Defibrillator Lead Lawsuits: St. Jude’s Motion to Dismiss Denied

As reported by Cardiovascular Business, California Federal Judge James V. Selna earlier this year denied St. Jude’s motion to dismiss five cases in which manufacturing defects that caused their Riata leads to fail were alleged. According to the judge, plaintiffs had met their burden of showing a plausible association between the injuries alleged and the allegedly defective St. Jude leads. He also found that the claims were not preempted by federal law. Preemption is a legal concept that a number of medical device makers have used in liability lawsuits that have been filed over devices that have received FDA approval.

Riata and Riata ST ICD leads are prone to high-voltage failures, which appear to be caused by insulation defects that lead to short circuits between high-voltage components. A phenomenon known as “externalized conductors” occurs when conductor cables wear through the silicone insulation from inside out, ending up outside the lead’s body. According to the American College of Cardiology research, inappropriate shocks were common and high voltage cable insulation abrasion also occurred. JACC concluded that Riata leads may have more widespread damage than can be detected by fluoroscopic exam.

Testosterone lawsuits: Additional Warning from the FDA

The FDA is adding a general warning to testosterone products due to the risk of blood clots. Blood clots can form in the veins and cause a pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening event that occurs when the clot travels to the lungs. The new warning is not related to the FDA’s ongoing evaluation of possible links between testosterone therapy and risk of a heart attack, stroke and death in those taking testosterone products.

If you or someone you know has suffered adverse effects from testosterone therapy, we welcome your inquiry. The Product Liability attorneys here at SGB would be happy to provide a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case.

Testosterone lawsuits: Testosterone Replacement Therapy MDL

On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL) ordered that all Testosterone Replacement Therapy Lawsuits, including AndroGel, be consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois. This means that complaints files in U.S. District Courts across the country will be transferred to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly.

If you or someone in  your family has suffered a heart attack or stroke sometime after having taken testosterone, we welcome your inquiry. The Product Liability attorneys here at SGB would be happy to provide a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case.


Dangerous Product Alert: E-Cigarettes May Pose Health Risk

Bloomberg is reporting that dangers and defects in electronic cigarettes could form the basis for product liability lawsuits if they are more damaging to human health than their manufacturers claim. Citing a report by Swiss Re Ltd. (the world’s second biggest reinsurer),  Bloomberg reported that a the insurance world is concerned about the risk that e-cigarettes may cause death, much like their tobacco counterparts. The Swiss Re report stated: “E-cigarettes are often marketed as a less harmful alternative to tobacco. Some health experts claim that e-cigarettes are useful for people trying to quit or cut down on nicotine, although no peer-reviewed study has proven such benefits. Their long-term health effects are not yet known since they have not been on the market long enough. Concerns focus on e-liquids, the key ingredients in e-cigarettes, which are powerful neurotoxins. When e-liquids are ingested or absorbed through the skin, they can cause vomiting and seizures and can even be lethal. Toxicologists warn that e-liquids pose a significant risk to public health, particularly to children. They also represent a serious workplace hazard for those preparing and selling them if proper precautions are not taken (e.g., wearing gloves while mixing e-liquids).”

Dangerous Product Update: Honda Car Rollover Verdict

A Philadelphia jury issued a $55.3 million verdict against Honda Motor Co. after a rollover car accident left a man paralyzed. According to the AP, the man was injured when a tire blew and caused a rollover. A defectively designed seatbelt failed to prevent the driver’s head from hitting the roof as the car rolled. The plaintiffs contended that Honda knew such injuries were possible based on testing conducted in 1992, but failed to correct the design defect.