Every year, thousands of innocent consumers are injured by faulty and defective products. The lawyers of Helton, Walter & Associates Attorneys At Law have handled many complex, investigative-based cases involving dangerous and defective products.
To schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable product liability lawyer, please call Helton, Walter & Associates Attorneys At Law today at 859-236-4520. Our law firm welcomes clients from Danville, Harrodsburg, Lancaster, Stanford and surrounding areas all over Central Kentucky.
What Is Product Liability?
Those who design, manufacture, distribute and sell any product have an obligation to provide consumers with goods that are free from dangerous defects and marked with adequate warnings. Product liability law is the field of law that holds the appropriate parties responsible for injuries that occur when products do not function properly. There are several parties who may potentially be held liable for injuries caused by defective products, including:
- Parts manufacturer
- Assembling manufacturer
- Packaging company
Manufacturers and retailers of defective or unreasonably dangerous products can be found negligent if there was:
- Failure to recognize a potential danger related to the product
- Failure to identify and correct a major flaw in the product’s design or manufacturing
- Inadequate inspection and testing of a product before its release to consumers
- Inadequate or nonexistent warnings about risks associated with the product
Defective Vaginal Mesh and Bladder Slings
Transvaginal mesh is a product whose marketing was driven by profit rather than by medicine. Transvaginal mesh is marketed as a safety net that supports pelvic organs that have slipped out of place, but when used for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP), the extremely high complication rate of the product increases the risk of:
- Loss of tissue and skin in the treatment area
- Signs of infection such as foul odor
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal pain
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal erosion and scarring
- Organ damage
- Persistent vaginal discharge
- Urinary problems
- Recurrence of POP or SUI
- Additional surgeries
Surgery for SUI and POP can be performed safely and effectively without a transvaginal mesh. Complications caused by vaginal mesh and bladder slings can lead to chronic pain, inability to have sexual relations, permanent injuries and severely diminished quality of life. Removing the mesh can require multiple surgeries and may never be entirely successful.
Our attorneys have experience in product liability cases involving surgical mesh and know how to build your strongest case.
Defective Metal Hip Implants
Hip replacement surgery can relieve pain and restore mobility in people with severe hip problems due to injuries, arthritis, or wear and tear. However, a defective hip implant can cause complications far worse than the original problem, and in some cases the complications can be fatal.
As doctors started placing hip implants in younger, more active patients, the demand for sturdier and longer-lasting implants increased leading to greater use of metal-on-metal implants, but this type of hip implant is notorious for having dangerous defects.
Consequences of defective metal-on-metal hip implants
When the metal parts of the hip implant rub together tiny particles of the metal are rubbed off and released into your body. This can cause damage locally, around the implant itself, and it can get into your bloodstream causing metallosis. Part of the implant can corrode. With some defects the implant does not fuse properly with the bone. The hip implant may need to be replaced, and there can be permanent damage.
Consequences of a defective hip implant can include:
- Implant loosening
- Implant failure
- Dangerous revision surgery to replace the implant
- Tissue death surrounding the implant
- Bone damage around the implant
- Hip dislocation
- Difficulty or inability to move the hip joint
- Loss of use of the leg
- Metal debris in the bloodstream
- Metal poisoning (metallosis)
- Organ damage or cancer from chromium and cobalt toxicity
- Severe pain
Hip implant recalls
Makers of hip implants and parts which have been recalled include:
- DePuy Orthopaedics
- Stryker Corporation
- Zimmer Holdings
- Smith & Nephew plc
- Sulzer Orthopedics, Inc.
- Biomet, Inc.
- Encore Orthopedics, Inc.
- Wright Medical Technology, Inc.
Symptoms of defective metal hip implant
Unfortunately, recalls typically come far too late, after the implants have been placed in patients and many have already been injured. Hip implant recipients do no always know exactly which hip replacement parts they have received or if their hip replacement is subject to a recall. If you are experiencing symptoms of a failing or defective metal hip replacement, you should talk to your doctor right away.
Symptoms of a defective metal hip implant include:
- Pain in the hip, groin, thigh, or lower back
- General discomfort
- Reduced range of motion
- Lack of flexibility
- A feeling that the hip is out of place
- Clicking or popping sound in the hip
- Grinding feeling or sound
- Difficulty walking
- Elevated levels of chromium or cobalt in the blood
Defective Drugs and Dangerous Pharmaceuticals
Every year, pharmaceutical drug companies manufacture and market hundreds of new drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve and regulate each of these new drugs before it reaches the consumer. Despite the oversight of the FDA, it is estimated that more than half of all the drugs marketed to American consumers have dangerous or negative side effects, and more than 200,000 people die from using defective pharmaceuticals every year.
Even after evidence of serious side effects or death are noted, some drug manufacturers still proceed to market their pharmaceuticals. These drug companies can be held strictly liable for any injury that occurs if the products they sell are unreasonably dangerous or defective.
Pharmaceutical companies can be liable if:
- A flaw in the product’s design makes it dangerous
- An error in the manufacturing process caused the product to be defective
- There are not adequate warnings to alert consumers of possible negative effects from the product’s use
Pharmaceutical manufacturers can be sued for compensation even if they were unaware of the risks. It does not matter how carefully the product was produced or labeled.
Not every auto accident is caused by a negligent driver. Sometimes, a vehicle or automotive part is not safe and can endanger other drivers and passengers on the road. When vehicle-part failures occur, they can lead to catastrophic and life-altering injuries. Defective vehicle parts can cause a number of life-threatening situations on the road, such as:
- Brake failure
- Tire blowouts
- Malfunctioning electrical systems
- Ineffective airbags and seatbelts
- Acceleration problems
- Ignition system errors
- Flammability issues related to gas tank defects
- Dangerous headrest or seatback design
- High potential for rollover accidents
Crashworthiness is another important factor of overall vehicle safety. When a crucial element of a vehicle, such as the roof, frame or other component, is unable to provide protection during a collision, the design flaw could be fatal.
Other Product Liability Cases We Handle
With more than 75 years of combined experience, our attorneys have handled product liability cases involving a wide range of dangerous and defective products, including:
Asbestos was once widely used in the manufacture of homes, buildings and consumer products. Asbestos causes of diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma several years, even decades, after the original exposure.
Hundreds of personal injury suits have been filed against the manufacturers of asbestos products and millions of dollars have been awarded in compensation.
Agent Orange is a toxic herbicide used in the 1960s by the U.S. military to clear forestation during the wars in Vietnam and Korea. Agent Orange has been found to cause severe and fatal diseases that take years to develop.
If you have been diagnosed with any of the diseases included on the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Agent Orange list you may be eligible for compensation.
An implanted defibrillator is a medical device that is implanted in the body to help prevent sudden heart failure. It works by sending an electric shock to the heart through lead wires. Medtronic has recalled its Sprint Fidelis leads because they can fracture. A fractured lead can kill a patient by failing to deliver a needed shock or if it sends an unnecessary shock to the heart.
Pain pumps made by I-Flow, Stryker, and Sorenson have been linked to postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL), a condition in which shoulder cartilage dies, causing pain and inhibited motion in the shoulder. I-Flow, Stryker and Sorenson are facing lawsuits alleging they lied about having approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and promoting off-label use of the pumps while aware of potential harm the pumps could cause.
A recent Washington University School of Medicine study found a relation between Parkinson's disease and exposure to fumes from welding rods. Manufacturers of welding rods have been aware of a higher incidence of and asthma and Parkinson's disease among welders and other individuals exposed to manganese and other dangerous elements contained in welding rods. However, some manufacturers have failed to adequately warn consumers of these risks.
For many years, cigarette companies denied that smoking was a health hazard or addictive. The product was aggressively marketed, especially to young people, as the under-18 age group is still one of the largest user groups. Information which has been produced in the last few years shows that the companies did know that nicotine was addictive and some companies even added extra levels of nicotine artificially to their product.
Litigation with cigarette companies was unsuccessful until 1996, when several states filed suit against a company which agreed to a settlement. More litigation has since taken place with some success and even more is expected.
Fleet Phospho-soda is a laxative that has been proven to cause kidney failure, damage and disease. Symptoms of kidney problems include:
- Muscle spasms
- Lower back pain
- Fluid retention
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Difficult urination
Call Today to Discuss Your Case
If you’ve been hurt by a dangerous or defective product, the experienced product liability lawyers at Helton, Walter & Associates Attorneys At Law can help. Schedule your consultation with one of our attorneys today by completing the form on this page or calling 859-236-4520.