July 2011

North Carolina Defective Medical Device?: FDA Warns of Serious Complications from Using Transvaginal Mesh to Repair Pelvic Problems

July 27, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

The FDA says that serious complications have been linked to surgical mesh that is implanted in the body to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. While the federal agency had issued an early warning in October 2008 about health risks linked with using this medical device to treat SUI and POP, now the government wants surgeons and patients to know that serious complications are not rare. Also, the FDA says that it is unclear whether transvaginal POP repair using mesh is in fact more effective than opting for non-mesh repair to treat the same pelvic problems.

If you or someone you love suffered the following complications after undergoing transvaginal POP repair using surgical mesh, do not hesitate to contact our Charlotte, North Carolina defective medical device law firm today:

• Mesh erosion through the vagina
• Infection
• Pain
• Dyspareunia
• Urinary problems
• Organ perforation
• Bleeding
• Neuro-muscular problems
• Vaginal scarring
• Vaginal shrinkage
• Emotional issues

The FDA says that it has received more than 2,000 reports of complications from use of surgical mesh. Many of these reports came from the manufacturers of these devices. Some patients had to undergo additional surgeries and hospitalization and experienced impaired quality of life.

Our North Carolina transvaginal mesh lawsuit law firm cannot stress how important it is for manufacturers to make products that will not cause injury or other health complications for a patient. With so many women suffering from some type of pelvic prolapse—the Los Angeles Times reports that up to 50% of all women end up suffering from this condition, which involves organs (bladder, uterus, bowel, rectum, or intestines) slipping out of place following a hysterectomy, menopause, childbirth, or with age—this condition requires treatment more often than one would think. Some 75,000 such procedures are conducted annually.

Mesh used in pelvic surgeries under scrutiny, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2011

FDA warns against surgical mesh to repair pelvic problems, Boston.com, July 13, 2011

FDA Safety Communication: UPDATE on Serious Complications Associated with Transvaginal Placement of Surgical Mesh for Pelvic Organ Prolapse, FDA, July 13, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Pelvic Organ Prolapse, American Urogynecologic Society

Stress incontinence, MedlinePlus

More Blog Posts:

Approximately 1,000 DePuy Hip Lawsuits Already Filed Against Johnson & Johnson, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 7, 2011

Protecting Americans from Defective Medical Devices: Is the FDA Doing Enough?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 18, 2011

North Carolina Wrongful Death Results in $10M Award Against Taser

July 20, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A federal jury has awarded the family of Darryll Wayne Turner $10M against Taser International for the teenager’s North Carolina wrongful death. The 17-year-old died in March 2008 after he was Tasered by a cop at the grocery store where he was employed.

Police were called to the Food Lion to remove Turner, who had gotten into a dispute with a store manager. According to the family’s wrongful death complaint, even though Turner was never violent, an officer stunned him with a Taser twice—the first time for 37 seconds and the next time for 5 seconds—and the teen immediately went into cardiac arrest. His family says that his death was preventable.

According to court documents, the jury found that the Taser International did not provide sufficient warning or instruction about how to properly use the stun gun. Per the plaintiffs, if the officer that shocked had Turner had received the right training, he wouldn’t have aimed the stun gun at the center of the boy’s chest, which increased the risk of cardiac arrest, or he might have found another way to detain the teenager. Turner’s family has already settled their Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death complaint, which alleges excessive use of police force, with the city of Charlotte for $625,000.

Taser intends to contest the verdict. It says that the verdict amount will be offset by the family’s settlement with the city, in addition to $40,000 in death benefits from North Carolina workers’ compensation. The $10 million wrongful death judgment accusing Taser of North Carolina products liability is the largest settlement against Taser, which until this civil lawsuit had won 127 of the 128 cases against it.

Serious injuries have been known to follow Taser-use, which is why it is important that law enforcement officers exercise caution and discretion when using a Taser to apprehend someone. They also must receive proper training on how to use them safely. As with all products, manufacturers must warn of any risks involved in using a product and provide proper and complete instructions.

NC family awarded $10M in lawsuit against Taser, WCNC, July 20, 2011

NC family awarded $10M in lawsuit against Taser, Blue Ridge Now, July 20, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Taser International

TASER safety study triggers questions, CBS News, May 10, 2011

Use of Taser by law enforcement agencies, Stanford.edu (PDF)

More Blog Posts:

Charlotte, North Carolina Teenager Dies After Police Apprehend Him with Taser, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, March 23, 2008

Family Files North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Inmate Who Was Tasered While in Jail, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2010

Kannapolis Man’s Lawsuit Accuses Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office of North Carolina Personal Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 19, 2011


Alleged Shooter That Caused Eight Carthage, North Carolina Nursing Home Deaths to Go on Trial

July 11, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the criminal trial of Robert Kenneth Stewart, the man accused of entering a Carthage, North Carolina nursing home and fatally shooting eight people (seven residents and a male nurse) and injuring three others on March 29, 2009. Stewart is charged with eight counts of criminal murder, two counts of attempted murder, and other criminal counts. His estranged wife, Wanda Stewart, says she believes he had gone to Pinelake Health and Rehab to look for her.

Because of the publicity surrounding the shooting, Stewart’s lawyer sought to have the criminal case moved out of Moore County. A judge has since ruled that jurors would come from Stanley County but that the trial would be held in Carthage. Some 750 people have been placed on notice for possible jury duty. Also expected to be at the proceedings are the families whose loved ones Stewart fatally shot (a number of these loved ones have already filed a Carthage wrongful death lawsuit accusing the nursing home of North Carolina nursing home negligence and providing inadequate security).

A complaint filed by the estates of John Goldston, Louise DeKler, Lillian Dunn, and Margaret Johnson claims that Wanda Stewart warned administrators that an attack by Stewart on her was “imminent.” They also believe she told them her husband was in an “unstable mentally state” and possessed firearms.

The day the shooting happened, Stewart was at the Alzheimer’s special care unit, which is locked 24 hours/day and can only be accessed by entering a passcode on a key panel. Meantime, the rest of the facility allegedly remained “readily accessible by anyone” while patients and their families were never warned about the possible threat that Stewart posed. The families have also named Wanda as a defendant in their case. They are accusing her of negligence, including the failure to warn the victims about her husband.

Families claim Carthage nursing home knew of potential attack, WRAL, July 11, 2011

Stewart Trial Set to Start, ThePilot, July 11, 2011

Related Web Resources:
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Licensed Facilities: NC Division of Health Service Regulation

More Blog Posts:

Forsythe County, North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Resident Who Drowned in Puddle in 2009 is Identified by Police, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 16, 2011

Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2010, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 21, 2010


Approximately 1,000 DePuy Hip Lawsuits Already Filed Against Johnson & Johnson

July 7, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to The Wall Street Journal, about 1,000 defective medical device lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts accusing Johnson & Johnson of continuing to make its metal-on-metal hip joints even while knowing that there were problems with some of them. J & J’s DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. finally recalled the hip replacement devices last year, while promising to cover all medical expenses incurred as a result of problems with the device. If you believe that the pain that you or a love one is experiencing is because of a DePuy hip implant, contact our Charlotte, North Carolina DePuy defective medical device lawyers today.

The 2010 recall included about 93,000 artificial hips—the ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement product and the ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems—over concerns that their failure rate was too high. The National Joint Registry of England and Wales had found that within five years of hip replacement surgery with a DePuy product, 1 in 8 patients had to undergo a revision surgery because the medical device had failed. According to J & J, about 37,000 patients in the US and approximately 93,000 patients globally had received a recalled DePuy hip device. Those who have contacted DePuy since the recall was announced have complained of inflammation, infection, pain, and cobalt and chromium, which are both potentially toxic metals appearing in the blood stream.

Going through hip replacement surgery once is uncomfortable and disruptive enough without having to do it again because the implant used was defective or failed. Not only are there risks involved anytime one undergoes surgery, but the recovery time is often long and other health complications can result.

Hip Joints Set Off New Rush to Court, The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2011

DePuy Hip Recall Guide

New DePuy hip implant gets FDA approval amid lawsuit over old one, MEDCity, June 17, 2011

National Joint Registry of England and Wales

More Blog Posts:

Protecting Americans from Defective Medical Devices: Is the FDA Doing Enough?, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 18, 2011

DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Products Recalled, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2010

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Defective Duragesic Pain Patches, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 5, 2009


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