The Dangers of Using Invokana

June 14th, 2016

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Invokana, also known as canagliflozin, is a medication of the gliflozin class or subtype 2 sodium-glucose transport inhibitors that is prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In most cases, Invokana helps control high blood sugar when combined with a proper diet and exercise; however, there have been instances in which users suffered from keotacidosis, heart attacks, and/or kidney failure. If you believe this medication is to blame for your hospitalization, a personal injury lawsuit can help you obtain the required compensation to cover your losses.

Invokana Uses

When working correctly, Invokana should help control high blood sugar in order to preserve the kidney from damage and help you avoid blindness, maintain nerve functions, and regulate proper blood circulation. This drug can increase the removal of sugar by your kidneys, but it may also cause additional problems.

Invokana Dangers

The manufacturer of Invokana, Johnson and Johnson, is currently facing lawsuits that state they failed to properly warn patients of the risk of kidney failure, heart attack, amputations, and ketoacidosis, the production of excess blood acids. Without the forewarning of these potential side effects, physicians have been unable to prescribe the medication while including proper monitoring and check ups to ensure patients are not already excessively predisposed to these conditions. With proper warning, patients would have been monitored more closely and could have avoided developing these high-risk medical complications.

Clinical studies have shown that the risk of amputation can be doubled or tripled when taking this medication. Because this medication causes the kidney to release more sugar through urine, there is a higher risk of urinary tract infection associated with using Invokana. When UTIs become common or severe, they may damage the kidneys permanently causing kidney failure.

How We Can Help

Two years after Invokana was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), severe side effects like those mentioned above were reported, resulting in the issuance of safety warnings. These revised safety warnings have continued to develop, the last of which occurred in May of 2016 stating that patients taking Invokana have a higher risk of amputation. If you or a loved one have suffered severe side effects associated with Invokana, a personal injury lawsuit can make it possible for you to gain the compensation needed to cover your hospitable bills. Johnson and Johnson is required to warn patients and physicians alike about the risks associated with this medication, and if they had done so immediately, many patients could have avoided injury.

We can develop your case against Invokana manufacturers and help you gain what is due to you. If you believe you have been harmed by taking this medication, contact the Garmon Law Firm to discuss further action.

Nausea Drug Zofran May Be Linked with Birth Defects

April 9th, 2016

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Zofran is a popular nausea medication used to treat severe nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women.  It is often used to treat hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes debilitating morning sickness during pregnancy. Zofran and the generic ondansetron were approved to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy or surgery. They have been prescribed “off-label” by many physicians to treat pregnant women suffering from nausea and vomiting.

Studies have linked Zofran to an increase in heart defects and congenital malformations. The drug label, however, bears no warning about the risks of taking the drug during pregnancy. Numerous birth defects, heart defects, and congenital malformations have been reported including:

  • Craniosynostosis – an abnormally shaped skull, caused by the premature fusion of bone plates
  • Cleft palate and lip
  • Heart defects (atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, heart murmur)
  • Club feet
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Kidney malformation
  • Skeletal defects

Zofran lawsuits are forming in many states by women who allege they were not warned of the risks associated with the nausea drug. Many of these women have given birth to children with heart defects or congenital abnormalities they believe may be associated with the Zofran they took during pregnancy.

Most pregnant women exercise extreme caution and carefully avoid certain foods, beverages, and medications that they believe may be harmful to their developing child. But when women are not notified of the potential risks or the connection with defects in children, they cannot make intelligent, informed decisions. Often these same women face heartbreak when they find that the birth defects and injuries that their child must endure may be linked to their ingestion of a medication.

It is critical that pharmaceutical manufacturers warn women of the risks during pregnancy. If you took Zofran during pregnancy and your child was born with a heart defect or a congenital birth defect, you may be eligible for compensation. These defects often result in numerous medical bills as children must visit specialists and sometimes undergo surgical treatment. That’s why it is important to hold GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Zofran, responsible for failure to warn women of potential side effects.

For more information or for a free consultation, contact the Garmon Law Firm online or at 256-543-HURT. It is essential to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side!

 

Testosterone Treatment Proves Dangerous

April 1st, 2016

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Testosterone products are a recent trend in medicine, prescribed to treat low testosterone or “Low T” in males. Approximately 3 to 7 percent of men experience low testosterone levels which may be associated with fatigue, infertility, and sexual difficulties. There are a variety of medications prescribed to treat low testosterone levels, including:

  • AndroGel
  • Androderm
  • Axiron
  • Depo-Testosterone
  • Fortesta
  • Striant
  • Testim
  • Testopel

A number of men have experienced heart attacks, heart problems, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and strokes while taking these medications. Many of these men claim they were not adequately warned of the connection between testosterone treatment and these dangerous side effects.

Studies, such as one performed by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2009 indicate that some men may be as much as 29 percent more likely to die or suffer a stroke or heart attack during testosterone treatment. In 2015, the FDA issued a communication announcing that warnings will be placed on testosterone replacement drugs indicating the connection between the use of these drugs and the increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.

In addition, new warnings indicate that testosterone treatment should not begin until men have tested positive for hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels, through clinical testing. These warnings seem to address the fact that a number of men may have been prescribed these medications to treat symptoms without being tested to determine if they were actually experiencing low testosterone.

A number of lawsuits have been filed by men alleging they were not warned about the increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and death, especially in men with heart problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. They further allege that pharmaceutical manufacturers recklessly advertised treatment for “Low T” as a method of treating sexual difficulties, weight gain, and fatigue. Finally, the lawsuits indicate that consumers and medical practitioners were not informed of the increased risks of heart attack and death associated with these medications, even after manufacturers were clearly aware of the connection.

If you received treatment for low testosterone and, while undergoing treatment, suffered a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot, contact the Garmon Law Firm today. If you lost a loved one to any of these conditions while he was being treated for “Low T,” we may be able to help. Many men have suffered dangerous medical conditions while receiving testosterone therapy. We can help you pursue justice against the pharmaceutical manufacturers who may have failed to warn you of the dangers. Contact us today online or by phone at 256-543-HURT for a free consultation.

False Claims Acts/WhistleBlower

March 28th, 2016

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When unscrupulous businesses or individuals defraud the government, a False Claims Act can be filed. The False Claims Act allows individuals to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government in cases of suspected fraud and, if the government chooses to intervene, the individual is entitled to a share of the recovery. Cases may include:

  • Double billing
  • Billing for services not performed
  • Performing procedures or tests that are not warranted in an effort to increase reimbursement
  • Billing for more expensive services, tests, or procedures than were given
  • Ordering additional tests in absence of indications in order to increase reimbursement
  • Filing false claims
  • Any of a number of other fraudulent activities

If you suspect that an individual or a business has defrauded the government, it is critical to compile as much evidence as possible. An experienced False Claims Act attorney can help you determine what evidence may be necessary in your case. Recovery in these cases can be substantial, and the Alabama and Federal Whistleblower Statutes may protect you from retaliatory actions by your employer.

False Claims Acts are extremely sensitive in nature. They are, therefore, filed under seal in a U.S. District Court. This means that the public and even the defendant are not aware that a case has been filed. The government then has the opportunity to consider the evidence presented and determine whether or not they will intervene. If the government chooses to intervene, they then take over the lead in the case, however the whistleblower and their attorney are still involved. Should the government decline to intervene, the whistleblower can still choose to continue to move forward on behalf of the government.

Whistleblower cases can be extremely complex and may require extensive research and evidence collection. It is important to have an attorney on your side to help you file the necessary paperwork and assess the merits of your claim. In addition, your attorney can help you understand what constitutes solid evidence of fraud. This information will help you build a case that is more likely to be pursued by the government. If the defendant is found to have defrauded the government, they may have to pay three times the amount in damages as well as hefty fines for their actions. Whistleblowers typically are eligible to receive between 15 to 30 percent of this recovery. The percentage received is often based on the amount of help and evidence contributed by the whistleblower and his or her attorney. Again, having an attorney who is familiar with whistleblower cases may help you receive a greater reward.

The courts take whistleblower actions seriously and go to great lengths to protect individuals who take action on their behalf. If you have evidence to believe that an individual or company has defrauded the government, contact the Garmon Law Firm today online or by phone at 256-543-HURT for a free consultation.

Product Liability: Pursuing Justice When Manufacturers Fail You

March 21st, 2016

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Many products on the market are carefully tested and labeled for consumer protection. Some products, however, present a serious threat to consumers. Using these products can result in injuries and harm. Common dangerous products include:

  • Vehicles,
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications,
  • Household items,
  • Some types of Toys.

In some cases, the manufacturer fails to warn consumers about known problems or hazards. For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturer may fail to notify consumers of dangerous side effects that may exist with their medications. A toy manufacturer may receive reports of consumer injury but not take action for fear that a recall would be costly or harm their image. In these cases, the manufacturer may be held liable for not notifying the public or providing sufficient warnings regarding their products.

In other cases, problems occur during manufacturing. When manufacturers do not work aggressively to ensure that they adhere to proper standards, products may be deemed unsafe. For example, if a cookie manufacturer does not properly maintain their baking equipment and metal shavings accidentally get baked into the cookies, they may be liable for any injuries that may occur.

Sometimes the design of the product, itself, presents a problem. For example, large top-heavy sports utility vehicles may be prone to flip when the driver turns rapidly. If a design flaw caused the product to be inherently unsafe, they manufacturer may be held responsible.

In order to pursue a product liability case, we must be able to show that the product itself caused harm. We may employ the help of experts to analyze the item to determine what dangers exist. It is important to keep any materials that may be related to the dangerous product. Retain product packaging, the product itself, any instructional materials that came with it, and a product receipt if you have it.

Do not hesitate to contact the Garmon Law Firm for help in your case. Remember, you can contact us at any time for a free, no obligation consultation. Often we can tell you whether or not you have a case during our initial conversation. Manufacturers that produce dangerous products must be held responsible when consumers are injured. We will put you first and demand the compensation you deserve so that you can recover from your injuries. Contact the Garmon Law Firm today online or by phone at 256-543-HURT.

Defective Tires Cause Over 500 Deaths Each Year

March 14th, 2016

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If a defective tire caused your automobile accident, contact the Garmon Law Firm today for a free consultation. We drive thousands of miles each year on our tires, and besides periodic rotation and replacement, we hardly pay them any mind. Yet statistics show that over 500 deaths and 10,000 injuries each year are attributable to accidents caused by defective tires.

Defective tires can cause accidents involving the following:

  • Blowouts– Blowouts occur when the integrity of the tire quickly falls apart while in use. Blowouts can be very dangerous and may interfere with the stability of the vehicle and cause it to overturn.
  • Tread Separation– Tread separation occurs when the outer layer or tread of the tire peels away from the inner core of the tire. When this occurs it can make the vehicle difficult to control and can lead to accidents.

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Defective tires can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you suddenly lost control of your car for no reason, and notice damage to one or more of your tires, a defective tire may be to blame. Bridgestone, Hankook, Firestone, Continental, and Michelin tires have all been recalled due to defects in recent years. If you experienced unusual swerving, skidding, hydroplaning, or the loss of control of your vehicle, especially if there appears to be no explanation, a defective tire may be to blame. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine if a defective tire may have caused your case.

When tire manufacturers are aware of a problem with their tires, it is their responsibility to notify consumers about the danger. Such notifications and recalls, however, are expensive and can affect public perception of the manufacturer, so some manufacturers may try to deny responsibility. If a manufacturer is aware of the defect and did not notify you, and that defect in turn caused an accident, they may be liable.

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In order to avoid accidents caused by tire malfunctions or defects, you should regularly perform the following:

  • Rotate your tires so that they receive wear evenly.
  • Check your tires to ensure that they are properly inflated. Over and underinflated tires may be dangerous.
  • Monitor your tires for any worn spots, bubbles, or areas where it appears the tread is separating from the tire. If you notice any of these, have the tire checked immediately.
  • Do not overload your vehicle or put more weight on the tires than is recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid driving through construction areas or other areas that may have nails, sharp metal, or other damaging debris.

If you receive notice of a tire recall, follow up on it right away. Contact the Garmon Law Firm online or at 256-543-HURT for advice and help if a defective tire contributed to your accident.

 

IVC Filters May Have Deadly Complications

March 4th, 2016

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Inferior vena cava filters, or IVC filters, are implanted in individuals who cannot safely take blood thinners in order to prevent clots from traveling to the lungs. These filters are designed to catch any clots and allow them time to safely dissipate. The FDA has received many reports of complications from retrievable IVC filters. The filters have punctured organs, migrated to other parts of the body, and fractured. As a result, the FDA has issued guidelines indicating that the IVC filters should be removed from the body as soon as possible, as the risk for complications increases the longer the filter stays in the body.

Numerous studies have noted high rates of complications from these devices. Of particular concern are indications that Bard, one of the major manufacturers of IVC filters, may have known of the high fracture rate as early as 2003. The company did not inform the FDA of the problem, however, until they had a suitable replacement device to market.

I have an IVC filter- what signs may indicate complications?

Some complications, such as the migration of the IVC filter, may not come with any noticeable signs of trouble. In fact, you may not know the device has migrated until your physician attempts to remove it. Often, however, there are signs of trouble. If you have an IVC device and notice any of these symptoms that may indicate a complication, contact your physician right away. Symptoms include:

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Neck pain

What complications can occur?

Complications range from mild, such as a filter that has migrated and is a bit more difficult to remove, to severe, including potentially life-threatening emergencies. If part of the IVC filter breaks off or punctures the inferior vena cava or an organ, you may experience one of the following:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Punctures of the lungs or heart
  • The accumulation of fluid around the heart or lungs
  • Open heart surgery
  • Death

I have an IVC filter – how can I avoid risk?

The FDA has warned that the IVC filters should be removed as soon as the threat of blood clots has passed, or within one to two months, if possible. In the past, some filters that were intended to be used for a short time were left in for years. The risk of complications seems to increase the longer the device is in the body.

I’ve experienced complications from my IVC filter. Do I have a case?

If you have experienced complications from your IVC filter, contact the Garmon Law Firm right away. Our experienced products liability attorney can talk to you about the legal options available in your case. As always, there is no obligation and your consultation is free, so contact the Garmon Law Firm today!

Truck Accidents Can Cause Devastating Injuries, Deaths

March 1st, 2016

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Trucks barrel down Alabama highways at all hours of the day and night, carrying loads that can weigh many tons. In fact, some trucks weigh as much as 40 times more than cars. When trucks and cars collide, what may slightly dent a tractor trailer may severely damage a car. As a result, injuries incurred in accidents involving tractor trailers and large trucks are generally much more severe than those caused by other accidents.

The statistics are alarming: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in 2014, a total of 3,660 people died in accidents involving large trucks. The IIHS also notes that trucks require an estimated 20-40 percent more braking distance during ideal road conditions, and even more on wet or icy roadways. Although drivers are limited to 11 hours driving at a time, they can drive as many as 77 hours per week and many report violating these rules.

At the Garmon Law Firm, we hold truck drivers and their employers accountable for their actions. We believe that no one should be forced to endure painful injuries or the loss of a loved one simply because a shipping company was eager to get their load delivered in time. If you have been hurt in an accident, call an Alabama truck accident attorney immediately for representation in your case.

Injuries from collisions with large trucks are often severe and can include:

  • Severe head trauma, concussions, coma, brain damage, brain bleeds, and even death.
  • Neck, back, and spinal column injuries (fractures, paralysis).
  • Broken bones, including compound fractures.
  • Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs.
  • Loss of limbs or permanent disability.
  • Open head wounds and severe lacerations.

Some of these injuries can be treated successfully with modern medicine. Broken bones and even internal bleeding can generally be managed well with prompt medical attention. Major injuries of the head, spine, and back, however, can result in lifelong disabilities and even paralysis.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result when an individual’s head forcefully collides with the steering column or the windshield. Severe TBI can cause significant disabilities including impaired memory, the inability to recall words or speak fluently, loss of vision, diminished senses, seizures, aggressive behaviors, and problems reading and writing. Many individuals with severe TBI will not be able to return to work and some may require ongoing medical care.

Obviously, any car accident can cause injuries, but statistically we know that accidents involving tractor trailers result in significantly worse injuries for passengers. These injuries may often last a lifetime, and can impact the entire family. That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced Alabama truck accident attorney on your side. If you, a family member, or a friend have been hurt or injured in a collision involving a tractor trailer, the Garmon Law Firm will pursue your case and help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Arrange for a free consultation simply by filling out our quick online form or by calling 256-543-HURT.

 

Yaz and Beyaz May Result in Fatalities

February 26th, 2016

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As an Alabama products liability attorney, I closely follow reports of potentially harmful medications. Yaz and Beyaz, two major birth control pills heavily promoted for their ability to control pre-menstrual issues such as bloating and acne, may come with potentially deadly side effects. Yaz and Beyaz both contain dropsirenone, a form of progestin that has been linked to significant side effects. Side effects include:

  • Heart attack
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Gallbladder disorders
  • Death

The FDA has issued numerous warnings to Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz and Beyaz, but the manufacturer continues to market the medications. The FDA has received notification of at least 50 deaths in women taking Yaz and Beyaz, including that of a 17-year-old girl. The drugs continue to be sold, and an estimated 12 million women in the U.S. have been prescribed Yaz, Beyaz, or Ocella (a generic version of the medication).

The drugs bring in billions of dollars annually in sales, even as the startling side effects continue. The pills are promoted as medication that not only prevents pregnancy, but also prevents bloating and reduces adult acne. A 2012 FDA warning states that Yaz, Beyaz, and other birth control pills with dropsirenone result in three times the chance of developing blood clots compared to birth control pills without the hormone. Although Bayer now has added a warning label to these medications, it may not be enough to prevent harmful side effects, and the pills remain on the market.

In an interview with NPR, Dr. Frits Rosendaal said that the safest birth control pill is, “surprisingly, one of the oldest pills.” He further warns about the possible risks associated with new medications and urges consumers to carefully follow reports of side effects.

At least 12,000 women have brought claims against Bayer for the side effects associated with Yaz, Beyaz, and Ocella. In July, 2015 Bayer agreed to a settlement of no less than $2 billion to resolve these claims. Other claims have been addressed separately.

If you have suffered a serious side effect as the result of taking Yaz or Beyaz, contact our Alabama products liability attorney today. Side effects like heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and pulmonary embolism can result in significant medical bills and lost wages. Our experienced Alabama products liability attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve as we bring these potentially dangerous drugs to light! Contact the Garmon Law Firm today online or by phone at 256-543-HURT.

Talcum Powder Can Cause Ovarian Cancer

February 24th, 2016

Talcum powder can be found in millions of bathrooms in the United States, yet few know there is a connection between baby powder and ovarian cancer. Although recent lawsuits have brought light to this fact, studies dating as far back as 1971 report a link. The Lancet medical journal was the first to report a connection, with researchers finding minute particles of talc deeply embedded within many cancerous ovarian tumors. Since that time, over 20 studies have found a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

Despite numerous studies noting a connection between talc and ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson marketed the product towards women as a way to stay fresh, dry, and comfortable. Their Shower to Shower product, especially, seemed to be marketed for intimate freshness. Many women report using the product directly on and around their genital area. In addition, baby powder is often applied directly to the genitals of infants and young children experiencing diaper rash or chaffing.

Symptoms

Ovarian cancer is often referred to as a silent killer, as initial symptoms are generally minor. Many women are not troubled by symptoms until the disease has progressed. All women who use or have used talcum powder on their genitals should be aware of the following early ovarian cancer symptoms:

  • A feeling of fullness or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Difficulty eating
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Menstrual irregularities

Many times these symptoms are indicative of another, less significant problem, however women should not ignore them! If you experience these symptoms, especially if you regularly use talcum powder, contact your gynecologist for an exam. If your gynecologist indicates that you have ovarian cancer, contact our dedicated team today.

Just this week, a St. Louis jury awarded the Fox family $72 million dollars from Johnson & Johnson after Ms. Fox died of ovarian cancer. Ms. Fox had used Johnson & Johnson baby powder and Shower to Shower products on her genital area for 35 years. The lawyers for the plaintiff allege that Johnson & Johnson covered up their knowledge of the risks of baby powder and yet failed to take action. They further allege that Johnson & Johnson hid the risks of baby powder from consumers. Instead of warning women, Johnson & Johnson called for further studies into the matter.

At The Garmon Law Firm, we understand that this is a sensitive matter. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf in order to get you the compensation you deserve. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you have used baby powder on your genitals in the past, contact us online today, at 877-717-5342, or 256-543-HURT. We will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve in your case.

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