Saturday, 24 of June of 2017

Tag » Virginia personal injury attorney

Virginia Assisted-Living Home Operator Has License Revoked for Neglecting Residents

The owner of Oakwood Assisted Living in Suffolk, Ashwood Assisted Living in Hampton and Madison Retirement Center in Williamsburg, VA, has been sanctioned.

By Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton, Nursing Home Neglect Victims’ Attorneys

In a new blog post to our Virginia personal injury lawyers’ website, attorney Mark Favaloro comments on sanctions state regulators took against the owner of Oakwood Assisted Living in Suffolk, Ashwood Assisted Living in Hampton and Madison Retirement Center in Williamsburg, VA. To read more, click over to “Neglect of Residents Leads to Revocation for Virginia Assisted-Living Homes Operator.”

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Concerns Raised about Blood Thinner Xarelto

By Jim Lewis, VA/NC Medical Malpractice Attorney

What Happened:

Federal drug regulators have received a number of reports involving blood clots associated with the new anticoagulant Xarelto, a surprising twist given that other blood thinners such as Pradaxa have been more often associated with episodes of uncontrolled bleeding.

Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was introduced to the market by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals in July of 2011 and the drug was billed as a superior alternative to warfarin for prevention of blood clots in certain cases, as patients who use the new drug are supposed to require less monitoring.

Another drug from the same class, Pradaxa, was introduced in October 2010 and since has been linked to a shocking number of severe bleeding events, hemorrhages and deaths. Since its introduction, Pradaxa has become one of the medications most often associated with adverse events according to FDA reports.

Last month the Institute for Safe Medication Practices released their QuarterWatch Report, which uncovered a number of alarming reports revealing problems with Xarelto. The new report indicates that there have been at least 356 adverse event reports submitted to the FDA during the first quarter of 2012 alone. This represents a doubling of the number of reports submitted to the agency about the drug in the final quarter of 2011.

Unlike Pradaxa, the most common problem with Xarelto is not uncontrolled bleeding, but instead serious blood clots. The risk is especially pronounced among patients under the age of 66, many of whom were taking the drug after hip or knee surgery. The FDA received 158 reports about the drug associated with blood clots during the first three months of the year. The big problem is, of course, that this is the precise event the drug has been designed to prevent.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has told reporters that the high number of blood clot reports were simply a function of how well the drug was doing commercially. Sadly, the popularity appears to be coming at a high cost to innocent consumers.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Given the recent studies showing the risks of Xarelto, it’s surprising that the drug is still being marketed to patients. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you should contact an experienced VA personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective drugs recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.

Helpful Info:

If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous drug, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.

Have Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding defective or dangerous drugs.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Recent Study Warns About Metal Hip Implant Dangers

By Rick Shapiro, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A new study shows that all-metal hip implants can release particles of cobalt into a patient’s bloodstream, possibly leading to terrible medical problems down the road. To learn more, read the full story here…

“Study Offers More Bad News For Virginians With All-Metal Hip Implants”

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Warnings about dangers of all-metal hips have been around for a while

By Kevin Duffan, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

According to a new report UK regulators were aware of problems associated with the all-metal implants long before they were ever recalled.

According to a report by the news site Wales Online, problems with metal-on-metal hip implants have been around since at least 2007, which is when regulators in Australia first uncovered the issues associated with the devices. The first recall was announced in 2009 by the Australian government. A larger, worldwide recall was not issued until August of 2010, a delay which may have caused injury to countless patients who were not aware of the trouble they could be facing down the road.

A report on the Regulation of Medical Implants in the EU and UK by the Science and Technology Committee leveled serious criticisms against the British Ministry of Health for delaying action against the dangerous metal-on-metal devices. The report pointed out that many people knew of the damage all-metal implants could cause and yet the government failed to take action as early as other countries, a delay that caused citizens to suffer needlessly. The same issue could be raised against American regulators, given that the FDA allowed the device to continue to be sold and implanted in patients for years after the first concerns were raised about their effectiveness.

The DePuy ASR was finally recalled due to poor performance in a large number of patients. The problem with the implant is that as it is used, tiny pieces of metal fragments are released into a patient’s blood stream. These pieces of metal contain cobalt and chromium that are absorbed into the blood and nearby tissues. The damage this can do has not been fully understood, but reports indicate it can cause muscle, bone and even neurological damage.

Though the recall began with the DePuy device, studies indicate that the problem applies to an entire class of all-metal implant products. Earlier this year the FDA asked all manufacturers to conduct a study of their metal-on-metal products to assess their long-term safety. Experts have recommended that those with the devices already implanted should undergo annual physicals and imagining scans to detect any bone lose or tissue damage. Patients are also advised to screen for metal ions in their blood.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

About one million of these all-metal devices have been implanted in patients across the world over the past 15 years. This means that far too many patients are at possible risk of the dangerous effects of cobalt exposure.

The manufacturers that created these all-metal implants that have caused harm to patients should be held responsible for their actions. Some companies, such as DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet and Wright Medical Technology have already begun recalls to try and stop their products from causing further harm. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective products recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.

Helpful Info: 

If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.

Got Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding recalled products.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Women at Increased Risk of Trouble in Hip Resurfacing

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

Last month a respected medical journal, The Lancet, published a new study revealing higher failure rates of metal-on-metal hip resurfacing when compared with conventional total hip replacement (THR). Shockingly, the failure rates were up to six times higher compared with more traditional techniques.

First, a little bit of explanation is needed to understand the difference between hip resurfacing and a total hip replacement. In hip resurfacing, the surgeon reshapes the pelvic ball or head and then places a metal cap over the newly shaped head. Then the surgeon places a metal cup on the inside of the pelvic socket or cup, which is supposed to allow that joint to function smoothly.

With a THR, the surgeon removes the entire hip joint and replaces it with an artificial joint consisting of a femoral head that is attached to a femoral stem that is drilled into the upper thighbone and a plastic liner that goes between the ball and the socket.

The Lancet revealed that in 55-year-old women, the revision rates were 8.3% for resurfaced hips and only 1.5% for THRs with metal-on-polyethylene implants, according to the study. Meanwhile in 55-year-old men, the revisions rates were 4.1% for resurfaced hips and 1.9% for THRs with metal-on-polyethylene implants.

One surgeon who took part in this study noted that the failure rates in women were unacceptably high and that, as a result, the panel recommended that resurfacing not be undertaken in women. The surgeon further noted that due to the higher failure rate of the procedure in men, preoperative measures should be used to fully assess the suitability for male patients.

The fact that the study involved failure rates of metal-on-polyethylene THR implants is critically important because of the overwhelming evidence that indicates that metal-on-metal THR implants also suffer abnormally high failure rates. For example, earlier this year The Lancet published yet another study showing that all-metal hip implants failed at an increased rate than other types of hip implants, with a five-year revision rate of 6.2%. This compared with 2.3% for ceramic-on-ceramic implants and 1.7% for metal-on-plastic types.

Some manufacturers of these all-metal implants have already recalled certain devices and are the subject of a number of lawsuits. Manufacturers include DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet and Wright Medical Technology.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective product, particularly a metal-on-metal hip implant, you should contact an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There is a finite period of time to take legal action against those responsible for manufacturing the device and once the statute of limitations expires, you are barred from seeking compensation.

Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective products recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.

Helpful Info:

If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.

Have Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding recalled products.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


FDA Investigation Into Deaths Linked to 5-Hour Energy

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Virginia Injury Attorney

What Happened:

According to a recent article, the Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports that the 5-Hour Energy product may be linked to some 13 deaths over the past several years.

The FDA confirmed that it has begun an investigation into the 13 deaths which all occurred within the last four years. The investigation is similar to the one involving Monster Energy Drink and the five deaths that were related to its use.

A report by the New York Times reveals that since 2009, 5-Hour Energy has been named in some 90 filings with the FDA including 30 that involved life-threatening incidents. These include incidents of heart attack, convulsions and, in one case, a spontaneous abortion.

The company has responded by issuing a statement saying that the small shot of caffeine is safe when used as directed. The company, Living Essentials, says that no more than two of the 2-ounce shots should be consumed in a day and the two shots should not be consumed close together. Each tiny shot contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Consumer Reports recently studied the levels of caffeine in a wide array of energy drinks and found that the highest amount per serving was found in 2-ounce 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength which contained 242 milligrams of caffeine. This is many times more than 35 milligrams of caffeine found in a 12-ounce can of Coke.

The Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Though caffeine may not be a prescription medication, there’s no doubt that that such high levels can cause serious harm. Seemingly safe ingredients in products we use and consume every day can cause great harm given the right set of circumstances. For example, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said more than 13,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were linked to energy drinks.

If you’ve been injured by a dangerous product, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured the product accountable by filing a claim for compensation.

Helpful Info:

Read this article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.

Have Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding defective or dangerous drugs.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


FDA Launches Investigation After Deaths Tied to Monster Energy Drink

By Mark Favaloro, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The FDA recently said that it would begin an investigation into Monster Energy Drink after five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack were linked to the highly caffeinated beverage. To learn more, read the full story here…

Monster Energy Drink Under Investigation by FDA Following Five Deaths

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


What Caused the Recent Fungal Meningitis Outbreak?

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

The recent outbreak of fungal meningitis has many in the medical community desperate to get to the bottom of the cause. Possibilities abound and everyone appears to have a theory. Could it have been some moldy ceiling tiles? What about the dirty shoes of a careless employee? How about a contaminated ingredient?

There are many ways the fungus could have gotten inside the New England Compounding Center, a pharmacy in Massachusetts that has been blamed for the outbreak. The steroid injections made by the compounding pharmacy have already been recalled after leading to the death of 25 people and sickness in nearly 350 more.

So far regulators from both state and federal agencies have been quiet about what problem may have led to the contamination. It has been revealed that inspectors found fungus growing in more than 50 vials from the pharmacy. FDA investigators remain on the scene in Farmingham, Massachusetts in an attempt to better understand what went wrong.

Despite the lack of information, outside experts tend to agree that dirty conditions in the plant are likely to blame. This could include a number of possible sources of contamination, including faulty sterilizing equipment, tainted ingredients or sloppiness on the part of employees.

One problem for the pharmacy is that the drug used in the steroid injection is made without preservatives meaning there is no additive that is able to kill germs lurking in the medicine. Given this lack of preservative, it’s critical that the drug be manufactured under incredibly sterile conditions.

Though compounding pharmacies aren’t as tightly regulated as major manufacturers, they are supposed to follow certain basic rules including cleaning the floors and all other surfaces daily, monitoring the air supply in “clean rooms” where the drugs are actually made, ensuring that employees wear gloves and gowns and testing samples from each lot. These rules of standard practice exist in the U.S. Pharmacopeia, a national standards book for compounding medicines that is written by a nonprofit scientific organization.

To make the steroid used in this case, a chemical powder from a supplier was mixed with a liquid, sterilized through heating, then pumped into vials. It’s possible that the powder was contaminated, either at the New England Compounding Center or another location. Given the vast amount of the medicine produced, the time it would take to make the batches might allow the medicine time to be contaminated. It’s also possible that if a worker took a break for coffee or to go to the bathroom that they could have hurried back into the lab without properly washing up, thus introducing contamination.

Though this event has received a significant amount of media attention, it’s important to note that it’s not as uncommon as many people would think. In fact, just last year there were three similar incidents. At least 33 patients came down with fungal eye infections linked to a compounding pharmacy in Florida; a dozen patients were blinded after an outbreak caused by another compounder in Florida; and nine people in Alabama died from taking IV nutritional supplements made by a compounder in that state.

The North Carolina Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

As experienced North Carolina dangerous drug attorneys, my colleagues and I have helped clients through many cases like this one. Sadly, thousands of people experience the pain of taking a medication prescribed by their doctor only to have it cause serious health problems later on. This happens far too often and the side effects can last a lifetime.

Helpful Info:

If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured and marketed the drug accountable by filing claims for compensation. Read this article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.

Have Questions?

To learn more about how to proceed if you have been injured as a result of a prescription drug in North Carolina, please read the following FAQs.

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


FDA Takes Heat for Fast-Tracking Pradaxa

By Mark Favaloro, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Happened:

In a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers reviewed the safety records of Pradaxa, as well as several other drugs that received approval under one of the FDA expedited approval programs designed to fast-track certain drugs to the market. According to the researchers, Pradaxa, multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya, and thyroid cancer drug Caprelsa, each “raise the question of whether it was good policy to approve three innovative new drugs with significant safety questions unanswered and with optimal doses not determined.”

The researchers specifically mentioned the bleeding risk associated with Pradaxa, as well as its lack of an antidote, and said that bleeding in patients taking the blood thinner may be harder to treat than bleeds related to the older blood thinner warfarin. The article concluded that Pradaxa raised enough concern that the drug should have been subject to stricter scrutiny than the speedy approval by the FDA.

The researchers claim that Pradaxa, which is used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation, went through priority review and was thus fast-tracked by the FDA. According to the FDA, the purpose of the fast-track process is to introduce important, new medications to patients more quickly.

Unlike warfarin, Pradaxa does not require weekly doctor check-ups and dietary restrictions and was seen as the first replacement of the difficult-to-use blood thinner. Since its introduction into the market, however, Pradaxa has been at the center of a storm regarding reports of serious bleeding. In 2011 alone, the drug was responsible for 3,781 adverse events reports, more than any other drug monitored by the FDA.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:

Since the news of the negative affects of the drug came to light, Pradaxa has been in the spotlight as dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the drug’s manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim. Sickened Virginia patients have alleged that the drug led to serious and even fatal bleeding, a problem that they say they were never properly warned about.

Given the recent studies showing the downsides of Pradaxa, it’s a wonder that the drug is still being marketed to patients. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective drug, you should contact an experienced VA personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys with our Virginia personal injury law firm have helped many victims of dangerous and defective drugs recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries.

Helpful Info:

If you or a family member has been injured by a defective or dangerous drug, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.

Have Questions?

We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding defective or dangerous drugs.

CA

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Compounding Pharmacies Receive Scrutiny After Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

By Randy Appleton, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Compounding pharmacies and their loose regulations are in the spotlight after dozens were sickened and eight died from fungal meningitis associated with steroid injections. To learn more, read the full story here…

“Fungal Meningitis Scare Puts Spotlight on Compounding Pharmacies”

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.