Winners and Losers in the Lead Ruby Controversy

A ruby is a hard and durable stone second only to diamonds in hardness.  When the Burmese source of rubies became unavailable in the early 2000s, many vendors turned to low-grade rubies from Africa, loaded them with lead filled glass to enhance color and make them look like the real thing, and these “rubies” found their way to fine jewelry departments in Macy’s and other stores. Initially, the news was kept quiet but slowly spread as problems mounted.  In December 2007, Jewelry Insurance published an article entitled:

How do you like your rubies — leaded or unleaded?

The Jewelry Insurance newsletter provides monthly insight to specialists in the field including jewelry insurance agents, underwriters, and claims adjusters, the people who have to deal with fraud daily.

These “rubies” were found in Africa primarily and were low-grade but plentiful.  By adding the lead glass, the vendors took a very cheap but plentiful source of low-grade otherwise unusable ruby, made them look like the real thing, got real ruby prices, and purchasers were none the wiser.  Although the cost was negligible, the end result was they passed as real rubies and created windfall profits for the sellers, from vendors to on-line sellers or traditional stores like Macy’s.

Photo by Jessica Arditi and Sun Joo Chung.

Photo by Jessica Arditi and Sun Joo Chung.

As stories spread about the problems with the composite rubies, some people began to question the sources and the process, and found the “rubies” needed special care, were not as durable, and often broke down in simple household tasks, like in lemon juice or dishwater.  According to the article, “Researchers have found that when a filled stone is heated to high temperature, the filler begins “sweating” and after a few moments flows out of the stone.  When a highly filled ruby losses its filler, it can fall to pieces if the filler is destroyed.  Fracture-filling merely masks a low-quality, unattractive and weakened stone.”

RubiesLow-quality ruby rough is the starting material for lead-glass enhancement.

Although the Federal Trade Commission section Section 23.22 (Disclosure of Treatments to Gemstones) provides:

It is unfair or deceptive to fail to disclose that a gemstone has been treated if:

(a) The treatment is not permanent.  The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated and that the treatment is or may not be permanent;

(b) The treatment creates special care requirements for the gemstone.  The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated and has special care requirements.  It is also recommended that the seller disclose the special care requirements to the purchaser;

(c) The treatment has a significant effect on the stone’s value.  The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated.

Note to § 23.22:

The disclosures outlined in this section are applicable to sellers at every level of trade, as defined in § 23.0(b) of these Guides, and they may be made at the point of sale prior to sale; except that where a jewelry product can be purchased without personally viewing the product, (e.g., direct mail catalogs, online services, televised shopping programs) disclosure should be made in the solicitation for or description of the product.

§ 23.23 Misuse of the words “ruby,” “sapphire,” “emerald,” “topaz,” “stone,” “birthstone,” “gemstone,” etc.

(a) It is unfair or deceptive to use the unqualified words “ruby,” “sapphire,” “emerald,” “topaz,” or the name of any other precious or semi-precious stone to describe any product that is not in fact a natural stone of the type described.

(b) It is unfair or deceptive to use the word “ruby,” “sapphire,” “emerald,” “topaz,” or the name of any other precious or semi-precious stone, or the word “stone,” “birthstone,” “gemstone,” or similar term to describe a laboratory-grown, laboratory-created, [manufacturer name]-created, synthetic, imitation, or simulated stone, unless such word or name is immediately preceded with equal conspicuousness by the word “laboratory-grown,” “laboratory-created,” “[manufacturer name]-created,” “synthetic,” or by the word “imitation” or “simulated,” so as to disclose clearly the nature of the product and the fact it is not a natural gemstone.

Note to paragraph (b): The use of the word “faux” to describe a laboratory-created or imitation stone is not an adequate disclosure that the stone is not natural.

(c) It is unfair or deceptive to use the word “laboratory-grown,” “laboratory-created,” “[manufacturer name]-created,” or “synthetic” with the name of any natural stone to describe any industry product unless such industry product has essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as the stone named.

§ 23.24 Misuse of the words “real,” “genuine,” “natural,” “precious,” etc.

It is unfair or deceptive to use the word “real,” “genuine,” “natural,” “precious,” “semi-precious,” or similar terms to describe any industry product that is manufactured or produced artificially.

Sellers Ignore FTC Requirements

So many sellers ignored the requirements of the law and sold these lead glass filed rubies as “natural” or “real rubies” when in fact they were low-grade unusable rubies on steroids now known as “composites”. An example is the expose of Macy’s from two television news sources.  Good Morning America did an undercover purchase of rubies at Macy’s and found sales people touting composite stones as real, and getting real ruby prices for them.  KPIX Channel 5 in San Francisco purchased rubies at Macy’s and found the same thing, false rubies sold as real with no disclaimers.

So who wins and loses in this scheme?

Winners: Sellers

For the supplier, fracture filling is a moneymaker because:

They pay far less for a low-grade ruby and after the treatment sell the product for real ruby prices.  Also they expand the supply base by using formerly unusable low-grade rubies resulting in windfall profits for suppliers and ultimate vendors, whether they are established stores like Macy’s or online vendors, or small jewelry shops..

Losers: Consumers

The loser is the consumer who pays real ruby prices for an inferior product that will require special treatment ad is worth far less than they paid for it.  Simply stated it is not a ruby, so if the consumer thought they were buying a ruby it won’t be appraised or insured as a real ruby, is not as durable, and requires special treatment.

AGL, a lab that specializes in reports on colored gems, identifies the stone as “composite ruby.”  This term immediately distinguishes such a highly adulterated stone from ruby that is not fracture-filled.

The Jewelry Insurance newsletter recommends that appraisers, adjusters, and insurance representatives.  Ask the policyholder whether the jewelry has recently been cleaned or the gem reset, or whether it had been exposed to such common household solvents as bleach, ammonia or lemon juice.  Fracture-fill materials often discolor or break down under the stress of heat or chemicals, causing the stone to appear damaged.  In such cases, it’s really the filling that’s been damaged and the insurer is not liable.

Proposed Class Action vs. Macy’s

The Brandi Law Firm is representing people who bought ruby jewelry at Macy’s in California in a proposed class action pending in San Francisco Superior Court before the Hon. John Munter. (San Francisco Superior Court No. CGC 10-495868).

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Ford Recalls 392,085 Vehicles due to Corrosion & Seat Defects

2001 Ford Escape

2001 Ford Escape

Ford has recalled 392,085 vehicles in two separate actions.

The largest recall affects model year 2001-2004 Ford Escapes in the “Salt Belt States”.  These states include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. 348,950 vehicles manufactured between October 22, 1999, through January 23, 2004 were recalled due to excessive corrosion at the forward attachment of the lower control arm.  If the corrosion is persistent, the lower control arm can detach which will result in the loss of steering control.

Click here to read the defect notice: Ford Escape Recall

Parts are currently not available.  Ford expects to send notification in May 2014.  Ford will notify owners, and dealers will install a newly designed reinforcement cross-brace, free of charge.  When parts are available, owners will be mailed a second letter to come in to have the part installed.  If customers bring their vehicles to a dealer before reinforcement cross-braces are available, dealers will inspect the sub-frame and either inform customers that the vehicle is safe to drive until the remedy parts are available or provide a rental vehicle until parts are available if an immediate repair is needed.  Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.  Ford’s number for this recall is 14S02.

The other recall affects 43,135 vehicles total, which include 4 newer model year Fords.  The following vehicles are affected:

  • FORD C-MAX 2013-2014, manufactured from July 23, 2012, through May 28, 2013
  • FORD ESCAPE 2013-2014, manufactured June 5, 2012, through August 12, 2013
  • FORD FUSION 2013-2014, manufactured August 15, 2012, through September 10, 2013
  • LINCOLN MKZ 2013-2014, manufactured August 15, 2012, through September 10, 2013

The problem is the driver and passenger seat back assemblies were installed with sub-standard weld joints used to attach the seat back recliner mechanism to the seat frame.  The affected seats fail to meet the standards of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 207, the sufficient strength of a seating system.  Because the seats fail to meet the standards of FMVSS 207, the back of the subject seats may become loose or lean while driving, increasing the risk of injury in certain crashes.

Click here to read the noncompliance notice: Ford Seat Recall

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the seat back, free of charge.  The recall is expected to begin around May 19, 2014.  Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.  Ford’s number for this recall is 14C03.

Since its redesign in 2012, the newer Ford Escapes  have been plagued with fuel and oil leak defects.

Americans rely on their car manufacturers to provide a safe well-designed vehicle.  Sadly, that is not often the case.  The Auto Defect Attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm has successfully represented many people injured from defective Toyotas, Fords, Chryslers, Volkswagens, GM products and numerous other manufacturers and suppliers.  Often times, people involved in accidents do not examine the issues of defective vehicle design nor whether the car was truly crashworthy – does it contain the appropriate crash protection.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto crash, our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm are available to consult with you.  Please contact our office at 800-481-1615 or email us.

Trademark Notice

Ford is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company.  The use of this trademark is solely for product identification and informational purposes.  Ford Motor Company is not affiliated with this website, and Ford Motor Company has no affiliation with the Brandi Law Firm.  Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by Ford Motor Company.

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Two Different Car Seat Manufacturers Recall 1,385,304 for Buckle Defects

Two different car seat manufacturers have recalled 1,385,304 car seats due to safety concerns.

The largest recall is from Evenflo.  Evenflo is recalling 1,368,649 car seats due to a defect involving the harness buckle. The problem is there is difficulty in unlatching the buckle.  In the affected car seats, the buckle may become stuck in a latched condition so that it cannot be opened by depressing the buckle’s release button.  This seems to very similar to the defect that caused over 4 million Graco car seats to be recalled earlier this year.

The following models are affected:

Model Name Model Number Prefix Affected Dates of Manufacture
Momentum 65, Momentum 65 LX and Momentum 65 DLX 385 3/4/2013 through 8/26/2013
Chase, Chase LX and Chase Select 306 6/12/2012 through 10/3/2013
Chase LX and Chase DLX 329 8/23/2011 through 3/3/2014
Maestro and Maestro Performance 310 8/22/2011 through 10/17/2013
Symphony 65, Symphony 65 E3, Symphony LX, Symphony DLX and Snugli All-in-One 345 or 346 10/2/2012 through 8/26/2013
Titan 65 and SureRide DLX 371 6/20/2012 through 10/17/2013
Secure Kid LX, Secure Kid DLX, Secure Kid 100, Secure Kid 300, Secure Kid 400 and Snugli Booster 308 12/13/2011 through 3/3/2014

Evenflo will notify registered owners in April 2014.  The company will start providing replacement buckles along with installation instructions in April 2014.  Owners may contact Evenflo at 1-800-490-7591 or online at www.buckle.evenflo.com.

The other recall involves 16,655 Baby Trend child restraints where the buckle becomes stuck in a latched condition during normal use.  The stuck buckle cannot be opened by depressing the buckle’s release button.  The car seats affected are model year 2011 and 2012 TrendZ Fastback 3-in-1 child restraints, models FB60070 (Granite) and FB60408 (Jellybean).  These car seats were manufactured from October 2011 to July 2013.

Baby Trend will notify registered owners and will provide replacement buckles when they become available.  The manufacturer has not yet provided the agency with a notification schedule or buckle availability schedule.  Owners may contact Baby Trend at 1-800-328-7363 or visit their website at http://www.babytrend.com.

The lawyers at the Brandi Law Firm have represented a number of people involving defective consumer products and people injured due to design defects in automobiles and consumer products.  The Auto Defect Attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm has successfully represented many people injured from defective Toyotas, Fords, Chryslers, Volkswagens, GM products and numerous other manufacturers and suppliers.  Often times, people involved in accidents do not examine the issues of defective vehicle design or child restraint to determine whether the car was truly crashworthy – does it contain the appropriate crash protection.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto crash, our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm are available to consult with you.  Please contact our office at 800-481-1615 or email us.

Trademark Notice

Evenflo and Baby Trend are registered trademarks of Evenflo Company, Inc. and Baby Trend, Inc. respectively.  The uses of these trademarks are solely for product identification and informational purposes.  Evenflo Company, Inc. and Baby Trend, Inc. are not affiliated with this website, and Evenflo Company, Inc. and Baby Trend inc. have no affiliation with the Brandi Law Firm.  Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by Evenflo Company, Inc. or Baby Trend, Inc.

 

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PG&E Indicted on 12 Criminal Charges

PGE San Bruno Fire

At 6:11 p.m., of September 9, 2010, the lives of many residents of San Bruno living along PG&E Line 132 changed forever as an incomplete seam weld that was never inspected since installation in 1956, experienced a power outage at Line 132′s southern terminus in Milpitas causing a pressure surge on the pipe.  This pressure surge ruptured the line at Earl Avenue and Glenview Drive in San Bruno, sparking a fireball that killed eight people, injuring countless others, and destroying 38 homes.

Now, in what many residents feel is long overdue, PG&E has been indicted in 12 criminal charges stemming from this event.

Click here to read the full article: PG&E Indicted on 12 Criminal Charges in San Bruno Blast Case

The indictment states that the utility repeatedly violated the Federal Pipeline Safety Act which mandates that operators maintain accurate records about their gas pipes identify risks to lines and inspect or test when pipe pressures exceed the legal maximum.  PG&E failed to do this with Line 132 in San Bruno and many other gas pipelines in Northern and Central California.

PG&E has been indicted on counts of failing to maintain proper records on its system of more than 6,000 miles of gas-transmission lines in Northern and Central California, over-pressurization incidents that have plagued PG&E for many years, and failing to identify risks to its pipelines and develop plans to deal with them

PG&E’s stubborn refusal to take adequate steps to ensure the public safety ultimately led to a disaster that could have been easily avoided if PG&E inspected the pipe that failed.  No individuals have been indicted yet.  This office represented two of the families involved in this tragedy.  Although the civil personal injury cases are winding their way through the system, many of the residents feel PG&E has not accepted responsibility and hope the criminal prosecution will finally result in accountability for those responsible for this completely avoidable tragedy.

Whether sustained in a life-changing event, auto accident, aviation accident, as a result of a defective product, or from prescription drugs, or a combination thereof, catastrophic injury claims must be handled correctly or future claims can be barred and a seriously injured individual could find himself or herself without the resources they need to cover expenses down the road.  The catastrophic injury attorneys at The Brandi Law Firm have successfully represented clients with serious injuries throughout courts in California, Arizona, and Nevada.  If you or a loved one has been injured, our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm are available to consult with you.  Please contact our office at 800-481-1615 or email us.

Trademark Notice

PG&E is a registered trademark of Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  The use of this trademark is solely for product identification and informational purposes.  Pacific Gas and Electric Company is not affiliated with this website, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company has no affiliation with the Brandi Law Firm.  Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

 

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GM Again Recalls 2,191,014 Ignition Switch Vehicles for Another Different Defect

2010 Chevrolet Cobalt

2010 Chevrolet Cobalt

On Friday, GM did what was become the norm for 2014 for the automobile giant.  GM issued another recall.

Under heavy scrutiny from Congress and NHTSA for the ignition switch recall that resulted in congressional hearings for two days, GM recalled the same ignition switch vehicles that have been embroiled in controversy for another defect.  This defect involves the lock cylinder where the key is inserted.  The problem is that the key can be removed while the car is still running. Customers have been warned that until the vehicle has been remedied, owners and operators are advised that when exiting, to be sure that the vehicle is in “Park,” or in the case of a manual transmission, that the vehicle is in the “Reverse” position and the parking brake is engaged.  If customers fail to heed this warning, the vehicle can roll away.

Click here to read the full article: GM Recalls Recalled Cars for New Defect, Costs Mount

This recall affects 2,191,014 vehicles.  The following vehicles like before are affected:

  • CHEVROLET COBALT 2005-2010
  • CHEVROLET HHR 2006-2011
  • PONTIAC G5 2007-2010
  • PONTIAC SOLSTICE 2006-2010
  • SATURN ION 2003-2007
  • SATURN SKY 2007-2010

General Motors will notify owners, and for vehicles that were built with the defective ignition cylinder and have not previously had the ignition cylinder replaced with the redesigned part, dealers will replace the ignition cylinder and cut and, if necessary, re-learn two ignition/door keys for each vehicle.  For vehicles that were built with the redesigned ignition cylinder or had the ignition cylinder replaced with the redesigned part, dealers will cut and, if necessary, re-learn two ignition/door keys for each vehicle.  The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.  Chevrolet owners may contact General Motors at 1-800-222-1020, Pontiac owners at 1-800-762-2737, and Saturn owners at 1-800-553-6000.  General Motors’ number for this recall is 14113 for the ignition lock cylinder and key replacement, and 14133 for only key replacements.

From 2010-2013, GM recalled 7 million vehicles for varying defects.  In 2014 alone, GM has recalled nearly 7 million cars and trucks.

Americans rely on their car manufacturers to provide a safe well-designed vehicle.  Sadly, that is not often the case.  The Auto Defect Attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm has successfully represented many people injured from defective Toyotas, Fords, Chryslers, Volkswagens, GM products and numerous other manufacturers and suppliers.  Often times, people involved in accidents do not examine the issues of defective vehicle design nor whether the car was truly crashworthy – does it contain the appropriate crash protection.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto crash, our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm are available to consult with you.  Please contact our office at 800-481-1615 or email us.

Trademark Notice                                                                                                         

GM is a registered trademark of General Motors Company. The use of this trademark is solely for product identification and informational purposes. General Motors Company is not affiliated with this website, and General Motors Company has no affiliation with the Brandi Law Firm. Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by General Motors Company.

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Five Boston Scientific Mesh Cases Remanded for Trial in Florida

On April 11, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin consolidated five Boston Scientific mesh cases and set them for trial on September 29, 2014 in Southern District of Florida.

The cases are:

Eghnayem v. Boston Scientific Corporation, 2:13-cv-07965

Dotres v. Boston Scientific Corporation, 2:13-cv-10077

Nunez v. Boston Scientific Corporation, 2:13-cv-24346

Dubois-Jean v. Boston Scientific Corporation, 2:14-cv-04455, and

Betancourt v. Boston Scientific Corporation, 2:14-cv-11337

No Judge has been assigned yet.

Vaginal Mesh Trial History

Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced.  In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries.  Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.

In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product.  Gross had 18 surgeries.  The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.

On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages.  The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective.  Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries.  In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected.  Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.

On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).

On April 4, 2014, a Dallas jury found for the plaintiff Linda Batiste and ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.2 million for its defective design of the Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh.

If you would like more information, check the video below, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

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Serious Questions Raised About Median Barrier in Orland High School Student Tragedy

Orland Incident

A Federal Express truck driver for unknown reasons crossed a grassy highway median on I5 near Orland and slammed into a bus carrying more than 40 high school students on their way to visit Humboldt State University.  The accident occurred on I5, north of Route 32 in Orland.  The devastating incident killed 10 people and left many injured.  The NTSB has sent a team to investigate the horrific incident.  This is one of the worst school bus incidents since the Yuba City bus crash of 1976 where 27 students and the choir director were killed when their bus drove off the Marina Vista off ramp on southbound Interstate-680 in Martinez.

Click here to read the full article: Cause of Deadly California Bus Crash Unknown

This tragedy raises major questions and concerns regarding the safety of the median and the absence of a barrier on I5, and truck and bus related issues such as maintenance, training, and operation of the vehicles.

Caltrans Median Barrier Requirements

The California Traffic Manual, Chapter 7, Section 4, discusses the purpose and the requirements to install a median barrier on California roadways. The manual states that the purpose of a median barrier is to reduce the risk of an errant vehicle crossing the median and colliding with opposing traffic.

Below is the specification of what barrier type to use depending on the median width.

Median Barrier Requirements

It is presently unknown why no barrier was installed at this location.  A median barrier would have prevented this tragedy from occurring.

Truck and Bus Issues

There are also various questions regarding the Fed Ex driver as well as the bus driver.  In these types of truck and bus accidents, there are questions concerning the maintenance of the vehicles, the training of the drivers, and the types of licenses the drivers possessed at the time of the incident.  It is presently unknown why the Fed Ex driver crossed over or what efforts, if any, the bus took to avoid the Fed Ex truck.

The Brandi Law Firm has represented numerous families throughout Northern and Southern California in actions against the State for failure to install median barriers, on roads such as 101, highway 37, I5, and SR 12.  On July 18, 2011, the Brandi Law firm obtained a 29 million verdict for a family from a cross over accident on SR 12.  The Brandi Law Firm has also handled a number of victims of trucking and busing accidents.  If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as the result of a semi-truck collision or bus accident, we can effectively represent you.  If you would like more information, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

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Toyota to Recall 6.39 Million Vehicles Worldwide

On the heels of a $1.2 billion criminal penalty over concealing information and misleading consumers over the unintended acceleration issue, Toyota announced a 6.39 million car recall globally affecting 25 different models in 5 separate recalls. The total recall affects nearly 2 million cars in North America alone.

Click here to read the full article: Toyota Recalls 6.4 Million Cars Worldwide

Here is the full list of cars affected:

Toyota Car Recall 1 Toyota Car Recall 2

The largest recall affects 7 different models that total 1,291,449 vehicles being recalled.  Toyota will be recalling 2006-2008 RAV4, 2006-2010 Yaris, 2008-2010 Highlander, and 2009-2010 Tacoma, Corolla, Corolla Matrix and General Motors Pontiac Vibe vehicles due to an air bag defect.  The problem is that one of the electrical cables can be damaged when one turns the steering wheel due to the close proximity and shape of a particular cable.  If the cable is damaged, connectivity to the driver’s air bag module could be lost and the air bag deactivated.  If the air is not deployed in an accident, this increases the likelihood of an injury.

Toyota will notify the Toyota vehicle owners, and General Motors will notify the Pontiac Vibe owners.  Toyota will send their owners an interim notification letter in late April 2014 to advise owners of the recall, and will mail owners a second letter when remedy parts are available.  General Motors has not yet provided a notification schedule for the Pontiac Vibe owners. When the parts are available, dealers will replace the spiral cable assembly, free of charge. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.  Owners may contact General Motors at 1-800-762-2737.

Click here to read the defect: Toyota Air Bag Recall

Another Toyota recall affects 2006-2010 Yaris vehicles manufactured August 22, 2005, through May 12, 2010, and 2008-2010 Scion xD vehicles manufactured April 4, 2007, through May 12, 2010.  This recall affects 472,388 cars.  The problem is from the springs in the seat rails in the driver seats and passenger seats of these 3 door vehicle models.  When the spring breaks, the seat will not stay locked in position.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the seat rail, and replace it with a new one, if necessary, free of charge.  The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Americans rely on their car manufactures to provide a safe well-designed vehicle.  Sadly, that is not often the case.  The Auto Defect Attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm has successfully represented many people injured from defective Toyotas, Fords, Chrysler, Honda, GM products and numerous other manufacturers and suppliers.  Often times, people involved in accidents do not examine the issues of defective vehicle design nor whether the car was truly crashworthy – does it contain the appropriate crash protection.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto crash, our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm are available to consult with you.  Please contact our office at 800-481-1615 or email us.

Trademark Notice

Toyota is a registered trademark of Toyota Motor Corporation. The use of this trademark is solely for product identification and informational purposes. Toyota Motor Corporation is not affiliated with this website, and Toyota Motor Corporation has no affiliation with the Brandi Law Firm. Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by Toyota Motor Corporation.

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Dallas Jury Awards $1.2 Million Verdict Against Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon

In another victory for plaintiffs against vaginal-mesh implant manufacturers, a Dallas jury found for the plaintiff Linda Batiste and ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.2 million in compensatory damages.  The jury declined to award punitive damages. (Batiste v. McNabb, No. 12-14350, District Court for the 95th Judicial District, Dallas County Texas (Dallas)).

Click here to read the full Bloomberg article: J&J Must Pay Damages in Mesh Incontinence Implant Verdict Loss

The jury found that 64-year-old Linda Batiste was implanted with a defectively designed Johnson & Johnson Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh.  As a result of the defective device, Batiste suffered severe pelvic pain.  The jury also found that Ethicon properly issued notification of known risks related to the implant, rejecting Batiste’s claims that Ethicon did not provide proper warnings about the slings’ health risks.

Johnson & Johnson already stated it plans to appeal the verdict.

Vaginal Mesh Trial History

Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced.  In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries.  Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.

In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product.  Gross had 18 surgeries.  The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.

On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages.  The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective.  Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries.  In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected.  Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.

On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).

If you would like more information, check the video below, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

Trademark Notice

Johnson & Johnson is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson Inc. The use of this trademark is solely for product identification and informational purposes. Johnson & Johnson Inc. is not affiliated with this website, and Johnson & Johnson Inc. has no affiliation with the Brandi Law Firm. Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by Johnson & Johnson Inc.

 

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Takeda Held Responsible in First Federal Actos Bellwether Trial

Takeda

After 34 days of trial, a Lafayette, Louisiana jury returned its verdict against Takeda and Lilly and ordered the PHARMA giants to pay $1.475 million in compensatory damages and $8 billion in punitive damages for injuries including bladder cancer to Terrance Allen, a hardware store manager, who took Actos for his diabetes treatment from 2004 to 2011. (In Re: Actos Products Liability Litigation Case No. 6:11-md-2299.). The jury felt that Takeda concealed the risks of cancer associated with Actos. Lilly, which co-promoted Actos from 1999 to 2006, said in a press release it will be indemnified by Takeda for its losses and expenses around the litigation based on the terms of its agreement with Takeda.

Actos entered the US market in 1999 and its peak sales were in 2008 at well over $3 billion. The patent expired in 2011 and sales declined.

Medical Studies Linking Actos to Bladder Cancer

Plaintiff contended that Takeda failed to warn Allen and other users of Actos of the link between Actos and bladder cancer, and that if Takeda properly advised of the risks associated with Actos, Allen never would have used it.

In September 2010, the FDA ordered a safety review of Actos.  The FDA is continuously reviewing the results of an ongoing ten-year study of the long-term risk of bladder cancer in approximately 193,000 diabetic patients taking Actos.  A significantly increased risk of bladder cancer has been seen among patients from this group who take the highest doses of Actos (more than 28,000 mg) and who take Actos for longer than one year.  Compared to patients never having taken Actos, taking Actos for longer than one year was associated with a forty percent higher risk of bladder cancer.

A European study by the French Medicines Agency found a 22 percent higher risk of bladder cancer in approximately 155,000 patients taking Actos from 2006 to 2009, compared to 1.3 million patients not taking the drug.  The risk was highest in patients taking a cumulative Actos dose of 28,000 mg or more during the study period. Authorities responded to the evidence of bladder cancer risk by recalling Actos in France and Germany.

A May 2011 study of a half million diabetes drug Adverse Event reports to the FDA between 2004 and 2009 suggested a “disproportionate risk” of bladder cancer in Actos patients, finding that of patients reporting bladder cancer, one-fifth of these were taking Actos.

In August 2011, a report by eHealthMe based on FDA reports and the user community stated that of 22,512 people reporting side effects, 50 (0.22%) had bladder cancer.

FDA Updates Warnings on Actos

On August 4, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued updated warning information concerning Actos and the increased risk of bladder cancer.  The warning states that it should not be used in patients with active bladder cancer or in those with a history of the condition.  Results of a 10-year study suggest that taking Actos for periods longer than 12 months may increase the relative risk of developing bladder cancer in any given year by as much as 40 percent.  A study published in the May 2012 issue of the British Medical Journal puts the increased risk at 83 percent.

Actos Lawsuits

The Allen lawsuit was the fourth Actos trial litigated to verdict.  There have been two prior verdicts for plaintiffs in California  and Maryland (though those results were later overturned) and defense verdict in Las Vegas.  The Allen case in Louisiana was the first federal bellwether case to be tried.  There remain about 3,000 Actos lawsuits pending in the federal MDL in the Western District of Louisiana and a number of cases pending in the coordinated California cases JCCP, where the Brandi Law firm represents a number of Plaintiffs. (Case No. JCCP 4696 Assigned to Hon. Kenneth Freeman).

If you or a loved one has had a problem with Actos or has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and took the diabetes drug Actos, you may have a claim for your injuries.  The Brandi Law Firm is a leader in nationwide pharmaceutical litigation for decades and is now representing clients who have suffered bladder cancer related to Actos use and filed suits on their behalf.  For a free consultation call us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

Trademark Notice

Actos is a registered trademark of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd.  The use of this trademark is solely for product identification and informational purposes. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. is not affiliated with this website, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. has no affiliation with the Brandi Law Firm.  Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd.

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