The media has been ablaze of late with news of the ongoing meningitis outbreak spreading across the nation with as many as 16 states affected thus far, including Rhode Island. The outbreak has been traced to a drug compounding pharmacy called New England Compounding Center, and the latest reports claim as many as 300 cases have been reported with almost two dozen deaths associated with the product so far. The problem has already produced a number of lawsuits, including product liability, pharmacy negligence and even two medical malpractice claims filed against clinics that administered the contaminated drugs to two patients.
In what is believed to be the first of many, a wrongful death action against drug manufacturer Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals was recently filed by the family of a man who died due to sudden heart problems after taking the prescription painkillers Darvon and Darvocet.
Lawsuits are being filed en masse against DePuy Orthopaedics for an allegedly defective hip replacement component. Cases have already been filed in Florida and California, and many more are expected. The suits allege that DePuy's ASR acetabular cup - a metal synthetic joint material used in hip resurfacing and replacement procedures - showed higher than normal failure rates than other similar components on the market. The defective design and failure of these parts resulted in revision surgeries, pain and suffering, and recovery time for many patients who had received them.