Recently in Personal Injury Category

November 9, 2011

Mesothelioma May Be Caused By Even Brief Asbestos Exposure

The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health reports that even brief exposure to asbestos may lead to the development of mesothelioma. The reported case detailed the situation of a 58-year-old man who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos-containing gaskets during a summer job. He had no additional exposure.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen and chest cavity. The development of the disease is associated with being exposed to asbestos. In fact, nearly all of those people who contract mesothelioma have been in contact with asbestos products. This may be as the result of exposure at work or contact with asbestos fibers, such as washing the clothes of a family member who has worked with asbestos. Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness or breath, chest wall pain, and weight loss. However, because symptoms generally don't appear until at least 20 years after exposure occurs, this cancer is often diagnosed in late stages. No known cure exists for mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and has developed mesothelioma, it is important to contact an experienced New Mexico asbestos lawyer to discuss your options. Often, it is possible to obtain compensation for those people wrongfully exposed to asbestos.

According to the article, the man's only exposure to asbestos occurred for 4-hours/day for 3 years during his high school summers. This study further establishes that exposure to asbestos for short and intense periods of time can lead to asbestos disease.

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October 19, 2011

Death Toll From Mesothelioma In Iron Range Rises

AP reports that the number of Iron Rangers who have died from mesothelioma has risen. Mesothelioma is a rare and almost always fatal form of lung cancer associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma often takes up to 30 years or more to show up.

If you believe you or a love one has been exposed to asbestos or has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to speak with an experienced asbestos attorney. Many times, those who have been harmed may recover compensation for their injuries.

The Iron Ranger mesothelioma study determined that the number of ironworkers known to have died has risen from 63 to 82 in the last year. Initial reports suggested that the worker's increased risk was due to asbestos exposure from commercial sources such as insulation on pipes, furnaces and boilers. However, others believe that the exposure causing mesothelioma is the result of asbestos-like fibers being released from the taconite rock during processing.

A study evaluating the ironworkers continues, with the results expected within the next 5 years. Early reports show that 1,681 taconite workers have developed some sort of lung cancer. The study will include a determination of how and where the asbestos came from and whether death rates of deceased taconite workers on higher on the Iron Range than within the general public.

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October 12, 2011

Transvaginal Mesh Linked To Serious Side Effects And Complications

The FDA has recently issued an updated transvaginal mesh warning on the use of the mesh to help repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP). POP occurs when the pelvic organs fall out of place as the result of the stretching or weakening of the tissues holding the organs in place. Transvaginal mesh - also known as vaginal mesh, bladder mesh or a pelvic sling - has been used to surgical correct this condition. However, research has concluded that serious side effects and complications may result due to its use.

These side effects and risks include:

• Bladder perforation
• Pelvic hemorrhage
• Mesh erosion
• Infection
• Pain during intercourse
• Bleeding
• Incontinence

Although some of these effects may be reverse through additional surgeries, others may be life-long, debilitating consequences. According to the FDA - most cases of POP can be treated successfully without the use of transvaginal mesh. The implanting of this dangerous medical device unnecessarily exposes patients to the risk of harm.

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September 20, 2011

New Mexico Man Killed In Colorado/New Mexico Border Truck Accident

News reports indicate that a New Mexico man was killed in an 18-wheeler crash near the border of Colorado/New Mexico. According to reports, Ruben Gomez was travelling northbound on U.S. 550, just past the New Mexico-Colorado state line when his tanker truck veered off the road. Gomez attempted to correct and steer the big-rig back onto the road when his truck began to roll. The fuel tank ripped off the truck during the roll, spilling about 4,000 gallons of gasoline. Gomez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Trucking collisions are some of the most deadly motor vehicle accidents. Due to the sheer size of an 18-wheeler, when a big rig truck accident occurs serious injuries and fatalities are often the result.

Many potential causes for truck accidents exist including driver error, negligent roadway design, and defective truck parts. In some cases, the trucking company who hires a driver may even be at fault where they demand unreasonable hours, excessive loads or employ other negligent or reckless work requirements. An experienced New Mexico truck accident law firm can investigate a truck accident and determine what factors may have played a role in causing serious personal injury or wrongful death. Where a party's negligence causes harm, it may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries, or to provide damages to the survivors in a wrongful death action.

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September 12, 2011

FDA Holds Hearings On Transvaginal Mesh

The FDA met last week to determine whether surgical mesh inserted surgically inserted into the vagina, also known as transvaginal mesh or pelvic mesh, needs tighter regulation by the FDA. The mesh is used to treat a painful condition called pelvic-organ prolapse. As the result of close to 3000 reports of adverse events, including seven deaths, the manufacturer - Johnson & Johnson now faces several lawsuits across the country.

Transvaginal mesh - like many other defective medical products - was allowed on the market as the result of an expedited regulatory process. The pelvic mesh is currently considered a Class II medical device and was allowed a quick entry into the market without preclinical testing if manufacturers were able to show that the devices is "substantially equivalent" to an existing device on the market.

The FDA is evaluating whether to change the classification of the transvaginal mesh to Class III - high risk. If the FDA changes the rating, the pelvic mesh would require additional testing and be subject to a longer approval period.

Based on initial reports of the transvaginal mesh hearings, it appears that the advisory committee is in favor of stricter testing requirements. A number of risks are associated with the mesh, including organ perforation and bleeding, long-term mesh exposure to the bladder, vagina and rectum, pain and infection, urinary problems, as well as the need for additional revision surgeries. Several reports also indicated that the use of the mesh exposes patients to "unnecessary risk without a benefit above safer options."

As New Mexico transvaginal mesh lawyers, we support tougher regulations. Too often innocent patients are injured due to defective medical devices that are rushed to market.

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May 23, 2011

Zimmer Introduces New Tool For Use In Defective Knee Revision Surgeries

Zimmer Holdings - maker of the defective Zimmer NexGen knee replacements - has recently announced that it has developed a complete set of Trabecular Metal material augment shapes and cones to be used in knee revision surgeries.

These new augments are intended to fill any size bone defects detected while performing surgery, and supposed to provide structural replacement of the bone even in the most critical knee revision surgeries.

Although this is good news for the numerous patients who suffer problems after receiving the Zimmer NexGen knee it is unfortunate that the need for revision surgeries exists at all. Over the last several months the FDA as well as numerous physicians have urged a recall of the Zimmer NexGen Knee due to serious problems and component failures in the knee replacements necessitating additional surgeries.

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April 12, 2011

Senate To Begin Investigation Of DePuy Hip Safety

This week the U.S Senate will begin its probe into medical device recalls and the connection between the massive DePuy Hip Replacement recall and the FDA's role in "protecting patient safety as part of the medical device approval process."

The DePuy Hip was recalled after numerous reports of metal shards breaking off the hip replacement and lodging themselves in patients' bodies. Although in many cases revision surgeries can correct the problem, many times permanent bone and tissue damage will occur.

If you have been fitted with a DePuy Hip, contact a knowledgeable DePuy ASR Hip System recall attorney. It is important to speak with an attorney to review your medical records and reports in order to determine the next best steps on your behalf.

Lawsuits have been filed in New Mexico and across the county accusing DePuy of manufacturing a defective product, failing to adequately warn doctors and patients of the potential for harm, and negligence.

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April 5, 2011

Zimmer NexGen Knee Recall Urged Due To Component Problems

Several physicians are urging a Zimmer NexGen Knee recall as the result of serious problems and component failures in the knee, requiring additional surgeries. The FDA has recalled some of the components following several lawsuits concerning the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex knee failure rate. In fact, a prominent consultant for Zimmer recently went public stating that the Zimmer NexGen knee has significant problems and warned against its use.

If you have undergone knee replacement surgery, contact a Zimmer NexGen Knee attorney for more information regarding the Zimmer NexGen knees and its safety risks.

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March 8, 2011

Topamax Linked To Birth Defects

The New York Times reports that Topamax, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, has been linked to birth defects, such as a higher risk of developing cleft lips and palates, genital malformations and cranial malformations.

Topamax is an anti-seizure and migraine drug used in the treatment of migraines and epilepsy. It is also used in the weight-loss drug Qnexa.

Infants exposed to the dangerous drug during their mother's first trimester of pregnancy had a 3 times higher rate of mouth defects than those whose mothers took other seizure medications.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by taking Topamax, contact an experienced New Mexico Topamax attorney to discuss your options.

The FDA notes "doctors should think carefully before prescribing the drug to women of childbearing age and 'alternative medications that have a lower risk of birth defects should be considered.'"

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January 24, 2011

New Mexico Corporation Settles Nursing Home Negligence Case For $3.5 Million

A recent news report indicates that a New Mexico Corporation, Sunbridge Health Court Corp., has reached a settlement in a nursing home negligence case for $3.5 million.

If you believe a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse, you need an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer.

The lawsuit was filed in 2009 alleging that the nursing home staff at a Seattle nursing home owned by the New Mexico corporation failed to adequately care for a patient and failed to notify the man's family or his primary doctor of the man's worsening condition. The man had penile cancer and failed to receive any treatment. Although nurses were initially notified of the condition, they forgot to follow up and the man subsequently lost his penis.

Unfortunately, elder abuse is more widespread than many people realize. It may take many forms including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.

If you believe a loved one is suffering from elder neglect or nursing home negligence, a few signs to look for include:

• Sudden changes in behavior
• Dehydration and malnutrition
• Unexplained bruises, welts or broken bones
• Worsening medical conditions

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December 27, 2010

Product Liability Claims Arising Out Of DePuy Hip Replacements

As reported in the Wall Street Journal - as the result of a loophole in the Food and Drug Administrations regulation of medical implants - many potentially faulty hip implants are on the market.

New drugs must undergo clinical trials before receiving FDA approval, however if a medical implant resembles a product already on the market, testing may not be required. This is what happened with the Articular Surface Replacement, a hip replacement device made by DePuy Orthopaedics.

Many patients who received the implant have developed pain. Upon replacement, physicians have located masses of dead tissue in the patient's thighs. Other patients claim high levels of cobalt ions in their blood, leading to fears of poisoning. According to a recent lawsuit, as the result of the DePuy hips, "many suffer severe pain, inflammation, death to surrounding tissue and bone, a partial or complete lack of mobility and the need for surgery to remove and replace the device, leading to a potentially increased risk of complications."

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October 11, 2010

Congress Considers National Concussion Legislation

Recent reports have highlighted the growing concern that student athletes are being pushed too quickly to return to the game after receiving a concussion. Concussions - or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) - result from a blunt trauma to the head. Commonly occurring after car accidents or other types of injury accidents, the harm to the brain is the same. Those who suffer TBIs experience dizziness, loss of concentration, short-term memory lapses, and even speech and cognitive delays.

In order to address the concern that those students who suffer TBIs are being forced to reenter the game too quickly, New Mexico, along with several other states have laws which require athletes to be removed from play or practice if a concussion is suspected.

Congress has now begun holding hearings to determine whether a federal concussion law is warranted.

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August 30, 2010

Traumatic Brain Injuries Often The Beginning Of A Disease Process

According to a recently released study, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have now been linked to the onset of several debilitating diseases. Commonly associated with birth trauma, car accidents, and sport's injuries, TBIs have now been shown to set off a neurological process associated with Alzheimer's, sleep apnea, ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

Complicating matters, TBIs are often difficult to detect and may be initially overlooked. Brain injury symptoms that occur as a result of sudden trauma such as a car accident or birth trauma may not manifest for several months, prolonging treatment and rehabilitation.

Although it may be difficult to prevent malpractice or other injury accidents from occurring, educating yourself about the signs of TBIs can help reduce the likelihood of requiring significant lifelong care.

Signs to look for include:

• Memory lapses
• Blurred vision
• Confusion
• Speech difficulties
• Loss of consciousness
• For infants, developmental delays

Continue reading "Traumatic Brain Injuries Often The Beginning Of A Disease Process" »

August 16, 2010

Senator Questions Company's Response To Paid Consultant's Complaints About Zimmer Durom Cup

In a recent letter to Zimmer CEO David Dvorak, Senator Charles Grassley raised questions regarding how the company responds to criticisms concerning joint replacement products, including the Zimmer Durom Cup (also known as the Zimmer Durom Acetablular Cup), by physicians who are paid company consultants. Grassley has a history of seeking legislative transparency and cooperation concerning medical devices.

The Zimmer Durom Cup was introduced in the United States in 2006 as a hip replacement component. Intended to be an improvement, the cup has caused serious problems for many total hip replacement patients, including extreme pain and discomfort, and the need for additional surgeries. As a result, lawsuits have been filed across the country seeking damages - often claiming that that the hip replacement component is defective, and that Zimmer failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the proper use and surgical techniques for proper implantation.

Citing a recent New York Times article exposing growing disputes between physicians and orthopedic implant manufacturers, Grassley seeks answers about how problems are investigated. Many of these devices are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale without testing.

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July 29, 2010

New Mexico State Employees can sue State Agencies

Government employees working in New Mexico will now be able to bring a lawsuit before the New Mexico court system. It is important to hold state agencies acting negligent accountable and with the diligent work done by the Attorneys at the Branch Law Firm client Sarah Quintero, 53, who sustained a compound leg fracture in 2006 when she fell into an 18-inch chuckhole in an unlit state Department of Transportation parking lot will now be able to file a lawsuit against the state agency.

Quintero sued in state District Court, but because she had worked for the state Department of Public Safety, the judge ruled she fell under the Workers Compensation Act and dismissed her complaint. In the most recent case, a divided New Mexico Court of Appeals reversed a state District Court's dismissal of a personal injury suit brought by Quintero.

The decision was hailed as a victory by Frank Balderrama of the Branch Law Firm, who represents Quintero. "Now Ms. Quintero can go after DOT for their negligence," he said.