04/09/15 at 3:24pmKnee Replacement Recall

Knee replacement device recalled -- Zimmer's Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate/ Persona TM

On March 12, 2015, the knee replacement implant component Zimmer's Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate/ Persona TM was voluntarily recalled due to reports of radiolucent lines and loosening. See the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) website.  The A Class 2 recall designation indicates this knee replacement product "may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote," according to the notification.   This notification also indicates all lots and sizes are affected and over 11,000 Persona tibia devices are on the market.  You should contact your physician if you have one of these defective devices.


For more information see: http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/15/04/p5381925/federal-regulators-deem-a-recall-of-the-zimmer-persona-knee-replacement#ixzz3WpUoliIj

04/09/15 at 9:19amAirbag Recall

      On Monday, March 2, 2015, Takata announced the production of its airbag replacement kits has increased from 350,000 per month last December to 450,000 per month.  It hopes to increase manufacture of these repair kits to 900,000 per month by September of this year.
     In 2014 BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda and Mazda issued national recalls of these defective driver-side airbags in compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration request.  To date, approximately 17 million vehicles with Takata air bags - that can rupture when they deploy, releasing fragments that can kill or seriously injure occupants - have been recalled.  However, the supply of airbag replacement kits has not been sufficient to meet the demand.
     At least five people have died in the U.S. from accidents after Takata airbags ruptured and deployed with excessive force.  In January of this year according to Reuters and other news outlets a Houston man was allegedly killed by a driver-side airbag when his 2002 Honda was in a wreck.  While the damage to both cars was not excessive, the driver, a 35 year-old man following the wreck was found to be unconscious.  By the time the ambulance arrived, the driver was dead.
     This father of two teenage boys purchased the vehicle in April of 2014.  It has been reported he was unaware of the fact that the vehicle was one that had been included in a 2011 recall for defective driver’s side air bags.  According to the Houston News on January 31, 2015, this man’s family plans on filing a lawsuit against Takata, Honda and the car dealership that sold the vehicle. For Honda recalls see www.recalls.honda.com.
     Defective Takata driver-side airbags can explode, releasing metal and plastic shrapnel and injuring drivers. These injuries include loss of vision, hearing loss, excessive bleeding and, in some cases, death.
     Unfortunately, there are still millions of vehicles for which automakers like Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, Nissan, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet and others that have issued recalls millions of cars worldwide, so there are still vehicles on the road today that are dangerous and need to be repaired. “Any vehicle that is unrepaired is a risk,” David Friedman, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) deputy administrator, told the LA Times.
     Before buying a used vehicle, be sure to check the Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to see if the vehicle you want to buy has been subject to any recalls. nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Recalls+&+Defects  It is also a good idea to search for information regarding the vehicle on websites like CARFAX.  http://www.carfax.com

03/27/15 at 2:57pmBassinet Recall

Two-and-one Dream On Me bassinets that were sold nation wide nationwide from May 2012 to October 2014 by Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Wayfair.com, ToysRUs.com, and Kohls.com are being recalled. These basinets pose both a fall and suffocation hazard.  Babies can be entrapped and suffocated or the infant can fall out of the basinet if the wire supports on the sides of this defective product disconnect.


The Dream On Me two-in-one bassinet to cradle products, come in pink, blue, green and white.

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If you own one of these bassinets stop using it immediately and contact Dream On Me. The recalled model numbers are 439-A, 439-B, 439-G, 439-P and 439-W, located on a tag under the mattress pad of the bassinet. This tag is a removable tag you see in the store, but it is removed prior to use.


For more information contact Dream on Me toll-free at (877) 201-4317, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.dreamonme.com and click on the "Recalls" icon on the home page for more information.

03/03/15 at 8:43amCarbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a very real threat. It should be taken seriously. Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas that can cause serious injuries and even death.  A defective gas furnace, gas water heater, car, truck, gasoline engines, gas burning stoves or fireplaces can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide form sources like these can build up unnoticed unless one has a certified carbon monoxide detector.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a home have at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal.

02/27/15 at 3:26pmTire Recall

Tireco Inc. is recalling 3,793 Milestar medium tires for possible cracks in the lower sidewalls.  Tires with cracks have an increased risk of sudden failure, increasing the risk of a crash. The tires are Milestar BS623 Premium All Position tires, size 225/70R19.5, and Milestar BD733 Regional Open Shoulder Drive tires, size 225/70R19.5, manufactured between June 9 and Sept. 26, 2014, by Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co. Ltd. at its plant in Dongying City, Shandong, China.
Toyo Tire USA Corp. has also just announced a safety recall some of its light truck tires. They include Toyo’s Open Country M/T tires in size 40X15.5R22 127Q, manufactured during the week of Oct. 26, 2014, with TIN CXPCEV74314.

Toyo reported some of these tires have a manufacturing defect that may result in off-center belts. This defect may cause tread/belt separation and/or loss of inflation pressure, increasing the risk of tire failure and causing wrecks. Owners of these affected tires should return to their tire dealer as soon as possible for free replacement tires or call Toyo at 800-442-8696 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

It is critically important for tires on all vehicles be free of defects. Defective tires put both drivers and passengers’ lives at stake.  A defect in the tire can result in tread separation, belt adhesion failure, blowouts and tire/rim explosions. A defective tire can make the vehicle’s weight shift, resulting in the vehicle being thrown around and rolling over.  The roof of the vehicle may then collapse and crush the driver and passengers. 

A defective tire can also blow out and the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It is very important to return all tires to the dealer if a tire has been recalled.

Over the years, our firm has successfully handled defective tire cases in Wyoming and other states.  Some were catastrophic injury cases and others were wrongful death lawsuits.  To successfully prosecute these cases, the defective tire and damaged vehicle must be preserved so an expert engineer can examine the tire and vehicle.  Junkyards and wrecker companies will dispose of this evidence after a short time. Photographs alone are generally not enough evidence.  So if you suspect a defective tire may have caused a crash, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you want to preserve your rights. 

02/19/15 at 1:37pmJeep Fires

More than 70 people have been killed in fires involving older Jeeps because these vehicles have plastic fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axle.  Last November on Veterans Day, a woman who was eight months pregnant slowed her 2003 Jeep Liberty that was behind two other cars to exit a freeway. After her Jeep was re-ended by another vehicle, her jeep collided with a car in front of her. The Jeep rolled onto its side and then exploded in flames.


The heat from the fire forced back other drivers who tried to free the woman.  The firefighters who arrived at the scene just three minutes later were also unable to rescue her.  She died as the result of smoke inhalation and burns.  Her unborn baby also died. 

In June of 2013, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.56 million Jeeps.  Unfortunately, it appears that only about 12 percent of the SUVs have been repaired since the recall.

To prevent a tragedy like this one, it is important to periodically check to see if any recalls have been issued for your vehicle.  You can search a database for uncompleted recalls at http://www.safercar.gov/.

04/22/13 at 8:47amWhat's Your Lawyer Worth?

Does Your Lawyer Have Financial Stamina?

What’s your lawyer’s net worth?  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, take the issue of costs, for example. It takes a lot of money to make a case most of the time.  The general public has a lot of misconceptions about lawyers.  One mistake is thinking one lawyer is as able to handle your case as well as the next.  Far from it.

If a giant corporation damaged you, it will spend a lot of money on lawyers and expert witnesses to get out of  paying you, if possible.  Defendants usually have insurance and the insurance company has a lot of money to fight against you, billions and billions.  Just one company, State Farm, ended 2012 with a net worth of Sixty Five Billion Four Hundred Million dollars.  That’s $65,400,000,000,00.  It didn’t get rich paying fair amounts in claims.  

Your lawyer has to take it away from them.  Your lawyer must have the financial staying power to work up the case, not cave in to the crushing expenses the insurance company will make him or her lay out.

You probably don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars laying around to take your case to court.  Does your lawyer?  Somebody has to front the money, almost always running well into six figures in a significant case.  It costs a lot to hire experts to evaluate your case and, if justified, to testify about their findings.  Somebody has to pay the court reporting fees, travel expenses, investigators, research costs, and so on and so on.   You need to ask about this before you sign a fee agreement with a lawyer.  Ask hard questions.

It used to be a little easier to figure this out.  Until 1972, the premier legal directory, Martindale-Hubbell, published ratings of lawyers’ net worth.   Here’s how it rated their estimated net worth: 

1  over $100,000

2  over 50,000 under $100,000

3  over 30,000 under 50,000

4  over $20,000 under $30,000

5  over 10,000 under 20,000

6  over 5,000 under 10,000

7  less than $5,000.

With inflation, a lawyer rated “1” in 1972 would have a 2012 net worth of $549,450.55.  It’s too bad you can’t go to the library and look up lawyers’ net worth anymore.  But it is still important for you to gauge your lawyer’s financial ability – and commitment –to spend what it takes to fight for you.  Ask about that before you sign a fee agreement.

03/13/13 at 1:51pmWhen should I hire a lawyer after being seriously injured or a family member has been killed?

Call an attorney immediately if you or a loved one has been injured.  Gone are the days when insurance companies out of the goodness of their corporate hearts paid claims made by innocent people without a fight.  What this more than likely means for you is a long, drawn-out battle even if you did nothing wrong.  The insurance company most likely will not pay you except for a limited amount to cover some of your medical bills, until a lawsuit is filed.  Even after you file a lawsuit, the insurance company’s lawyers will go to great lengths to prove the guilty party did nothing wrong or if s/he did cause the accident, you really are not hurt as much as you and your doctors say you are.

Therefore it is very important to preserve all of the evidence.  Even if you did nothing wrong, you will have to prove you were not at fault.  No matter how you were injured, there is a lot of evidence to be preserved.  For example, if you were injured when a semi-truck struck your vehicle, it is important to make sure the trucking company does not destroy the driver’s logs and the truck’s black box information, among many other documents.  The driver’s log along with other electronic data will show whether or not the truck driver was in compliance with the Department of Transportation’s hours of service requirements, for example.  In other words, was the truck driver legally on the highway when the wreck occurred?    If a careless physician has injured you or a loved one, all of your medical records will need to be preserved.

If a defective product like a defective tire, seatbelt or airbag or other product injured you, you will almost always need to preserve the product to prove it is defective.  This is true, even if you were injured in a car accident.  An accident reconstructionist will need to examine your car and the vehicle that injured you to determine who was at fault.  If your car has been “totaled” by your insurance company, do not let your insurance company sell it for salvage until you have talked a lawyer.  You will need to find an attorney who has experience representing people injured in auto and trucking collisions.  No matter how you were injured, your attorney should request all of the evidence be preserved for later testing if necessary and reviewed.

The bottom line is that if you have been seriously injured or a loved one was killed, it is important to contact an attorney immediately.  Do not wait until a few months before the statute of limitations (the time period for which a lawsuit must be filed) expires.  If you wait, important evidence will most likely be gone and memories will have faded, making your case difficult to prove.

02/13/13 at 11:13amUninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Protect yourself and your family

            Even the safest driver can be injured by careless motorist or truck driver.  If an uninsured or underinsured reckless driver injures you or a family member, your only recourse may be your own auto insurance coverage.  Many states require all motorists to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.  However, Wyoming only mandates that its car owners carry $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 per accident.  Not only are many drivers underinsured, thousands more are driving cars without insurance.  If you are injured by one of these drivers your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be the only insurance coverage available.  

So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family from an uninsured/underinsured motorist?  The answer is simple.  Buy the most uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage you can afford.  At the very least, insist that your insurance company sell you UIM coverage of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence.  Not only is UIM coverage cheaper than liability auto insurance, it may be the only insurance that will protect you and your family if an uninsured driver hits you.  (Sometimes there is a product defect that may lead to additional coverage from a manufacturer, or bad repairs that may lead to additional coverage from a tire shop or service station or the like.)

            Before making a claim for UIM coverage, read your insurance policy carefully to so you will know what your insurance company requires.  Many insurance companies require their insureds to get the company’s approval before settling their claim against the careless, underinsured motorist.  In addition, your insurance company will require you to prove your damage before paying your UIM claim.  Before making an UIM claim, it could be a good idea to talk with a lawyer.

08/02/10 at 3:12pmAvandia: New Problems for GlaxoSmithKline

Like the ones it has with Paxil

According to a New York Times article, GlaxoSmithKline knew of the potential risks of the diabetes medication Avandia.  GlaxoSmithKline is also the maker of the SSRI Paxil.

Allegedly, GSK hid results of studies that showed Avandia was a dangerous medication.  According to an email obtained by the NY times, an executive wrote “Per Sr. Mgmt request, these data should not see the light of day to anyone outside of GSK.” 

The public first became aware of the potential heart risks of Avandia in 2007 after a lawsuit against the drug maker.  In that suit, it was discovered that GSK knew of the risks as of 2005.  However, new documents purportedly show that GSK knew of the potential risks as early as 1999.

After a lawsuit involving Paxil settled in 2004, GSK agreed to post the findings of all of their studies on the internet.  However, this does not solve the problem for many who say that GSK’s method for releasing the study information is still too mysterious.  It also does not resolve the issues for those who have suffered heart problems after taking Avandia.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration determined there was a problem with Avandia.  An FDA panel voted in the majority that Avandia should be removed from the market or have its sales severely restricted.

Patients who have suffered heart attacks or heart failure while taking Rosiglitazone (Avandia) may have a product liability case against GlaxoSmithKine.  If you have been injured by this medication, you should contact a products liability attorney immediately.  The Fitzgerald Law Firm was part of one of the two successful courtroom trials against GlaxoSmithKline for failure to warn users about the potential dangers of Paxil, another GSK drug.  Paxil was linked to suicide in teens and adults, and also to birth defects in newborns when their mothers had taken Paxil.

Plenty more in the Archives