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Defective Seat Belts

Of the more than five million vehicular accidents all across the U.S. in 2012, more than 2 million drivers and passengers required treatment in emergency departments, while more than 30,000 lost their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had the drivers, who got involved in accidents, only wore a seat belt, then the number of injuries and deaths could have been cut by no less than half.

A seat belt is a crash-safety device; it keeps a car driver and other car passengers from sustaining serious or fatal injuries during crashes. It is designed to keep their bodies from colliding into a vehicle’s hard interior surface or with another passenger, or from being thrown out of the car. To be truly effective in providing the protection it is intended to provide, however, a seat belt should be a combination of shoulder and lap belts.

Though seat belts have kept millions of drivers and passengers safe during collisions since the 1950s, there have also been times when these have failed to immunize anyone from injury or even death. Serious injuries or death have occurred when the force of impact is very strong (such as the force created as two speeding vehicles collide) or if there is a defect in the seat belt design or material.

In 1995, as many as 8,428,402 vehicles in the U.S. which were equipped with seat belts from Takata Corporation of Japan had to be recalled. The recall was made due to complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, saying that portions of the release buttons on the Takata seat belts could break off and jam belt latches – this could cause the belts to unbuckle in auto crashes. This defect was linked to 47 injuries. In November of 2015, Tesla Motors Inc. also decided to recall its entire all-electric Model S fleet due to a single incident wherein its sedan’s seat belt assembly broke.

According to a Dallas car accident lawyer, defects in seat belts is a result of an error committed because of carelessness or negligence. Due to this, what has been intended as a safety device has, instead,become a threat to life. Defective seat belts are products of negligent manufacturers and, under the tort law, innocent victims are given the right to seek compensation from parties whose actions unjustly cause injuries to others.

Airbag Defects in Product Liability

Airbags are supposed to protect you in the event of an accident, not hurt you worse than if it hadn’t been in place. Airbags are required safety equipment in most modern cars, and in general they provide crucial just-in-time protection to car passengers. That is, if they are properly constructed and installed.

Automobile makers usually contract out systems like airbags to other manufacturers and simply install them in the cars. Honda, Nissan, and Mazda source their airbags from Japanese company Takata Corporation, which is an old hat in vehicle safety equipment manufacturing and is in fact the second largest supplier in the world. It’s a no brainer. And then the first problems started showing up.

It turns out that certain batches of Takata airbags installed in millions of these cars were defective. They had a high risk of explosive detonation instead of simple deployment when it is activated. The airbags literally exploded and sent shrapnel out, and in a confined space like a car, that is deadly indeed.

Investigations revealed that this tendency to explode may be due to excessive moisture and insufficient pressure during production, and there is some speculation that ambient humidity may exacerbate the risk of explosive deployment. In areas like Tennessee, where there is high humidity during the summer months, this is a major concern. Many of the relevant vehicles had been recalled, but not everyone knows about it.

According to the website of Evans Moore, LLC, manufacturing defects happen; this is why manufacturers perform quality control checks. Takata knew or should have known that the airbags were defective, and should have informed their clients about the problem to avoid causing harm to vehicle owners. If you have been seriously harmed because your airbags exploded, report the incident to the appropriate agency to prevent harm to others. You should also consult with a product liability lawyer in your state to help you find the responsible parties and file a claim for your injuries.

Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) Side Effects

Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) is one of a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It has been marketed since 1992 by Glaxo SmithKline (formerly SmithKline Beecham) and has been available under generic brands since 2003. It is prescribed for major depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and menopausal hot flashes and night sweats.

Paroxetine should not be prescribed as much as possible to anyone under 18, many adult males, and pregnant women. The last warning is because clinical trials indicate that it increases the risk of birth defects. This should also apply to women who are planning to get pregnant.

The drug is also contraindicated for pediatric and adolescent patients with depression or anxiety disorders as paroxetine trials showed an increased risk of suicidality. Paroxetine is also associated with higher than usual incidence of drowsiness, nausea, and weight gain. Sexual dysfunction, which is a side effect shared by SSRI drugs, includes genital anesthesia and ejaculatory anhedonia, and can last for a long time after discontinuation of the drug. Paroxetine is also associated with the highest incidence and most severe cases of withdrawal syndrome in its class, although using a liquid formulation may help prevent this by allowing a gradual decrease of the dosages.  Other symptoms associated with paroxetine includes asthenia (lack of energy), sweating, insomnia, dry mouth, dizziness, high blood pressure, impaired memory, decreased fertility, paresthesia (tingling sensation), and tremors.

These side effects generally present within the first 4 weeks of drug intake but even when the body acquires a tolerance, the effects can re-emerge as withdrawal can have a rebound effect. Changing the dosage may also trigger a re-emergence or worsening of the side effects. There are also observed cases of akathisia (feeling of uneasiness and restlessness), mania, hypomania, alcohol abuse, long-term memory impairment, hyperacusis, and activation syndrome with paroxetine treatment.

The Legal Litmus Test for Vaginal Mesh Defects

Going to trial is often a risky business, which is why most plaintiffs choose to accept settlements rather than take their chances before a jury. This was confirmed when the judge in West Virginia dismissed a product liability case against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) which alleged that the vaginal mesh defect caused serious injury to the plaintiff.
The West Virginia case was a win for J&J, and an encouraging sign for other transvaginal mesh manufacturers, who collectively are facing 43,000 more cases that are awaiting trial. But it may be too early to celebrate.

A more recent case heard in Texas came to verdict for the plaintiff, and the jury awarded the plaintiff $1.2 million in damages. The cases and allegations were similar, but the difference in outcome may have been due to how well the case was presented.

Transvaginal mesh products were first approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a solution to stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapsed in women in 1998. It is based on the design of the surgical mesh, which has been successfully used for hernia repair with no serious adverse consequences. However, because the mesh is placed the vaginal area, manufacturers should have conducted tests and accordingly modified the design of the mesh to take into account the unique issues of the location, including sterility and movement. Because they failed to do this, thousands of women implanted with the mesh has suffered serious side effects, including erosion of the mesh, organ perforation from mesh displacement, pain during intercourse, and scarring.

It was only in 2012 when the FDA ordered an investigation into the matter after thousands of cases were filed alleging defects in the design of the various transvaginal mesh products, but it was too late for the millions of women who had already had the procedure done. But it is not too late to get compensation.

If you or a family member has suffered pain or injury from a transvaginal mesh, you may be qualified to get compensation for the failure of these manufacturers to warn you about the dangers. Consult with a product liability lawyer in your area with experience in handling this particular type of case to get more information.