First Tylenol Trial

On October 26, 2015, the Tylenol litigation is scheduled to begin with its first trial. The case involves Rana Terry who is suing on behalf of her sister, Denice Hayes. According to the Plaintiff, in August of 2010, the decedent took Tylenol Extra Strength according to the label’s instructions and later that month was found to have catastrophic liver damage after a trip to the emergency room. Hayes died a week later.

In May of 2015, a federal judge ruled that unlimited punitive damages may be sought by Plaintiffs under Alabama law. Johnson & Johnson requested that the Court apply New Jersey wrongful death law to the case, arguing that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary McNeil-PPC Inc. are both NJ corporations. NJ law is typically seen as more friendly to drug making companies,

In short, the plaintiff could gain maximum punitive damages under Alabama law and minimal, if any, punitive damages under New Jersey law.”

This decision is devastating news for Johnson & Johnson. Judge Stengel believes that Alabama law stands to truly protect the lives of the citizens in Alabama state, where as the NJ law exists to protect the drug manufacturers.

This ruling will certainly have a significant impact on the outcome of future proceedings. If you would like more information about Tylenol, contact Caputo and Mariotti today.


First Risperdal Philadelphia Trial Verdict of $2.5 Million

The verdict over the antipsychotic drug Risperdal’s connection to abnormal breast tissue growth in males has returned $2.5 million in damages against a Johnson & Johnson unit, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.

This verdict came after a lengthy trial in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas when the jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn the parents and physicians of an autistic boy about the risks associated with the drug.

According to the evidence presented, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. concealed facts that the drug was linked to a condition known as gynecomastia, which causes adolescent boys to grow female breast tissue.

This is the first Philadelphia verdict to come of the thousands of product liability lawsuits over Risperdal’s links to gynecomastia that are pending throughout the nation. As part of a mass tort docket in Philadelphia, over 1,250 cases are currently lined up involving the drug Risperdal.

In this particular case, Janssen has been accused of manipulating scientific data to represent that Risperdal has had less of a negative effect on adolescent children using the drug for treatment. The company has previously admitted to criminal misconduct, paying $2.2 billion to resolve federal False Claims Act allegations back in 2013 for illegally promoting three of its drugs for off label use, including Risperdal.

If you or your child has been prescribed Risperdal and has suffered medical complications, contact Caputo and Mariotti today to find out what you can do to protect your rights.


The Risks of Antidepressants

There are many types of antidepressants to help treat depression. Some of the more popular SSRI-antidepressants include brands such as Paxil, Prozac, Luvox, Celexa, and Lexapro.

Many individuals who suffer from depression use these SSRI’s to successfully treat their symptoms so that they can continue to enjoy normal lives. As many patients experience different levels of severity when it comes to depression, doctors typically diagnose and prescribe antidepressants accordingly.

Unfortunately, there are several risks associated with antidepressants, even when used as directed. Over the last several years, many studies of shown that mothers who took SSRI-antidepressants such as Celexa, Prozac, and others during the first trimester had an increased risk of delivering a baby that has heart birth defects.

Heart birth defects can also occur naturally, but the risk for children born with heart defects becomes significantly greater when the mother has used antidepressants during her first trimester. According to most of the studies done by researchers, these cardiac defects are commonly ventricular or atrial septal defects. These particular defects involve a lack of full development in the wall that is located between the infant’s left and right sides of the heart.

If you’ve been prescribed and taken any kind of antidepressants during the first trimester including SSRI’s and your child has suffered a birth defect, contact Caputo and Mariotti today to find out more about your options.


Paxil Update

An anti-depressant manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline called Paxil (paroxtine) is under several health warnings.

Recent studies have shown that Paxil is the potential cause of multiple health concerns including persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), increased risk of heart birth defects, craniosynostosis (connections between sutures-skull bones, prematurely close during the first year of life, which causes an abnormally shaped skull), or omphalocele (an abnormality in new-borns in which the infant’s intestine or other abdominal organs protrude from the navel) in children born to mothers exposed to Paxil.

There are a large number of people, both women and men, who take Paxil on a regular basis to help them manage their mood.

Caputo and Mariotti is currently investigating cases where Paxil may be the cause of moderate to severe birth defects in children. If you’re a mother concerned that Paxil may have been the cause of birth defects in your child, please contact Caputo and Mariotti today to set up a free consultation.


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.


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.


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.


$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.


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.


Defective Drugs Over $20 Million Recovered

Over $20 Million recovered for victims of dangerous and defective drugs.