Hurt by a Dangerous Product or Medical Device?
Our Houston Product Liability Lawyers can help.
If your injury, medical condition, or a loved one’s death has been caused by a dangerous or defective product, then you may be eligible to receive compensation. As a consumer, you have rights and you should not have to pay for a manufacturer’s mistake.
defective product claims
Determining fault in your defective product lawsuit
It is not always clear who is responsible for a dangerous defect or manufacturing mistake. There can be many different companies and webs of legal liability involved. The responsibility could fall on the manufacturer of the product, the manufacturer of a part, the doctor choosing devices used in your surgery, a retailer, a distributor, or someone else.
Lawsuits against the companies that are responsible for defective or dangerous products are different from other kinds of injury lawsuits. These cases can be complex and expensive, and the victims are often facing highly trained teams of attorneys who represent large manufacturers, automakers, medical device companies, etc. This is why you need a highly experienced attorney to evaluate your case, figure out who is responsible, and help you learn about your rights. Make sure the law firm you select has a proven track record of handling these types of cases.
Product liability laws
Product liability laws allow every person in the product supply chain to be held accountable for letting a dangerous or defective product make it into a consumer’s hands. Product designers, parts suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and more can be held accountable for your injuries. Because the majority of product liability laws are determined at the state level, there are varying standards of proof and theories of liability under which a consumer can successfully recover.
Three types of product liability
- Manufacturing defects: These defects occur in the actual manufacturing process and result in products that are improperly made due to low-quality materials or poor workmanship. Manufacturing defects typically don’t affect as many products as design defects, but the results can be just as serious.
- Design defects: These are defects that arise no matter how well the product was manufactured because of a mistake in the design of the product that renders the product inherently or unreasonably dangerous. Product design flaws mean that every product produced following that design will be flawed, so the problem will be widespread.
- Marketing defects (or a failure to warn): Marketing defects occur when the product contains inadequate warning labels or instructions, preventing the user from recognizing the risks of a product or how to safely and properly use the product. Manufacturers must also warn consumers about the potential dangers of using their product. If they do not, they can be held accountable.
You need an experienced attorney
Because it can be a real challenge to prove any of those three things, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney for help with any defective product case. You want an attorney who is experienced and willing to dedicate time and resources to obtain the best results possible for your unique situation.
Our firm is a nationally recognized law firm with the experience, knowledge, and financial resources to take on huge corporations and insurance companies on behalf of injured people and their families—and we have real experience winning cases. Our highly rated, experienced injury attorneys have a reputation for success, and we believe in every single case we choose to take. Above all, it is important to us that each of our clients understand what is happening and get the personal attention they deserve.
Cases we handle
Almost any kind of product can suffer from a lack of testing, safety issues, and undisclosed risks and end up hurting innocent people. A warning may be issued to consumers about these defective or potentially dangerous products—or they may not hear about it at all. A dangerous product may have already been recalled by the time you realize there is a problem. However, not all potentially dangerous products are immediately recalled by the manufacturer, retailer, automaker, or the agency responsible for governing a product’s safety.
Even if a product has not yet been recalled, you may still be able to take legal action. Below, you will find some examples of the types of cases our nationally recognized legal team is currently reviewing.
Defective medical devices
When you go in for surgery to improve your health and wellbeing, you assume that the devices used in that procedure are safe and that your health is the priority. Instead, patients are sometimes left with pain, long-term complications, and costly treatments from the use of a defective or untested medical device. Some recent examples of the potentially dangerous or deadly effects of medical devices include:
Faulty or dangerous products
You are surrounded by all kinds of products every day, and you rely on the makers of those products to protect your safety. If something has a defective part or doesn’t work as intended, then you may have the right to sue for compensation if you get hurt. In some cases, you do not even have to be the person who purchased or installed the product. Examples of faulty or dangerous products that victims have taken legal action for include:
- Trinity ET-Plus guardrails.
- Any other product that has caused serious injury, including defective household items such as cribs or appliances. Read about a deadly, defective lamp case we handled.
Product recalls & lawsuits against manufacturers and automakers
Unfortunately, not everyone knows that a product they have purchased has been recalled or, even worse, that someone has already been injured—or that they may have rights to hold the company responsible if they are also hurt.
Our Houston-based law firm helps you investigate your rights after a recall, including recalls related to:
Manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure their products are safe. Furthermore, they have a legal obligation to:
- Inform consumers of probable malfunctions or defects that could be hazardous
- Replace or repair the dangerous or defective products
- Pay for the financial and emotional costs of victims and their families
If you have been hurt by a faulty or harmful product, you have legal rights. However, cases like this can be extremely complicated, and it is important that you have a voice and a legal team that will fight for you.
Time limits for filing a defective products lawsuit
All personal injury lawsuits have a limited time in which they can and must be filed. Failure to file a lawsuit within that time period means that the court can dismiss the case, and you will not be able to be compensated. This time period is called the “statute of limitations.”
The statute of limitations sets how much time you, the plaintiff, have to file a lawsuit. The actual time period varies depending on the type of lawsuit being pursued and which state the suit is filed in. For defective products cases, many states apply the "discovery rule." This rule “tolls” the statute of limitations during the period of time that you had no clue there was a problem or defect. In other words, it delays the start of the start of the limited time period you have to file an injury claim until you find out that there is a problem. For example, if you were injured in 2011, and you did not find out the product was defective until 2017, you may still be able to pursue a lawsuit. Normally, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, which is the area of law that covers defective products cases, is two years.
If a significant amount of time has passed since the original accident or injury, keep in mind that records may have been lost, memories may have faded, and key witnesses may have moved away or died. It may become too complicated for everyone involved to try to litigate an issue that happened years ago. It depends on the case, so it is recommended that you consult with an attorney as soon as you suspect a problem to find out what your best options are.
How prescription drugs become contaminated
There are common ways that defective and dangerous drugs are created:
- Unclean manufacturing conditions. In some cases, the factory where the drug is produced is simply not up to code when it comes to cleanliness and sterility, from the production line to the packaging area.
- A failure to sterilize equipment. It is vital that all equipment and bottles are sterile—any dirty equipment can have catastrophic results.
- A failure to properly train staff. If those manufacturing the drug aren’t trained to properly keep the product sterile, they may contaminate the product.
- Tainted ingredients. If the products that go into making the drug are tainted to begin with—and the contamination isn’t pinpointed—the final product may be tainted as well.
- A lack of preservatives in the drug. Some drugs are made sterile through the inclusion of alcohol, but other drugs do not or cannot contain preservatives. These latter drugs must be made in a very sterile environment.
Why is it important to pinpoint how a drug was contaminated? Finding the source of contamination is key to preventing future issues and to helping patients understand how they were harmed by a drug that was supposed to help them. It is also key to finding out exactly who was responsible for the tainted drug so that they can answer to those they have harmed.
Why you can sue a non-US manufacturer for your defective product claim
Say you get hurt by a defective product. You find out that the product was made by a foreign company when you research it. You wanted to sue them for injuring you, but can you since they aren't a U.S. company?
Do you give up on pursuing a lawsuit in this instance? The answer is no, for several reasons. You may have a valuable claim against the seller of the defective product, which in most cases will be a U.S. company.
But if the company isn't based in the U.S, you can still sue the foreign manufacturer. U.S. or state courts can take jurisdiction over a lawsuit involving that non-U.S. company.
In some cases, this turns out to be a very complicated and involved legal issue.That is why you should talk to an attorney about suing the non-U.S. company as soon as you think you may have a claim. Our attorneys will review your case with you, help you understand your legal rights, and help you make an educated and informed decision about what your next steps should be.
Why recalls for car defects are more important than you think
Over the last few years, you may have heard that a series of recalls were issued for a huge number of vehicles equipped with potentially dangerous airbags designed by the same manufacturer. Maybe you heard that, in 2013, General Motors announced a substantial safety recall for 193,652 vehicles because of a problem in the construction of the driver’s side door module that could ultimately lead to electronic short circuits, overheating, and fires. Or maybe you heard that Chrysler was bucking up to the government safety agency that recommended that a recall be issued for a bunch of Jeep models that were said to be susceptible to gasoline fires resulting from rear-end collisions. However, many people across the United States don’t hear about these kinds of recalls, even though it’s important to everyone’s safety that they do.
The truth is that recalls are issued almost every other day. It’s hard to keep up, even if it’s your car that’s been recalled. When the same company issuing the recall also puts out strong messages implying that the recall is pointless, it’s kind of hard to know if there’s really a problem or not. If you’re wondering if you should care about recalls, you should. In fact, you need to look beyond just the recalls and take interest in any pending investigations or other incidents that you’ve heard about. If you’re not confident you’re getting updates for a car you drive, you can check the NHTSA website.
Even though the manufacturers are typically seen as technically initiating a recall, don’t credit them for admitting that there’s a problem. Most vehicles that get recalled were already—or will be—the subjects of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation. Investigations can be prompted by a pattern of consumer reports to the NHTSA that a vehicle was defective. When there are enough reports from consumers, you should expect that the auto manufacturers—in the face of overwhelming evidence—will eventually have to admit it.
The automotive business is a half-trillion-dollar business in the U.S. Think about it: there are only so many businesses that are so important to the U.S. economy that the government will take exception to its core principles to bail out, and the automotive business is one of them. In the end, the goal of that business is about selling the cars, trucks, and other vehicles that are in our driveways and on our roads. Ford, Chrysler, GM, and other foreign and domestic makers design, make, and manufacture the cars. They all operate under the understanding that, in the end, there’s no business if there’s no sale.
Just because companies survive by profiting off the sale of cars does not mean that safety does not matter for the big companies. All these big automotive companies are not lying when they say they are concerned about our safety. But don’t misunderstand their intentions.
The time and money that car makers put into implementing safety features is a business decision made after an analysis of the costs and benefits. They ask questions, including:
- What is the safety concern with the car (or car part)?
- What is the cost of fixing the problem?
- What is the likelihood that the problem results in damage to life or property?
When they have all the data in front of them, there’s an important number they look at in making the final decision: How much can we save if we don’t fix it? If it’s a positive number, then they will not fix it.
Making cars safe is secondary to making cars that sell
The automotive industry’s products (cars, trucks, etc.) are heavy, hard, made of unforgiving materials, and fast. Even small cars carry high levels of force. To survive the forces involved, the vehicle must be built to:
- Counteract the dangerous forces initiated by accelerating
- Predict our input
- Protect our bodies
- Be forgiving of some level of human mistakes
In a word: safe. Safety in automobile design, construction, post-manufacture handling, and post-sale warning is an absolute necessity for the harmonious coexistence of humans and automobiles.
Do automakers benefit from making safe cars rather than unsafe ones? Certainly. But understand that the goal of making cars safe is secondary to making cars that sell.
What to do if you have been injured by a car defect
You can file a lawsuit for injuries caused by a car defect regardless of whether or not that vehicle was under recall. If the car was defective, and that defect caused your injury, the lack of recall does not bar your case. Recalls simply help to show that the car maker knew of a defect at some point in time. There are other ways to show this in your case, such as other incidents reported to the NHTSA. Remember, the car makers are not going to budge until there is a high enough incidence of a problem to become a significant financial liability.
Someone always has to be the first to report the defect. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer, even if you think you are the first to report a defect. There’s a good chance the company knew of the problem to begin with and opted to save money. This is one area of the law where your case may work not only to help you as the plaintiff, but also save many other drivers on the road.
The problem causing the recall could be bigger than you know
Consumer awareness of recalls is an obvious concern to car makers because recalls affect their bottom lines. They do not want to make a recall if they don’t have to. Expect that, if there is a recall, there’s a chance that the problem is much bigger than the car maker is letting you know about. Read the recall carefully. The carmaker can hide or diminish a problem at will.
For example, in October of 2009, in the face of a growing number of sudden-acceleration complaints, Toyota issued a recall for a floor mat replacement. A subtle addition to the recall included the writing of brake override software into the vehicle, without which (floor mat or not) the vehicle would not operate properly when given a dual input on the gas and the brake. While the floor mat replacement was necessary to fix the problem, this was not the only fix necessary at the time.
Dangerous prescription drugs and birth defect risks
There was a time when doctors were prescribing anti-depressants to soon-to-be mothers. Since 1997, drugs like Paxil and Prozac were marketed to doctors as anti-depressants with few side effects on un-born children of pregnant women. We now know that these drugs can cause severe birth defects in children born to women who took them while they were pregnant.
Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuits
Some of the most common types of birth defects associated with Paxil include heart defects, such as Atrial Septal Defects (ASD) and Ventral Septal Defects (VSD), which involve holes in the walls of the heart. Another common condition associated with Paxil is Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), a circulatory condition that may lead to respiratory failure after birth. Many other birth defects have been linked to Paxil.
In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration issued warnings about the birth defect risks associated with Paxil. In various lawsuits, evidence has been exposed that Paxil's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (Glaxo), was aware of the birth defect hazards associated with its drug as early as 1980, yet chose not to issue proper warnings which would have enabled consumers to make an informed choice about whether to use Paxil.
Glaxo has chosen not to recall Paxil. Instead, it has paid more than $2 billion to settle hundreds of Paxil birth defect lawsuits. The average payment in settlement of a Paxil lawsuit is $1.2 million.
Prozac Birth Defect Lawsuits
Similarly, lawsuits continue against Eli Lilly and Company based on the link between its anti-depressant drug Prozac and various birth defects. While Lilly has chosen not to recall the dangerous drug and has never divulged any dollar amounts paid in settlements to families affected by the impacts of Prozac, it is easily estimated to be billions of dollars.
Was Your Child Born With a Birth Defect Caused By a Prescription Drug?
What can you do? First, you need to understand this: It’s not your fault. It’s the single thing I hear from mothers over and over again. It’s a feeling that is hard to avoid, but I am here to tell you again, it’s not your fault. The manufacturer of any medication has a legal responsibility to educate the healthcare professionals they are marketing to (your doctors) of the risks associated with them, all of the risks. They have a legal duty to label their products truthfully and completely.
You and your child are facing a lifetime of challenges ranging from emotional distress to what seems to be an ever-growing mountain of medical expenses.
We Will Fight For Your Legal Rights Against Negligent Drug Manufacturers
You have legal rights. Fighting for them will not be easy. You are facing some of the biggest companies in the world who have entire legal teams with what seems like hundreds of lawyers and insurance adjusters on their side. The fight is complicated and arduous. You need to do whatever it takes to build a team that will fight this battle for you. You need an attorney that is experienced and more importantly has a proven track record of winning cases like yours.
The experienced attorneys at VB Attorneys are ready to fight for you and your family. We have years of experience with cases just like yours, stretching across the entire nation.
In order to evaluate your claim, we will need the following information:
- Over what approximate time period (dates) did you take the prescription medication?
- What dosage did you take?
- Did you take the prescribed drug during the first trimester of your pregnancy?
- Did you take the prescribed drug after the 20th week of your pregnancy?
- What medical condition(s) does your child have?
- What is your child's current medical prognosis?
How families harmed by the bleeding dangers associated with Xarelto can get help
When you or a loved one starts a medication prescribed by a doctor, you hope that the drug will help you feel better and protect your health. Unfortunately, dangerous and inadequately labeled drugs sometimes harm patients instead of helping them. Xarelto has now been linked to a number of patient deaths and hospitalizations, and the drug’s irreversible—and potentially fatal—bleeding side effects have put its use and safety in question.
What Is Xarelto?
Rivaroxaban, known by the brand name Xarelto, is a prescription anticoagulant drug that was marketed as a more effective, modern, and convenient alternative to Coumadin therapy for reducing the risk of blood clots, strokes, and other complications in some patients. While patients who take Coumadin or its generic form warfarin must be closely monitored with regular lab testing, it was hoped that Xarelto patients could take the drug as a better alternative that involves fewer blood draws and office visits.
Xarelto has been developed and promoted jointly by Johnson & Johnson, via its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Bayer Health Care. However, some patients and their families have started coming forward with claims that the drug may not be as safe or convenient as its developers claim.
What Is the Issue With Xarelto?
Any patient who takes an anticoagulant drug is at some risk for increased bleeding, but Xarelto has been linked with excessive, unstoppable internal bleeding in some patients. While doctors are able to treat bleeding issues associated with drugs like Coumadin, there is no reversal agent that is effective in stopping uncontrollable bleeding in Xarelto patients. Because doctors are unable to control the bleeding, the drug can cause serious and life-threatening issues with:
- Bleeding in the brain
- Bleeding in the kidneys, lungs, and other organs
- Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
Although this unstoppable internal bleeding or hemorrhaging has contributed to injuries, complications, and deaths in patients prescribed the drug, the potentially dangerous drug currently remains on the market.
Why File a Xarelto Lawsuit?
Some attorneys and victims of Xarelto’s bleeding side effects have claimed that the pharmaceutical companies involved in making and marketing the drug did not appropriately warn doctors and patients about the potential risks of use. Families and individuals who have been harmed by Xarelto’s dangerous side effects may be able to hold these companies responsible for hospitalizations and the loss of loved ones. By filing a lawsuit and holding these huge companies accountable for putting profits over patient safety, victims can pursue the compensation they deserve and help others who have been harmed.
Holding pharmaceutical giants responsible for dangerous drugs isn’t easy—but families and victims can get free, no-obligation help with their potential claims. If you have questions about the use of Xarelto and its links to issues of uncontrollable bleeding, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team today by phone or live chat. Our nationally recognized law firm has been successful in helping clients take legal action against large, negligent drug and medical-device companies, and we are devoted to helping injured victims and families get the answers they need.
Get answers about recalled and potentially dangerous products in a free consultation
Do you have questions about a recall or an injury that may be related to a defective product? Don’t wait any longer to speak with an attorney who has a very deep understanding of products liability law and experience winning cases against the huge manufacturers that create these products.
VB Attorneys has a long history of representing victims and families hurt by dangerous and recalled products. If you are looking for someone to fight for you, call our nationally recognized law firm today for a free and confidential case review.