Sanofi is the pharmaceutical company responsible for making Taxotere, the chemotherapy drug which has caused users to suffer from permanent tearing and other eye-related issues.
The multinational pharmaceutical company is headquartered in France, and as of 2013, has been one of the world’s largest leaders in prescription sales. Unfortunately, those sales often come at the price of the health of users.
A series of lawsuits and bad faith actions have dogged the pharmaceutical giant as of late.
But there is hope. You do NOT have to accept the negligent actions of any pharmaceutical company that has taken advantage of you. Our committed team of pharmaceutical lawsuit attorneys here at Hotze Runkle PLLC are ready to help you take a stand against those who harmed you.
Continue reading to learn more about the legal issues Sanofi has faced.
Acts Of Bad Faith
Sanofi disclosed to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that they had, in fact, through some faulty calculations, overcharged the VA from 2007 to 2011. If that’s not bad enough, The Office of Inspector General for the VA dug deeper into the matter, determining that the error also resulted in overcharges going all the way back to 2002.
Additionally, Sanofi once sponsored a study called GEICAM 9805. The study revealed that over 9.2 percent of women who used the chemo drug suffered permanent hair loss, or alopecia. While Sanofi had warned users across the globe for years, the company never warned users in the United States of this risk.
“Permanent hair loss” or “alopecia” was not visible in any information published in the U.S., according to the various lawsuits.
In another act of bad faith, a 2015 lawsuit was filed by one of Sanofi’s former employees, in which it was alleged that the company engaged in illegal kickbacks to coerce health care professionals into prescribing Taxotere. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Taxotere’s sales soared.
Many of Taxotere lawsuits claim the drug’s sales soared from $424 million in 2000 to well over $1.4 billion in 2004 through misrepresentation, misdirection and illegal payments.
Sanofi Faces Lawsuits
Sanofi has paid nearly $40 million in fines following criminal convictions overseas. The fines were leveled at the company over bribes paid by employees to consultants for one of the company’s numerous clients from 2007 and 2010.
If that’s not enough, a lawsuit over kickbacks paid to various medical experts was filed. Within that lawsuit, it was revealed that there was an actual attempt to defraud the government through false price reports. The lawsuit resulted in Sanofi having to pony up over $109 million in a mammoth settlement.
The settlement for this lawsuit also resolved allegations that Sanofi submitted false average sales price reports for Hyalgan, but ultimately failed to account for all the free units distributed on Hyalgan purchases. The U.S. government alleges that the false ASP reports resulted in government programs having to pay inflated amounts not only for Hyalgan, but for a competing product as well.
Unfortunately, it appears Sanofi’s legacy maybe tarnished as a result of these underhanded tactics. Many people suffering from the side effects of Sanofi’s drugs are still coming out of the woodwork; it seems that things are only going to get worse for the once-powerhouse company.
Have you suffered as a result of undergoing chemotherapy treatment with Taxotere? Your injury and pain deserve justice. Let the legal representatives of Hotze Runkle PLLC serve your needs and provide you with the commitment of a team that can get the job done.
If you or a loved one has suffered adverse effects as a result of Taxotere, contact a team that fights to earn your trust — contact Hotze Runkle PLLC.
Our team of experienced and highly qualified lawyers has the ability to make the pharmaceutical company that harmed you pay for the damages they have caused. Reach us today at (877) 919-0830 to learn more about how we can put our years of experience to work fighting for you.
Unfortunately, we hear way too often of defective drugs and pharmaceutical products being placed on the market which end up causing users unexpected health issues. Some drugs have nasty side effects that overpower the actual benefits, some are tainted during production, and possibly worst of all, some have side effects that aren’t fully disclosed to the drug-buying public.
When you have suffered physical and monetary damages as a result of a defective drug, you may have the right to pursue legal action against the party (or parties) that harmed you.
At Hotze Runkle PLLC, our national litigation team has been monitoring the experiences of breast cancer survivors and chemotherapy patients who have suffered from using Taxotere. Because defective drugs and medical devices can fall under product liability claims, it is important for those seeking to file a claim to understand what evidence is needed to support their case.
How Can Pharmaceutical Lawsuits Come About?
There are three major types of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies:
1. Design defect.
When drugs are defectively designed, they can cause a host of dangerous side effects. These problems have nothing to do with the medicine’s manufacturing process.
2. Drug manufacturing defects.
The issue with the drug occurs in the manufacturing process. For instance, a harmful chemical can taint the formulation, causing the medication to be harmful for the user.
3. Failure to warn/improper instructions on medications.
A manufacturer failed to provide adequate warning about side effects and potential risks or failed to provide proper instructions and information essential to the safe consumption of the drug.
Product liability claims work through strict liability. This means that the pharmaceutical company can be held liable without the plaintiff having to prove negligence or fault.
Can You Sue the Pharmaceutical Company Responsible?
Yes, the manufacturer responsible for the defective drug can be held liable. Unfortunately, these lawsuits can take an extensive amount of time to come to an end. From the initial recognition that the drug is defective to the discovery process during which evidence emerges and then the actual litigation process, there is plenty that goes into a product liability lawsuit.
Since a great deal of people take these medications, it’s often necessary to form class action lawsuits. These are cases in which numerous plaintiffs come together to take a drug manufacturer to court.
A handful of states have contributory negligence or something that is known as comparative fault. This simply means that if the plaintiff had any sort of contribution to his or her own injuries, that might bar recovery to some degree.
When the plaintiff is aware of the risk involved in using a drug and uses the product anyway, and becomes injured as a result, this can result in a loss of said damages. This all comes down to the plaintiff’s state of mind. It calls into question whether he/she clearly disregarded the danger of using the product.
What About Substantial Modification?
If the plaintiff modified the product and that change caused the injury, the manufacturer will likely not be held liable. Why? Because that modification was the direct cause of harm. This is what’s known as substantial modification.
However, if the manufacturer could predict that the consumer would alter the product, they might still be found liable.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Depending on the state, the plaintiff only has so long to file a claim. If the statute of limitations has expired, the manufacturer cannot be held liable. This can cause difficulty in defective drug cases if the plaintiff does not notice a problem until months or years after the injury has taken place.
If you or a loved one has suffered from permanent tearing as a result of being treated by the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830. We are currently investigating claims made by for breast cancer survivors and chemotherapy patients.
The product liability lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC are leading the way when it comes to fighting for the rights of breast cancer patients and survivors who have been hurt by the chemotherapy drug, Taxotere.
Taxotere has been shown to cause patients’ tear ducts to close, leading to permanent tearing that cannot be reversed except for intrusive surgery. When not properly treated, excessive tearing – also known as epiphora – can lead to serious eye-related health issues that can cause individuals plenty of pain and suffering.
But there is hope. You do NOT have to accept the negligent actions of the pharmaceutical company that has harmed you. Our committed team of Taxotere lawsuit attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC are ready to help you take a stand against those who harmed you.
What Is Epiphora?
Epiphora, or excessive tearing, is a condition in which the sufferer deals with an overflow of tears as the result of blocked tear ducts. While tears are important to maintain eye health and vision, in excess, they can obscure your vision and cause additional damages including infection, inflammatory disorder, and lead to the need for invasive surgery.
These additional issues arise when the tears become stagnant in the tear drainage system. Stagnant tears in the tear sac greatly increase the risk of developing an infection.
Common Symptoms of Epiphora (Watery Eyes)
When chemotherapy drugs such as Taxotere completely clog the tear ducts, the excessive tears will begin to spill out over the eyelids as a result of having nowhere else to go. A complete block can result in a severe overflow.
If you are undergoing or have completed chemotherapy treatment and are dealing with watery eyes caused by blocked tear ducts, please seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:
- Sharp pain around the eyes
- Enlarged blood vessels
- Eyelid swelling
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sudden loss of vision
- Symptoms continue to worsen rather than improve
How to Get Diagnosed
Your local physician or eye specialist (ophthalmologist) will examine your eyes and both upper and lower eyelids to find the cause of the epiphora. Examinations will include:
- Testing blood vessels behind your eye.
- Eye pressure
- Inspection of sinus cavities
- Evaluation of your medical history
If you have any discharge from your eye, it may be tested to find out if you have any sort of bacterial infection.
Treatment Options for Excessive Tearing
Treatment for excessive tearing depends on the severity of the case. In certain instances, epiphora can be treated with antibiotics. However, for many individuals dealing with permanent tearing as a result of chemotherapy treatment, the only option may be a surgical procedure known as
Unfortunately, DCR can lead to additional health problems including migration of the Jones tube used to reopen the tear duct, scarring, or post-surgery infections.
If you have suffered permanent tearing after undergoing chemotherapy treatment, know that there is a team of attorneys dedicated to righting the wrongs done against you. Do not hesitate to contact the Taxotere lawsuit attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC at (877) 919-0830 if you or a loved one are suffering from excessive tearing as the result of being treated with a chemotherapy drug such as Taxotere.
Docetaxel is a common intravenous chemotherapy drug administered to treat various types of cancer. A warning and advisory label has been issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealing ethanol (alcohol) content in the drug has resulted in adverse health effects among patients.
This treatment comes in both generic and brand names, common ones being Taxotere, Docefrez, and the Docetaxel Injection. The Sanofi company has profited billions off of their product Taxotere, which is commonly used to treat patients with breast cancer.
Breast cancer patients who have suffered permanent hair loss (alopecia) and other negative side effects linked to docetaxel have begun to file lawsuits against Sanofi for their misinformation regarding their Taxotere products.
Don’t suffer in silence. Contact the compassionate National Taxotere attorneys today at (512) 476-7771 to receive your FREE, no-obligation legal consultation.
The Dangers of Docetaxel
Typical side effects of docetaxel can leave one feeling intoxicated during and after treatment, causing confusion, stumbling, and sleepiness. The alcohol content can also impair the central nervous system and have serious effects on those with pre-existing liver problems.
If the treatment is administered, patients should wait at least one to two hours after the transfusion to drive, operate machinery, or perform any activity that requires skill.
Health care professionals are advised to be extra cautious when prescribing docetaxel, especially when used in combination with other drugs.
Other likely side effects associated with Taxotere have been identified as the following:
- Permanent Alopecia (hair loss)
- Alcohol Intoxication
- Eye disorders
- Respiratory issues
Should adverse side effects manifest, speak with your physician about alternative options, lowering your dosage, or taking other steps to minimize associated health complications.
Talk To Your Physician About Taxotere Alternatives
Patients with breast cancer and other forms of cancer may have other options available for treatment. Physicians may recommend the following options for those continuing Taxotere or seeking alternative treatment:
- Reducing the speed of infusion to minimize symptoms of intoxication.
- Opting for a less ethanol-potent formula of the drug.
- Monitoring infusion and stopping when signs of intoxication become apparent.
- Counseling patients on the possible side effects and health complications that can arise, and offering alternative options.
If you have already begun to notice the negative side effects of Taxotere, know that Sanofi is directly liable for your damages, and you should be compensated.
Cancer Patients Most Likely To Use Docetaxel
Individuals who have a history of drinking or alcohol addiction should immediately inform their doctor. The same rings true for patients experiencing hepatic impairment as well. Docetaxel can further impair liver function and can result in heightened adverse conditions.
Individuals that are most likely to be prescribed docetaxel include patients with the following types of cancer:
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Head and neck cancers
- Non-small cell lung cancer
Get In Touch With Trustworthy Taxotere Lawsuit Attorneys
Patients suffering from different types of cancer have relied on docetaxel infusions to keep cancer cells from replicating, but unfortunately, docetaxel medications such as Taxotere can have a negative contribution to one’s health.
Sanofi violated federal drug regulations by falsely advertising this dangerous drug as safe. Those who have been harmed by Taxotere should seek out the unmatched legal experience of the Taxotere lawsuit attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC to win their maximum monetary compensation.
For more information and a FREE case review, contact the national Taxotere attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC by dialing in at (512) 476-7771 today.
Taxotere – generically known as docetaxel – is a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head/neck cancer. Produced by the global biopharmaceutical company, Sanofi, Taxotere interferes with the ability of cancer cells to divide.
Unfortunately, Taxotere has also been associated with several serious side effects that can cause health issues for those being treated with it. One of the major issues is that Taxotere can lead to permanent, irreversible tearing. To make matters worse, Sanofi failed to properly inform victims of this risk.
The national Taxotere lawsuit attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC are dedicated to fighting for the rights of cancer patients and survivors who are suffering from permanent tearing as a result of being treated with Taxotere.
Taxotere was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996. The drug was approved to treat individuals with breast cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, and non-small-cell lung cancer.
Taxotere affects cancer cells by disrupting the function of microtubules. These structures play a role in the replication of cancer cells. Taxotere essentially stops cancerous cells from functioning and dividing. This has made Taxotere a highly effective chemotherapy agent.
Despite its effectiveness, the chemotherapy drug has also caused patients some unexpected damages. Those suffering from Sanofi negligence alleged that the company failed to properly warn them – and their physicians – of these life-changing side effects.
It should be noted that docetaxel is the generic name of Taxotere. There are various products/forms which contain docetaxel including the “brand-name” chemotherapy drugs Docefrez and Docetaxel Injection.
How Taxotere is Given
As a chemotherapy drug, Taxotere is provided to patients intravenously through an IV. There is currently no pill form for the drug and may require a specific preparation regimen which your doctor will determine.
Your physician will determine your dosage and schedule. These aspects of your treatment plan can be affected by a number of factors such as your general health, height, weight, and the type of cancer being treated.
Taxotere Side Effects
There are several side effects that need to be closely monitored. Some of the more frequently noted side effects are expected of chemotherapy drug treatment, including:
- Fluid retention
- Numbness in fingers and toes
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Mouth sores
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nail color changes
- Hair loss
- Muscle, bone, and/or joint pain
- Allergic reactions
- Vision problems
- Low blood cell counts
One of the major side effects that has been reported is epiphora – or an overflow of tears (tearing). This occurs as a result of patients’ tear ducts becoming blocked.
Chemotherapy drugs can cause tear ducts to become permanently clogged which then leads to the excess tears spilling out. A complete block can result in irreversible tearing that can have profound negative effects on an individual’s quality of life.
Excessive tearing can ultimately result in infections, eye damage, or vision impairment.
If you are undergoing chemotherapy or have undergone treatment and are dealing with permanent tearing, please seek medical attention.
For cancer patients, successful chemotherapy treatment is not always the end of their pain and suffering. Chemotherapy drugs such as Taxotere can cause numerous permanent or long-lasting side effects such as epiphora (excessive tearing of the eyes). Unfortunately, cancer patients are not always properly informed of the risks associated with chemotherapy.
At times, these side effects may require a medical response of their own – as is the case with the excessive tearing many breast cancer survivors face. One of the “solutions” to excessive tearing is a procedure known as dacryocystorhinostomy or DCR. Many cancer survivors dealing with excessive tearing often undergo a DCR procedure but then face additional health problems as a result.
Your Taxotere lawsuit attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC understand that victims are not only facing health problems caused by chemotherapy but a myriad of other issues as well. If you believe you have been the victim of chemo-related tearing and permanently shut tear ducts, then please consider the following information.
About Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)
In some cases, permanent side effects such as epiphora (excessive tearing) require further surgery after chemotherapy drug treatment has ended. Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a surgical procedure for treating excessive tearing, but this surgery can lead to further complications that require additional surgeries — which means that even if Taxotere is successful as a chemotherapy drug treatment, it can still cause more problems than anticipated.
Many cancer patients (especially breast cancer patients) treated with Taxotere and other chemotherapy drugs suffer from epiphora or excessive tearing of the eyes. The tear drains in our eyes lead to a small tube (the canaliculus) which empties into the lacrimal sac at the corner of the eye and nose. This leads to a tunnel called the nasolacrimal duct that goes through the bone around the nose and empties tears into the nasal cavity. When these pathways get obstructed, it leads to mucous buildup around the eye, excessive tearing and blurred vision, as well as tenderness and swelling.
Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) eliminates fluid and mucus retention in the eyes by removing the bone near the nasolacrimal sac and rearranging the sac to bypass duct obstruction. In other words, DCR increases tear drainage to relive epiphora, allowing tears to drain directly into the nasal cavity through a new low-resistance pathway.
Clearly, this surgical procedure is far removed from the original cancer that Taxotere was meant to treat — this is not what most chemotherapy patients ‘signed up for’ when battling cancer. If they were not properly informed of the possibility that DCR surgery would be necessary, they may have a case for Taxotere lawsuit attorneys, who can help determine whether the pharmaceutical company intentionally hid this information.
Risk Factors and Complications Associated with the DCR Procedure
As with any surgery, there are risk factors and complications for DCR that can replace or add to the epiphora (excessive tearing) it was meant to correct. The use of sedation, general or local anesthesia in surgery is always a risk factor that can cause nausea, seizures, heart or lung problems, amnesia (memory loss), and even death.
Depending on the type of DCR surgery (external or internal), patients can suffer from prominent facial scarring due to incisions around the eyes. Intraoperative complications can include blood hemorrhaging during the surgery and leaking of brain fluid as doctors must penetrate into bone. There is also a risk of direct injury to orbital contents as doctors use sharp instruments, as well as the possibility that the lacrimal sac is not completely opened, resulting in lacrimal sump syndrome and a failed procedure.
Postoperative complications can include infections, sinusitis (inflamed sinuses), the early loss of the silicone tube used to rearrange the tear pathway, and the need for further surgeries. The prognosis for DCR surgery is positive, but success rates are still only 90-95%, which means there are indeed failures and complications that victims may undergo.
Duct-related surgery is not always ideal for patients, and thus victims dealing with excessive tearing caused by chemotherapy medications like Taxotere can end up dealing with additional complications that the drug manufacturers did not warn them about.
Have You Suffered Unexpected Side Effects from Chemotherapy Drug Treatment?
Cancer patients have a lot of information to process and the law requires pharmaceutical companies to clearly communicate the complications and side effects of any chemotherapy drug treatment.
Taxotere, in particular, has proven to be a problematic drug for cancer patients, with permanent or long-term consequences that negatively impact health, happiness and quality of life.
Do not hesitate to contact Taxotere lawsuit attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC if you or a loved one is suffering from excessive tearing or other eye-related complications as a result of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy treatment is meant to cure individuals of cancer, prolong life, or is used for palliative care.
Unfortunately, the chemotherapy drugs used during treatment can also have side effects of their own that last long after treatment has ended. These side effects can be permanent, leading to serious quality of life issues that have nothing to do with the original cancer.
One chemotherapy drug in particular – Taxotere (docetaxel) – which is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, currently has 8,000 pending lawsuits, particularly among breast cancer survivors. Plaintiffs are filing lawsuits for false marketing and the company’s role in downplaying the severity of the drug’s side effects. One of the major side effects of Taxotere is watery eyes (epiphora) caused by lacrimal duct obstruction (LDO) and keratoconjunctivitis (dry eye syndrome) which has lead to issues such as constant itchiness, swollen eyelids and increased eye “floaters.”
If you or a loved one is fighting against excessive tearing caused by a chemotherapy drug, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830 for a consultation.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere is an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug used to treat a variety of cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, neck cancer, stomach cancer and head cancer. The drug was first approved twenty years ago for metastatic breast cancer and has since affected thousands of cancer patients with its long-term side effects, particularly epiphora (watery eyes), but also others such as alopecia (permanent hair loss).
These side effects can cause irreparable harm to an individual’s quality of life including affecting their mental health.
About Sanofi-Aventis: The Manufacturer Behind Taxotere (Docetaxel)
Sanofi S.A. is a French multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France, and the world’s fifth-largest by prescription sales. The company merged with Aventis in 2004.
Despite marketing Taxotere since 1998, it wasn’t until 2014 that Sanofi and the FDA released a full description of warnings and adverse reactions for patients who used specific doses of the drug. This information surely would have made cancer patients think twice about choosing this particular chemotherapy drug, if the information had been available to them earlier.
Health Complications Caused by Taxotere
Because Sanofi-Aventis failed to provide adequate warning about Taxotere’s side effects, particularly epiphora (excessive tearing), thousands of cancer patients have suffered long-term and permanent damages even after they successfully defeated their cancer.
Some of the specific eye-related issues chemotherapy drugs such as Taxotere cause include:
- Excessive tearing (epiphora)
- Blurred or dulled vision
- Clouding of the lens of the eye
- Loss of areas of vision (cystoid macular edema)
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye infections
- Dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
- Swollen eyelids
Epiphora can affect patients in two primary ways: either by an overproduction of tears and mucus or by preventing the proper draining of tears through the lacrimal apparatus. The lacrimal apparatus is the system of ducts and sacs that create the tears and then moves them out through the nasal cavity.
The obstruction of these ducts can occur as a result of infection, an inflammatory disorder, physical trauma, or surgery. In some cases, bacteria can also cause infection and blockage of these ducts.
When the tear ducts are blocked, tears begin to build up in the tear sac and can increase the risk of infection that can lead to inflammation next to the eye.
Treatment for excessive tearing depends on the severity of the problem as well as the cause. One of the most commonly recommended treatments is a surgical procedure known as
dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). However, this treatment can cause health issues as well including scarring, post-surgery infections, or Jones tubes – which are used to facilitate the flow of tears from the eyes to the nose – may migrate leading to a need for additional surgery.
About the DCR Procedure
The consequences of Taxotere’s unadvertised side effects ranged from constant physical pain and discomfort (itchiness, swelling) to a reduction in a victim’s quality of life due to psychological or emotional damage (e.g., caused by alopecia or permanent hair loss).
Excessive tearing (epiphora), in particular, can lead to difficulty reading, driving, issues with eyesight, and can negatively affect a patient’s quality of life. Treatment of this side effect depends on how severe the problem is. In mild cases, the doctor may just monitor the patient’s health to ensure that no major damage is caused. In severe cases, surgery may be encouraged.
The surgical procedure to create a new channel from the tear sac to the inside of the nose is known as dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). This surgery is intended to allow the tears to bypass the blocked duct and work correctly.
However, there are a number of risks associated with the DCR procedure including:
- Excessive bleeding
- Prominent facial scars
- Displaced stent that can lead to other eye-related issues
- Abnormally fused tissue in the nose
- Non-effective procedure
- Blindness may occur with damage to the infraorbital vessels or optic nerve
These risks differ according to things such as age, health conditions, and the reasons for the procedure.
FAQs About Excessive Tearing Caused by Chemotherapy Drugs
1. Who are the victims of excessive tearing caused by chemotherapy drugs?
Anyone who has suffered long-term and permanent side effects or damage such as physical pain and discomfort, or even emotional or psychological distress as a result of chemotherapy drug treatment, has a case for product liability against the manufacturer.
Generally speaking, however, excessive tearing has profoundly affected breast cancer survivors. Individuals who have undergone chemotherapy treatment for prostate, lung, stomach, neck and head cancer may also be susceptible to excessive tearing.
2. Do I have a successful claim against the company that hurt me?
If your life, physical or mental health has been negatively affected, then the short answer is yes — you may have a case. Product liability lawyers can review your medical records and help you determine whether you are one of the thousands of cancer patients who have fallen victim to the permanent and long-term chemotherapy drug side effects that you never ‘signed up’ for.
3. Should I sue a chemotherapy drug manufacturer if my cancer was successfully treated?
Sometimes cancer patients are hesitant to “complain” about side effects either because they accept them as normal consequences of treatment or they are so grateful to beat cancer that they minimize post-cancer side effects. Going through chemotherapy does not mean you have to bear or accept any subsequent side effects if the pharmaceutical company has failed to adequately inform or warn you, or has deliberately been guilty of false marketing or downplaying the severity of side effects.
The battle of a cancer survivor is a life-changing experience. Life after chemotherapy should be long and full of happiness. If Taxotere or another chemotherapy drug has destroyed, reduced or damaged this happiness, then you have a legal right to hold the pharmaceutical company responsible for your pain.
Hotze Runkle PLLC has fought hard to represent people who have suffered permanent side effects as a result of corporations putting profits over people. The attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC continues to hold these corporations like Sanofi-Aventis responsible for negligence, false marketing, and downplaying the severity of their chemotherapy drug’s side effects.
Do not hesitate to contact the product liability lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC at (877) 919-0830 if you or a loved one are suffering from excessive tearing as the result of being treated with a chemotherapy drug such as Taxotere.
Recently, 3M, a government contractor and combat earplug manufacturer, came under heavy scrutiny when members of the U.S military issued complaints of hearing impairment and loss due to the company’s defective product. Unfortunately, for many of our men and women in uniform from 2003 through 2015, it was already too late.
Even though the company is set to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. military, they haven’t admitted to any wrongdoing, disregarding any liability for the pain and suffering they have caused to military members. Sadly, this isn’t the only lawsuit targeted at the company.
If you or someone you love was deployed between 2003 and 2015 and have suffered from hearing impairment or loss, the 3M defective earplug lawsuit lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC will fight to get the compensation you deserve.
The PFAS Lawsuit
A 3M environmental specialist accused company officials in a resignation letter, stating the company was corrupt and more concerned with markets, legal defensibility, and image over safety when it came to Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Documents were obtained from the Minnesota Attorney General’s office which outlines 3M’s own research showing that PFAS compounds were not breaking down in the environment and were having negative health effects in laboratory rats and other animals.
Also, the blood of employees—and the public—had become infected with these compounds. As this issue came into the light the company, 3M continued to sell PFAS compounds for use in products worldwide.
Some of the problematic products identified were:
- Scotch Guard stain protection
- Teflon coating on cookware
- Water resistant shoes/clothing
- Sandwich wrapping paper
- Microwave popcorn bags
- Aqueous firefighting foam
Lori Swanson, a Minnesota Attorney General at the time, gained access to internal documents from the Minnesota-based company after suing 3M in 2010 over the environmental contamination; the company just settled the lawsuit last year for $850 million.
Being exposed to a large amount of PFAS can cause a lot of damage to your body such as:
- developmental effects in infants
- increase a woman’s blood pressure during pregnancy
- lower infant birth weights
- interfere with the body’s natural hormones
- increase cholesterol levels
- affect the immune system
- increase the risk of cancer
- lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
The Defective Disposable Respirator Lawsuit
At the turn of the 21st century, 3M was wrapped into another lawsuit involving asbestos. The lawsuit claims that the company had marketed and sold a defective disposable respirator. The masks did not provide the protection that the company claimed, including filtering tiny asbestos particles. As a result, those that wore the respirators while working with asbestos materials have developed asbestos-related diseases.
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they lodge deep within the lungs. Once in place, asbestos fibers can cause inflammation, scarring, and serious asbestos-related diseases that take many years to develop, such as:
- areas of white, smooth, raised scar tissue on the outer lining of the lung, internal chest wall, and diaphragm
- often the earliest sign of exposure to asbestos
- not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos develops plaques due to differences in their immune system
- a chronic condition caused by inflammation or scarring in the lungs
- causes shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage
- caused by heavy, prolonged exposure to asbestos
- cancerous tumors that mainly occur in the lining of the tubes leading into the lungs, the smaller airways, or the middle of the lungs
- a rare form of cancer of the tissue that lines the body cavities, particularly the chest and abdominal cavities
3M has put profit over the people multiple times, and again they have gone too far.
Large companies like 3M may feel like they can get away with their negligent business practices, but this time, they have tried to take advantage of those that fight for their freedoms. The 3M defective earplug lawsuit attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC want to bring 3M to justice again by helping our members in the service fight for their deserved compensation in civil court.
Contact us at (512) 476-7771 or toll free (877) 919-0830 to set up your FREE legal consultation with our 3M defective earplug lawsuit attorneys today
For as long as we have been a country, our brave men and women in uniform have placed their trust in the manufacturers that provide them the adequate protection and equipment they need to minimize harm or to improve their combat prowess.
Unfortunately, this noble deed can attract bad faith actors looking to make a quick buck at the expense of the user, and the recent lawsuits taken against 3M suggest just that.
At Hotze Runkle PLLC, we take great umbrage with those that would take advantage of the selfless members of our military, and if you or someone you love has fallen victim to 3M’s negligent business practices, you need strong representation to help you get the monetary compensation that is owed to you.
The Problem With 3M and Their Defective Combat Earplugs
Between 2003 and 2015, 3M manufactured and issued out the Dual-Ended Combat Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) to the United States Military. These earplugs were designed to block out noise at 22 decibels while still allowing the user to hear.
That is, the earplugs were supposed to do that. They may have been originally designed with that in mind, but the earplugs were too short to place in and stay within the ear canal. To make matters worse, instead of redesigning the earplug to fit properly and filter out ear-damaging sound, 3M simply folded back a bit of the earplug in an ineffective attempt to mitigate loud sounds. This caused them to fall out without the user realizing it, exacerbating the problem.
3M allegedly sold their equipment with knowledge of the defects and the damage that they could cause. 3M also manipulated test results, provided false data, and failed to provide adequate instructions on how to use them.
As a result, many members of the military developed hearing impairment issues like tinnitus or hearing loss and launched lawsuit after lawsuit at the defective earplug manufacturer.
Situations Where the Combat Earplugs Were Needed to Avoid Hearing Impairment
Since 2015, most of the earplug users in the military between 2003 and 2015 have suffered from hearing impairment issues resulting from dangerous levels of military-specific noises such as:
- Gun fire
- Jet engines
- Roadside bombs
- Other battlefield experiences
Because of 3M’s desire to cut corners in an effort to maximize profits, most of the military members using the combat earplugs have become sensitive to sound, have difficulty hearing, developed Tinnitus—a constant ringing in the ears—or have lost their hearing completely.
Determining Liability in a 3M Defective Earplugs Lawsuit
In a product liability case, it is the duty of an experienced 3M lawsuit lawyer to determine if—and how—the manufacturer, supplier, retailer, or any other entity in the distribution chain acted in a negligent, malicious, or fraudulent manner. To do so, you product liability lawyer must collect compelling evidence that proves the product was defective and at fault.
Most of the evidence your lawyer can use consists of:
- The product’s label
- The product’s warranty
- The product’s instructions
- Victim statements
- Incident/Injury reports
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Legal research
If you or someone you know has suffered any type of injuries as a result of 3M combat earplugs, you can file a claim with the Austin 3M defective earplugs lawsuit lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC to seek out your deserved compensation.
Although product liability law varies from state to state, it generally requires you prove the following items in your claim:
- You were injured or suffered loss – If you want to file a claim, you must have sustained any type of injury from the defective product. Without an actual injury or loss, you may not qualify for a product liability claim.
- The product is defective – If you purchased a defective item unknowingly, you can file a product liability claim. Manufacturers have a duty to inform consumers of the risks involved with their product, and if they negligently or fraudulently withhold any of that information for the sake of sales, you may have a strong claim.
- The product has a manufacturer error – In this circumstance, you must prove that the product has defective due to an error in the manufacturing process. Proving this can be easy or difficult, depending on the product. In the case of the combat earplugs, 3M manipulated the earplug to fold back, saving them from having to redesign the earplug to fit snugly within the ear canal.
- There was a failure to warn consumers – Depending on the product and what it is used for, the warning labels must list the dangers that particular product contains. 3M gave no warning about their defective earplugs, thus putting a lot of individuals at risk of hearing impairment or loss.
The 3M defective earplugs lawsuit lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC want to help veterans and other active members of the military get the respect and dignity they deserve.
If you or someone you know was in the military between 2003 to 2015 and are suffering from any type of hearing impairment, loss, or tinnitus due to the defective 3M combat earplugs, contact us at (512) 476-7771 or toll free (877) 919-0830 to set up your no-obligation, FREE legal consultation today.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Hearing loss affects more than 28 million Americans, including more than half of those over age 75. Hearing problems—including tinnitus, which is a ringing, buzzing, or other type of noise that originates in the head—are by far the most prevalent service-connected disability among American Veterans.”
Unfortunately, companies like 3M are only making matters worse. This negligent company sold defective combat earplugs to the U.S. Military, which in turn provided these faulty devices to military personnel in active warzones across the globe. It’s estimated that over 1.5 million soldiers could be facing hearing loss issues as a direct result of these defective earplugs.
While 3M was forced to pay $9.1 million back in restitution, military vets are essentially left to fend for themselves.
But they are not alone.
The 3M defective combat earplug lawsuit attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC are dedicated to providing service members the legal counsel and care they deserve. We can help you to better understand your legal options as well as provide information on securing additional support from Veterans Disability Compensation.
About VA Disability for Hearing Loss
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Veterans were 30% more likely to have severe hearing impairment than non-veterans after adjusting for age and current occupation, and veterans who served in the United States or overseas during September 2001 through March 2010, the era of overseas contingency operations (including Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom), were four times more likely than non-veterans to have severe hearing impairment.”
Some elements that can lead to severe hearing impairment include:
- Heavy equipment
- Jet engines
- Roadside bombs
- Battlefield experiences
In order to receive service-connected disability compensation for your hearing loss, you will have to provide evidence to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of your injuries. The evidence needed to prove your hearing loss includes:
- A hearing exam by a licensed audiologist who can administer both a Maryland CNC test and a pure tone audiometric test.
- Evidence of an event that contributed to your hearing loss while you were in the military. For those suffering from hearing loss as a result of 3M defective earplugs, wartime records will prove to be strong evidence.
- An official medical opinion linking your in-service exposure to your hearing loss.
The amount you receive in VA benefits depends on your disability rating. This rating is based on the severity of your condition. The more your hearing loss limits you, the higher your disability rating.
The VA rates hearing loss is on a scale of 0 to 100%.
For 2019, the VA hearing loss disability compensation rates are:
Hearing Loss Monthly VA
0% $0 per month
10% $140 per month
20% $277 per month
30% $429 per month
40% $618 per month
50% $879 per month
60% $1,114 per month
70% $1,404 per month
80% $1,632 per month
90% $1,834 per month
100% $3,057 per month
VA disability is not your only option, however. You can also seek out restitution from the company liable for your injuries – 3M.
Holding 3M Accountable
The product liability lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC are seeking military veterans and personnel who suffered hearing loss and other injuries as a result of 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs.
In order to file a claim and hold 3M accountable, we will need to prove that:
- You served in the U.S. military between 2003 through 2015.
- You used military issued 3M combat earplugs during your time in the service.
- You have medically documented hearing loss or tinnitus.
- You are NOT suffering from some other syndrome, disease, or illness that is causing your hearing loss.
Securing this evidence is the first step in filing a claim against 3M. Our national product liability lawyers will then work diligently to help you recover damages for:
- Past and present medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Mental or emotional trauma
- Punitive damages (if this applies)
Hotze Runkle PLLC has the skills, experience, and determination to bring 3M to justice. We are not afraid to take corporations like them to court and defend your rights.