| 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: 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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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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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Appeal in $2 Billion Jury Award Against Johnson & Johnson

June 7, 2021 – On June 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Johnson & Johnson meant to reverse a $2 billion jury award given to the ovarian cancer victims claiming that the company’s talc-based baby powder was contaminated with asbestos was the cause of their cancer.  Not to be mistaken with the Court finding in favor of the plaintiffs, the Justices rejected Johnson & Johnson’s petition for a writ of certiorari or a review of the lower court’s decision.  Two Justices, Brett Kavanaugh, and Samuel Alito were unable to be a part of the decision due to connections in the case that could cause a conflict of interest.  By declining to hear the appeal, the Supreme Court allowed the current judgment to stand. The case Johnson & Johnson was looking to appeal was Johnson & Johnson, et al., Petitioners v. Gail L. Ingham, et al., in which a St. Louis jury decided in favor of the plaintiffs. At the time (2018), the jury decided to award $4.7 billion to the 22 plaintiffs involved. Johnson & Johnson asked a Missouri appeals court to throw out the judgment entirely in June 2020, with the court declining to do so, noting that “there was significant reprehensibility in defendants’ conduct” and that “the harm suffered by plaintiffs was physical, not just economic.”  The Missouri appeals court did, however, decide that not all of the 22 plaintiffs should have been included in the original trial since not all of them had the legal standing to file a lawsuit of this nature in the state of Missouri. Because of this, the appeals court removed two of the plaintiffs from the lawsuit and decreased the judgment to $2.1 billion, the Associated Press reported. Since the Missouri appeals court did not reverse the judgment, Johnson & Johnson needed to seek a higher court’s judgment, leading the company to file the petition for a writ of certiorari in March 2021. The argument based on which Johnson & Johnson requested the Supreme Court to review the decision was, as NBC News reported, “that the Missouri courts unfairly combined the cases of nearly two dozen women from several states whose cancer severity varied widely” instead of trying cases individually, in some instances in other states. Johnson & Johnson cited concerns over “jury confusion” related to the consolidation of multiple plaintiffs into one trial. Another question Johnson & Johnson’s petition had asked the Supreme Court to consider had it taken up the case was whether the punitive damages awarded in this case had “violate[d] due process.” Reference: “Talc Lawsuit Update JUNE 2021: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal in $2 Billion Jury Award against j&j.” The National Law Review, www.natlawreview.com/article/talc-lawsuit-update-june-2021-supreme-court-declines-to-hear-appeal-2-billion-jury#:~:text=Talc%20Lawsuit%20Update%20June%202021,Billion%20Jury%20Award%20Against%20J%26J&text=With%20%242%20billion%20on%20the,cancer%20patients%20and%20their%20families

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Alaska Files Lawsuit Against Companies Linked To PFAS and AFFF

April 22, 2021 — On April 7, 2021, Alaska’s Attorney general filed a lawsuit against over thirty companies seeking damages for pollution due to PFAs. The specific pollution in the suit is only linked to two of the thousands of different PFAs, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), but the damages are likely to be in the hundreds of millions. The results of the lawsuit will be greatly anticipated by both states who are also wanting to sue for PFA damage and companies that have either made PFAs or used them during other manufacturing.   The Alaska lawsuit is against three types of companies:  (1) PFAS manufacturers; (2) PFAS distributors and (3) aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) manufacturers and suppliers. Several theories of liability are alleged, including negligence, nuisance, trespass, and products liability. The damages sought include costs associated with Alaska’s past, present, and future efforts to end PFOA and PFOS pollution. The future costs would include investigative costs to determine the scale of the pollution, remediation costs, proper disposal of PFAS-contaminated water and solids, and monitoring for future pollution. The state seeks triple the damages under its state statutes in addition to the punitive damages that would punish the behavior of the companies.  The remediation by itself could result in hundreds of millions of dollars, but if Alaska could receive punitive damages or triple damages, the amount could go over a billion dollars. While the Alaska lawsuit targets PFAS manufacturers and AFFF manufacturers, other companies should not underestimate the power of the lawsuit to impact them as well. Such companies in other states have been directly named as defendants in lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in PFAS remediation costs. Companies should not ignore the dangerous environmental issues that PFAS poses as a number of different entities, from states to private citizens, are actively seeking damages. It is in the best interest of all if companies of all types started conducting a complete compliance audit to best understand areas of concern for PFAS liability issues. Reference: “Alaska PFAS Lawsuit Latest State Action On PFAS.” The National Law Review, www.natlawreview.com/article/alaska-pfas-lawsuit-latest-state-action-pfas

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Juul Lawsuits On The Rise

April 15, 2021 — As of April 15, there are over 2000 Juul cases pending.  The case number was around 750 only a few months ago, signifying that the number of Juul lawsuits is dramatically increasing. Reference:  Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation | United States, 16 June 2021, www.jpml.uscourts.gov/

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Jury Trial Date Set For Syngenta Weedkiller Case

June 28, 2021 — The federal judge coordinating the proceedings for claims that Syngenta AG’s paraquat weedkillers cause Parkinson’s disease, US Judge Nancy Rosenstengel of the Southern District of Illinois, announced that she was setting a jury trial date for November 15, 2022.  The order was issued in an initial hearing with lawyers representing the people filing such lawsuits.  There are 157 cases pending in state and federal courts around the country according to a June 22 court filing. The central claim is that Syngenta knew of its products’ risks, but failed to warn users.  The company has denied the allegations and any liability along with the other defendants, which include Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP, and Chevron USA, Inc. The case number for the multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois is 3:21-md-03004-NJR. More than 100 cases move forward, but several are in the process of settling. A “notice of settlement” was filed on June 18 in California, stating that the parties in 16 cases pending in that state had reached an agreement on settlement terms. Reference: Gillam, Carey. “Jury Trial Date Set for Lawsuits Against Syngenta Alleging Weedkiller Causes Parkinson’s Disease • Children’s Health Defense.” Children’s Health Defense, childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/trial-date-syngenta-roundup-paraquat-parkinson-disease/.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Defective Consumer Devices

Juul to Pay $40 Million in North Carolina Settlement

June 28, 2021 — Juul Labs has agreed to pay North Carolina $40 million to settle the first lawsuit of thousands claiming the e-cigarette company’s advertising encouraged a significant increase in nicotine addiction among young people and caused a public health crisis.  The settlement announced on June 28, 2021, permits the company to avert a jury trial later this summer while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decides whether Juul’s vaping and e-cigarette products can remain on the market.  The money will be paid over six years and used to fund programs that will help people quit e-cigarettes, prevent e-cigarette addiction, and research vaping devices.  The settlement also requires Juul to sell its products from behind the counter in North Carolina stores and to use third-party age verification systems for online sales. Juul must send young “mystery shoppers” to 1,000 stores each year to determine if the stores are selling to minors. The company is also banned from using models younger than 35 in advertisements, with no advertisements allowed to be posted near schools. Thirteen other states including California, New York, and Massachusetts have filed similar lawsuits, which leaves the number of cases against Juul surmounting to around 2,600.  The central claim in each lawsuit is that the company was either aware of or should have been aware of its products being bought, resold, and consumed by underage teenagers in a concerningly high and increasing amount.  In addition to the lawsuits, a group of 39 attorneys general from both Republican- and Democratic-led states have been investigating Juul’s advertising practices for over a year. “For years, Juul targeted young people, including teens, with highly addictive e-cigarettes,” Josh Stein, the North Carolina attorney general, who sued Juul in May 2019, said in a statement announcing the settlement. “It lit the spark and fanned the flames of a vaping epidemic among our children — one that you can see in any high school in North Carolina.” But the company was able to reach the settlement deal without admitting to the allegations, which was one of its main goals to avoid further trouble in other lawsuits or the FDA review. In Juul’s statement, Joshua Raffel, a company spokesman, said: “This settlement is consistent with our ongoing effort to reset our company and its relationship with our stakeholders, as we continue to combat underage usage and advance the opportunity for harm reduction for adult smokers.” Juul had fervently pursued a settlement in the North Carolina trial, which was set for July 12.  If Juul did not reach a settlement, the company would have been in court battling the testimonies from parents and children while the FDA was deciding its fate, which must be done by early September.   Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, who teaches product liability, said the settlement bodes well for the other states suing Juul.  “This opens a similar possibility to every state going forward,” he said. “North Carolina has been in the vanguard and deserves some credit. I think this has huge financial and other implications.” Despite this, Tobias said was not surprised that Juul did not admit the allegations against it.  “That almost always happens in these kinds of settlements — that’s a standard clause,” he said. Because none of the other lawsuits against Juul have been scheduled to begin during 2021, the company has not started any other serious settlement talks.  Juul is awaiting the FDA ruling before deciding what its next move is; if the FDA allows Juul products to remain on the market with the purpose of helping adult smokers quit, the company’s arguments will hold more weight.  Though Juul will have more negotiating power, settling with multiple plaintiffs would be expensive and possibly an expense the company cannot afford.  According to analysts, the private company has seen a dramatic decrease during the past year. Marc Scheineson, a lawyer with Alston & Bird, whose practice includes small tobacco companies, called the $40 million in the North Carolina settlement “a relatively small sum to pay to avoid mounting legal fees and the plaintiff pile-on syndrome.”  He also pointed out how most of the steps Juul agreed to take, such as not advertising near schools and behind-the-counter sales, are actions that it has already taken in hopes of gaining more public approval.  Scheineson also said that e-cigarettes, “still have an important public health use by adults as a proven effective tool to quit smoking more harmful cigarettes.” Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said that the North Carolina settlement was a positive step that holds Juul to the same accountability and enforces similar restrictions that already apply to other tobacco companies.  “But,” he added, “these measures will not solve the youth e-cigarette crisis. Nothing short of F.D.A. action will reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic.” Reference:  Kaplan, Sheila. “Juul to Pay $40 Million to Settle N.C. Vaping Case.” The New York Times, 28 June 2021, www.nytimes.com/2021/06/28/health/juul-vaping-settlement-north-carolina.html.

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Johnson & Johnson to Discontinue Talc-Based Baby Powder

Among growing lawsuits against the company for talc-caused cancers and other health issues, Johnson & Johnson will discontinue the sale of talcum powder-based products in North America. This decision is a major concession for the company, as it has long marketed its talc-products as safe and gentle. The company will still sell its cornstarch-based baby powder. Source: New York Times

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