U.S. Market Unapproved Drugs

There are currently prescription drugs available in the U.S. marketplace that have not bee approved by the FDA which means that these products have not been reviewed to ensure safety and effectiveness. A large number of health care professionals are not fully aware that numerous drugs are being illegally marketed by pharmaceutical companies and have not be approved by the FDA.

These health care providers then prescribe the unapproved drugs unknowingly, which can be extremely hazardous to patients. If you are prescribed a drug that is not FDA approved, chances are good that it does not meet modern standards for safety, effectiveness, quality and labeling.

In the last few decades, there have been a large number of pharmaceutical companies who have deceived the public, health care professionals and the government by falsifying documentation that their companies’ drugs have been approved by the FDA, claiming that they have been approved for both safety and effectiveness.

This issue obviously causes multiple public health concerns. Along with those concerns, the government has paid millions of dollars to these pharmaceutical companies for unapproved drugs that have been prescribed to Medicaid patients.

There are several things you can do to make sure the medications you are currently taking or have taken in the past are truly FDA approved. Make it a point to address any concerns you may have with your doctor. If you believe that your doctor may not be aware that the medication he or she is prescribed has not been FDA approved, you can also contact another physician and do research online.

If you have any questions regarding the matter of unapproved drugs, or are concerned that you may have been prescribed a medication that is not approved by the FDA, contact Caputo and Mariotti today for guidance and a free consultation.

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Air Bags Cause 8 Million Car Recall

Of the 8 million cars recalled in the last two years, recent information shows that Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., and other major automakers have only fixed a fraction of the defective Takata Corp. air bags. According to Bloomberg News, only 6 percent of the affected vehicles recalled by nine carmakers have been repaired.

The 6 percent repair calculation by Bloombeg was based on numbers provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Two of the companies that have confided that less than 6 percent of the vehicles have been repaired are Toyota and Honda, both of which have the highest number of recalls.

Although millions of car owners are affected by the recall, only a small percentage of people have actually brought their vehicles in for repair. These people are clearly at a higher risk of injury or possible death.

The defective parts inside the air bag were metal components. These components are being shot at passengers, injuring or killing motorists. The faulty air bags have caused the deaths of six individuals in the U.S. and one individual in Malaysia.

If you believe that you are the owner of a vehicle or have been involved in an accident related to a vehicle with faulty air bags, contact Caputo and Mariotti today to set up your free consultative.

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Admission by GM of Ignition Switch Defect

On November 24, 2014, General Motors admitted that a crash involving a 2004 Saturn Ion led a judge to reverse the conviction of a woman driving the vehicle. This individual was initially accused of killing her fiance who had been riding in the passenger side of the vehicle. The woman, who had been driving under the influence, veered off the road and crashed into a tree.

Upon crashing, the vehicle’s air bags did not deploy, leaving the driver seriously injured and killing the passenger. This is the first admission by General Motors that the defective ignition switch was the direct cause of death for any individual.

Unfortunately, although General Motors did admit fault in this particular incident, there are thousands of other individuals who have been injured and hundreds who have been killed.

By law, General Motors was obligated to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the safety defect within five business days of it’s discovery, but neglected to do so. For that matter, GM denied on several occasions that the company was aware of the defect before the February recall.

There have been over 17 million vehicles recalled due to GM’s defective ignition switch. This particular instance has been deemed one of the most massive cover-ups made by an automaker in history.

If you have a vehicle that could potentially be impacted by the GM ignition switch defect, it is extremely important that you are aware that you may experience loss of power leaving you unable to control the vehicle. This can result in serious accidents. For more information about the General Motors ignition switch defect, or if you believe you are the victim of the GM cover-up, contact Caputo and Mariotti today for a free consultation.

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General Motors Massive Cover-Up

Recent information has made it very clear that GM enacted a massive cover up regarding the defect that initially caused the death of Brooke Melton. Melton was killed while driving her Chevy Colbalt in a crash back in 2010.

The known ignition switch problem can be traced back to a string of emails that were sent internally between December of 2013 and February of 2014, which was a time prior to the company recall. It has been determined that this particular instance is one of the most massive cover-ups of a known safety related design defect by an automaker, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.

It was discovered that General Motors was fully aware of test failures as well as real world failures involving highway crashes, but they did not report their findings to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nor did GM make any recalls on the vehicles with the defect.

Auto manufacturers need to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within five business days of discovering a safety defect, according to current regulations. Although GM has denied having knowledge of the defect before the recall, evidence shows that it’s clearly not the case. The company has yet to admit willful neglect, pushing the blame to defective corporate infrastructure and company incompetence.

The defective ignition switches create a dangerous situation in which the driver is unable to control the vehicle which has been left without power due to the ignition switch problem. Over three hundred individuals have been killed in the eleven years prior to the GM recall.

If you or anyone in your family is a victim of General Motors faulty ignition switch, please contact Caputo and Mariotti today for a free consultation. We’re here to answer any questions you may have.

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CVS Pharmacists Awarded $2.8 Million for Overtime

A $2.8 million settlement has recently been awarded by a California judge in a class action suit filed against CVS alleging the chain improperly forced hundreds to work overtime without overtime pay.

CVS is involved in several cases claiming they forced employees to work overtime without pay. This first lawsuit was originally filled in 2012, claiming that CVS refused to pay any pharmacist who worked seven straight days the overtime they would normally receive for working on the seventh day in a row. The state law in California currently requires that all pharmacists are given a day off after previously working six days in a row.

John Shepard Wiley, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, provided the final approval on the settlement. In this particular case there were over 625 pharmacists located in just one region making claims against the company for being forced to work without adequate paid overtime.

There will also be several other regions to receive settlements for claims against CVS brought by pharmacists who have filed suit against the company.

If you’re a CVS employee and you believe that you have been wrongfully forced to work mandatory overtime without being provided proper compensation, reach out to Caputo and Mariotti today. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you additional guidance.

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Takeda to Pay Over $2 Million

A Philadelphia state court jury has recently ordered Takeda Pharmaceuticals to pay over $2 million in another Actos case. The decision states that Takeda failed to warn doctors that bladder cancer could be caused by the Actos, the company’s diabetes drug.

This case comes very shortly after a recent $9 billion verdict and is the seventh Actos case to go to trial nationwide. Takeda was previously ordered to pay more than $8 million in damages back in 2013 by juries in Maryland and California. However, those two verdicts had been reversed due to technical complications.

There are currently more than eight thousand cases against Takeda and its co-marketer Eli Lily still pending. These Actos cases are being heard in both state and federal courts, alleging that the drug causes bladder cancer in the patient. There are numerous trials scheduled in the upcoming year.

In the Philadelphia trial, Plaintiff Frances Wisniewski claimed that Takeda did not adequately warn doctors that Actos increases the risk of developing bladder cancer. In this particular case, testimony was given that Takeda saw to the destruction of key employees’ documents in order to hide evidence supporting Wisniewski’s claim. The testimony was presented during a federal trial which took place in the state of Louisiana.

Despite the testimony given in the Wisniewski case, the jury failed to order Takeda Pharmaceuticals to award the Plaintiff punitive damages.

Members of the Caputo and Mariotti Mass Torts Department continue to investigate claims on behalf of those harmed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ diabetes drug Actos. If you believe you are at risk from taking the drug Actos, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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Jury Verdict Against Ford

A Nevada jury returned a $4.5 million verdict against Ford Motor Co. because the vehicle design had a defect in the roof which caused the death of a passenger involved in a singe-vehicle rollover accident.

The passenger died after suffering a broken neck in the accident which occurred in 2009, when the vehicle suddenly flipped over while towing a trailer.  The victim’s broken neck caused his death when the vehicle’s weight crushed the roof onto his head.  According to Ford the death was not the result of a defect in the roof’s design, but simply a result of the accident that had occurred.

The Plaintiff argues that Ford had been acting irresponsibly in the vehicle’s design which was proven by presenting evidence that Ford did not adequately test the Excurion’s ability or the degree of roof support should the vehicle experience a rollover accident.  Ford supported their claim that the roof’s design was not defective and that the company did no behave irresponsibly.

If you have had an unfortunate accident and have questions regarding vehicle safety standards and design, please contact Caputo and Mariotti today. We look forward to answering your questions and will fight to protect you and your family against potential faulty vehicle design.

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Wage and Hour Claims

FedEx drivers have been fighting for their rights by forcing FedEx had to recognize them as company employees … not independent contractors. Because of this, drivers are pursuing allegations that they had not been receiving adequate benefits and wages.

 Cases in Oregon and California were brought by drivers that wanted the same rights as other FedEx employees. The Oregon case was brought by a proposed class comprising of drivers who delivered packages for the company between 1999 and 2009, and the California case was brought by drivers who made deliveries between 2000 and 2007.

 According to the Ninth Circuit, the cases from California and Oregon were just a fraction of the total number of suits filed by FedEx drivers in approximately 40 states across the nation. These suits were eventually consolidated in multidistrict litigation and certified as class actions.

 The large number of cases included allegations like those involved in the independent contractor litigations, in which FedEx drivers were deprived benefits that a FedEx employee would typically receive. The drivers were also forced to cover their own business expenses.

 If you would like additional information on wage and hour claims, please reach out to Caputo and Mariotti today.

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$10 Million Children’s Motrin Verdict

Many people don’t understand the possibility that some medications may still result in adverse side effects that can often be difficult to detect.

When medications don’t clearly list side effects on the medication’s packaging, it could result in serious consequences and could result in continuing to give or take the medication causing additional harm unknowingly.

This happened to a woman with a young child after taking children’s Motrin and developing a rash followed by blisters, and the package didn’t list blisters as a side effect.  It was later determined that the little girl had burns over 85% of her body and was diagnosed with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), a very severe form of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). TEN caused the little girl to have severe eye damage, and the Children’s Motrin was the cause of her TEN as well as the resulting blindness.

The little girl’s mother eventually filed a suit against McNeil-PPC inc., a Johnson & Johnson unit, in which she received a $10 million verdict. The failure to have the word “blisters” was the issue in the listing of side effects to watch for.

If you’ve found you or your loved ones in a similar unfortunate situation, please call Caputo and Mariotti today for a free consultation. We’re here to fight for you and your family’s rights.

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Jury Awards $10 Million in Topamax Suit

A Philadelphia jury returned a verdict against Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a Topamax lawsuit. The company will have to pay more than $10 million to the parents of a child who suffered birth defects due to the company’s epilepsy drug Topamax. The jury found that the Janssen didn’t sufficiently warn doctors about the risk of birth defects stemming from the use of the drug and knew about the risks years before the drug was prescribed to patients. The family’s 5-year-old child developed a cleft palate and other defects after being exposed to Topamax during his mother’s pregnancy.

This verdict came less than three weeks after another Philadelphia state jury returned a $4 million verdict against Janssen in a related suit alleging Topamax caused another family’s child to develop similar injuries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Topamax as an anti-epileptic drug and to prevent migraine headaches.

Plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania suits alleged the company didn’t fully, truthfully or accurately disclose Topamax data to the FDA, to them and to their doctors. It was alleged further that Janssen intentionally and fraudulently misled the medical community, the public and Plaintiffs about the risks to a fetus associated with the use of Topamax during pregnancy. Janssen argued that it adequately warned health care providers of the potential side effects for women who use the medicine during pregnancy after introducing the drug to the market in 1996, but the juries disagreed.

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