dangerous prescription drug injuries and doctors who prescribe off-label to get illegal kickbacks may actually be vulnerable to medical malpractice lawsuits, depending on the circumstances.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an off-label BOTOX® injection, please contact the pharmaceutical injury and medical malpractice lawyers of The Cochran Firm today to find out if you may have a legal case for personal injury compensation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:57 PM

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Virginia Judge Upholds Award in Medical Malpractice Death

A Virginia Circuit Court judge upheld a $1.95 million award to the family of a 36-year-old woman who died after undergoing plastic surgery in July 2008. The victim, a mother of four, went in for a Mommy Makeover. Mommy makeovers are procedures encompassing several procedures at the same time, and are popular among many women.

The victim had undergone breast augmentation, liposuction and a tummy tuck. She was sent home even though she was having trouble breathing. One of her children found her nearly two days later unresponsive. The family requested an autopsy and it was found that the victim died of aspiration pneumonia. This is caused from breathing in foreign material, which causes an inflammation of the lungs and the airway.

A jury awarded the family of the woman the compensation in August for her wrongful death, but the plastic surgeon's attorney filed a motion to set aside the verdict. That motion was denied last Friday, October 1.

Medical procedures injure and kill hundreds of thousands of people every year. Nearly all of these deaths and serious injuries are avoidable. Medical malpractice involving a plastic surgeon can include:

  • Scarring
  • Nerve damage
  • Aesthetic damage
  • Anesthetic or medication errors
  • Psychological trauma
  • Wrongful death

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to the negligence of a plastic surgeon, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at the Cochran Firm. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:06 AM

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

J&J’s Recent Drug Safety Issues Bring Company’s Reputation into Question

Johnson & Johnson once set the standard among large pharmaceutical companies for how to ethically handle drug safety issues. In 1982, seven people died from consuming Tylenol products which contained cyanide. Rather than trying to cover up the crisis, Johnson & Johnson took the high road: they revealed everything to the public in an attempt to protect the safety of consumers.

As part of this process, Johnson & Johnson established a 24-hour consumer hotline, recalled all Tylenol products, and equipped all future products with a tamper-proof seal. An investigation into the issue revealed that the Tylenol products were laced with cyanide after arriving on store shelves by an individual who had no association to the pharmaceutical company. Once the crisis was controlled, Johnson & Johnson had earned a reputation for putting consumer safety above profits.

A little less than 30 years later, that culture seems to be completely absent among the leaders of Johnson & Johnson. Several recent drug safety issues, and more importantly the pharmaceutical company's response to these problems, have demonstrated that their practices are currently more aligned with the majority of pharmaceutical manufacturers. In other words, they are placing the bottom line above the safety of their consumers.

The most egregious example of Johnson & Johnson's actions involves a phantom recall of defective Motrin products following a discovery late in 2008 that many of these tablets were not dissolving properly. Instead of issuing a recall and informing the general public of these safety issues, Johnson & Johnson hired an independent contractor to secretly purchase all of the defective pharmaceutical products from store shelves. These actions enabled them to recall the product without drawing attention to the safety issues. As a result, individuals taking these defective drugs
were never made aware of the need to discontinue usage. Internal emails clearly indicate that Johnson & Johnson executives were aware of and approved of the phantom recall strategy.

However, there have been other recent safety issues associated with Johnson & Johnson products. Approximately 130 million bottles of children's and infant's liquid medications were recalled, and the FDA closed down several plants which might have allowed products to be contaminated by metal particles or bacteria.

It is truly sad that a pharmaceutical company that was once on the forefront of consumer safety has slipped so far, and it should be a great concern to the millions of people taking their products.

If you have been injured by taking a defective Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical product, the defective drug attorneys at The Cochran Firm can help you receive compensation for your damages. Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:22 AM

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Judge Reduces Payment in Second "Bellwether" Fosamax Case

Last June, a jury awarded $8 million to a 72-year-old woman who suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw that the jury said was associated with her use of Fosamax (alendronate sodium) oral bisphosphonate. Oral bisphosphonates like Fosamax, Actonel (risedronate sodium), Boniva (ibandronate sodium), Reclast (zoledronic acid), and others are taken to combat the loss of bone density known as osteoporosis. The drugs work by inhibiting the action of cells that normally remove bone tissue as part of the normal removal and redeposition process. In the short-term, this leads to an increase in bone tissue density, but in the long-term the effect may plateau or even decline, and side effects--such as osteonecrosis of the jaw--may increase.

However, on Monday the judge decided to reduce the verdict from $8 million to $1.5 million, saying the verdict was "excessive." Even with the reduced payment, Merck Inc. (the manufacturer of Fosamax) plans to appeal the verdict, hoping to stop the 1500+ cases against the company. After an initial verdict in the company's favor in the first Fosamax case to proceed, and this reduced verdict, the odds look good for the company in reducing its liability related to the potentially dangerous drug.

Lawyers trying to win Fosamax cases face several challenges. First, the exact mechanism that ties Fosamax to osteonecrosis of the jaw is unknown. Second, there are many competing factors that make it hard to pin necrosis on Fosamax. Most commonly, osteonecrosis of the jaw is also a complication of dental health problems or dental surgery, and may be associated with even relatively mild cases of periodontal problems or smoking. All of these were used in an attempt to dissuade a jury that Fosamax did not cause injury to the plaintiff in this case. Finally, the time frame between the use of Fosamax and osteonecrosis of the jaw can be extremely long--the average time between oral bisphosphonate use and osteonecrosis is almost five years.

However, there are many positive aspects that work in the favor of Fosamax cases. First of all, the link between bisphosphonates, includiong oral bisphosphonates like Fosamax, and osteonecrosis of the jaw is well recognized in the scientific literature. Second, the potential cause of osteonecrosis of the jaw has been an acknowledged side effect of the drug since at least 2002. Third, there is good evidence that, under the main tests used by the Supreme Court in Wyeth v. Levine (March 4, 2009), Merck did not fulfill its responsibility to actively notify the FDA and users of Fosamax about the drug's association with osteonecrosis. By its own admission, it was not by its own action, but only at the prompting of the FDA did Merck seek to update its label with the risk of ostenoecrosis.

To learn more about pharmaceutical injury litigation in this and other similar cases, please contact the personal injury lawyers at your local office of The Cochran Firm. Our lawyers have the dedication and the resources to fight for your rights.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:21 AM

Monday, October 4, 2010

Seattle Children’s Hospital under Investigation Due to Fatal Medication Errors

In the past two weeks, two infants have died and one adult was injured at Seattle Children's Hospital due to medication errors, prompting a Department of Health investigation into the hospital's medication dispensing practices.

On September 19, a baby died after receiving ten times the intended dosage of calcium chloride while being treated in the ICU. In the past week, a second infant died at Seattle Children's after a staff member violated hospital policy by dispensing medication to the baby without an order from a licensed physician. In the third incident, an adult being treated for a life-threatening respiratory issue had his medication incorrectly administered. This patient has since recovered from the incident.

The hospital's medical director has taken responsibility for the incidents and insists Seattle Children's is taking steps to address the problem. The Department of Health is currently investigating these events but has not released any findings to the public yet.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a medication error, the experienced medical malpractice
attorneys at the Cochran Firm can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:27 AM

Friday, October 1, 2010

Washington, DC Bus Crash Kills Driver, Injures Tourists

WASHINGTON, DC – Around four in the afternoon on Wednesday, September 29, a tour bus carrying sightseers ran about 45 feet off a high-traffic ramp of I-270 in the D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. Federal investigators are looking into the crash to find out the original cause of this bus accident. More than a dozen passengers were injured in the accident that killed the driver of the bus, operated by Wolf's Bus Lines Inc. of Pennsylvania.

According to Greg Shipley, a spokesman for Maryland State Police, officers believe the bus slammed through a guard rail, then smashed into a concrete barrier and careened down a hill, rolling over once. The initial cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The bus accident attorneys of The Cochran Firm offer sympathy and condolences for the bus accident injury victims in this crash as well as the family of the driver who was killed in the bus accident. As always, we stand ready to defend the rights of motor vehicle accident victims. Attorneys in our firm handled a very similar case in 2006. In that case, a school bus carrying 40 students went out of control on a ramp after the driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected by a minor collision. The bus hit and went over a safety barrier and plummeted about 30 feet to the ground below.

Our firm served as the lead litigators in that bus accident injury lawsuit against the driver's employer, Laidlaw Transit, Inc., and negotiated a confidential settlement. The Cochran Firm was the sole firm who sued the designers and builders of the clearly inadequate safety barrier that failed to stop the bus from falling and the bus's manufacturer, IC Corp/Navistar for not including a "Seat Belt Reminder System" that could have prevented the crash.

The Cochran Firm's Washington, DC area office with licensed attorneys in Maryland stands ready to help the victims of last Wednesday's terrible bus accident. Based on our previous bus accident experience, we have the knowledge and experience in bus safety and safety barrier issues we are well positioned to provide effective representation in a bus accident injury lawsuit of this kind.

If you were injured in the Wolf's Bus Lines accident in Maryland or any other bus accident, please contact the experienced bus accident attorneys of The Cochran Firm today to find out how we can help you with your case.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 3:46 PM

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