| Read Time: 3 minutes | Community and Safety

What You Need to Know About the NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

Parents have filed lawsuits against baby formula makers after their children suffered necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious and life-threatening condition. If your newborn was diagnosed with NEC, you might wonder whether this lawsuit affects you and your rights. Naturally, you want to know whether someone is at fault. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Gerling Law to learn more about the Similac lawsuit and whether you have a right to demand compensation for your child. You can reach us online through our contact form or call to schedule a consultation. We represent families nationwide and throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky and have offices nearby in Evansville, Indianapolis, Owensboro, and Louisville.    What Is NEC? NEC is a gastrointestinal disease that primarily affects premature infants. Babies most at risk for the condition are those: Born before 37 weeks, Fed through a stomach tube (enteral nutrition), and Who weigh less than 5.5 lbs. at birth. While NEC affects about 1 in 1,000 premature infants, it impacts only 1 in 10,000 full-term babies. With this condition, inflammation in the intestines kills tissue. It can lead to holes, bacteria leaking into the infant’s abdomen or bloodstream, and death. What Are the Signs of NEC? Between two and six weeks after birth, an infant may show signs of: Abdominal pain and swelling, Changes in heart rate and blood pressure, Changes in body temperature, Changes in breathing, Diarrhea and bloody stool, Green or yellow vomit, Refusal to eat and lack of weight gain or weight loss, and Sleepiness and unresponsiveness.  A doctor will examine the infant and may run blood and fecal tests and X-rays to diagnose NEC. How Do Doctors Treat NEC? Because the infant’s intestines need to heal, doctors will stop oral or tube feedings and give the baby nutrients through an IV. They may insert a long tube through the child’s nose or mouth into the stomach to remove gas and fluid. They may also prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. The infant might require surgery to repair a hole in their intestine or remove dead intestinal tissue in more serious cases. Sometimes, doctors surgically place a drain in the baby’s abdomen to remove fluids and gas. What Causes NEC? Doctors and scientists don’t know the exact cause of NEC. However, numerous studies and papers have discussed the link between cow-milk-based formula and NEC. For example, a study published in 1990 connected NEC to cow-milk-based infant formula. In a study involving 926 preterm infants, NEC was 6 to 10 times more common in formula-fed babies than those given breast milk only or a combination of breast milk and formula. A more recent study published in 2019 reviewed 12 complete trials involving 1,871 infants. The trials found formula almost doubled the risk of NEC. The American Academy of Pediatrics also found that giving preterm infants human milk reduced the risk of NEC. According to the AAP, “One case of NEC could be prevented if 10 infants received an exclusive human milk diet, and 1 case of NEC requiring surgery or resulting in death could be prevented if 8 infants received an exclusive human milk diet.” Recent Baby Formula Lawsuits In May 2021, parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company, LLC, the makers of Similac. The parents allege the infant formula caused NEC and their child’s death.   In June 2021, another family filed a lawsuit against Abbott and Mead Johnson, claiming their son suffered serious injuries from developing NEC. Their son was given Similac and Enfamil products at the hospital after his premature birth. Similac and Enfamil are high-calorie, cow-milk-based formulas. The parents allege the formulas increase the risk of NEC, yet the makers didn’t include warnings on the product labels. Has Your Child Suffered From NEC? If your preemie was diagnosed with NEC, talk with their medical providers about your child’s nutrition before symptoms began. If your child was fed a cow-milk-based formula, such as Similac or Enfamil, contact Gerling Law. We’re experienced personal injury and mass tort lawyers. We’ve represented many individuals harmed by dangerous and defective consumer products. We want to hear your story and talk with you about whether you have a right to demand compensation. Give us a call or use our online form to schedule a free case evaluation. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury

Calculating Pain and Suffering in Indiana

If you sustain severe injuries in an accident, chances are you may experience physical or emotional distress during recovery. In Indiana, plaintiffs may pursue compensation for their pain and suffering in the form of damages. However, you may be wondering, How do you calculate pain and suffering? Let’s take a look at how a personal injury attorney may calculate your pain and suffering depending on your situation. Damages Available in Indiana In personal injury cases, there are three types of damages available for victims to pursue: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Each category has an effect on the total settlement amount and requires different types of evidence. Economic Damages These damages compensate the plaintiff for any calculable losses from their injuries. This includes any monetary losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and more.  Non-Economic Damages Also known as general damages, non-economic damages are any non-calculable losses sustained by the plaintiff. In other words, these damages are intangible and highly subjective. Pain and suffering falls into the category of non-economic damages. Punitive Damages These types of damages are awarded only in cases where the defendant acted with malice or gross negligence. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for extremely reckless misconduct. Popular Pain and Suffering Calculation Methods in Indiana While methods vary between attorneys, many use the multiplier method to calculate non-economic damages like pain and suffering for their clients. The multiplier is usually a number between one and five depending on the severity of the injury. Your attorney will multiply that number by the amount of your economic damages. Consider the following example: Susan gets into a car accident and suffers permanent paralysis in her lower body. Her economic damages amount to nearly $1,000,000. Susan was a competitive swimmer, so in addition to losing the ability to walk, she can no longer participate in this activity. Because of Susan’s significant losses, her attorney pursues a pain and suffering multiplier of five. Susan and her lawyer decide to sue the defendant for $6,000,000 total, which includes $1,000,000 in economic damages and $5,000,000 in non-economic damages. One thing to keep in mind is that some cases may use a multiplier higher than five, especially if the injury results in total disability. However, keep in mind that the State of Indiana caps the amount of damages for some types of cases. For example, under IC 34-18-14-3, a plaintiff may not recover more than $1.8 million for an act of medical malpractice that occurs after June 30, 2019. Do Online Indiana Pain and Suffering Calculators Really Give Accurate Settlement Estimates? No, Indiana pain and suffering calculators do not give accurate estimates. Since every person has unique circumstances, it is impossible for a calculator to determine an estimate that matches your case. The best way to find an accurate estimate for your settlement is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. How Much Is My Pain and Suffering Worth? The value of your pain and suffering depends on several factors. Since there is no objective way to determine pain and suffering, the jury usually decides whether to award pain and suffering based on the following: The type of injury sustained by the plaintiff, The type of medication required to treat the injury, The effect of the injury on the plaintiff’s quality of life, The length of the plaintiff’s recovery, and The strength of the evidence provided. While these aren’t the only factors that the jury may take into consideration, they are a major part of their calculation. Here’s an example from a 2001 Indiana case where the jury awarded pain and suffering damages. On May 6, 1995, trucker Jerry Stanton made a delivery to Kroger’s Indianapolis Distribution Center. Before leaving, he decided to take a break and parked his tractor trailer next to another parked trailer. A Kroger employee, Ira Ritter, began backing up a tractor into the parked trailer without looking, pinning Stanton between her vehicle and the trailer. He suffered devastating injuries, including a pelvic fracture, broken ribs, lung contusions, internal bleeding, and hemorrhagic shock. Stanton sued Ritter for more than $65 million in damages. When the case went to trial, the jury determined that Stanton was 20% at fault for the accident and awarded him $55 million in damages. There are several reasons why the jury awarded such a large amount. First, the doctors who testified for Stanton said it was the most severe injury they’d ever seen in their careers. Second, Stanton had to be resuscitated several times over the first month of recovery and developed respiratory distress syndrome. Finally, due to Stanton’s injuries, he could no longer participate in any outdoor activities that he used to enjoy. Based on these circumstances, the jury found Stanton’s award justified. How to Prove Pain and Suffering Generally, the best way to prove pain and suffering after an injury is to document it. There are a few ways you can do this depending on your circumstances: Keep a diary. Make sure to mention any of the difficulties you experience due to your injury, including changes in mood, excessive pain, or trouble performing daily activities.  Visit a therapist. Seeing a mental health professional is a good way to document changes in your state of mind after the injury. Mention difficulties to your doctor. If your injury prevents you from getting sleep, performing basic tasks, or enjoying life, tell your doctor, so they make a note in your medical record. These are just a few ways of documenting your pain and suffering. If you have trouble writing it down on your own, try asking family members or friends to provide their own testimony. How Can an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer Help? Instead of relying on an Indiana pain and suffering calculator, it’s best to go with a skilled personal injury attorney. They will calculate your potential settlement based on every detail of your case, including your bills, future medical costs, loss of quality of life, and...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Veterans Disability

How Long Does an Expedited VA Claim Take?

Veterans can file for veteran disability compensation. Veterans may qualify for disability benefits if they suffer from physical or mental conditions before, during, or after service, so long as the  conditions are related to service. Veterans who would like the opportunity to receive compensation must file a VA claim.  If you wish to file a VA claim, the process may take some time—anywhere from three to six months to receive a decision. Certain circumstances, including missing information in the claim, can slow down the process. Fortunately, in some cases, you may qualify for a VA expedited claim process.  There is, however, no exact way to determine how much faster the expedited VA claim process is. Claims are deemed “priority” or “non-priority,” meaning priority claims will be handled first. Still, because there are other priority requests, expedited claims may still take a little time.  First and foremost, before deciding whether you are a qualified candidate for an expedited VA claim, it is important to understand the criteria.  Common Circumstances That Can Get a VA Claim Expedited If you are a veteran interested in expediting your VA claim, you must first qualify. There are special circumstances that, if present, can allow a veteran to expedite the VA claim due to hardship. The Veteran Is Going Through Financial Hardship If a veteran is experiencing extreme financial hardship, they may be able to expedite their claim. The veteran applying will need to provide evidence of their financial situation, which can include: Collection letters, Past-due bills, or Eviction notices. If the evidence submitted is substantial enough to support the claim of financial hardship, your VA claim will be taken care of more quickly. The Veteran Is Terminally Ill If a veteran is suffering from a terminal illness, their claim will be expedited. Medical evidence of the terminal illness is needed to qualify. Medical proof can include medical records or a letter from a physician. The veteran can provide this documentation themselves or allow the VA to gather their private treatment records. The Veteran Is Diagnosed with ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease affecting the nervous system, eventually causing the loss of muscle control. As with a terminal illness, veterans diagnosed with ALS will qualify for an expedited VA claim if proof is present. The veteran can provide this to the VA, or the VA can obtain these records for them. The Veteran Was Seriously or Very Seriously Injured or Ill During Military Operations Veterans filing VA claims are likely already suffering some injury or illness. However, veterans that have suffered an injury or illness during military operations can qualify for an expedited VA claim. The VA sets this category apart, defining it as “a disability resulting from a military operation that will likely result in discharge from military service.” To qualify, veterans must provide a copy of their military personnel records and medical evidence showing severe disability or injury. With permission from the veteran, the VA can get the required treatment records on their behalf. The Veteran Is of Advanced Age Veterans 85 years or older may qualify for an expedited VA claim. In their request, the veteran will simply need to provide their accurate date of birth. The Veteran Is a Former Prisoner of War Veterans who were prisoners of war are eligible to have their VA claims expedited. Veterans must provide a copy of their military personnel records, including their DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty), and other important information, such as their service number, branch and dates of service, or any other information relevant to their detainment. The Veteran Received a Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Award Veterans decorated with a Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Award will qualify to have their VA claim expedited. The veteran will need to furnish a copy of their military personnel records, including DD Form 214 or some information exhibiting receipt of the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart. What Can I Do to Make My VA Claim Go Faster? If you are a veteran and qualify under one of the above-mentioned criteria, you may wonder how to speed up your VA disability claim. To do so, you must fill out a Priority Processing Request form.  What Can an Attorney Do for Me? An attorney cannot guarantee that your VA claim will go any faster. Nonetheless, your lawyer can help in a variety of ways, including: Thoroughly explaining the process; Answering your questions; Helping you navigate the VA claims process; and Supporting you from beginning to end.  The VA claims process can be tricky and challenging to handle on your own. With the assistance of a qualified attorney, you can have a better chance at a successful outcome to your claim. Consult with a VA Disability Attorney Today Gerling Law exists to help clients get the help they need during a trying time. We believe in putting our clients first and always having their best interests at heart. Gerling Law’s attorneys are all experienced and well-versed in the law, making them your best ally. We aim to help our clients in any way we can, getting them on the right path to recovery. Our firm offers free consultations. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Serious CPAP Machine Side Effects and Risks: What You Should Know

Due to the risk of severe and potentially life-threatening CPAP machine side effects, the FDA recently announced the voluntary recall of some CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices manufactured by Phillips Respironics. A design and manufacturing flaw causes these devices to expose users to potentially lethal particles and gasses. As a result, users could develop cancer, organ failure, and other significant health issues. If you or a loved one sustained harm from using one of these faulty medical devices, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. The defective medical device attorneys of Gerling Law are committed to the pursuit of justice for wrongfully injured clients. We can assist you with filing a Phillips CPAP lawsuit today. What Are the Most Common CPAP Side Effects? Some types of mild CPAP machine side effects are common. Two of the most common side effects of CPAP equipment include dry mouth and nasal discharge. Some users might find it difficult to sleep while others might develop a skin rash around the mask area. Some gastrointestinal problems can develop if a user swallows the pressurized air.   Fortunately, many of these conditions typically resolve on their own once users become accustomed to using the equipment. In the case of sleep disruption, simply adjusting the machine’s pressure or mask tightness can take care of the problem. Switching to a different type of mask can also reduce or eliminate many of the most common side effects. These issues tend to occur across the board and affect users of all CPAP brands and types. Some other side effects, however, are much less mild. In fact, some CPAP side effects can be life-threatening—and these symptoms do not resolve on their own. What Are the More Serious CPAP Machine Side Effects? Some potentially severe CPAP machine side effects are specific to Phillips Respironics devices. For users of Phillips CPAP machines, serious side effects can develop as a result of breakdown in polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam. Phillips used this material in the design and manufacturing of CPAP devices for the purpose of reducing operational sound and vibration. When PE-PUR foam breaks down, the resulting broken foam particles (known as black debris) can potentially enter the airway of CPAP machines. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also enter the airway as a result of foam degradation. When someone inhales or ingests these compounds, they can develop respiratory side effects. These side effects, which can be toxic or even carcinogenic (cancer-causing), include the following: Headache, Dizziness, Chest pressure, Respiratory tract irritation, Airway inflammation, Asthma, Nausea or vomiting, Liver or kidney damage, and Cancer. These complications can lead to life-threatening or permanent injury. Some Phillips CPAP users require extensive medical intervention to save their lives or to prevent permanent damage. Details Regarding the Phillips CPAP Machine Recall In late June of 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice of voluntary recall and warning regarding CPAP machines manufactured by Phillips Respironics. The warning described the potential health risks of using these devices, including the more serious side effects described above. Phillips voluntarily recalled devices that were manufactured during the period of 2009 to April 26, 2021. The manufacturer provided a listing of all the recalled Phillips CPAP models. Users were instructed to immediately stop using the affected CPAP and BiPAP devices and consult with their physicians regarding next steps. Through testing and lab analysis, Phillips identified a number of CPAP toxic chemicals that were present after the breakdown of PE-PUR foam. The results, including the following, were shocking, discovering the presence of: Diethylene glycol, Dimethyl diazene, Phenol, 2,6-bis (1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-(1-methylpropyl), Toluene diisocyanate, and Toluene diamine. These chemicals are all used in the manufacturing of other chemicals and industrial products. Toluene diamine, for example, is often used as a sensitizer for explosives. Exposure to Toluene diamine is known to cause cancer, organ damage, and genetic defects. This chemical can also cause fertility damage. Toluene diisocyanate can be fatal if inhaled, while Diethylene glycol can be toxic if swallowed. In its lab analysis report, Phillips stated the following. “Based on the test data and information available to date, Philips believes that most degraded foam particulates are too big to be deeply inhaled.” Whatever the stated opinion of the manufacturer might be, patients continue to develop significant health problems and complications as a result of having used the Phillips devices.  What You Should Know About the Phillips CPAP Lawsuit The list of injuries related to Phillips Respironics products continues to grow. Multiple forms of cancer—including bladder cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, and leukemia—have been linked to these faulty devices. Organ failure, heart attack, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have also been reported. Whatever type of complications you developed as a result of using a Phillips CPAP machine, you have a challenging road ahead of you. You will likely need extensive and potentially ongoing medical treatment and care. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be left disabled and without a way to earn a living.  If you or someone you love sustained injuries or other damages related to a Phillips CPAP machine, you deserve justice and fair financial compensation. Filing a Phillips CPAP lawsuit can help get you the resources you need. Contact a CPAP Lawsuit Attorney Today to Get Started If you believe you suffered side effects from using a CPAP machine, it is important for you to explore your options for taking legal action. At Gerling Law, we help CPAP injury victims in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, or anywhere else in the United States. Our firm has more than a half-century of experience. We fight to get injury victims the justice they deserve. You could be entitled to recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, emotional trauma, and more. We offer injury victims a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case review. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are passionate about getting justice for wrongfully injured clients. You do not have to face this significant challenge alone. Call us...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Defective Medical Devices

Phillips CPAP Lawsuit

If you are one of the estimated 18 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, you may use a CPAP machine every night. If you used Phillips’ “DreamStation” CPAP machines, you may already be aware that Phillips recently issued a recall notification for many of those CPAP devices. Due to a defect, the recalled devices can lead to serious health problems. As one of the individuals who used the recalled products, you may have a claim for damages against Phillips.  Because this recall is very recent, many affected individuals aren’t quite sure what they should do. One of the most important questions you may have is whether you have a claim for damages. If you or a loved one is one of the potentially affected individuals, Gerling Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. Read on for more information on the recall and whether you should file a lawsuit regarding your use of the Phillips CPAP machines in question. How Do CPAP Machines Treat Sleep Apnea? CPAP machines are one of the primary treatments for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you don’t get enough oxygen while you are sleeping. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to insomnia in many individuals, but there are other harmful effects. Most notably, untreated sleep apnea can lead to long-term circulatory problems and heart disease. This is a major concern in the US where heart disease is one of the most common causes of death. CPAP machines are a sort of ventilator. They treat sleep apnea by supplying a constant stream of oxygenated air through a mask and tube directly into your airways. In doing so, the machine ensures that you get the right amount of oxygen as you sleep. In turn, the machines reduce the risk of developing heart disease and insomnia.  The Phillips CPAP Machine Recall Phillips issued their recall notification on June 14, 2021. The order covered nearly four million devices. In the recall order, Phillips instructed affected individuals to stop all use of their BiLevel PAP and CPAP sleep apnea devices. The reason for the recall was the discovery that many of the machines contained a harmful chemical that one can inhale. People who inhale the substance in question risk developing lung damage from the CPAP machine.  The chemical in question is contained in the polyester insulation of the affected CPAP machines. The insulation is meant to dampen sound so that the noise of the machine does not wake up the user of the machine or their loved ones. The problem arose because the insulation degraded faster than initially thought. As the foam insulation degrades, particulates of it can make their way into a user’s nose, lungs, and throat. The risk of degradation is hastened by the use of certain cleaning products, heat, and humidity.  To make things worse, it is almost impossible to avoid humidity and cleaning products when you use a CPAP machine. As a user of a CPAP machine, you know the importance of keeping the device clean. You don’t want harmful bacteria to grow on your device. After all, that bacteria can go straight into your airways. Furthermore, how can you avoid humidity while using your CPAP machine? Our breath is humid, so it is inevitable that a mask we wear while we sleep eight hours a night is subject to the humidity of our breath.  The Subsequent Lawsuit After Phillips issued their recall, a truck driver working out of Oregon filed a class action lawsuit against them. In the Phillips lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that he is unable to work due to the product’s recall. Since the recall, he has not been able to replace his device with one that is safe to use. As a result, he alleges, he cannot safely perform his job and thus cannot work. In fact, because he is diagnosed with sleep apnea and it is not currently under treatment, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) won’t even allow him to work. It is against their regulations. As a result, the damages in his case surround his loss of income and potential future health concerns as a result of his lack of treatment.  Who Qualifies for the Lawsuit? Before going into the requirements for a product liability lawsuit, we need to address the first question: whether the specific CPAP machine you used is one of the affected products. If not, you may not have a claim. Luckily, it’s easy to look up. Phillips has set up a portal where you can look up and register your machine’s serial number to see whether your device is subject to the recall order.  If your device is one of those affected, go through the following requirements to make an educated guess as to whether you have a valid claim. Generally, for product liability, a claimant must show just two things: The existence of damages; and A causal relationship between the product in question and the ensuing damages. Unlike in other types of personal injury claims, the question is not whether the manufacturer exercised due care in the design and manufacture of the product. Even a company that uses the highest standard of care can be held responsible if their product causes damage. This concept is known as “strict liability” because an accident victim does not have to prove negligence to receive compensation. If you developed lung damage or another respiratory health problem after using a recalled Phillips CPAP machine, you may be able to recover compensation from Phillips. Ready to File Your Phillips CPAP Lawsuit? If you are one of the thousands of individuals affected by the Phillips CPAP recall, Gerling Law is here for you. If you aren’t sure whether you have a valid claim after reading through this piece, give us a call for a free consultation, so we can help you figure out what to do. You might want to join the class action lawsuit, but we can also represent you in an individual claim against Phillips.  At...

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| Read Time: 9 minutes | Dangerous Drugs

What Kind of Cancers Does Zantac Cause?

The popular stomach acid and heartburn medication, Zantac, has been linked to a notable increase in cancer risk. In 2020, the FDA recalled ranitidine, the generic name for Zantac and other over-the-counter stomach acid-blocking drugs. However, by that time, millions of Americans had potentially been exposed to a deadly carcinogen. Today, Zantac class action lawsuit attorneys across the country are helping victims and their families pursue justice and fair financial compensation. At Gerling Law, our Zantac lawsuit attorneys assist victims in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Nationwide. For more than 50 years, our firm has provided aggressive, highly personalized representation to injury accident victims. We believe that anyone who sustained harm due to the negligence or wrongful actions of a drug company deserves justice. You could be entitled to recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, emotional trauma, and more. The Link Between Zantac and Cancer Ranitidine, used by millions of people around the world, has been sold under a variety of brand names as both a prescription and over-the-counter drug. Ranitidine in its original state is not believed to cause cancer. However, when the active ingredient of ranitidine breaks down, it releases a chemical compound known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is a carcinogen. Ranitidine breaks down normally over time. When exposed to heat, however, the process occurs much more quickly. Consequently, if Zantac or another ranitidine drug was stored at a temperature much beyond room temperature, or if the product was exposed to high heat, the breakdown would occur much more rapidly. N-nitrosodimethylamine is an extremely toxic substance. In addition to forming in the degradation of ranitidine, NDMA also results from the breakdown of rocket fuel components and other industrial processes. It can be found as an ingredient in some types of pesticides. The World Health Organization (WHO) published information in 2008 that identified NDMA as a known carcinogen. The WHO’s toxicological review data looked at levels of NDMA found in drinking water sources around the world. No one expected to learn that this extremely toxic substance could be sitting in their own medicine cabinet, disguised as a popular and commonly used stomach acid reducing medication. What Is the Risk of Getting Cancer from Zantac? Initially, data indicated that cancer risks stemmed primarily from using ranitidine products that had been exposed to heat. More recent research, however, indicates that conditions within the human gastric tract could be sufficient to cause NDMA production. Research from 2016, wherein researchers monitored the levels of NDMA in the urine before and after taking ranitidine, supported this conclusion. Residual levels of the chemical increased more than 400-fold in the urine of those participants who took Zantac or another ranitidine drug. No solid data exist yet to prove how much more likely you are to develop cancer overall if you took Zantac. However, researchers believe that anyone who took a ranitidine product twice a week or more for a period of months or years could face an increased risk of getting cancer. The Types of Cancer Linked to Zantac Use Medical experts and research scientists continue to gather data on this developing problem. However, thus far, the list of cancers associated with ranitidine use continues to grow. These are some of the most common types of cancer caused by Zantac and ranitidine. Unfortunately, this list is in no way complete. It may be years or even decades before the medical and research communities can definitively list all the types of cancer that Zantac may have caused. Zantac and Breast Cancer Risk: Does Zantac Cause Breast Cancer? The link between ranitidine and breast cancer was one of the earliest discoveries about this drug. In 2008, a study examined the link between the use of histamine(2)-receptor antagonist (H(2) blocker) medications and breast cancer. Drugs falling into the H(2) blocker category include cimetidine, famotidine, and ranitidine. The study found no link between H(2) blockers and breast cancer in general. However, the link between ranitidine and breast cancer was significant. In fact, the use of ranitidine increased the risk of ductal carcinoma by 220% and of estrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-positive ductal carcinoma by 240%. Despite this research having been performed in 2008, the drug manufacturers left Zantac and other ranitidine products on the market for almost 12 more years. Research also links a history of Zantac use to cases of breast cancer in men. This disease rarely strikes men. Consequently, men typically do not undergo regular breast cancer screening. Talk to your doctor if you took ranitidine and have concerns regarding Zantac-related male breast cancer. Zantac and Bladder Cancer Risk: Does Zantac Cause Bladder Cancer? For several years, researchers strongly suspected that a link between ranitidine use and bladder cancer existed. New studies have now demonstrated just how significant that risk might be. People who took the drug for three years or more faced a significantly higher risk of bladder cancer. However, even those who took Zantac for less than three years faced a 22% higher risk than people who never took the drug. Those who used it for three years or more have a 43% higher risk of developing bladder cancer. When detected early, bladder cancer treatment has a high rate of success. Learning the symptoms of bladder cancer—which include painful urination and blood in the urine—can help you better monitor your health. Talk to your doctor about what types of cancer screenings might be appropriate for you if you previously used Zantac or ranitidine drugs. Zantac and Uterine Cancer Risk: Does Zantac Cause Uterine Cancer? Uterine cancer, specifically endometrial cancer, already poses a significant risk for women in the U.S. Every year, almost 70,000 women receive a uterine cancer diagnosis. More than 12,000 American women die of uterine cancer every year. Even worse, experts estimate that the rate of uterine cancer cases is increasing by about 1% per year. This cancer is especially troubling, as it presents virtually no symptoms in the early stages. Although only observational human studies are possible today due to ethical reasons, multiple animal...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Dangerous Drugs

Should I Join the Zantac Lawsuit Against Sanofi?

The drug, Zantac, manufactured and distributed by Sanofi, is the subject of a great deal of recent public scrutiny and litigation. Zantac is said to have caused cancer in thousands of Americans who took the drug. As a result, the injured parties are pushing back. With the ongoing lawsuits against Sanofi regarding the prescription medication, many people who took the drug and suffered injuries are trying to decide if they should file a claim for damages—and how they should do so. If you are one of those people, the experienced professionals at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys can help you out. One of the primary questions that we get regarding Zantac injuries is, should I join the Zantac class action lawsuit? The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of your own case and your claim for damages. Class action lawsuits have their advantages and their disadvantages. To help you put some thought into which direction you want to take your claim in a Zantac cancer lawsuit, we put together this quick guide. Among other things, we will discuss potential Zantac lawsuit payouts, the pros and cons of joining a class action, and why the Zantac cancer lawsuits exist in the first place. If you are reading this article and think you have a claim, it is crucially important that you take legal action as soon as possible. The cutoff for the class action lawsuit is September 2021, and you don’t want to miss out. What Is Wrong With Zantac? Zantac is Sanofi’s trademarked name of the drug, ranitidine. Ranitidine medications were a common treatment for heartburn for quite some time. That is until concerns over cancer started to arise. In 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requested that all manufacturers of ranitidine-based drugs withdraw their drugs from the market immediately. The FDA’s announcement came after an investigation into the drug and a specific contaminant contained therein. The FDA found dangerously high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), the contaminant in question, in many ranitidine products. The unacceptable NDMA levels were particularly high in medications stored above room temperature. While the NDMA levels in ranitidine drugs stored at room temperature were lower than others, they were still unacceptable concentrations. The Harmful Effects of NDMA NDMA is a known cancer-causing agent (or carcinogen). Like many other carcinogens, it is present in many food and water sources. Generally, at such low levels, consumption of NDMA does not amount to a problem. However, the levels found in Zantac were far beyond an acceptable level. As a result of the high NDMA concentrations, countless individuals have developed cancer of various kinds. If you developed cancer after taking Zantac for more than a couple of months, you likely have a legitimate claim for damages from Sanofi. Class Action Lawsuits Generally speaking, class action lawsuits are a way to streamline litigation. When many claimants file similar claims against a given party, those claims are often consolidated into a single claim. The name “class action” stems from the fact that there is a defined group of people (a class) that can join the claim. If you meet the requirements for the “class” in a given class-action suit, you can join it and recover your share of the damages you suffered. The “class” in the Sanofi Zantac class-action lawsuit is anyone who can demonstrate that they: Took Zantac for a continuous period of one year or more; and Developed one of the following types of cancer after taking the drug: Colorectal cancer, Esophageal cancer, Liver cancer, Intestine cancer, Stomach cancer, Early-onset prostate cancer, Leukemia, or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. If you meet the noted criteria but don’t see the specific type of cancer you developed in the list above, don’t worry. The provided list is not exhaustive, so other types of cancer may still meet the requirements to join the class action. Come talk to us at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys, and we will help you assess your individual situation. Pros and Cons of Class Actions Class actions have a lot of advantages, but they also have their own disadvantages. Thus, it is important to consider both options when deciding which direction you want to take your claim.  Perhaps the biggest advantage to class action lawsuits lies in their efficiency. Filing a legal claim through a class action lawsuit often costs significantly less than filing an individual civil claim. Your attorney has considerably less work to do when joining a class action claim than they do filing an individual claim for damages. Class actions, as a whole, are also more efficient in moving through the legal process than individual claims. Instead of a judge and jury having to decide 2,000 individual cases, they can judge just one case. While a class-action case will move slower than one individual claim, a class action will move through the court system faster than 2,000 individual claims. Finally, class actions offer claimants more of a guarantee of damage recovery than individual claims. This is because, in order for class action claims to move forward, they should have a fairly robust chance of success. The main drawback to class-action lawsuits is that there is little room for nuance in separating your case from the others. As a result, if you suffered severe damages, your share of the class action damages may not fully cover your damages. To this same end (and same disadvantage), when you accept compensation through a class-action lawsuit, any claim to future damages is null. If you battled cancer on and off for 10 years after taking Zantac, for example, your damages may far exceed that of a ‘typical’ class member. Thus, if you find yourself in such a situation, you may want to consider filing an individual claim. If you do, it is far more likely that your Zantac lawsuit payout will fully compensate you for your damages.   Regardless of What You Decide Whether or not you decide to join the Zantac class-action lawsuit, we at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys are...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Do I Qualify for the Roundup Lawsuit?

Ever since the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2015 cancer warning regarding the widely used herbicide, Roundup, rampant litigation regarding the product’s safety profile has arisen. Specifically, it is alleged that Roundup can cause certain types of cancer. As a result of these claims, Bayer, the parent company of Roundup’s manufacturer, agreed in 2020 to pay out $10 billion to settle ongoing claims against their company regarding the product.  If you were injured by Roundup at any time, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If so, chances are that Gerling Law Injury Attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our team at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys is currently helping countless clients do the same. If you are interested in joining this Roundup cancer lawsuit, it is important to assess whether or not you qualify for the ongoing legal action.  What Happened with Roundup? Roundup is the most commonly used herbicide in the world. Unfortunately, since 2015, one of the key ingredients in Roundup, glyphosate, has become known as a known cancer-causing chemical (carcinogen). One 2019 study from the University of Washington linked glyphosate exposure to a 41% increase in cancer risk compared to those with no exposure. Thus, if you developed cancer after using Roundup, you may have a claim for damages. Even better, you may have a claim to join in with many other litigants as part of a class-action lawsuit against Bayer regarding Roundup. The payout for that Roundup cancer lawsuit is not insignificant. As an injured party, Gerling Law Injury Attorneys can help you file your own individual lawsuit against Bayer regarding the harmful effects of Roundup. Prior Litigation Prior to the recent  $10 billion settlement agreement, there were other settlements regarding the harmful effects of Roundup. One plaintiff received a unanimous jury reward of $289 million. On appeal, a higher court reduced that amount to $80 million, but that is still a significant jury award. In another jury trial, other plaintiffs received an initial award of $2 billion. There is a lot at stake in the Roundup lawsuit. Because much of the damage to litigants is already done and involves untold sums of damages, it is extremely likely that further settlements will be equally significant.    How Do I Qualify for the Roundup Cancer Lawsuit? To determine whether or not you qualify for Roundup settlement checks, you need to assess whether or not you meet certain criteria. At its base, the criteria are as follows: You or a loved one used Roundup for an extended period of time; and You or a loved one developed cancer of some sort after exposure to Roundup for a period of time. Each case is unique, so these criteria are not a one size fits all proposition. Instead, we at Gerling Law assess each case on its own merits. Some types of cancer will qualify for the lawsuit, others will not. We will tell you whether we believe your Roundup claim is going to succeed. Honesty is of paramount importance at Gerling Law. If Roundup Has Caused You Damage The wave of litigation against Roundup is strong. For numerous years, this product has plagued countless Americans with the threat of cancer. Our goal is to help right that wrong. Whether it is for you or for a family member is irrelevant. Whatever your needs are, Gerling Law Injury Attorneys can help you through the Roundup litigation process. The foundation of our firm is experienced. And that experience serves our clients well. With our extensive knowledge, our team has the experience to determine if you qualify for a Roundup Lawsuit. Our bottom line is helping you get where you need to go. Our team of attorneys has the experience necessary to ensure that your case goes the way it should go. Go with the trusted and true injury attorneys. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ® Contact us today for your free consultation!

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Defective Consumer Devices

Johnson & Johnson Ends Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America

May 19, 2020 – After facing thousands of lawsuits from ovarian cancer patients who claim that its talc-based baby powders are contaminated with asbestos, Johnson & Johnson is discontinuing North American sales of the products. Plaintiffs claim that the company knew about its products containing asbestos, a known carcinogen, and did not warn consumers.  Existing bottles will continue to be sold by retailers until they run out, and baby powder made with cornstarch will still be available.  Additionally, Johnson & Johnson will sell the talc-based baby powder in other parts of the world–just not in North America. Reference: Hsu, Tiffany, and Roni Caryn Rabin. “Johnson & Johnson to End Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 May 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/05/19/business/johnson-baby-powder-sales-stopped.html

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Women Suffering From Ovarian Cancer Awarded Billions in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Lawsuit

June 23, 2020 — On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, an appellate court in Missouri ordered Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary to pay over $2 billion in damages to women who claimed that their ovarian cancers were caused by the company’s asbestos-containing talcum products, including its baby powder.  The court upheld that the company was aware of the cancer-causing asbestos in its products and did not warn consumers about it.  A record award of $4.69 billion in compensatory and punitive damages was made to the injured women in July 2018, but the appellate court’s Tuesday decision cut that amount by over half.  The court awarded $500 million in actual damages and $1.62 billion in punitive damages, reducing the original award of $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages after dismissing claims by some of the plaintiffs. In its decision, the appellate court noted that Johnson & Johnson’s internal memoranda dating as far back as the 1960s stated that its talcum products consisted of potentially dangerous asbestos.  “A reasonable inference from all this evidence is that, motivated by profits, defendants disregarded the safety of consumers despite their knowledge the talc in their products caused ovarian cancer,” the court said.  The plaintiffs “showed clear and convincing evidence defendants engaged in conduct that was outrageous because of evil motive or reckless indifference.” A spokeswoman relayed that Johnson & Johnson would seek further review of the recent ruling, defending its talcum products as safe.  “We continue to believe this was a fundamentally flawed trial, grounded in a faulty presentation of the facts,” Kim Montagnino, the spokeswoman, stated. “We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos-free, and does not cause cancer.”  Despite her apparent certainty, six plaintiffs died before the trial started and five more have died since the jury trial ended in 2018, according to a lawyer involved in the litigation. Johnson & Johnson still has thousands of talcum product lawsuits to face. The company announced last month, May 2020, that it would cease the selling of baby powder made from talc in North America, though it would continue selling it elsewhere. Johnson & Johnson has argued that unreliable testing methods are the reason why asbestos has been found in its products.  However, that does not explain the thousands of women with ovarian cancer and other victims of the company’s cancer-causing talcum products that have been sued.  As of March 2020, Johnson & Johnson has faced more than 19,000 lawsuits due to its talcum body powders. The company has lost some cases and won others, but it is appealing in almost every case it has lost. In late 2019, Johnson & Johnson recalled approximately 33,000 bottles of baby powder after F.D.A. investigators reported asbestos in a bottle bought from an online retailer. Johnson & Johnson stated that its own tests cleared the baby powder after not finding any asbestos. The company is fending off unrelated lawsuits as well as its talcum product lawsuits, such as lawsuits involving opioids. In August 2019, an Oklahoma judge ruled that Johnson & Johnson had oversold the benefits of the drugs while playing down their risks, and ordered the company to pay $572 million in damages. “At some point, there is a reputational question that mass tort cases bring, and they’re going to have to be concerned,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor who teaches about product liability at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “They’ve built their entire reputation on being a family-friendly product producer,” Mr. Tobias said. “The classic example of that is talc, and the injuries these women suffered are severe.” Reference:  Rabin, Roni Caryn. “Women with Cancer Awarded Billions in Baby Powder Suit.” The New York Times, 23 June 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/health/baby-powder-cancer.html

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