PKSD Newsletter: Top Stories of 2016
In this month’s issue of the PKSD newsletter, our personal injury lawyers highlight the top stories of 2016 focused on the health, safety and legal rights of Americans.
Defective Medical Devices
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the number of recalled medical devices doubled from 2003 to 2012. Two defective devices that made headlines this year were Essure birth control and the St. Jude defibrillator.
A common legal loophole used by corporations to limit their exposure to lawsuits is to hide arbitration clauses within documents that clients and consumers sign without their knowledge, as seen in the recent Wells Fargo fake banking account scandal and highlighted in an investigation by The New York Times.
Flint, Mich. Water Crisis
The Flint Water Crisis began in 2014 and has affected thousands of people who have been diagnosed with lead poisoning because of the city’s contaminated water source. Efforts continue to help the city recover from this catastrophe.
NFL Concussion Lawsuit
For decades, The National Football League (NFL) ignored the fact that players, who receive multiple concussions and head injuries throughout their career, were developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition that causes dementia, aggression, memory loss and depression. The NFL was forced to acknowledge evidence supporting this claim when it settled a $1 billion lawsuit from former players and has taken steps to improve player safety and support recovery for retired players suffering from CTE.
Despite 150,000 asbestos-related deaths each year and widespread knowledge of its dangers, the substance has not been banned in the U.S. This year, President Obama signed a bill that will allow the Environmental Protection Agency to work toward a ban.
Explosive Defective Devices
This year saw several reports of exploding devices, such as e-cigarettes and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which was subject to a large recall. The defective devices were made with lithium-ion batteries that contain unstable and flammable liquids and react violently when overheated.
Prescription Drug Addiction
Opioid addiction has now reached epidemic levels in the U.S. and has caused 165,000 fatalities, quadrupling since 1999. Within this period, pharmaceutical companies have profited highly from prescription pain medications, including opioids, and continue to fight reform advocates that attempt to use legislative methods to regulate and decrease opioid use within the medical community.
In 2015, 11 children under the age of 15 were killed because of a dangerous or defective toy. There are 260,000 children admitted to the emergency room each year because of the injuries they received when playing with a toy that harmed them.
Learn more about each of these headlines in the December PKSD newsletter and subscribe to receive future editions. The personal injury attorneys at Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice are dedicated to defending the rights of the injured against large corporations. Schedule a free consultation if you have been harmed because of another’s negligence.