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You rely on pharmaceutical companies to make products that are safe and effective. In fact, when you agree to take a prescription medication or an over-the-counter drug, you assume that it will work as advertised and without issue.

You know that most drugs have side effects. The chances of you experiencing those side effects can vary, but you accept the risk and take the medication anyway for the benefits. You rely on the company that makes the medicine to tell you of all known side effects, including those that might be extremely rare, but still are a risk nonetheless.

For 2017, there were a few drug lawsuits that captured headlines, while a few others did not. As a consumer, it is essential that you know about these trials, how they turned out, and the issues that led to them. After all, you want to know what medications are safe, which are still being sold and prescribed, and how to protect yourself in the event you are injured by defective medications.

What Drug Lawsuits in 2017 Could Impact Bridgeport Residents?

Some of these drug lawsuits could impact your neighborhood, while others might not. Regardless, here are some of the most notable drug lawsuits and claims brought in 2017.

West Virginia Sues Pharmaceutical Manufacturers for the Opioid Crisis

A few counties in West Virginia have sued ten drug distributors for the opioid crisis. Spanning over a six-year stretch from 2007 to 2012, these manufacturers distributed more than 40 million opioids throughout Cabell County – and the county has only 96,000 residents. This means there were more than 400 pills distributed per every adult and child residing in the area.

Cabell County filed the lawsuit against several manufacturers and distributors, including:

  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Cardinal Health
  • AmerisourceBergen
  • McKesson Corp.
  • Wal-Mart

They claim that these distributors have violated the federal drug control laws. Federal law requires that these companies report any suspicious activity regarding narcotic drug orders. These violations are reported to and investigated by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

A suspicious order includes large or frequent prescriptions that vary from the ordinary patterns, and any company that does not file these complaints can face fines and lose their DEA registration. Out of all the companies in the lawsuits, at least 13 knew that the pills were going on the black market but did nothing about it. These companies ignored the warning signs, even after being alerted by their staff.

Now, the lawsuits claim that the companies have violated federal and state laws and that they created a public hazard by allowing the shipments to continue into their stores.

The lawsuit has not completed yet, but it will be interesting to see how it turns out, and whether the court grants the state funds.

Xarelto Lawsuit Reaches a Verdict

Xarelto is a leading brand of blood thinning medications, known as Rivaroxaban. It helps prevent and treat blood clots in patients that have undergone surgeries or who are prone to blood clots. One side effect of this medication is that it increases the risk of internal bleeding and external bleeding in those who take it.

A class-action lawsuit was filed with 20,000 complainants against the manufacturer of the drug, Johnson and Johnson and Bayer AG. The claims stated that the companies did not warn consumers about the potential risks for heavy and fatal bleeding. Already one verdict is out from a jury in Philadelphia, which awarded the plaintiff $28 million in damages against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson.

How Harmful is Xarelto?

Xarelto is a medication you have probably seen in advertisements, but it is dangerous especially if you are at high risk for bleeding. In fact, one victim needed four blood transfusions after she was hospitalized with severe gastrointestinal bleeding back in 2014. Her lawsuit claimed that she took the medication for over a year before the bleeding occurred. Then she was switched to another drug and the bleeding problems stopped.

The Food and Drug Administration testified in her case, stated that the company had inadequate warning labels about the high risks of bleeding and death. Therefore, the woman received $1.8 million in compensatory damages and $26 million in punitive damages.

Xarelto was Bayer’s top-selling medication at the time. In fact, the company has already earned $3.2 billion off the drug in 2016, while Johnson and Johnson received $2.3 billion in 2016. This is in spite of the fact that the FDA has now linked the medicine to several adverse events.

The FDA has also linked the medication to at least 370 deaths associated with those adverse events. However, in federal cases in Mississippi and Louisiana, the companies won three lawsuits which were supposed to give them an idea of how future lawsuits would play out. There are still pending class action lawsuits and private lawsuits against the manufacturer that may settle in 2018.

Abilify Lawsuit

Abilify was a top-selling prescription medication for depression and psychotic conditions such as manic depression. The FDA and the manufacturer classify the drug as an atypical antipsychotic, which is in the same class as Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Seroquel. Lawsuits are still pending in this drug, but they allege that the severe side effects associated with the medication were not listed on the drug’s warning label, including impulsive behavior, addiction, and eating and spending problems.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are used to treat acid conditions such as GERD and stomach ulcers. They are designed to help block acid production by reducing the enzyme production within the stomach’s lining. Some common PPIs include:

  • Zegerid
  • Prilosec
  • Prevacid
  • Nexium
  • Kapidex

Currently, there is a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of these medications because research has found that they can lead to kidney disease and renal failure when taken for extended periods.

Talcum Powder

Talcum powder is soft, white, and created from magnesium silicate. Talcum powder lawsuits have been in the works for years, but in 2017 one well-known company that made talcum powder for women is now being named in a suit. These women used the powder as children and into adulthood. But but now it is found that these companies may have included chemicals in their products that cause ovarian cancer. Lawsuits allege that manufacturers like Shower to Shower and other manufacturer’s baby products could cause ovarian cancer. Already large verdicts have been won against companies like Johnson & Johnson for similar allegations.

Zofran Lawsuits for Alleged Birth Defects

Zofran, known as Ondansetron, is a medication used to treat nausea, especially in pregnancy. It is an FDA-approved medication made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that blocks the action of chemicals in the brain that typically causes nausea and vomiting.

While it was initially intended for patients who were going through chemotherapy treatments, it was also prescribed to those with nausea, including in pregnancy. Now, some research alleges that the medication is linked to congenital disabilities in babies, including heart defects and cleft palates.

In 2011, the FDA announced that a 32 mg dose of the medication might cause an electrical chemistry change and lead to fatal heart rhythms. Also, studies found that there was a 30 percent increased risk for defects and a double risk for heart defects in infants when their mothers took the medication during the first trimester. There have been cases where the infant has died from the heart complications as well.

Zofran may also cause other defects such as kidney malformations, mouth deformities, jaundice, and musculoskeletal conditions.


Viagra is another prescription medication that was created to treat erectile dysfunction. Several lawsuits have been filed against the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, stating that the drug increases the risk of skin cancer (Melanoma) in those taking the medication for extended periods.

Viagra has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1998 and is a generous industry for the manufacturer. In fact, the medication was valued at $4.3 billion as of 2012, and Viagra accounted for the most significant share of ED meds on the market.

A study in 2014 found a link between the medication and a higher risk of developing Melanoma, which is a deadly type of skin cancer. The drug’s label did not warn about this potential threat. In the study, men that never used the medication had a 4.3 out of 1,000 chances of developing melanoma. Men that took the prescription, however, increased the risk to 8.6 out of 1,000, which is an 84 percent increase.

Filing a Prescription Drug Lawsuit

If you or a loved one is injured by what you think is a defective medication, you have the right to hold drug manufacturer accountable for your injuries and losses. You may also still have time to join a class action lawsuit that is still underway.

If you were to file a lawsuit, there are no fees or expenses that you need to worry about. Instead, your injury attorney will handle the costs and receive compensation only if they succeed with your claim. Therefore, you have little to lose.

Hire an Injury Team for Your Case

Have a great team of attorneys by your side when you try to file a claim against a drug manufacturer for dangerous side effects and injuries. The team at Berkowitz and Hanna, LLC can help you succeed, and we will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna, LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.