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.


Trinity Industries’ Guardrail Failure

On June 9, 2015, Trinity Industries was assessed more than $138 million in penalties and a Texas federal judge trippled a $175 million False Claims Act verdict against the company. Trinity Industries had previously been found guilty of knowingly selling defective guardrails to the U.S. government back in October of 2014.

This recent final judgment was delivered by U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, which also included a $199 million awarded to whistleblower, Joshua Harman, in conjunction with the $663.4 million. Harman was awarded $218 million, which included 30 percent commission along with more than $2.3 million in expenses, $15 million in attorneys’ fees, and $177,830 in taxable costs. The amount awarded was based on the fact that the U.S. did not participate in the trial and left the defense solely to the whistleblower.

According to Harman, the guardrail device’s original design, which had previously been approved by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2000, was changed sometime between 2002 and 2005, unbeknownst FHWA.

Harman has stated that the new changes that caused the device to fold over into crashing vehicles were deliberately hidden from the FHWA. In 2005, the FHWA partially approved the device, however, it is unclear whether the current version or the originally approved version was used for testing.

If you have recently been involved in an accident involving faulty guardrails, or have any information regarding Trinity Industries’s case, please contact Caputo and Mariotti today.


Review of Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Parts

There has recently been a significant rise in the number of complaints being made by patients who have received metal-on-metal hip replacement parts.

Patients have been filing complaints regarding the metal-on-metal hip replacements for quite some time, having experienced a wide variety of problems. Many of these patient problems include fracturing and dislocating of the device or loosening caused by inflammation in the joint space.

Other problems commonly reported by patients with hip replacement parts include problems walking, as well as significant pain and swelling.

Caputo and Mariotti is currently investigating all cases involving metal-on-metal hip replacement parts including those with the following specifications:

  • the Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System, recalled in June of 2012

  • the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR XL Acetabular System, recalled in August of 2010

  • the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, recalled in August of 2010

  • the Stryker Rejuvenate recalled in July 2012

  • the ABG II modular-neck stems, recalled in July 2012

  • the DePuy Pinnacle, which has not been recalled

  • the Zimmer Durom Cup, which has not been recalled

  • the Wright Conserve, which has not been recalled

  • the Biomet M2A and M2A-Magnum, which have not been recalled

If you believe you have been the victim of a faulty metal-on-metal hip replacement procedure and are suffering side effects, contact Caputo and Mariotti today to arrange your free consultation.


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.


The Dangers of Takata Air Bags

The dangers of air bags made by Takata Corp. are evident, and U.S. Government officials are alerting drivers with warnings declaring them unsafe. According to reports, the Takata air bags violently explode and can seriously injure or kill passengers sitting in the front seat of the vehicles in which they are being utilized.

The Takata air bags have being causing a considerable amount of injuries over the last several years. Experts believe that the defect is directly linked to the bags’ inflator systems, which cause material to be projected into the vehicle, causing immediate harm to its inhabitants. This shrapnel consists of sharp and dangerous metal pieces that have been known to cause several external and internal damage to vehicle occupants.

Not only are the Takata air bags extremely dangerous, they are also overly sensitive and have regularly gone off even during the smallest fender benders. The air bags made by the Tokyo based company are considered to be a serious danger to all passengers in the vehicles in which they are installed including Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and General Motors.

If you believe you have been the victim of an accident involving faulty air bags manufactured by the Takata Corp., please reach out to Caputo and Mariotti today to review your options.


Daylight Savings Time Connected to Rise in Crashes

If you are one of the billions of people located all over the world who observe daylight savings time, recent research has demonstrated that the time change may have a significant impact on your health. People have considered whether moving clocks ahead is really beneficial for the public as a whole for many years.

There are, of course, clear benefits to moving the clock ahead. The extra daylight gives people more incentive to exercise after work if they choose to do so, and also saves on electricity, cuts back on crime, and decreases the number of traffic fatalities. However, some of the research available contradicts several of these claims. Opponents argue that there are health risks potentially associated with turning the clocks ahead, including those associated with lack of sleep and increase in heart attacks.

One of these researchers, a PhD candidate named Austin Smith, studied the national data on fatal car crashes that occurred between the years of 2002 and 2011 and made a presentation regarding his information at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association. His research was to determine what really happens immediately after people reset their clocks in both the spring and the fall.

Smith compared the number of accidents that happened immediately before and after these time changes were made on each of the years mentioned as well as daylight savings changes that took place in some years but not in others.

Smith’s resulted showed that the number of accidents increased by six percent during the spring time change, but there was no increase whatsoever during the fall time change. The six percent increase affected six of the days following the actual time adjustment. For a variety of reasons, Smith believes that the increase in crashes is a direct result of drivers losing one hour of sleep and how there bodies deal with the time adjustment.

If you’ve believe you’ve been involved in an accident that may have resulted do to lack of sleep from daylight savings time, don’t hesitate to give Caputo and Mariotti a call today to arrange a free consultation.


U.S. Trial Orders Toyota Payout of $11 Million

Toyota Motor Corporation was ordered to pay almost $11 Million on February 3rd by a jury that found a fatal crash in Minnesota back in 2006 was caused by a defect in the vehicle’s accelerator. The vehicle involved in the accident was a 1996 Toyota Camry. The jury found that the vehicles driver, to be 40 percent liable for the accident and the remaining 60% of fault was placed on the Toyota Company.

During the accident, the vehicle’s breaks failed to work properly. The defect in the accelerator caused it to become stuck while the vehicle was in operation, and was the main cause of the crash. According to Toyota Motor Corporation, the driver of the vehicle was the one at fault and not the defective accelerator. The vehicle in question had not been included in the over 10 million vehicles recalled by Toyota between 2009 and 2010. The vehicles recalled during this time were experiencing unexpected and sudden acceleration problems.

If you believe you or someone you know has been seriously injured due to an accelerator defect in a Toyota vehicle or any other type of vehicle, contact Caputo and Mariotti today to arrange your free consultation.


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.


Trinity Industries Inc. Guardrails Causing Injuries

An appeal by Trinity Industries Inc. has been denied by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in their effort to eliminate a lower court’s $175 million judgment in a False Claims Act suit made against the company for selling the U.S. Federal Highway Administration dangerous guardrails.

The original FCA complaint was filed in 2012, claiming that Trinity had falsely stated that its modified ET-Plus guardrail was adequately crash-tested. The first ET-Plus was created to absorb and dissipate the impact of a car by flattening the guardrail and pushing it out into a ribbon that is deflected away from the collision. This reduces the impact that passengers experience inside the vehicle.

The original design was approved by the FHWA in 2000, but statements have been made that the company changed the guardrail’s design at some point between 2002 and 2005. The issue with the new design is that it locks up, folds over and protrudes in the crashing vehicle. According to several reports, these changes were never disclosed to the FHWA. The new guardrails were also not tested according to the FHWA protocols.

The FHWA did partially approve the guardrails after a 2005 crash test, but it is not clear whether Trinity used the new ET-Plus for that particular test. This obviously further complicates the current situation.

If you believe you’ve been affected by defective guardrails in anyway, please feel free to reach out to Caputo and Mariotti today to schedule a free consultation.