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A Los Angeles jury awarded $8.3 million to a retired Montana prison guard in a verdict against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy orthopedic unit. Like many others, this man received a defective hip implant from DePuy and needed to have the implant replaced after it was causing him significant pain. These metal-on-metal hip implants shed metal debris into the implant recipient’s body causing serious harm.

When metal-on-metal hip implants were initially released, manufacturers said that metal-on-metal hip implants would last much longer than traditional implants, and would allow patients to be far more active with fewer restrictions. Unfortunately, for many patients, just the opposite has been true. In August 2010, Johnson & Johnson recalled two of the hip implants—the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System—because of unexpectedly high failure rates.

HM&M represents multiple individuals who have suffered significant pain and disability as a result of defective metal-on-metal hip implants. As a product liability attorney I  strive to hold these manufacturers accountable for the pain and suffering that they have caused, and I am very pleased to see that this Los Angeles jury has done just that.

Researchers have determined that consumption of grapefruit in combination with medication can cause a potentially deadly overdose. A substance in the fruit can prevent drugs from being broken down by the body, which can lead to dangerously high levels of the drug. Specifically, chemicals in grapefruits called furanocoumarins interfere with enzymes in the body that break down drugs, allowing much more of the drug to enter an individual’s system. According to one researcher, one pill with a glass of grapefruit juice can be the equivalent of taking five to ten pills.

Reports indicate that drugs known to cause this interaction with grapefruit rose from 17 in 2008 to 43 in 2012, including drugs that treat high blood pressure and cancer. Adverse reactions caused by this combination of grapefruit and medication include kidney damage, altered heartbeat, stomach bleeding and sudden death.

As a personal injury attorney in Chicago, I believe that drug manufacturers must immediately begin warning patients of this dangerous combination. Many people consume grapefruits and grapefruit juice on a daily basis and would never expect that this otherwise healthy fruit could have deadly interactions with their medications. Therefore, drug manufacturers, physicians, and pharmacists must identify each medication that can react adversely with grapefruit and provide clear warning to patients who are prescribed these drugs.

Last week, an employee of a Chicago-area supermarket got his hand caught in a meat grinder while processing meat. Firefighters were called to the supermarket and attempted to take apart the meat grinder in order to free the man’s hand but were unsuccessful. The man was then transported to a local hospital with his hand still inside the grinder.

At the hospital, the medical staff and the firefighters were able to work together to successfully remove the man’s hand and control his bleeding. Unfortunately, the man is going to lose all his fingers and may also lose his hand, according to the Orland Fire Chief.

Devastating machinery accidents like this are very rarely caused by human error alone. In some cases, the machine at issue has a defective part or has not been properly maintained. In other cases, the machine’s safety mechanism was removed or altered in a way that renders it ineffective. Machinery accidents often result in gruesome, disfiguring, and painful injuries.

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Scientists in France recently published a controversial study that raises concerns about the safety of foods with genetically modified ingredients. In the study, rats were fed corn that was genetically engineered to withstand spraying with the herbicide Roundup. The rats that received the genetically engineered corn developed health problems, including tumors and liver and kidney dysfunction. Also, a much higher percentage of the rats fed genetically engineered corn died prematurely than the control group of rats that received conventional corn.

This study has, however, received criticism from some scientists. Specifically, certain scientists have pointed out that the type of rat used in the study is predisposed to tumor development. Also, scientists argue that these results break from studies that have demonstrated the apparent safety of genetically modified foods fed to various animals.

Regardless of the disagreements between scientists over the validity of this study, as a Chicago personal injury lawyer, I believe these results call for extensive additional research into the safety of genetically modified foods. Human consumption of these types of genetically modification foods is fairly new, and thus health problems caused by these foods may not have surfaced yet. We do not want to discover ten years from now that these foods were increasing the likelihood of developing tumors or other health problems. Therefore, I hope that this recent study raises awareness of the potential serious health problems that may arise from genetically modified foods.

A recent study has found a link between phthalates, a group of chemicals used in cosmetic products, and type 2 diabetes. Phthalates are widely used in products such as nail polishes, hair sprays, and perfumes. In this study, women ages 20 to 80 were tested to determine the concentration of phthalates in their bodies. Those found to have the highest concentration of phthalates in their system were approximately twice as likely to have diabetes.

Researchers have suggested that these chemicals may disrupt the metabolism of fat tissue causing insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes.

As of right now, the FDA is monitoring consumers’ potential exposure to phthalates from the use of cosmetic products. If the FDA determines that a health hazard exists, cosmetic products containing phthalates could be taken off the market.

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