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side effects of levaquin, Chicago Defective Drugs LawyerGovernment agencies like the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were put into place to protect the public. But what happens when that agency fails to do its job; when they and the companies they are supposed to regulate begin to view the public as a statistic?

Does the FDA Really Protect the Public?

Recently, investigators from ABC News looked into the FDA’s failure to disclose the serious side effects of Levaquin to the public. Part of the fluoroquinolones drug family, it is also marketed under the brand name Cipro, and the generic name Levofloxacin. Commonly used to treat severe infections, like pneumonia and kidney infections, the drugs are so powerful that they are even used to treat anthrax.

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defective vehicles, Chrysler recalls vehicles, Chicago Defective Car Parts LawyerIn the midst of the Takata airbag recalls, which now includes more than 30 million vehicles, Chrysler has announced a recall on more than 11 million defective vehicles; only this one has nothing to do with Takata. In fact, this recall has nothing to do with airbags at all. It does pose a safety hazard to Chrysler owners, however, and the public deserves to know the truth.

Formal Recall Started with Software Issues

Recalls initially started after a published a story on Chrysler’s Uconnect dashboard computers. Security researchers reportedly hacked into the system of a Jeep and wirelessly took over its dashboard functions, transmission, steering, and brakes.

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surgeon complication rates, medical negligence, Chicago Medical Malpractice LawyerSince the 1999 publication of “To Err is Human,” a landmark report from the Institute of Medicine on the number of medical errors in the United States, patient safety has been at the forefront of health care discussions. Unfortunately, little has changed since then; a recent study from ProPublica has provided a closer (and highly disturbing) look.

ProPublica Reveals Disparity in Patient Care Among Surgeons

Medical malpractice studies are not a new concept, but ProPublica took their analysis beyond statistics as a whole; they individually examined the Medicare cases of 17,000 surgeons over the course of five years. Eight commonly performed elective procedures were examined, including knee and hip replacements, spinal fusions, prostate removals and resections, and gallbladder removals – all of which are considered routine, straightforward, and relatively low risk.

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asbestos in crayons, Chicago product liability attorneyThe public has feared asbestos for quite some time, and for good reason. It has been linked to a number of serious conditions, and it is thought to kill up to 15,000 Americans every year. Yet this carcinogen was recently found in crayons and other items marketed to children.

The Truth About Asbestos

Most people assume that asbestos has been banned and that it is a problem of the past. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth; asbestos can be found in products used by the general public on a daily basis.

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amusement park liability, Chicago premises liability lawyerFor most, summer fun means the lake, the pool, zoos, and amusement parks. Each of these locales have their own set of risks, but when it comes to injuries and accidents, amusement parks seem to garner the most attention. So is the thrill really worth the risk? Or are fun parks just a huge liability?

Amusement Park Injury and Accident Rates

Few studies have examined the injury rates at amusement parks in depth. Those that have determined that:

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medical malpractice lawsuits, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerIllinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to advance his radical political agenda by making it more difficult for victims of negligence and medical malpractice to obtain fair and just compensation for their injuries.

Governor Rauner and his friends—big businesses and insurance companies—falsely claim that there is a “lawsuit crisis” in Illinois.  However, the fact is that lawsuit filings in Illinois have dropped 26 percent since 2007.  Governor Rauner’s proposed changes to the tort system in Illinois are designed to benefit the corporate sector, not victims of negligence. This would make it more difficult to sue large companies (including medical and pharmaceutical companies). Governor Rauner’s proposals would also limit the power of judges and juries in your community to compensate injured people who were victims of negligence.

The so-called “reforms” sought by Gov. Bruce Rauner, big business, the PAC’s that provide his campaign funding and his insurance industry backers, will only undercut the constitutional rights of citizens injured due to the wrongdoing of others and help to boost insurers’ bottom line.  When a person is brain damaged, mutilated, rendered paraplegic or suffers another grievous harm as a result of another’s negligence, but cannot obtain fair compensation from the culpable party through our courts because the laws have been rigged against them, the healthcare and other financial support for that individual and her family will be borne by the taxpayers.

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coumadin blood thinner, Chicago nursing home neglect lawyerWhen you place a family member in a nursing home or other long-term facility, you expect them to be treated with care. Unfortunately, it does not always work out this way. Mistakes, negligence, and accidents do happen. But when it happens with medications, the implications can be severe, maybe even deadly.

The “Most Dangerous Drug in America”

Coumadin, a commonly prescribed anticoagulant, was originally used as a rat and mouse killer. In the 1950s, it became a breakthrough drug for humans with clotting disorders, arrhythmias, and deep vein thrombosis. Indeed, it can be a life-saving drug when used correctly. But there are some serious dangers with Coumadin, particularly for geriatric patients.

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Takata airbag recall list, Illinois product liability lawyerEight deaths and over 100 injuries have been linked to defective Takata airbags. As a result, more than 30 million vehicles from 10 different manufacturers have been recalled. Consumer Report recently released an exhaustive list of those vehicles, as well as some tips for those affected.

Which Vehicles are Being Recalled and Why?

Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and BMW all have models on the Takata airbag recall list. Most of them were manufactured between 2002 and 2008, but some models have been expanded to 2014. (A comprehensive list of the specific models and years of vehicles being recalled are listed at Consumer Report.)

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Dodge Challenger, Takata recall, Chicago defective car parts lawyerDodge Challengers have recently been added to the ever-growing list of Takata airbag recalls. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) says that the Challengers were “inadvertently excluded” from the original recall list submitted to the NHTSA. The FCA also stated it was not until an audit on July 6 that they realized the 88,346 Dodge Challengers, manufactured between September 2007 and October 2010, had Takata airbags.

The Japanese-manufactured airbags contain a propellant that can degrade over time from moisture exposure. Even in a low-speed impact, the airbags can deploy with such excessive force that they self-destruct and shoot shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Over the last decade, they have been traced back to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Takata’s Failures in Morality

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Mazda airbag recall, Chicago auto defect lawyersThe Takata recall is not a new subject, but Mazda’s new recall is. In addition to recalling the Takata airbags, Mazda announced they are recalling inflators made by Takata. Mazda is taking steps to replace the defective car parts to ensure consumers who bought their vehicles are safe on the road.

Mazda is recalling almost 445,000 vehicles with dual driver side front airbag. They said the front driver side airbag is more susceptible to moisture and other influences that may cause the inflator to rupture over time. If the inflator ruptures, in the event of a crash and the airbag deploying, the inflator will send metal shards into the inside of the vehicle. Mazda vehicles affected include 2003-2008 Mazda 6 models, 2004-2008 Mazda R-8 models, and 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed 6 models.

Consumers who believe their vehicle has been impacted by the recall can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into the SaferCar.gov website. The website was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They note that with the large number of vehicles being recalled it can take several days to get all the VINs of affected vehicles into the system and to check back to make sure your vehicle is not on the recall list.

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Takata apology, Chicago product liability lawyersThe Takata airbag recall has not gotten better in the months since it started. More vehicles have been added to the recall list and more deaths have been linked to defective Takata airbags. A national recall started in November 2014, but Takata is just now apologizing for the deaths and injuries their defective airbags have caused. Is their apology too late for some consumers and automotive companies though?

An apology and deep bow from Takata’s chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, cannot bring back those who have died to their family members or heal the injuries the defective car part has caused many consumers. With the timeline for fixing all the recalled airbags growing with the increase in cars added to the recall, Fiat Chrysler informed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation it will no longer use Takata inflators in replacement of driver’s side airbags in its cars. It is looking at other alternatives to fix the defective part.

The Senate Committee has been going through all the documents Takata gave them and has released a report stating Takata has stopped performing safety audits. In the report, citing internal emails, the committee wrote that Takata may have been able to prevent this recall if it had proper safety and auditing committees in place to check that the correct protocols were being followed. This neglect on Takata’s part that there was no safety committee in place is troubling.

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Takata airbag recall death, Chicago personal injury lawyerAn eighth death has been linked to the recalled airbags from Takata Corp. of Japan. A Los Angeles woman suffered neck and head injuries when the Honda civic she was driving crashed and the airbag deployed, sending shrapnel flying into the body of the car and the victim. This death has become more prevalent in the ongoing recall because the car being driven was a rental car.

The Honda civic the victim was driving had previously been recalled in 2009 and the owner of the vehicle had been notified four times, according to Honda, about the recall and that the vehicle needed repaired. Mark Rosekind, the administrator of the Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), stated, “The fact that this was a rental vehicle that had not been remedied is more evidence for why we are seeking author to prohibit sale or rental of any vehicle with an open safety recall.”

Rental car companies should be held to the same standards as car dealerships when vehicles receive recalls. Renting a car to a consumer when the company knows there is a recall is a product liability case. Currently, only dealerships are required to repair recalled vehicles and defective car parts before they can sell the car. Rental car companies should also be required to take a recalled vehicle out of their rotation until the defective part is fixed.

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furniture chair recall, Chicago product liability attorneys

When you search for Big Lots online, their description says, “Find surprises in every aisle, every day at Big Lots!” What if that surprise is falling and injuring yourself in the store on a piece of furniture they are selling? That is the case with several customers who tried out a hanging chair in Big Lots stores. Companies who sell the recalled product and the manufacturers who make the product have a responsibility to the consumer to ensure product liability on the recalled product.

Big Lots is recalling approximately 16,000 egg-shaped hanging chairs. The chairs are made from brown plastic and are in a wicker, mesh pattern with a red cushion. The chair hangs from a metal, U-shaped base and pole. When consumers tried out the product, they reported tipped over and swing beyond the base of the chair. This caused the chair to fall off the pole.

Big Lots has issued a recall for all the chairs, but what will happen in the future? When consumers purchase furniture, there is an expectation that the piece of furniture or furniture set they are purchasing is going to be safe. Consumers should not have to be concerned if their furniture is going to fall apart or injure them. They should be able to take comfort in knowing the product they are purchasing is safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

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Zofran congenital heart defects, Chicago prescription drug defect lawyerParents want their infants and children to be healthy and thrive. It can be a devastating blow when they find out their child may or will have a life-long condition that may be life threatening. Congenital heart defects are heart problems that develop before the child is born and are often referred to as a hole in the heart.  Congenital heart defects can lead to heart failure, high blood pressure, infection, or other problems from the moment they are born or later on in life. In some cases, the congenital heart defect is caused by defective drugs, such as Zofran.

Zofran is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for use as an anti-nausea medication for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. It has not been approved, or ever tested or studied, as an anti-nausea drug for pregnant women. This has not stopped GlaxoSmithKline from marketing Zofran for “off-label” use to hospitals and consumers as an anti-nausea medication for pregnant women with severe morning sickness, according to a report from the Department of Justice.

A mother from Oakland, California, filed a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, stating they knew about the negative side effects Zofran caused during the prenatal stages of growth in infants and still marketed the drug to pregnant women. She alleged that the use of Zofran during her pregnancy caused her son’s supraventricular tachycardia, a serious heart defect. Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) causes the heart to beat too fast or irregularly. It causes an insufficient about of blood supply throughout the body. SVT is treated with medication, surgery, or a combination of both and in the future may cause heart failure.

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ignition switch recall, Chicago car defect attorneyThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released reports stating the investigation into General Motors (GM) ignition switch defect was not thorough. The ignition switch defect has been connected with over 100 deaths. The GM ignition switch recall is the fourth largest defective car parts recall in history, with over 800,000 vehicles recalled.

GM knew about the defective switch as far back as 2004, but did not start recalling any vehicles until 2014. In the past year, NHTSA has taken no responsibility for any of its own actions in the investigation into the defective parts. Families who believe they did not do enough now have a small peace of mind when they announced they trusted but did not verify the information GM was sending them and failed to use its authority to hold GM accountable.

NHTSA allowed GM to conduct their own investigation into the ignition switch defect and did not verify any information they were given from GM with their own investigation or follow up questions. They took GM’s word that everything was being executed as it should be and was being taken care of. NHTSA failed to do its part to protect consumers and push for a recall sooner and holding the company accountable.

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dialysis recall, Illinois product liability lawyerThere are many people who rely on dialysis treatments to survive. What happens when a dialysis patient receives a recalled treatment solution? That is the question about 160 patients at the Dialysis Clinic in American Samoa had to answer. A batch of recalled dialysis treatment solution was sent to the only dialysis treatment center on the island.

American Samoa is a group of islands about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand and is an American territory. Due to its distant location, the airport and port in Pago Pago are the main transportation outlets for goods coming onto the island. This can delay shipments if weather is bad or goods are unavailable.

The liquid bicarbonate concentrate used in a three-stream hemodialysis machine to administer the solution was recalled. The Dialysis Clinic did not receive word about the recall before administering some of the recalled products to patients for a day and half after the shipment was received. The manufacturer, Fresenius Medical Care Rental Therapies Group, sent out an emergency shipment, but it will take several days to arrive. This caused the clinic to close down until the shipment was received.

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Mazda Takata recall, Chicago product liability lawyersThe Takata airbag recall has affected ten car companies and over 30 million vehicles. Mazda announced they are adding an additional 540,000 older vehicles to the recall list. With Takata airbags being used in almost every automotive manufacturer, many are left to wonder if their vehicle will be added to the recall list. Automotive companies and Takata are responsible for the product liability of the defective airbags.

Consumers only have two options with this recall. They can choose to not drive their vehicle until the defective airbag is replaced or they can take the chance and hope they do not get into an accident where the airbag will deploy, possibly killing or injuring themselves or their passengers. Neither option is acceptable and in most cases consumers have no other option that to continue to drive their cars with the defective airbag.

Takata and investigators have not been able to determine which inflator in the airbag design is the cause of the problem. Reports are now saying it is multiple causes. This is an unsatisfactory answer to the largest recall in automotive history. If the company that designed the defective airbag and independent researchers cannot fix the design, consumers are being put at risk longer because the defective airbag will take longer to be replaced.

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police body camera, Illinois personal injury lawyerPersonal injury cases stem from different situations, whether intentional or not, including vehicle accidents, assaults, negligence, dog bites, emotional distress, and more, and can include physical or emotional injury. With more victims or witnesses carrying smartphones there has been an increase in recorded evidence. The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate have both passed a bill that will outline how police body cameras can be used throughout the state. Police body cameras have the potential to bring legitimate personal injury claims traction.

The bill does not require police departments to use the body cameras, but will set standards for use, storage and privacy for all body cameras and recordings for the police departments that do opt to use them. The Chicago Police Department has already started using body cameras. Some citizens are concerned with the use, storage and security of the recordings. There is concern about neighbors asking for a copy of the recording and personal information being given to those who are not involved.

Attorney Christopher Hurley, managing partner at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., sees it as a way to give a voice to those who might not be believed or listened to otherwise. Police body cameras will help those involved in personal injury cases where police are called to the scene. They will be able to provide record evidence to support the victim and give them the backup they need and deserve to receive the compensation they deserve.

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no free passes initiative patient safetyHurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. managing partner, Attorney Chris Hurley, founded the No Free Passes Initiative after representing a family who lost the mother. He realized she could have been saved if the emergency room staff had more training on intubating patients. Multiple attempts at intubation is not acceptable. The more times a doctor and their team need to attempt an intubation, the more likely the patient is to have complications.

Attorney Chris Hurley has been a trial lawyer for over 30 years and has seen many clients or their family members live with life altering complications or death. After seeing many cases over the years that could have been prevented, Attorney Hurley came up with the idea for the No Free Passes Initiative to educate and train doctors and staff in the hospitals.

Those involved in the 12-month initiative program will go through the program through in-person meetings, webinars, advisory groups, and go through advanced skill training. They will talk with advisors throughout the program and receive coaching. These steps and programs are designed to ensure the teams involved will learn how to improve patient safety when attempting airway maintenance. With over 25,000 daily occurrences of life-threatening errors occurring daily in emergency rooms or intensive care units across the United States daily, improving patient safety is crucial.

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no free passes initiativeNo one wants to lose a loved one, but to lose them because of a preventable error is unacceptable. Thousands of people are treated in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and Emergency Rooms (ER) every day across the United States. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who have gone through years of education to provide help and assistance to those who need it are the ones who can prevent these errors. Intubation errors are preventable with more training and education on how to successfully intubate a patient on the first pass.

After representing a family whose young mother had lost her life after an asthma attack and went without oxygen while in the ER, Attorney Chris Hurley, managing partner of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., thought the exact same thing. Hurley partnered with Airway Management Education Center (AMEC) and Cynosure Health to start the No Free Passes Initiative and improve patient airway safety.

Attorney Chris Hurley has put together a presentation with other presenters to explain how the No Free Passes Initiative was started, the program vision and opportunities for support.

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