At Oxendine Barnes & Associates PLLC, we want to look at any case involving serious injury or death. Below is a list of cases we are currently concentrating on.
Personal Injury / Products Liability
Takata Airbag Recall – The largest automotive recall in history centers on the defective Takata
airbags found in millions of vehicles manufactured by Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks,
Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. The defect results in
shrapnel like metal shards and airbag components being propelled throughout the vehicle
interior. This frequently results in lacerations and blunt force trauma that can cause serious injury
or death. We would like to review any claim of injury or death. We are also handling Honda airbag
cases with smaller injuries that normally would not qualify for claims under our usual review
process, even an injury that does not appear to be permanent or life-threatening.
Truck Accidents – There are significant differences between handling an interstate trucking case
and other car wreck cases. It is imperative to have knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations, technology, business practices, insurance coverages, and to have the ability to
discover written and electronic records. Expert testimony is of utmost importance. Accidents
involving semi-trucks and passenger vehicles often result in serious injuries and wrongful death.
Trucking companies and their insurance companies almost always quickly send accident
investigators to the scene of a truck accident to begin working to limit their liability in these
situations. Our lawyers, staff and accident investigators immediately begin the important task of
documenting and preserving the evidence. We would like to review any case involving
catastrophic injury or death.
Defective Tires – Tire failure can result in a serious car crash and even a vehicle rollover accident,
causing serious injury or death to vehicle occupants. Air, heat and sunlight can cause the rubber
in tires to break down. When a tire is defective, potentially serious problems like dethreads and
blowouts can occur long before the tire would be expected to wear out. If the tire failure is the
result of design or manufacturing defects, and the manufacturer is aware of the problem, they
have an obligation to alert consumers to the potential danger.
On-the-job Product Liability – Many times product claims arise from worker’s compensation
claims. After we investigate the circumstances that caused the injuries, many times we discover
a defective machine may be the cause of the injuries.
Product Liability – We continue to focus on accident cases involving automobiles, heavy
equipment and consumer products. Some of these auto cases involve single-vehicle crashes,
while others involve multiple-vehicle accidents. We would like to review any case involving
catastrophic injury or death.
Heavy Truck Product Liability Claims – Tractor trailer and other heavy trucks are not required to
contain many of the same protections for occupants as smaller passenger cars. They can contain
dangerous defects putting the truck driver or passengers at risk of serious injury or death. These
trucks many times have particularly weak roofs that crush in rollovers. The passenger
compartments are often not protected by effective cab guards, and this allows loads to shift into
the truck cab. We would like to review any case involving catastrophic injury or death.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect – Nursing homes are supposed to be in the business of
providing skilled nursing care to elderly and disabled residents. Unfortunately, statistics indicate
residents in nursing homes suffer abuse and neglect more and more frequently at the hands of
nursing home corporations. In many cases residents have died or have been severely abused as
a result of neglect. They may suffer physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.
We are investigating cases involving serious injury or death resulting from nursing home abuse
Pharma and Devices
Xarelto – Lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer
Corp. over the blood thinner Xarelto have been consolidated in Louisiana federal court. Xarelto
has been linked to serious side effects including internal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, brain
bleed and death. The Xarelto lawsuits come on the heels of the recent $650 million Pradaxa
settlement. Researchers linked Pradaxa, also a blood thinning medication, to more than 500
deaths. Xarelto blood thinner litigation has been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Eldon
Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana, who presided over suits against Merck & Co. over its
medication Vioxx. The Vioxx litigation resulted in a $4.85 billion settlement in 2007.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer – As many as 2,200 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed each
year may have been caused by regular use of talcum powder. Talc is a mineral made up of various
elements including magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is ground to make talcum powder which
is used to absorb moisture and is widely available in various products including baby powder and
adult products including body and facial powder. Talc products used regularly in the genital area
increase the risk of ovarian cancer. In February 2016, a jury found Johnson & Johnson knew of
the cancer risks associated with its talc products but failed to warn consumers, and awarded a
family $72 million. The family’s loved one died of ovarian cancer after using J&J talc-containing
products for more than 30 years.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) – TRT products for men have been linked to an
increased risk of death, heart attack and stroke. Researchers found men who used testosterone
therapy were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die after three years of
use. A second study found that men had a significant increase in risk of heart attack and stroke
in just the first 90 days of testosterone therapy use. Furthermore, men who started the study
with clear, unobstructed coronary arteries were just as likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die
as mend who entered the study with established coronary artery disease. Testosterone therapy,
such as the prescription topical treatments Androgel, Testim and Axiron, are used to help boost
testosterone levels in men who have a deficiency of the male hormone. Symptoms of low
testosterone include decreased libido and low energy.
Viagra – A preliminary study indicates the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil) may
increase the risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The study, published
in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, analyzed data from nearly 26,000 men, 6 percent of whom
had taken Viagra. The men who used Viagra at some point in their lives had about double the risk
of developing melanoma compared to men who had never taken the drug. Men who were
currently taking Viagra were at an 84 percent greater risk of developing melanoma. We are
currently looking at cases involving men who are taking or have taken Viagra and were diagnosed
Risperdal – An atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and certain problems
caused by bipolar disorder, has been linked to the development of gynecomastia in boys and
young men. Gynecomastia is a condition that causes boys to grow breasts. The drug is
manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Parts – The FDA has ordered a review of all metal-on-metal
hip implants due to mounting patient complaints. Problems with metal-on-metal include, but are
not limited to, loosening, metallosis (i.e., tissue or bone death), fracturing, and/or corrosion and
fretting of these devices, which require revision surgery. Many patients that require revision
surgery due to these devise suffer significant post-revision complications. We are investigating
all cases involving metal-on-metal hip implants, including the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR XL
Acetabular System and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, recalled in August 2010; the
Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems, recalled in July 2012; the DePuy Pinnacle, the
Zimmer Durom Cup, the Wright Conserve, and the Biomet M2A “38mm” and M2A-Magnum hip
replacement systems, which have not been recalled. Reported problems include pain, swelling
and problems walking.
Invokana – Approved in March 2013, Invokana (canagliflozin) is an SGLT2 inhibitor used to treat
adults with Type 2 diabetes, manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson
& Johnson. SGLT2 inhibitors work by preventing high blood sugar by helping the patient’s kidneys
remove excess sugar through their urine. In May 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) issued a warning the drug has been linked to cases of ketoacidosis, a serious condition
where there is too much acid in the blood. Complications of diabetic ketoacidosis include
difficulty breathing, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion and unusual fatigue or
sleepiness. The condition can lead to diabetic coma and/or death.
3M Bair Hugger – The 3M Bair Hugger is a force hot air warming blanket, used primarily to help
maintain a patient’s body temperature during surgery. The 3M Bair Hugger pushes warm air
through a flexible hose into a blanket draped over a patient. However, warming blankets can
recirculate contaminated air over a patient’s body, including over an open surgical site. This may
result in infections like MRSA or sepsis. In particular, patients undergoing knee or hip
replacement surgery are at risk of infections deep in the joint, which is very difficult to treat.
Complications from these infections include hospitalization, implant revision surgery, limited
mobility, permanent disability, amputation and death.
IVC Filters – Retrievable IVC filters are wire devices implanted in the vena cava, the body’s largest
vein, to stop blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs. These devices are used when blood
thinners are not an option. Manufacturers include Bard, Cook and Johnson & Johnson. While
permanent IVC filters have been used since the 1960s with almost no reports of failure,
retrievable IVC filters were introduced in 2003, promoted for use in bariatric surgery, trauma
surgery and orthopedic surgery. Risks associated with the retrievable IVC filters include
migration, fracture and perforation, leading to embolism, organ damage and wrongful death.
Zofran – Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Zofran (ondansetron) was approved to treat nausea
during chemotherapy and following surgery. Zofran (ondansetron) works by blocking serotonin
in the areas of the brain that trigger nausea and vomiting. Between 2002 and 2004, GSK began
promoting Zofran off-label for the treatment of morning sickness during pregnancy, despite the
fact the drug has not been approved for pregnant women and there have been no well controlled
studies in pregnant women. The FDA has received nearly 500 reports of birth defects linked to
Zofran. Birth defects include cleft palate and septal heart defects.
Proton Pump Inhibitors – Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were introduced in the late 1980s for
the treatment of acid-related disorder of the upper gastrointestinal tract, including peptic ulcers
and gastrointestinal reflux disorders, and are available both as prescription and over-the-counter
drugs. We are currently investigating PPI-induced Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN), which is a
condition where the spaces between the tubules of the kidney cells become inflamed. The injury
appears to be more profound in individuals older than 60. While individuals who suffer from AIN
can recover, most will suffer from some level of permanent kidney function loss. In rare cases
individuals suffering from PPI-induced AIN will require kidney transplant.
Taxotere – Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug approved in the treatment of breast
cancer along with other forms of cancer. It is administered intravenously through a vein, and is a
member of a family of drugs called taxanes. In 2007, manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis issued a press
release touting the efficacy of Taxotere based on a clinical study. However, Sanofi-Aventis failed
to inform the FDA, health care providers, and the public that permanent hair loss was observed
in a number of the patients taking Taxotere. In December 2015, the FDA announced it had
ordered Sanofi-Aventis to change Taxotere’s label to warn patients of the risk of permanent hair
loss. While hair loss during chemotherapy is expected, patients undergoing chemotherapy with
Taxotere were not warned they could potentially experience permanent hair loss. Permanent
hair loss is an extremely debilitating condition, especially for women. We are currently
investigating claims for women who suffered permanent hair loss following chemotherapy with
Taxotere for breast cancer.
Physiomesh – Intended for hernia repair, Physiomesh is a flexible polypropylene mesh designed
to reinforce the abdominal wall, preventing future hernias from occurring. Though there are
several types of hernias, most occur when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weak spot in
abdominal muscles. The condition often requires surgery where mesh, like Physiomesh, which is
intended for laparoscopic use, is used to fill in a hole in the abdominal muscel or laid over or
under it to prevent any further protrusions. Independent studies have found Physiomesh to lead
to high rates of complications including hernia reoccurrence, organ perforation, mesh migration,
sepsis and even death. In May 2016, Ethicon issued a market withdrawal of Physiomesh in the
U.S. and recalled the product in Europe and Australia. We are currently investigating cases
involving serious injury or death as a result of Ethicon’s Physiomesh.
Life Insurance Fraud – We are investigating alleged fraudulent accounting practices by life
insurance companies concerning premium increases. The accounting method may result in the
policyholder being charged excessive insurance premiums. A client that has a life insurance policy
and has been notified of a substantial increase in premium payments, or if they have been told
their policy’s “cost of insurance” has increased, they may have a valuable legal claim that our firm
would like to investigate.
False Claims Act / Whistleblower – We are handling and investigating whistleblower claims of
government fraud ranging from Medicare/Medicaid to military contracts, and any other type of
fraud involving a government contract. Under the False Claims Act (FCA), the whistleblower is
entitled to a percentage of the recovery. Studies show that as much as 10 percent of
Medicare/Medicaid charges are fraudulent. Common schemes involve double-billing for the
same service, inaccurately coding services, and billing for services not performed. Additionally,
the Commission on Wartime Contracting has warned that the lack of oversight of government
contractors has led to massive fraud and waste.
Self-funded Health and Pharmacy Insurance Plans – Third Party Administrators and Pharmacy
Benefit Managers may have been charging unauthorized fees to self-funded insurance health and
pharmacy benefit plans. These extra fees may be in violation of the contracts with the self-funded
plan and a breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA. We are looking into cases on behalf of selffunded
Pharmaceutical Pricing – We are handling claims involving chain pharmacies falsely reporting
their generic pricing transactions to state Medicaid agencies. This misconduct has led to millions
of dollars in overpayments by Medicaid agencies for generic drugs to the chain pharmacies.
Mesothelioma – Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive and rare form of cancer usually affecting
the lining of the lungs (pleural) or abdominal cavity (peritoneal). Occasionally, it also may affect
the lining of the heart (pericardial). The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to
asbestos. About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year.
For years, asbestos was widely used in many industrial products and in building construction for
insulation and fire protection. When asbestos is broken or disturbed it can release microscopic
fibers that can be inhaled or ingested, posing a health risk, including the development of asbestos
diseases and mesothelioma.
Benzene – Benzene is widely used in a number of industries and products, yet many people
remain unaware of the toxic danger of this chemical substance. Exposure to products containing
benzene, whether through inhalation or skin absorption, can cause life-threatening diseases
including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), lymphomas and
aplastic Anemia. Some of these diseases do not manifest themselves until several years after
exposure to benzene. Due to certain statute of limitations for bringing a claim of this nature, it is
important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you believe your condition is a result of
Severe Lung Disease – We are investigating cases involving severe lung disease, including where
a client has received any of the following diagnoses: any interstitial lung disease, pulmonary
fibrosis (whether idiopathic or not), silicosis, black lung, bronchiolitis obliterans, sarcoidosis,
berylliosis or chronic beryllium lung disease, metal lung disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis,
pneumoconiosis, and non-smoker’s lung cancer and emphysema. These are grave diseases that
oftentimes result in either death or a lung transplant, and they are frequently caused by exposure
to dusts, fibers, metals, chemicals, vapors, food flavoring additives or other tiny particles in the
workplace or as a result of a defective product. Often overlooked, these can be very good cases.
Roundup / Glyphosate Litigation – Our firm is investigating cases where landscapers, farmers,
groundskeepers or commercial gardeners used commercial grade Roundup and developed Non-
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). Plaintiffs across the country have filed lawsuits after having been
diagnosed with NHL after using Monsato’s herbicide.
E-cigarette Explosions – We are handling cases involving e-cigarettes. In addition to concerns
about toxic chemicals associated with the devices, we are currently investigating cases involving
severe injuries caused by exploding e-cigarette batteries. These explosions have been linked to
faulty e-cigarette products, defective lithium-ion batteries, and insufficient warnings for users.
With few regulations to ensure their safety, e-cigarette devices have been aggressively marketed
and sold in stores throughout the United States. Please contact our firm for assistance with cases
you may have involving these devices.