Group Picture of the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman

Lawyers for Civil Justice reported this month that nearly half of all cases pending before federal district court judges involve Multidistrict Litigation (MDLs) — more than 124,000 cases at the end of 2017.balance-1172800-300x204

About 90 percent of MDL cases involve product liability claims, which means, according to the study, that consolidated product liability cases – such as those alleging defects in drugs or medical devices – account for about 42 percent of the civil caseload before federal district judges.  The 18 largest MDLs contain 107,000 individual cases pending before just 15 federal judges, according to the report.

Multi-district litigation is a special federal legal procedure in the U.S. federal court system, which is designed to speed up the litigation process by combining many similar cases. The MDL statute is 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the United States Code. Section 1407. Most MDLs involve a few dozen to a few hundred cases. The notable exception is MDL No. 875, based in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which is the largest and longest-lasting MDL. It was created in 1991 by the JPML to manage all asbestos personal injury and wrongful death cases in the federal courts. As of 2011, over 121,000 cases had been transferred into MDL No. 875, and over 108,000 cases had been settled, dismissed, or remanded, leaving about 13,000 pending.

Recent drug recalls of numerous common heart medications illustrate the growing risks faced by American consumers.

CNN reports the FDA has found another impurity in valsartan, Torrent Pharmaceuticals’ recalled heart drug.perscription-drugs-2-1319811-300x225

The generic ingredient is found in several pills that have been under voluntary recall since July. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration keeps an updated list of valsartan recalls, as not all pills containing the drug are currently subject to recall.

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This month’s $289 million jury award in a product- liability lawsuit against Monsanto is a historic and important victory for consumers that will likely have a watershed impact on billions of similar claims pending across the nation.

In this case, plaintiff was awarded $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages after developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As CBS News reported, a California jury found the former school groundskeeper’s repeated use of Monsanto’s popular RoundUp product, a glyphosate-based weedkiller, was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s rare cancer.

It was the first of thousands of similar lawsuits Monsanto faces across the country. Plaintiff took a job as pest control manager for a Bay-area school district in 2012, where he sprayed the weedkiller 20 to 30 times per year. Jurors deliberated for three days following the eight-week trial.

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With over 1,000 cases already filed and climbing, the first of the Bellwether trials for the Invokana multidistrict litigation (MDL) is slated to begin in September 2018.  Bellwether trials, collectively, often set the standard for how the rest of the MDL will transpire.  For example, in majority, if the trials go well (i.e. for the injured consumers), the defendants may have increased the incentive to settle some or all of the cases.  If the trials do not go well (i.e. for the defending corporations), the cases may be taken back to start court for trial, or the plaintiffs may close their cases.  Invokana was approved to market in 2013 to treat Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes brought by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson.  Essentially, the function of this drug is to reduce glucose in the body by blocking a key component of the kidney that allows glucose to reenter the bloodstream.  This results in frequent urination to help discharge the glucose that has been separated from the system.  Continue reading

When a 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant got in her 2003 Jeep Liberty, she had no idea was riding in what was essentially a ticking time bomb.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that a defect in the placement and design of the fuel tank in over 1.5 million Jeeps could lead to a fuel leak if the vehicles were hit from behind.  This could cause the leaking fuel to explode resulting in a fire.  NHTSA estimates this serious defect resulted in no less than 37 fatal traffic crashes involving Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured between 1993 and 2004 and Jeep Liberty models made between 2002 and 2007 according to a report by NBC News.

Jeep Fire Injuries Boston When this expectant mother was driving her Jeep Liberty and hit from behind, the impact caused the plastic fuel tank to rupture resulting in an explosion and subsequent fire.  When first responders arrived at the scene of this fiery wreck, there was nothing they could do for her or her unborn child and she was soon pronounced dead.  Investigators found the plastic fuel tank had not only been punctured in the crash, but had completely melted as a result of the fire.

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Essure is a relatively new form of permanent contraception.  If a woman decides, or is forced to decide for medical reasons, she no longer wishes to conceive a child, there are various temporary and permanent solutions. The first form of female birth control approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which saw widespread use, was the contraceptive pill or simply “the pill” as it is better known.

defective medical deviceThere are also several type of intrauterine devices (IUDs), which can be implanted into a female patient and will serve as a short-term or long-term birth control devise. Some are implanted into the arm of a patient.  Some of these devises use medicines and others use metals such as copper, which can prevent an unwanted pregnancy. All of these devices have advantages and disadvantages, and some are riskier than others. Continue reading

We all like buying new cars because of the many new features available as standard equipment, which were once only available on much more expensive luxury vehicles. These days you can purchase a Kia Soul with a heated steering wheel for cold Boston winters and air conditioned seats for those hot summer days. One of the more popular features, which is becoming standard equipment on many cars, is key-less entry and ignition.  This is where you can keep the key fob in your pocket or purse and as long as it is within a few feet of the vehicle, will allow you to lock or unlock the doors merely by touching the handle and then, once you are safely inside your vehicle, will allow you to push a button and start the vehicle.  In  many cases, you will need to also step on the brake pedal, but you will not need to physically put the key in the ignition to start your car.

Boston products liability Likewise, when you have parked your vehicle, and the vehicle is no longer in a forward or reverse gear, you can simply push the on/off button again and your car will turn off the engine.  This is a great feature, but it can, and has, led to many cases of serious injury and deaths. Continue reading

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued a warning about the drug Abilify. Abilify, which is also known as Abilify Maintena, Astrida, and manufactured in generic form, is typically used as an anti-psychotic medication.  According to the FDA, there have been reports of adverse events (side effects) linking the drug to various compulsive or uncontrollable urges to engage in certain high risk behavior including gambling, binge eating, shopping, and sex.

Xarelto injuryThese instances of impulsive behavior have been linked to taking the drug, and have been seen to stop once the drug is stopped. But there is no telling how much damage could be done during the time a patient is suffering from these uncontrollable urges as described by the FDA. Continue reading

Manufacturing and marketing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drugs is a huge industry.  According to data presented by Statistica, testosterone replacement hormone products brought in over $2.4 billion in 2013. That number has risen in years, recently topping $3.8 billion.  The problem is there is not much evidence about what it really means to have a normal testosterone level, and there is even less medical evidence taking testosterone replacement hormone will actually do anything beneficial despite claims by drug companies. It has also been shown increasing testosterone levels also means higher chances of having a stroke or heart attack for men who didn’t need the drug in the first place.

Boston Products Liability The reason testosterone therapy drugs were invented in the early 1970s was to treat a developmental disorder known as hypogonadism. In reality, the clear majority of patients who take testosterone therapy drugs today do not suffer from hypogonadism. The reason they take these meds is because they have been told in countless advertisements and patient information pamphlets if they take TRT drugs, they will no longer “suffer” from the normal symptoms of the aging process.  These symptoms include what one might expect such as the following: Continue reading

Most car accidents are the result of negligence of one or more drivers. However, there are some instances in which crashes result from or are exacerbated by the negligence of a vehicle manufacturer, repair shop, dealer or motor vehicle transport company.

In these cases, plaintiffs will pursue a Boston products liability lawsuit against one or more companies involved in the manufacture, distribution or negligent repair of the vehicle – so long as they can establish a causal connection between the defect or faulty repair and the collision.

Chrysler Group, LLC v. Walden

Boston Products LiabilityIn Chrysler Group, LLC v. Walden, a case from the Supreme Court of Georgia, victim, a 4-year-old child, was a rear seat passenger in a 1999 Jeep traveling 50 miles-per-hour when a negligent motorist in a pickup truck rear-ended the Jeep, resulting in injuries to victim. Those injuries were serious, but not life-threatening. It wasn’t until the vehicle burst into flames that he suffered deadly burns and smoke inhalation. Although his parents, acting as his personal representatives, had ample cause of action to pursue a claim against the negligent motorist (and did so), they also asserted a right to compensation from the Jeep manufacturer for product liability, arguing a vehicle defect was to blame for the boy’s death. Continue reading