Illinois Plaintiff's Lawyer Personal Injury Blog- Legal News and Insights from Champaign Urbana Attorneys Koester & Bradley, LLP

Opioids: Are Doctors Liable?

1/15/2019

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In the United States, Opioids officially kill more Americans automobile accidents.  It is safe to say that Opioids have reached epidemic proportions.
-Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

Drug Manufacturers and Distributors share the Greatest Amount of Blame for the Opioid Epidemic

 

In the United States, opioid abuse runs rampant, and in truth large drug companies such as Purdue Pharma and distributors such as Cardinal shoulder the bulk of the blame.  Still, in certain circumstances, doctors have some responsibility as well.

Despite knowing that opioid pain relievers are addicting, the companies responsible for making and marketing the drugs continued to supply them liberally for years.  During this time, these companies told doctors that the powerful narcotics were not addictive.  Thus, many doctors were victims as well and this resulted in huge amounts of dependency.

However, the country is just starting to acknowledge our massive opioid problem and they are looking for someone to blame. If you have a loved one that got wrapped up in opioid addiction after being legitimately injured, can the doctor be held to blame?

It is a doctor's duty to take the best possible route of care for all their patients, and if they breach this duty, then it can be considered a medical malpractice case. There have been cases in other states where doctors, and more specifically their insurance companies, have had to pay millions of dollars in damages for the over-prescription of opioids. These cases often take a long time and a lot of evidence, investigation and money to fund.  Additionally, it is incredibly rare that only one doctor was prescribing opioids.  Most individuals who are seeking narcotics visit many doctors and even cross state lines to do so before turning to illicit drugs and heroin purchased on the street.  Most of the time the individual doctors are actually unaware for the amount of opioids that the addicted patient is actually taking.

In order to recover damages for a medical malpractice case of this nature, you would need to prove that the doctor prescribed a gross amount of opioids over a period of time and that the prescription kept being filled for longer than the injury needed. In cases where the doctors have been held responsible for opioid addiction, it was discovered that they fed the addiction for years without pursuing other, less addictive means of treatment.  These cases represent only a small portion of the problem as the federal government and local law enforcement has worked tirelessly to shut down so-called "pill mills."  THis means that most of the time the prescribing doctor has to rely on an accurate medical history from the compromised patient and other objective forms of determination such as drug testing.  This has put a great deal of strain on the system and made it very difficult for doctors, most of which are honest and diligent, to treat pain.

At Koester & Bradley, we believe that the manufacturers and distributors of opioids are truly the responsible parties in this epidemic.  This is why we are representing counties and municipalities in Illinois along with our co-counsel firms.  However, we are here to provide guidance to the families of opioid victims as well in every way we can.

Do you or a loved one need help?  If you believe that it was your doctor's fault that the addiction got so bad because they continued to wantonly prescribe you pills, then contact us today. We may be able to help you pursue a case of medical malpractice against your physician or provide some insight and closure about the issue.  If you are a member of a county board, or part of the law enforcement community in an Illinois County or municipality, also feel free to reach out and we will meet with you about the pending litigation. This can help you recover damages so you or your loved one can get the treatment that they need.

By: Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Recovering for Personal Injuries From Defective Products and Devices in Illinois

3/12/2018

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There are many Dangerous Products on the Market in Illinois.  Here are the Key Illinois Personal Injury Factors to Remember.

 Each time you shop and make purchases in Illinois and across the country, you are afforded certain rights and protections.  Many of these protections are the result of Illinois State or Federal Laws. If you purchase a product that was defective, dangerous, or improperly made, and caused you to sustain a personal injury, you have the right to file certain claims to receive the compensation and justice you deserve.  Our Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer team at Koester & Bradley will provide you with a brief overview of product liability claims and what you need to know as you go through the process.

Three General Types of Product LIability Claims in Illinois

There are three different types of product liability claims. The first is a pharmaceutical claim. This is when medication contains a harmful ingredient that could cause harm to your health.  Examples of these types of claims are the defective drugs Xarelto and Pradaxa which bad drug lawyers at Koester & Bradley are actively pursuing.

The second is the product manufacturing or design flaw claim. This could be a manufacturing or design flaw that causes injury. For example, a faulty cord on a blow dryer or faulty brakes on your car that caused your injury fall into this category.  Additionally the dangerous and recalled knees and hips produced by DePuy and Stryker are defectively designed and manufactured.  

The third is a marketing defect. This is when a company makes promises about their product that are untrue. This includes inadequate safety warnings, improper labeling or insufficient instructions. If the knowledge you have on how to use a product is incorrect and it causes your injury, the manufacturer or company could be at fault.  The State of Illinois regulates these types of claims as does the Federal Government and the regulations can be very complex.  This is why Koester & Bradley recommends hiring an experienced product liability lawyer locally to assist you.

You May be Entitled to Compensation for your Injuries in Illinois

If you feel that one of the above defects is enough to file a product liability claim, you can commence legal action. It's best to  contact us for more information and set up a consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your incident. There are many components that go into a product liability claim, so it's best to seek legal representation from those who are experienced in  personal injury lawsuits for your best chances of success.

More Bad News for Invokana

6/04/2017

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The diabetes drug Invokana (Canagliflozin) could actually be more dangerous than helpful to patients. An initial study of the drug, the  CANVAS clinical trials in 2009, concluded that it caused "major adverse cardiovascular events, including CV death".
Although Canagliflozin was approved by the FDA in 2013, many medical professionals had  unanswered questions about its safety. A major concern was an elevated risk of stroke within the first thirty days of use.

Cardiologist Dr. William R. Hiatt, who voted against the FDA approval, said
"I feel that if you walk away with 100% voting to put it on the market, that sends a message to clinicians that this drug is okay. I'm not sure yet it's 100% okay, so I voted no." 
Seconds Count is  a patient education resource about cardiovascular health. The article entitled  Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease includes a 50 second video by  Cardiologist Dr. Samir B. Pancholy. He shares why  diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. He reveals that patients with diabetes have the same risk of having a heart attack as if they'd had one previously. This is called a  coronary equivalent

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a common complication associated with the drug Invokana. DKA's link to cardiovascular problems has been well-documented for many years, as shown in this  medical journal article from 1995. 

Considering all the pre-existing medical data available, it appears that the manufacturers of Invokana underreported its cardiovascular risks. 

Have you or someone in your family suffered a heart attack or stroke after using Invokana? Personal injury lawsuits have been filed in many states, including Illinois. 
Please  contact us today to share your story with one of our experienced attorneys. You will be treated with respect. Your medical suffering is important to us. We want to help.  217-337-1400

Tom Koester

Tom Koester has been representing those injured by defective drugs and devices for decades throughout Central Illinois and the entire Country.

Victories for Victims of Defective Johnson & Johnson Products

3/30/2016

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-There have been a variety of great victories for the victims of defective drugs and devices in the recent weeks.  At Koester & Bradley, we like to keep our friends in Champaign-Urbana and across Central Illinois up-to-speed on the latest Mass Tort developments so that if you or a loved on has the same or similar device you too can protect your rights.  In this update, we focus on one of America's most prolific companies, Johnson & Johnson. 
  • A Texas Jury hammered Johnson & Johnson for $500 million over the defective and dangerous Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip system.  Ryan Bradley at Koester & Bradley has been handling these cases since 2008 and has successfully resolved numerous claims for Koester & Bradley Clients.  Following a two-month trial, jurors deliberated for only a week before finding that the Pinnacle hips were defectively designed, and that the companies failed to warn the public about their risks.  It is important to understand that these hips are only in the metal on metal category and that Pinnacle hips with ceramic or plastic inserts are not included.  Jurors awarded about $140 million in total compensatory damages and about $360 million in punitive damages.  Verdicts in these early trials are not binding on the rest of the litigation, but are used to help gauge the value of the remaining claims.  More than 8,000 Pinnacle lawsuits have been consolidated in Texas federal court. DePuy stopped selling the metal-on-metal version of the Pinnacle devices in 2013. That year, it paid $2.5 billion to settle more than 7,000 lawsuits over a separate metal-on-metal hip device, the ASR, which was recalled in 2010.  It should be noted that Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal, however the verdict should provide guidance for the settlement of other claims.  
  • A state jury in Missouri returned a $72 million verdict in the case of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to long-term use of Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products.  The talcum cases are particularly disturbing in that evidence showed that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the dangerous side effects of talc and refused to act. Again, It should be noted that Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal, however the verdict should provide guidance for the settlement of other claims.  
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson's drug making arm, has also been on the losing end of various million dollar verdicts.  In Philadelphia, juries in the past year found that the antipsychotic drug Risperdal causes male users to develop breasts and returned verdicts of $500,000, $2.5 million and $1.75 million in those cases.
  • Continuing its bad run in the City of Brotherly Love, the company was hit with verdicts of $12.5 million in January and $13.5 million in February over its pelvic mesh products.  While Johnson & Johnson and its mesh products from Ethicon are not the only defective vaginal mesh devices on the market, it controls a large slice of the market.  On March 29, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld an $11.1 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. in the first bellwether pelvic mesh trial in New Jersey state court.

​This spate of verdicts has some in the legal and medical community questioning whether or not Johnson & Johnson has lost its way.  Whether or not this is true, residents of Champaign-Urban and Central Illinois should be aware of the threats to the devices and drugs that are present in our community.  As always, Koester & Bradley is here to help. 

Read more: http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202753661247/Are-Big-Verdicts-a-Sign-Johnson-amp-Johnson-Has-Lost-Its-Way#ixzz44VrMvBcx


Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer Personal Injury Blog by Koester & Bradley, LLP 

Legal News and safety tips with Illinois Impact from the Accident and Personal Injury Firm Koester & Bradley, LLP

Authors

Ryan R Bradley is a personal injury and litigation lawyer based in Champaign County Illinois focused on representing injured clients and businesses navigate the maze of litigation to financial recovery.  


Tom Koester is a personal injury attorney based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing the injured and victims of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injuries.