Author: Gracious Legal Services


Testim Lawsuit Settlement Reached Just Ahead of First Pennsylvania Testosterone Trial

A Testim lawsuit scheduled to go to trial next Monday in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has been settled for an undisclosed amount.

The case was filed on behalf of an Alabama man who allegedly suffered a testosterone-induced stroke in July 2012, less than a year after he began using Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Testim gel.

Among other things, the Plaintiff accused the company of marketing an unreasonably dangerous product and charged that sales of Testim were driven by misleading marketing that characterized low testosterone levels normally experienced by aging men as an “epidemic” and a “syndrome” called “Low-T”.

Auxilium is named a defendant in more than 1,200 similar Testim lawsuits currently pending in state and federal courts around the country. The Pennsylvania settlement was announced yesterday in Philadelphia.

The company won its first testosterone trial in November, after a federal jury in Chicago found that Testim was not responsible for the heart attack experienced by a Tennessee man.

Testosterone Heart Side Effects

Prescription testosterone medications such as Axiron, AndroGel and Testim are only approved to treat hypogonadism, or low testosterone secondary to an injury or medical condition. They have not been proven safe and effective for men who experience decreasing testosterone levels merely due to aging.

In March 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered testosterone manufacturers to update their product labels with information regarding an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. In June of that year, the labels were updated to include a general warning regarding a risk of venous thromboembolism, venous blood clots that include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Testosterone Verdicts and Settlements

Court documents indicate that more than 6,200 testosterone lawsuits are currently undergoing coordinated pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. All of the cases were filed on behalf of men who suffered heart attacks, blood clots, and other cardiovascular complications allegedly related to their use of Axiron, AndroGel, Testim, and other prescription testosterone treatments.

To date, the federal litigation has completed trials of two AndroGel lawsuits. In July, the first jury declined to award the plaintiff any compensatory damages. But in an unusual development, they awarded him $150 million in punitive damages, after finding that AbbVie, Inc. had engaged in false advertising when it marketed AndroGel. However, the judge on the case recently ordered a new trial after finding the jury’s decision conflicting and inconsistent.

The second AndroGel lawsuit concluded in October, with the jury ordering AbbVie to pay the plaintiff $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages.

Late last month, Eli Lilly & Co., announced it has reached a global settlement in all testosterone lawsuits involving its Axiron product. Details of the Axiron testosterone settlement have not been disclosed.


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N.J. Jury Awards $15 Million in Pelvic Mesh Case

A state court jury in Hackensack, N.J., has ordered a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson to pay $15 million to a woman who says she was injured by a faulty pelvic mesh implant.

Jurors awarded Elizabeth Hrymoc $4 million for pain and suffering, $1 million for loss of conjugal affection and $10 million in punitive damages, according to a report in Jurors deliberated most of the day, Thursday, December 14, after an almost three-week trial, according to CVN, Courtroom View Network.

Hrymoc, 71, was implanted with Ethicon’s Prolift mesh device in 2008 and testified during a trial that since the surgery, she suffers from chronic pain, according to the news website.

This is not the first jury to hit Ethicon over Prolift. In 2013, a federal jury in New Jersey ordered the company to pay $11.11 million to Linda Gross, who had to undergo 18 revision surgeries after her implant. $7.76 million of that award was punitive damages.

Gross, too, said she suffered from near constant pain and had trouble sitting following her implant. Evidence in that trial included internal J&J documents showing officials had knowledge that the mesh posed a risk of pain and injuries for women.

Hrymoc had the Prolift and transvaginal tape implanted after suffering from incontinence. She underwent several corrective surgeries. Prolift was removed from the market in 2012.

Jurors determined the Prolift, and not transvaginal tape, caused Hryomoc’s injuries. However, it found that Ethicon failed to provide adequate warnings about both products.

Mesh Risk Known by Company Researchers

Evidence in the trial included a brochure given to Hrymoc by her doctor showing there was a “small risk” the implant would be exposed to the vaginal canal. Attorney Adam Slater introduced documents from Ethicon researchers suggesting a much higher risk.

Slater argued during summations that Ethicon showed “willful and wanton” disregard for what would happen to patients given the implants.

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson argued that the product, while imperfect, had been tested sufficiently and that Hyrmoc knew the risks when she agreed to the surgery. The company maintains the product has helped thousands of women who would have required riskier, more invasive surgery.

J&J spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley told CVN that the company will appeal.

At least 9,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against Ethicon in New Jersey Superior Court. The cases are being managed as part of multicounty litigation, according to the law firm representing Hrymoc, Bernstien Liebhard.

This is the first N.J. state court case to go to trial since Gross’ verdict. Another trial involving manufacturer C.R. Bard is scheduled for trial in January.

Ethicon and J & J are facing more than 50,000 similar lawsuits around the U.S.


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Decatur doctor gets 14 months for illegal drug distribution

A doctor who operated a walk-in medical clinic in Decatur was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for illegally handing out the painkiller hydrocodone, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Tuesday.

Sukhwinder Multani, 43, of Decatur, also was sentenced to three years of supervised release following the prison term. He is prohibited from working in the medical field during the sentence.

According to court documents, Multani operated Universal Urgent Care in Decatur, advertising that it was open seven days a week and charged $40 per visit.

On Nov. 14, 2016, Multani admitted that on three occasions in 2014, he dispensed hydrocodone, a type of opioid, outside the course of professional medical practice and not for any legitimate medical purpose.

According to public records, Multani’s medical licenses were ordered suspended in 2014.


St. Francis to pay $26M in medical malpractice suit

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Bittersweet moments for a Columbus woman who went to St. Francis Hospital for a common neck surgery and later turned into a disabled woman.

Sandra Williams filed a lawsuit against St. Francis Hospital for the end result of her neck surgery. After a two week trial, a jury decided, St. Francis and its surgeons were 100 percent at fault. St. Francis is now responsible for paying Williams $26 million dollars in this medical malpractice case.

“Sandy is now blind, she’s restricted to wheelchair, she’s got very little function in her legs, she has a hard time grasping with her hands,” says Attorney Lloyd Bell, Law Offices of Andrew C. Dodgen.

Attorneys with the Law Offices of Andrew C. Dodgen represented 57-year-old Sandra Williams, a god-fearing woman of Columbus. Attorney Lloyd Bell says Williams needed a common neck surgery after running a 5k back in October of 2012.

“Went to get a neck fusion surgery which went well..but the following day she couldn’t swallow,” says Bell.

The day after her surgery she went to complain about trouble swallowing. Following that surgery what looks looks a pretty large bubble sitting on her windpipe. Attorneys for Williams say this is what caused their client to have trouble swallowing. They say St. Francis Doctor Erik Westerlund decided to not make a move on Williams, because she had not complained about any breathing problems. So she went home, but the swallowing issue never went away and even more problems surfaced.

“Came back to the emergency room in the early morning of October 20th and her neck was swollen, she couldn’t swallow, she had pain, she had gurgling noise when she tried to swallow…she couldn’t swallow her own saliva,” says Bell.

She waited for some six hours to be seen by Dr. Westerlund, this on the third day after her surgery. But it’s important to note, hospital policy requires doctors to see a patient within two hours. During the trial, the plaintiffs used a doctor with more than 20 years of surgical experience. He explains what Westerlund should’ve done in Williams’ case.

“Intervene soon not wait til the breathing gets in trouble… there’s almost a 100 percent chance that the patient will go home and be fine,” says Doctor Lawrence Schlachter.

The plaintiff’s attorney’s tell News 3, Williams now needs around the clock care as she is no longer independent. They say all the years of singing at her church and enjoying a run all came to an end because of this incident. It’s safe to say Williams hasn’t had it easy also losing her husband through all of this. But through it all we’re told Williams continues to smile and hold her head high.

According to our media partner the Ledger-Enquirer, St. Francis will not appeal the jury’s decision, forcing the hospital to pay Williams $26 million dollars.


chocolate coco loko street drug

Feds Crack Down on ‘Street Drug Alternatives’ (FDA)

Two companies promoting their products as alternatives to street drugs were warned by the FDA that they were selling unapproved and misbranded drugs.

In a press release, the FDA said that the manufacturers of Legal Lean Syrup, which may be meant as an alternative to cough syrup mixed with soda, and Coco Loko, marketed as snortable chocolate “snuff,” both pose safety concerns for consumers. Legal Lean Syrup contains the pharmaceutical compound doxylamine, which was not included in the product labeling and can pose serious health concerns, the FDA said. Coco Loko contains taurine and guarana, “neither of which have been evaluated for intranasal administration.” The agency also noted potential risks of snorting any powder substance.

The companies have 15 days to respond to the FDA and correct the issues noted, or they may face regulatory action.


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Woman claims lung cancer was caused by asbestos exposure from Alfa Laval, others

BELLEVILLE – A woman who worked at various employers in Illinois over a period of 20 years alleges she was exposed to asbestos ( asbestos exposure).

Marguerite Denson filed a complaint on July 27 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Albany International Corp., Alfa Laval Inc., Armstrong International Inc., et al. alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that at various times during her employment from 1968 to 1988, she was exposed to and inhaled large amounts of asbestos fibers emanating from defendants’ products. On Aug. 22, 2016, the suit states she first became aware that she developed lung cancer, an asbestos-induced disease.

The plaintiff holds Albany International Corp., Alfa Laval Inc., Armstrong International Inc., et al. responsible because the defendants allegedly negligently included asbestos fibers in their products when adequate substitutes were available and failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions concerning the safe methods of working with or around products containing asbestos fibers.

The plaintiff seeks a judgment against defendants of more than $50,000. She is represented by Randy L. Gori and Barry Julian of Gori Julian & Associates PC in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 17-L-404

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Yakima jury awards $1.2 million to victim of medical malpractice

Yakima County Superior Court (DONALD W. MEYERS/Yakima Herald-Republic) Buy Now

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima jury last week awarded $1.2 million to a patient in a medical malpractice lawsuit against a local spine surgeon.

The suit against Dr. Michael Thomas, who works for Cascade Neurosurgical Associates, was filed by Emily Daley, 42, after scoliosis surgery in 2011 left her with severe pain and an abnormal spine position.

The surgery, which took place in July 2011, was intended to correct Daley’s chronic back pain from scoliosis. Instead, the lawsuit said Thomas’ substandard care during the surgery and inadequate follow-up care made it worse.

Neither Thomas nor his attorney could be immediately reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Thomas was previously put on probation by the state Department of Health, after he was found to be under the influence of narcotics while performing a neck and spine operation in 2012.

In its verdict last Thursday, a Yakima County Superior Court jury found Thomas was negligent and that his negligence was “a proximate cause of injury” to the plaintiff, according to the court document.

The monetary award was split into $219,052 for past medical expenses and $1 million for non-
economic damages, according to the court document.

Daley filed her suit in Superior Court in June 2015, nearly a year after another spine surgeon operated on her to correct the forward and left lean of her spine that the lawsuit blamed on Thomas’ surgery.

Daley’s attorney, Felix Luna, said in a news release that prior to having her spine fixed, Daley’s pain was sometimes so severe that she passed out, and that it had a severe impact on her life in the three years between the first and final surgeries.

Brendan Hughes, the media contact for the Peterson Wampold Rosato Feldman Luna law firm on this case, said this was the first time in nearly a decade that a Yakima jury found in favor of the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case.

“For some reason, in Yakima they tend to go to the other party — to the defendant, not the plaintiff,” he said. “First time it’s gone to the injured party in a long time, which makes it notable.”

This is not the first time Thomas’ care has been called into question.

When hospital colleagues reported “abnormal behavior” in the operating room during a March 2012 neck and spine surgery, Thomas tested positive for narcotics and benzodiazapines, according to state Department of Health documents.

The patient from that surgery suffered postoperative difficulties, the documents say.

Thomas had filled numerous painkiller prescription in late 2011 and early 2012 after undergoing back surgery himself.

After the operation in which he was removed from surgery, Thomas voluntarily completed inpatient treatment at the Washington Physicians’ Health Program, and then in 2014 reached a probation agreement with the Department of Health whereby he had to submit to random drug tests and be monitored by another physician.

According to the Department of Health website, Thomas’ medical license was last renewed in January 2015. As of January 2016, his credentials are expired.

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Medical malpractice claims get more difficult

The state of Kentucky has passed a law that will make filing medical malpractice lawsuits in the area more difficult. Under the new law, all potential malpractice suits must go before a medical review panel before the case can be pursued in court.

The new law covers a huge swathe of healthcare professionals, from physicians and dentists to physical therapists and chiropractors, according to a report by JD Supra. The law aims to quash frivolous or unfair claims against healthcare professionals before they start. The hope is that the resulting reduction in litigation costs will help keep down malpractice insurance premiums, which in turn will hold down healthcare costs.

Under the new law, those wishing to file a medical malpractice suit must first file an administrative complaint with Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, JD Supra reported. That complaint will then be reviewed by a panel consisting of an attorney chairperson and three healthcare providers. The attorney chooses the panel by creating a list of six healthcare providers licensed in Kentucky who work in the same field as the potential defendant. Both the potential plaintiff and the potential defendant choose a provider from the list, and the two chosen choose the third.

Once the panel has been chosen, the plaintiff has 60 days to submit supporting evidence. After that, the defendant has 45 days to submit evidence refuting the claim, JD Supra reported. The panel can then rule in one of three ways: that the defendant failed to act according to the applicable standard of care in the case, and that failure was a “substantial cause” of the plaintiff’s injury; that the defendant failed to act according to the standard of care, but that it wasn’t a substantial cause of the plaintiff’s injury; or that the defendant acted according to the standard of care.

Regardless of the panel’s decision, the plaintiff can choose to pursue a medical malpractice claim, JD Supra reported. However, the panel’s decision can be admitted as expert evidence in a civil trial.


Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges Navy Veterans With Mesothelioma Due to Asbestos Exposure in the Gator Navy to Call About Lawyers Who Get Better Compensation Settlements

The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, “The Gator Navy is an integral part of the US Navy because it allows US Marines to get to where they are supposed to be to protect our national interests. Our number one passion is seeing to it that US Navy Veterans or Marine Corps Veterans who were exposed to asbestos on a navy ship and now have mesothelioma receive the very best possible financial compensation.

“The way we help US Navy or Marine Corps Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma receive the very best possible compensation is we see to it that they have on-the-spot access to the nation’s most skilled and capable mesothelioma attorneys as we would like to discuss anytime at 800-714-0303. The Gator Navy is our navy’s amphibious fleet.” http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

“It is well documented that US Navy Veterans were exposed to asbestos prior to the 1990s. However, US Marines are rarely mentioned in conjunction with US Navy Veterans when it comes to asbestos exposure on navy ships. If US Marines were on a navy ship there is a very good chance that they could have been exposed to asbestos. Marines would have typically been in enclosed areas of a navy ship while the ship was underway and if repairs or maintenance was ongoing the Marines would have had exposure to asbestos just like everyone else in that area of the ship.

“Before any US Navy Veteran or US Marine who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma hires a lawyer or law firm to assist with a mesothelioma compensation claim, they are urged to call the Mesothelioma Victims Center at 800-714-0303 for on-the-spot access to some of the most skilled, experienced, and qualified mesothelioma attorneys in the United States. For a mesothelioma compensation claim involving asbestos exposure on a US Navy Ship you want the nation’s most capable attorneys, it’s as simple as that.” http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

For more information about the Gator Navy please refer to the Us Navy’s website:

Each year about 3,000 US citizens will be diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. High-risk work groups for exposure to asbestos include US Navy Veterans, power plant workers, shipyard workers, oil refinery workers, steel mill workers, miners, manufacturing workers, pulp or paper mill workers, millwrights, welders, plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, machinists, construction workers, rail road workers, and firemen. Typically, the exposure to asbestos for these types of workers occurred in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, or 1980’s.

The average age for a diagnosed victim of mesothelioma is about 70 years old. Frequently victims of mesothelioma are initially misdiagnosed with pneumonia. http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

According to the CDC, the states indicated with the highest incidence of mesothelioma include Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Washington, and Oregon.

However, based on the calls the Mesothelioma Victims Center receives a US Navy Veteran with confirmed mesothelioma could live in any state including New York, Florida, California, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, or Alaska.

The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, “As we would like to explain anytime at 800-714-0303 if a person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma wants the best possible compensation it is vital they have the nation’s most skilled, and experienced mesothelioma lawyers.” http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

For more information about mesothelioma please refer to the National Institutes of Health’s web site related to this rare form of cancer:

Media Contact:

Michael Thomas

SOURCE Mesothelioma Victims Center