March 2012

North Carolina Products Liability: Is Your Medical Implant Safe?

March 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to Consumer Reports, most medical implant devices are not tested for effectiveness and safety before being allowed into the marketplace. In many cases,  manufacturers pay just a $4,000 user fee and submit the required paperwork to the US Food and Drug Administration. Often, it isn’t until patients actually use them that these  devices are “tested.” Even the advance safety studies for many high-risk products are a lot less stringent than the ones conducted on prescription medications.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina  personal injury law firm represents patients that have suffered serious complications because of dangerous drugs and defective medical devices. Manufacturers should be held liable and we are committed to making sure that this happens.

While the FDA believes that its current device regulatory system works in terms of ensuring patient safety, the Consumer Reports, which conducted an investigation into this matter is not so sure. Following an analysis of medical research and the FDA’s device-safety database, as well as interviews with patients and doctors, a number of findings were reached, including the discovery that the government and researchers don’t have a systematic way at their disposal to identify medical device problems. If you think about how many consumer products have unique serial numbers that allow manufactures to notify owners when there is a problem, but not a medical device such as an artificial heart valve does not, this is obviously a serious disparity and a problem for patients.

Among the different medical devices that have recently been in the media spotlight following reports of related injuries and health complications:

Metal Hip Implants: Our Charlotte, North Carolina defective medial device law firm has been fielding calls from people that suffered complications because their metal hip implant devices failed (requiring them to undergo revision surgery sooner than should have been necessary) or metal bits of the device broke off in their bodies. Already there have been over 5,000 hip implant lawsuits filed in the US.

Lap-Bands: These implanted bands are popular among people needing them for health reasons and those that want to lose weight and keep it off. Lap-Bands make the stomach smaller so it is harder to eat large amounts of food. Over 650,000 have been sold around the world. While Lap-Bands have had to undergo advance testing before being allowed into the marketplace, testing for prescription drugs is still tougher. Also, there have been a number of reports of health complications and deaths related to Lap-Band implants.

Transvaginal Mesh: More than 650 vaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against device manufacturers. Bleeding, pain during intercourse, pelvic perforation, perineal cellulitis, urinary tract erosion, and organ perforation are just some of the complications linked to this medical device implant.

Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina products liability lawyers to request your free case evaluation.

CR Investigates: Dangerous Medical Devices, Consumer Reports, May 2012

Investigation: Most Medical Devices Implanted in Patients without Testing, CBS News, March 28, 2012

Plaintiffs Allege ‘Gruesome Conditions’ at Lap-Band Clinics, Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2012


More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Defective Medical Device?: FDA Warns of Serious Complications from Using Transvaginal Mesh to Repair Pelvic Problems, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 27, 2011

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




NTSB Distracted Driving Forum Highlights the Dangers of all Hands-Free Distractions

March 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers are very aware of the dangers that distracted driving can pose on the road. This insidious behavior that seems so harmless to many has been causing thousands of deaths and many more injuries each year since the use of cell phone devices became a constant in people’s lives.

That said, using a cell phone while driving isn’t the only distracting device for motorists. At the National Transportation Safety Board forum on Tuesday, one major theme discussed was that of pernicious technology in motor vehicles. While the US Department of Transportation has called on all US states to ban text messaging devices and handheld cell phones, the NTSB wants all hands-free devices, except for the ones that provide assistance in driving, banned.

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman spoke about the need for standards and requirements that examine all distractions, including the cognitive ones. These devices not only take a driver’s hands off the wheel and his/her eyes off the road, but also they distract the mind and require some of the motorist’s attention. For instance, scrolling through an iPod or another MP3 player while driving a vehicle requires use of the hands, eyes, mind, and attention.

A panel of experts at the NTSB forum said that a distraction that lasts just two seconds could up the chance of a car crash happening. Also, beginner drivers are 16 times more likely than experience motorists to take their eyes off the road. The panelists noted that the collision risk goes up “four-fold” if a driver is using a cell phone—regardless of whether not it is a hands-free device or a hand-held one.

Last month, the US Transportation Department put out voluntary guidelines that automakers should consider for built-in systems that provide navigation and infotainment. Per the guidelines, any task shouldn’t require more than two seconds to complete. Autos also would have to be stopped and in park mode before a driver could enter navigation commands or use Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking devices.

That said, it isn’t just drivers that are becoming distracted with new technology. Pedestrians and bicyclists have also been known to text or talk on a cell phone while on the road or sidewalk. This increases the chances of a North Carolina pedestrian accident or bicycle crash, potentially causing injury to everyone that ends up involved.

Distracted driving can be grounds for filing a Monroe, North Carolina personal injury lawsuit if serious injuries or death results. At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LTD, LLP, we represent victims and their families in obtaining their financial recovery from all liable parties. Contact our Lumberton, North Carolina law firm today.

Distracted Driving Kills; Teenage Girls are Especially at Risk, AA Says, Forbes, March 28, 2012

Gadgets share blame for distracted driving, NTSB chief says, The Washington Post, March 27, 2012

At distracted driving forum, a focus of danger beyond two seconds, CNN, March 28, 2012


More Blog Posts:

NTSB Calls for Nationwide Ban on Cell Phone Use while Driving, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2012

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2011

Road Where North Carolina Truck Crash that Claimed the Lives of Two Young Brothers Happened Has No Sidewalk, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2012

Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Pharmacy Malpractice Allegations Made Against CVS Pharmacy in Huntersville

March 21, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Cornelius woman claims that she almost died because a CVS Pharmacy in Huntersville gave her a combination or drugs that proved dangerous. Michele Thomas filed a complaint with the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy against CVS and the pharmacist who dispensed the  medications.

If the pharmacy or the pharmacist was negligent and played a role in causing Thomas’s health issues, she could have grounds for a Mecklenburg County, North Carolina pharmacy malpractice lawsuit. Thomas said that the pharmacy filled her prescription for the drug Allopurinol to treat gout in October 2010. At the time, she was taking Imuran because she of a kidney transplant  she underwent years before. Thomas contended that she did not know that taking the two medications together was dangerous.

Six months later, she went to the ER. Tests showed that taking the two drugs at the same time caused her system to shut down.

Thomas said that even now she suffers from health complications and she still cannot work. She claims that the pharmacy has a software system that is supposed to oversee customer prescriptions to prevent such errors and that it failed. Thomas also believes that the pharmacist was at fault.

Meantime, CVS has put out a statement reaffirming its commitment to customer safety. The company said that it has taken steps to make sure that such a mistake, if one did in happen in Thomas’s case, doesn’t occur again.

Pharmacy Malpractice

Pharmacy mistakes can cause serious health complications and even death. It is important that the pharmacist and his/her assistants correctly read a prescription note and provide the customer with the right medication and adequate instructions to make sure that the drug is taken correctly.  Examples of pharmacy mistakes include giving the wrong drug (pharmacy misfills), dispensing a combination of drugs that could cause an overdose or dangerous reactions, dispensing medications that could cause allergic reactions for the patient, and neglecting to design and implement a quality assurance system that can successfully prevent pharmacy errors.

Often, pharmacists at a busy establishment are in a hurry and they may be trying to focus on completing multiple tasks at once. Some pharmacy employees who are hired may lack the experience or knowledge to do a proper job.

Common causes of pharmacy mistakes include short staffing, confusion over medications that sound or look the same, poor physician handwriting that can be hard to decipher, to many prescriptions to fill, exhaustion, plenty of distractions, not enough time to make sure each customer understand what is involved with taking a drug safely and correctly, and failures in the established system of checks and balances that is supposed to prevent such errors.

Contact our Mecklenburg County, North Carolina personal injury law firm to request your free case evaluation.

Woman alleges pharmacy gave her dangerous drug cocktail, WSOCTV, March 19,  2012

Don’t be a victim of pharmacy errors, CNN, October 25, 2007

More Blog Posts:

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit: Charlotte Woman Who Lost Her Breasts and an Arm in Propeller Accident Sues for Damages, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 25, 2012

North Carolina Workplace Shooting at Lumber Company Results in Three Deaths and One Injury, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2012

Products Liability: Two Families Sue for Wrongful Deaths of Loved Ones Fatally Burned While Wearing Flammable Robes, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2009

North Carolina Drowning Accident Claims the Life of a 12-Year-Old Boy at Wastewater-Treatment Plant Lagoon

March 17, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In what appears to be a North Carolina drowning accident in a lagoon at a wastewater-treatment plant, a 12-year-old boy lost his ilfe on Friday after he entered the premise through a back fence with 13 other youths. According to police, the boy slipped on a plastic liner that was there to prevent the waste from leaking through the sides and bottom of the lagoon and landed in the water. Two of the kids he was with jumped in to try to save him but failed.

Rescue workers used a net to sift through the 2-3-acre sewage treatment pond. Unfortunately, lightning forced them to stop the search until Saturday morning.

They recovered the boy’s body at around 11:30am today. Northampton County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Parnel said that because rescuers were dealing with a sewage treatment bond, divers were not able to the water. Also, because the pond’s bottom is a rubber line that could be ruptured, they could not use drag instruments and metal rods.


North Carolina Wrongful Death

If someone you love was killed in an accident on another person’s property, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit involving North Carolina premises liability. However, a lot of this will depend on the specifics of your case and the experience of your legal representation.

For example, generally, people who were hurt on a property that they weren’t given permission to be on usually cannot sue for damages. That said, there are exceptions.  For example, there is the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. Per the rule, if the property owner anticipates that a minor might enter the property, then the landowner must exercise reasonable care to prevent North Carolina injuries to a minor. The doctrine provides protection to small children or those whose age is “tender.” However, the doctrine doesn’t apply to “common dangers” and in certain cases, it has been found that the premise owner’s responsibility only existed where he/she knew that the minor was on the grounds. Yet there have been cases where constructive knowledge was enough.

Obviously, North Carolina premises liability law, its interpretation, and any exceptions can be complex and difficult to understand without legal help.  Other reasons why someone might choose to sue a property owner for personal injury or wrongful death may involve inadequate security, hazardous conditions, improper maintenance, failure to warn of dangers, failure to remedy unsafe conditions, failure to prevent potential accidents despite the foreseeable scenarios, and neglecting to warn about violent crimes that happened on or near the property.

To schedule your free case evaluation with our Charlotte, North Carolina premises liability law firm, contact The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP today.

Boy, 12, drowns in Northampton County sewage lagoon, NewsObserver, March 17, 2012

Authority Finds Body of Drowned Boy, The Daily Herald, March 17, 2012


More Blog Posts: 

Preventing North Carolina Drowning Accidents: CPSC’s Pool and Spa Drain Cover Recall is a Reminder that Entrapment Can Lead to Serious Injuries and Death, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 6, 2011

High Point Pool Drowning Accident Claims the Life of Teenager in North Carolina, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 22, 2010

Road Where Charlotte, North Carolina Truck Crash that Claimed the Lives of Two Young Brothers Happened Has No Sidewalk, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2012


Toddler Undergoes Surgery After Swallowing 37 Magnets

March 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Small magnets can pose a dangerous choking hazard. Little enough to place in the mouth and easy to swallow, magnets can also pose other serious dangers—especially when more than one magnet is involved.

Unfortunately, these items don’t lose their magnetic attraction to each other even after ingestion and should they find themselves being pulled toward each other, serious human injury can result, including blood poisoning, the creation of holes in the stomach or intestines, intestinal blockage, or death. Depending on the specifics of what happened, this could be grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina products liability case.

Recently in the US, a 3-year-old girl had to undergo surgery after she swallowed 37 Buckyballs magnets. The little pieces found each other inside her and when an X-ray was conducted the images showed that the magnets had joined up to form into the shape of a bracelet. (Buckyballs has said that it does warn about the hazards posed by its magnets, which are made for adults.)

Kids and the elderly are especially prone to serious injuries from swallowing magnets. With children, however, the risk is especially high. Very young kids are already prone to putting small items in their mouths to begin with and most of them are not yet able to realize the potential consequences of their actions. Some older kid have also been known to swallow magnets.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that it is aware of 33 incidents involving kids swallowing magnets. 19 of these children had to undergo surgery. One child died.

A manufacturer can be held liable for Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury if its defective or dangerous product caused the injury or death. Because of the complexity involved with these types of cases, it is important that you work with an experienced North Carolina injury law firm that understands the nature of products liability cases and knows how to pursue your financial recovery.

In North Carolina, the doctrine of contributory negligence can prevent a plaintiff from recovering anything if his/her negligence was a proximate cause of injury. However, there is a doctrine of last clear chance that can allow this plaintiff to recover compensation if it can be proven that he/she put his/her self in a state of helpless peril, the defendant knew or should have known about this perilous state and the plaintiff’s inability to get out of it and/or could have, by exercising reasonable care, prevented the injury from happening.

Every case is different. By working with an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina products liability lawyer, you increase your chances of recovery.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP and ask for your free case evaluation.

Toddler swallows 37 magnets, survives, MSNBC, March 6, 2012

High-powered magnets + swallowing by kids = Deadly, CPSC, November 10, 2011

Top 5 dangerous objects kids like to swallow, Time, March 6, 2012


More Blog Posts:

Preventing North Carolina Injuries to Kids: NHTSA Introduces ’10-Year-Old Child’ Crash Test Dummy, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 29, 2012

Two Newton, North Carolina High School Students Suspended Following Alleged Hazing Assault, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 22, 2011

Road Where Charlotte, North Carolina Truck Crash that Claimed the Lives of Two Young Brothers Happened has No Sidewalk, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2012


Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accident Claims the Life of Man Who Was Pushed Into the Street During Bar Brawl

March 5, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

A 26-year-old man was killed on Saturday after he was injured in a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident that police believe occurred after he was pushed onto the street during a bar fight. The victim’s name is Robert Edward Kingston III.

23-year-old Kenan Wells Gay has been charged with murder in connection with Kingston’s death. According to witnesses, Kingston sustained fatal injuries after a disagreement he was involved in at Ed’s Tavern spilled outside and he was pushed in front of an oncoming BMW. The driver of the vehicle will not face criminal charges over Kingston’s death.

Depending on the specifics of what happened, Kingston’s family could have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death case against any persons that may have played a role in causing the deadly accident. If inadequate security or negligence on the bar’s part allowed for the brawl to happen, the establishment could also find itself the target of a civil claim. Property owners can be held liable if there was an unsafe or dangerous condition or situation on their grounds that could/should have been avoided or remedied yet wasn’t.  Even if no one intended for Kingston to die, any reckless or careless acts on anyone’s part that contributed to his passing may be reason enough to pursue Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death damages.

In North Carolina, family members of someone that died due to another’s negligence may be eligible to compensation if, had the victim lived, he/she would have been entitled an action for personal injury damages. Damages for the wrongful death may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral costs, lost wages, loss of protection, assistance, services, care, companionship, society, guidance, or comfort, and possibly even punitive damages if willful/wanton behavior or malice was involved. Loved ones have two years from the date of death to file their claim.

Figuring out the value of one’s North Carolina wrongful death claim can be challenging. By working with a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm, you increase your chances of getting the maximum recovery possible.  Your legal team can also protect your rights and advocate for your best interests. You definitely do not want to settle with the other parties involvunless you’ve first explored your legal options.

Unfortunately, many insurers will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible, which is why it is better that you have a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death lawyer dealing with them for you. While a statute of limitations of two years may seem like a long time, there is a lot that your legal representation will have to do to prepare your case to increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP and ask for your free case evaluation. The sooner you get started, the better.

Police: Man pushed in front of car outside Dilworth bar, Charlotte Observer, March 5, 2012

Former UNC football player accused of murder after bar fight, WCNC, March 4, 2012

More Blog Posts: 

Fatal North Carolina Truck Accident Brings Traffic to a Standstill, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, February 13, 2012

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2012

Drunk driving a factor in North Carolina Car Accident that Killed 17-year-old Raleigh Student, North Carolina  Accident Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2012


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