Second Award of Large Punitive Damages against Pelvic Mesh/Transvaginal Tape Maker

In mid-February of 2016, a Philadelphia jury socked Ethicon, Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, with a $13.5 million judgment because of a transvaginal tape (TVT) product called Prolift. (TVT products are also known as pelvic mesh products.) Nearly three-fourths of the award, $10 million, consisted of punitive damages. Punitive damages mean that the amount has the intention of punishing Ethicon for an intentional or reckless act. This most recent verdict follows on the heels of a similar verdict, in Philadelphia during December of 2015, when $12.5 million was awarded to another sufferer, with the total including $7 million in punitive damages for marketing an unsafe product. What is TVT/Pelvic Mesh? TVT and other pelvic mesh products are often used to correct stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). But it has been charged that the pores in the mesh are too small, rendering the Prolift device defective because it promotes excessive scar tissue growth. An additional complication is that removing the mesh is difficult to do and sometimes does not alleviate the pain or other side effects. The women in question both claimed that the faulty mesh left them with frequent to nearly constant pain and[…..]

Take the Chill Off Safely

You might know the following scenario: it’s cold outside and getting colder. Sitting around watching TV or simply relaxing with your family is making you shiver, and you don’t have a fireplace. Raising the thermostat setting for the entire house is expensive, so you turn to your portable heater. When the warm air shoots out, you are instantly comforted. Portable heaters, also known as space heaters, serve a multitude of short-term purposes, such as warming a room with a high ceiling while you are sitting and inactive, or helping an elderly person remain more comfortable on a cold day. They aren’t meant to be a permanent, 24/7 solution, but they can take the edge off on a bitterly cold day. However, portable heaters can be hazardous. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 25,000 residential fires and more than 300 deaths every year are due to space heaters. It’s also estimated that 6,000 people annually go to emergency rooms to be treated for burns from contact with hot surfaces on heaters in non-fire situations. Space Heaters Explained Space heaters are either electric or combustion (requiring propane, natural gas, or kerosene for fuel). Electric space heaters are vent-free[…..]

‘Tis The Season

This time of year, newspapers and social media post photos of homes lavishly decorated and lit for the Christmas season. Homeowners associations often sponsor decorating contests, drawing sightseers to “oooh” and “aahhh” as they slowly wind through neighborhood roads illuminated by all manner of electric light displays. What doesn’t always make the news are the catastrophes caused by dangerously manufactured or damaged Christmas decorations. Even modest apartment displays can be the cause of tragic accidents when consumers unwittingly use defective products. Whether you are decorating with newly purchased supplies or you have retrieved some old ones from that box over the garage or in Grandma’s dusty attic, you should check them out from a safety standpoint before you deck the halls. Observe these safety tips published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): Make sure all lights have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, like UL; use only lights that have fused plugs. Check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections. If a bulb has burned out, replace it with one of the same wattage. Don’t use more than three sets of lights on one extension cord and make sure[…..]

Poor Conditions at Johnson & Johnson Plant Led to Tylenol Recall

A manufacturing plant owned by Johnson & Johnson which manufactures Tylenol in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, was closed because of quality issues and safety violations in early May. Based on a CNN Money report, on May 1, 50 children’s non-prescription drugs were recalled, including Motrin, Benadryl and Tylenol, as a result of an FDA probe into conditions at the factory. The FDA report listed 20 violations, including 46 consumer complaints about the products that were recalled. A House committee is scheduled to hold a hearing this week about the recall. Among the worst complaints are: that the factory doesn’t have adequate lab facilities to test products; that company officials failed to follow up on consumer complaints of foreign materials in the medicine; a lack of proper controls in the manufacturing of infant Tylenol (leading to overly powerful medicine); untrained employees; filthy conditions at the plant; and contaminated drums that were used to transport raw materials. The FDA is considering several options against Johnson & Johnson, including completely closing the factory or maintaining a constant third-party inspection at the plant. A Johnson & Johnson spokesman did not comment on how long the facility would remain shut, but a company representative did indicate[…..]