Another Roundup with Monsanto

September 14th, 2018

A while back we talked about Monsanto and their use of glycophosphate (the principal ingredient in Roundup ™ ). We said it would be problematic and things will have to be determined. Well, it’s time that things start to get determined all right. And speaking of Time – you can check out their coverage of this right here.  

Long story short, the jury unanimously awarded the victim 39 million dollars, and socked Monsanto with $250 million dollars in punitive damages in a judgment for failure to warn users of the pesticide of potential health hazards associated with their chemical. Monsanto was bought by Bayer in 2016. And, what a surprise, Bayer will be retiring the Monsanto name. They probably hope that their reputation as a medicine maker will offset the negative associate the Monsanto brand carries.

But will that work? There are another five thousand cases already in the pipeline of the US’s legal system. Glycophosphates were found to be “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization back in 2015. There is a correlation between farming with pesticides and incidences of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Monsanto claims it is safe, yet they have a study from over 30 years ago that says otherwise. That study, entitled “A Chronic Feeding Study of Glycophosphate (Roundup Technical) in Mice,” found a statistical increase in tumors in mice exposed to glycophosphate. And in 1985 an EPA statistician wrote disagreeing with Monsanto stand on glycophosphate. He wrote, “Glycophosphate is suspect. Monsanto’s argument is unacceptable.”

And yet here we are. We hope you aren’t having to deal with this terrible disease. But if you are, you need legal help. Talk to an attorney to find out how you can get that help. If you want to talk to us, you can contact us through the website or call us at 877-717-5342.    

Risky Business

August 31st, 2018

Thousands of people across the US have bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and/or depression. Treating these illnesses is serious stuff. Many people have been pharmaceutically treated for these illnesses with Ariprazole (brand name – Abilify) or its successor drug, Brexpriprazole (brand name – Rexulti).

Taking a medicine always involves a risk. For example, these medicines don’t interact well with citrus. But taking a medicine shouldn’t make you more prone to taking risks.

Yet these medicines may drive people to give into their more compulsive urges. That could be gambling, binge eating, sex, or shopping. Yet the first mention of this connection was made in Abilify’s warning label in 2016.  Abilify became available in 2002.

Occasional compulsive behavior is problematic. But if it goes on for fourteen years, that can cause some serious damage.  And that might require some serious legal help. 

If you’ve developed compulsive behavior and were taking one of these drugs, the drug may be a big part of the problem. If that’s the case, come talk with us. It’s a gamble you can’t afford to lose.

Robots Behind the Wheel

August 17th, 2018

Nikola Tesla made the prediction in the quote above in the last century. Perhaps now it might be more accurate replace slave labor with manual labor, but the point remains the same.

Well, it’s the twenty-first century, but we’re not quite to the point where robot’s labor is doing most of the work. But we seem to be on the way. And the company named after Tesla, Tesla Motors, is a pioneer in replacing labor in part of that. But with every pioneering venture, some things are venturing into parts unknown.

A big unknown is who is going to be responsible when the robot behind the wheel screws up and kills someone? It’s already happened – more than once. In March a Tesla on “Autopilot” failed to stop and crashed into a firetruck stopped on a highway, killing the “driver” of the car.

Tesla claims their Autopilot feature is a driver assistant tool, not a driver replacement. The human driver needs to be ready to take over if needed. According to the vehicles records, the human was warned at several times to pay more attention to what the vehicle was doing and to put human hands back on the steering wheel.

So who will be responsible? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administation (NHTSA) investigated a Tesla autopilot fatality from last year and found that the Tesla’s system was operating as intended. Furthermore, it noted that cars with the “Autopilot” feature were involved in crashes 40% less than average. On the other hand, the National Transportation Safety Board said that Tesla should bear part of the blame for putting out a system that was so easy to misuse.

So who is responsible for a robot’s behavior when it does something wrong? The owner is responsible when a dog misbehaves. But a dog is capable of its own independent judgement without human assistance. And we hardly trust a dog, no matter how well trained, with the judgement to guide a vehicle moving at 60 mph and weighing over 1000 pounds. The issue of liability comes down to control. But do you have a responsibility to control your vehicle? Or are you at the whim of the software? And we’re not even considering whether your robot has been hacked at this stage. Will liability be determined by the autonomy level of the vehicle?

So the robots are not ready to take over quite yet.

Knee Recalls and Kicking Buckets

August 3rd, 2018

As joints go, the knee is pretty simple. It allows the leg to bend in one direction. Compared to the complexity of directions allowed by the shoulders, hips, and wrists, it does just one thing. So it needs to do it well. And just as your knee has to do it well, so do the replacements when they become necessary. Alas, it doesn’t always happen that way.

Zimmer is the world’s largest manufacturer of artificial knees. And they are having a recall on their Persona Knee implants. Technically the full name is the Zimmer Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate knee implant, but we’re just going to call it the Persona.

The Persona is having issues. It can cause Radiolucent lines – these are large gaps in between the knee replacement component and the bone, which can be problematic.

These problems may include implant failure, pain, swelling, tissue damage and osteolysis (medical for bone damage). This may need to have the knee replacement redone completely – as if having it done the first time wasn’t fun enough.

In theory, a knee implant should last twenty years. Yet many of these have failed within three years. If the complications are serious enough it could be deadly.

If you have had a knee replacement and are having issues talk to your doctor.  And talk to us.

July 20th, 2018

Pressure Cooking in Summer

As the weather is hot, it’s a nice break now and then to think of winter and the holidays.  When I think of the winter holidays, I also think about the great food associated with it.  We all want something good to eat, and here’s a link to some appropriate music to go with it.  Don’t worry – I’m not sending  you to Christmas music in July.

We all want to make something special for our loved ones, especially over the holidays. Alas, one company has made this challenging. Tristar Products makes a pressure cooker that they promoted as an “amazing, one-button kitchen miracle.” I probably wouldn’t use that word. That “kitchen miracle” has a habit of not being able to handle the pressure of the holidays – or any other time.

The Power Pressure Cooker XL has a nasty habit of exploding. This has caused severe burns to a number of people.

Pressure cookers can be tricky. Several companies that have made them and had problems over the years. But the problems with the Tristar model were so numerous that judges have approved a class action lawsuit to try to deal with the claims.

No one likes to be sold a faulty product. No one likes to get burned – Sorry, but in this case, pun intended. If that happened to you, let us help.


July 8th, 2018

Cars and trucks are a lot safer than they used to be. There have been numerous developments in safety over the years. In light of that though, the last thing we expect to be hurt by in a car accident is the so-called “safety” features.The Takata company made airbags for over 30 car makers. These airbags were used in both cars and trucks, work vehicles and luxury cars. Unfortunately over 70 million vehicles have been recalled because the airbags had serious problems.

Yes, problems – plural. They didn’t have a problem that made them unsafe, but they had multiple problems. Not only did they suffer from manufacturing problems, but they used materials that degraded in humidity and used ammonium nitrate as a propellant for the inflation device, even after some of their employees pointed out that ammonium nitrate has the nasty habit of exploding.

And explode they did. They have caused a number of deaths and injuries. Instead of just inflating the airbag to minimize injuries in the event of a car crash they threw fragments like a grenade. We hope you haven’t been injured because of an exploding airbag. If you have, give us a call.

Even if you haven’t – check out the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administrations website here. to see if your car was on the recall list. If so, don’t blow it off. Your life may depend on it.

Heartburn Keeping You Up Again?

June 26th, 2018


We spoke back in July about dangers of using prescription proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for heartburn. As if the general problems weren’t enough to give you heartburn, how about this one? A medical study published by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in 2016 concluded that “Proton pump inhibitor use is associated with a higher risk of incident CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease).”  A new study published this past April appeared in the Journal of American Nephrology found that patients taking the PPI drugs had over 90 % probability of developing kidney failure, and almost a 30% increase in developing chronic kidney disease than those taking another type of medication.

Many think that PPIs are over prescribed. While no one wants to suffer from heartburn, there are safer alternatives available that don’t have such high risks of kidney damage. It’s not worth causing a problem that may wind up being fatal.

If you have been prescribed PPIs from the list below and have wound up with kidney problems, please give us a call. We can help -with the legal heartburn at least.

Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium)  
Aciphex (rabeprazole)
Protonix (pantoprazole)
Prevacid (lansoprazole)
Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)
Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
Prilosec (omeprazole)
Vimovo (esomeprazole and naproxen)

Dicamba – Further Questions

June 8th, 2018

A couple months back we promised you some interesting questions regarding the dicamba controversy. Here are some interesting controversies this case brings up beyond just the damage to crops. None of them have simple answers.

First, is Monsanto being held to an unfair standard? They make a product. The product comes with instructions. Is the manufacturer liable if the instructions are not adhered to?

How do we know if the product instructions are followed? Who is going to police the actions of farmers to make sure the instructions are followed so not to damage a neighbor’s crops? Did the manufacturer make a product assuming that the instructions would not be followed close enough to prevent damage to neighboring crops?

Next, with ever increasing technology, will farmers be forced to purchase Monsanto’s dicamba resistant products just to be able to bring their crops to market? Where does corporate R&D move from simple one-upmanship to deceptive trade practices?

I promised you questions. I don’t have answers for these just yet. Several of these cases will be headed to court. Those cases might provide some of the answers.

Or, they may just provoke even more questions. We’ll have to see.

Abra Pradaxa

May 31st, 2018

It’s amazing what medical science can do. New medicines can sometimes it seem like magic.  But medicines are not magic.  

They need to be thoroughly tested to make sure they are not causing more harm than good.  

Case in point – Pradaxa: In 2010 the FDA approved the drug dabigatran under the brand name Pradaxa. It was approved to treat atrial fibrillaion. In 2014 it was approved for use to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). But it wasn’t magic. Pradaxa had a serious side effect – internal bleeding. And doctors didn’t find a way to mitigate that condition until 2014. This complication caused bleeding of the kidneys and in the gastrointestinal system. In addition, the drug may have led to dyspepsia, further heart problems, strokes, brain hemorrhages, and deaths associated with those conditions.

Boehringer Ingelheim, Pradaxa’s manufacturer, settled thousands of class action lawsuits in 2014, paying $650 million dollars.

But just settling some lawsuits didn’t make Boehringer’s problems go away like magic. There are still some suits out there, and some that are still being filed.

If you think you are having issues because you were prescribed Pradaxa, contact us right away. If you wait too long your chances of getting justice may vanish like a rabbit into a magician’s hat. Unlike the magic the stage magician uses, the statutes of limitations can make some things vanish forever.


Meshy Business

May 26th, 2018

You’ve heard the expression – always go with your gut feeling.  If your gut tells you something is wrong, even if you can’t figure out what it is, check it out.

Back in June we talked about Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Ethicon and that they were withdrawing their Physiomesh product from the market. The Physiomesh is a fabric inserted into the body to help repair hernias. The Physiomesh was withdrawn for high revision rates. If you recall, the revision rate is measurement of how often a medical procedure such as surgery has to be redone. So if two out of every hundred procedure needed to be done the revision rate would be 2%.

In defending itself in a Georgia lawsuit regarding the failure of the Physiomesh to do an adequate job, one of the defenses Ethicon is putting forth is the physician instructions.

Let’s think about this.

Let say I make 300 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 100 each with three different brands of bread. If the jelly squirts out the sandwich needs to be remade – we’ll call that the revision rate. So if the jelly squirts out twice with brand A bread, brand A has a 2 % revision rate. If the jelly squirts out four times with brand B, brand B has a 4% revision rate. Let’s say that the jelly squirts out twenty times with brand C. 

Now explain this to me – Did the instructions of how to make a PBJ really affect how often the jelly squirted out of the sandwich? Or was it the bread?

I know this is oversimplifying things, but in this instance the jelly squirting out is someone’s innards and probably pretty darn painful. And redoing abdominal surgery is a lot more pain and expense than making a sandwich.

Instructions? My gut says otherwise. How about yours?

If you are having complications due to Physiomesh, give us a call.

Designed & Developed by sleon productions