Merck Settles Nuvaring Litigation Commenced by Jason T. Brown for 100 Million Dollars
By Jason T. Brown On February 8, 2014 ·
A settlement fund of $100 million dollars on behalf of women who were injured by the birth control product Nuvaring was announced today in New Jersey State Court and Federal Court today. (In Re Nuvaring Litigation – Case 284, Bergen County, New Jersey). Attorney Jason T. Brown, the first attorney in the country to commence a battery of these cases against Nuvaring confirmed the settlement was unsealed today in open court. Jason T. Brown, a former FBI Agent, who presently handles class actions and mass torts nationwide indicated that the settlement was fair and just considering all the proofs in the case. “This settlement allows an avenue of recovery for women who alleged in their complaints that they endured blood clots such as Deep-Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolisms, Strokes and Death. There are strict deadlines contained in the settlement and any woman who has counsel should consult with their counsel as soon as possible,” Mr. Brown stated. In 2006, Jason T Brown took on pharmaceutical giants by commencing lawsuits against the makers of the hormonal birth control product NuvaRing. In a classic David versus Goliath matchup, Jason championed the rights of women who allegedly endured blood clot injuries. The product passed though the hands of Organon, Schering-Plough and the billion dollar pharmaceutical company Merck. After 8 years of fighting, hundreds of depositions worldwide, trial calls that came and went and relentless fighting emanating from the gauntlet Jason threw down .Merck relented and settled the case for $100,000,000 (one hundred million dollars). The settlement agreement is extensive and calls for 95% participation rate in a short time frame to become effective. Mr. Brown hailed the result as a victory and commended the hard work put in by a multitude of forces to make this a success. Mr. Brown’s firm remains active in the birth control litigation front, also handling settlements on behalf of women who allegedly sustained blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, strokes and death from the products like Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella, Gianvi, and Beyaz.* Additionally, the firm is investigating heart attacks and other blood clots from products like Androgel, after the FDA indicated it was investigating them.**
The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys Awards Jason T. Brown Top 10 Attorney Award
By Jason T. Brown On February 3, 2014 ·
Attorney Jason T. Brown, manager of The JTB Law Group, LLC is recognized by the The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys by awarding him a Top 10 Attorney Award for his work as a Plaintiff’s Trial Lawyer handling complex litigation like Mass Torts and Class Actions nationwide. On January 31, 2014, The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys Awarded Jason T. Brown a Top 10 Attorney Award for his tireless work and results litigating matters on behalf of injured Plaintiffs. Mr. Brown commented, “It is an honor to receive this award and to know all the long hours and hard work we put in fighting for people’s rights bear fruit for our clients and bestow upon on this distinction. We will continue to push hard for the new year and if one follows our achievements there are many exciting announcements the firm with have in the coming weeks.” The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys (“NAOPIA”) is an organization devoted to recognizing the top Personal Injury attorneys in the nation. With over a million attorneys in the United States, choosing the best lawyer is difficult. However, through a stringent selection process, the NAOPIA awards the best Personal Injury attorneys in each state with our most prestigious honor of “TOP 10″. The very few attorneys (less than 1%) that are good enough to make the list have demonstrated an extraordinary amount of knowledge, skill, experience, expertise and success in their practice of Personal Injury. NAOPIA’s research staff verifies that they meet the requirements of membership. Then they have to advance to the final selection stage by a processing committee. And, finally they have to be selected by a Board of Governors as the “TOP 10″. As NAOPIA states, “We know it is a tough process but we wouldn’t have it any other way.” Jason T. Brown was formerly a Special Agent and Legal Advisor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). After serving as an Agent in very high profile cases he became managing partner of a Manhattan based law firm that handled mass torts and class actions. Now he heads a firm that fights for people’s rights nationwide. “The evildoers never sleep and neither do we.” Brown stated. “Complex litigation is intense but rewarding and we love leveling the playing field against some of the biggest companies represented by the most powerful law firms. I enjoy the challenge and have the energy and desire to win. The bigger they are, the harder the fall.” Mr. Brown is noted for commencing some of the first lawsuits against new generation birth control products which he alleges may be less safe than earlier generations. The bulk of the litigation surrounding the product Nuvaring originated with Attorney Brown and he currently represents in conjunction with co-counsel over 400 women who allegedly sustained life altering blood clots, like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolisms (PE), or death from the alleged use of the product. The formal case is In re: NuvaRing Products Liability Litigation, No. 08-md-1964, JPML, Eastern District Missouri. “As a consumer advocate, I remain extremely concerned about the new generation of hormonal products that are ‘tested’ on young women everywhere,” Brown stated. One of the litigations that he remains active in is the Yasmin litigation which has resulted in over a billion dollars of recoveries for women who allegedly sustained blood clots, like deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, strokes, sagital venous thrombosis, blindness or death. The allegations stem from a hormone within such products as Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella, Gianvi and BeYaz which Mr. Brown alleges are twice as deadly as earlier generations of birth control. “New products should be safer, not less safe,” Mr. Brown states, “The pharmaceutical companies should come up with products that have half the risk as earlier generation, not double the risk. The FDA is asleep at the helm.” The Yasmin/Yaz Multidistrict Litigation is found at (MDL 2100, US District Court, Southern District of Illinois). Other products liability cases the firm handles include investigations into alleged injuries from the Da Vinci Surgical Robot, by Intuitive Surgical who received an FDA warning letter (http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2013/ucm363260.htm) and which allegedly has been linked to sepsis, burning, excessive bleeding, burns and tears, and internal organ damage. Trans Vaginal Mesh erosion which may require revision surgery to correct, which has a docket in West Virginia (2:12-md-02325). Benicar usage which may allegedly cause intestinal problems like Sprue-like Enteropathy which may result in rapid significant weight loss or death and the FDA has recently warned about (http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm359477.htm). Mesothelioma from exposure to Asbestos. Alleged gynecomastia from use of Risperdal as a minor requiring surgical correction of the breasts which is in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Docket 100300296. Birth defects like lung or heart damage requiring surgery allegedly from the use of SSRI products like (MDL 2342) Zoloft, Topamax, Celexa, Paxil, Effexor, Lexapro and Prozac during the first trimester and the alleged link between the use of Actos and bladder cancer. (Actos® Multidistrict Litigation (MDL 2299). The firm also handles a variety of class actions, especially on behalf of workers who are not fully paid for all the hours worked or abruptly terminated en masse (WARN ACT). “You should be fully paid for all the hours you work and employers try many elaborate schemes to lower compensation, short pay and not pay proper overtime wages.” Specific violations he points to are when workers are improperly paid a day rate or salary instead of overtime, which he indicates is prevalent in certain industries especially the oil and gas rigs and with mud loggers. The firm also handles other high profile and catastrophic cases and travels nationwide to prosecute cases in conjunction with local counsel. Mr. Brown currently has cases pending in over ten different states and will fly or litigate all over the country to meet with a client if he believes in the case. Through all the success he has had, the many multi-million dollar results, Mr. Brown remains humble and “honored to receive recognition for the quality of our litigation.”
Yaz Settlements – Beware of Scam Artists!
By Jason T. Brown On November 24, 2013 ·
Unfortunately, some women who have suffered real injuries as a result of using Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella are being injured again as con men who claim to be from a settlement center are inducing woman to send money so they can receive funds back. This is a scam! No attorney or law firm or anyone associated with the Yaz Lawsuit and Yasmin Litigation will ever ask you to send in money before receiving your settlement funds. If you are approached by anyone in any context asking you to send in money, take down all their information, but do not give out any information about you over the phone. If you have an attorney already, speak with your counsel. They will also advise you to never send money out to receive money as well. If you have already given money to this scam, please contact law enforcement immediately to issue a police report. The sooner the bad people are caught the better for everyone. I have spoken with a couple of women who this has happened to and some of the defining characteristics of the scam seem to be somehow targeting women who have been injured by Yaz, Yasmin or Ocella and possibly gaining information from the public filings which may state the injury. The only injuries that lawyers are currently pursuing are Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Stroke, Heart Attack and Death from Yaz and other fourth generation hormones. If you had an injury outside of this range, it is unlikely that you would currently qualify for any settlement. The scammers then tell you they have $7,500 waiting for you if you purchase a green dot money pack card. Again, no attorney will charge you to receive settlement funds. All attorneys I know will go over with you the settlement process before your case is settled to make sure that they are authorized to settle the matter consistent with what your realistic monetary expectations of the case are. In almost any and every context if someone owes you money, you shouldn’t have to send money to receive money. If you haven’t obtained counsel for your Yasmin lawsuit injuries, you should vet your counsel by going to sites like AVVO (10.0 is the highest rating which I’ve achieved) and Martindale Hubbell (AV+ is the highest rating which I’ve been fortunate to achieve as well) which have client and peer reviews and issue a ranking based on a matrix of factors. It’s a shame that crime permeates through every walk of life, but it’s particularly troubling that criminals prey on women who have already been victimized by bad birth control side effects. Once again, if you already have a Yaz lawyer, speak with your counsel if you are approached by anyone you don’t know. If you don’t have a Yasmin lawyer, we will be happy to speak with you and educate you on your rights as well as guide you if approached by these scam artists.
Tygacil – Risk of Death Black Box Warning
By Jason T. Brown On October 16, 2013 ·
The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a “black box” warning for Tygacil, also known by its chemical name tigecycline, stating that people who take the drug have an increased risk of dying from its side effects. The drug, which is given via IV, is used to fight a variety of kinds of bacterial infections, including hospital-acquired strains of MRSA that are resistant to many other antibiotics. Although it can be life-saving for many people who have serious infections, especially skin and soft tissue infections, it also comes with an increased risk of harm, which has led the FDA to issue its most serious warning about the drug. The new warning about the drug’s dangers comes in the wake a series of new studies about the drug and its risks. The FDA recently performed its own “meta-analysis” of these studies, and has found that 2.5% of patients taking tigercycline died as opposed to 1.8% of patients given similar drugs. These deaths often resulted from the infection becoming worse instead of better while the patient was on the drug, and the complications as a result of the infection. The new September 27, 2013 warning comes after several years of concern by the medical and scientific community over tigecycline’s risks. In analyzing studies of the final stages of drug trials for Tygacil, the FDA found that patients taking the drug had a 4.0% risk of death as opposed to a 3.0% risk of death for other antibacterial drugs for all uses. The FDA first warned the public about the drug’s dangers in September 2010. The FDA found that patients who were taking the drug for pneumonia associated with being on a ventilator were at the greatest risk of death, though this is not an approved use for the drug. The FDA first approved Tygacil in 2005, but only to treat intra-abdominal infections and certain kinds of skin and skin structure infections. In 2009, approval was extended for so-called “community acquired” pneumonia, which spreads among members of the general public, as opposed to spreading among hospitalized patients. While it can affect people of any age, infants, children, adults living in nursing homes, and people with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk. It is not known yet why Tygacil is more dangerous than other types of antibiotics, or why more people who are taking this antibiotic have a higher risk of death. Doctors should only use tigecycline as a “last resort” to “treat a multidrug resistant infection” when they have no other options. In spite of the FDA’s previous warning about the risks, Tygacil has been an extremely successful product for Pfizer. In 2012 alone, Pfizer made $335 million in revenue from sales of this drug, including $152 million in revenue from sales in the United States. Though Pfizer and the FDA have known about the increased dangers from this drug since 2010, there has been no move to pull it off the market, and Pfizer has not issued a public statement about FDA’s decision to include a black box warning.
Attorney Jason T. Brown Achieved Highest Possible Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rating
By Jason T. Brown On October 11, 2013 ·
Jason T. Brown, of The JTB Law Group, LLC has achieved the highest possible Peer Review rating from Martindale Hubbell. For more than 130 years, people have relied on the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® rating while searching for an attorneys. The AV Preeminent® rating is the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. This rating represents the pinnacle of professional excellence. It is achieved only after an attorney has been reviewed and recommended by their peers – members of the bar and the judiciary. “I am very much honored to receive the AV Preeminent Rating,” Attorney Brown stated. “It’s been quite a year. We’ve been working hard for people’s rights, and the real recognition is when we make a recovery for our clients, but to be honored for our work is always special.” It has been quite a 12 month period for Mr. Brown, who was also featured in New York and New Jersey Top Rated Lawyers and invited to be featured in the Time Magazine Nationwide Employment Law Leaders. Before entering private practice, Jason T. Brown was a well respected Special Agent and Legal Advisor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and handled many high profile cases. The focus of the work of The JTB Law Group, LLC is to remedy injustices, specifically those that happen to a group of people in the class action or mass tort context. Certain class actions that the JTB Law Group, LLC litigate are the collective rights of employees who are shorted on their pay through a variety of unscrupulous employer techniques. “We’ve seen it all,” Counselor Brown stated, “From employees having to work off the clock, to being paid straight time instead of overtime, to being misclassified as “salaried” even though the law says you have to pay overtime. Certain positions we have addressed lately are mud loggers who are paid a day rate, companies who fail to calculate overtime properly, and others that are making their workers work off the books and sign phony time sheets to receive their pay. No matter what the problem is we provide advice to the employees to inform them of their rights.” The cases may last years or may be resolved in a few months. Attorney Brown points out, “Oftentimes, the cases we file involve fee shifters and we make good faith efforts to resolve the matter early, as the statute provides the defendant pay our fee. Sometimes, the harder they fight, the harder the fall.” The mass tort cases are when multiple people are injured by the same product and Mr. Brown likes to view himself as a pioneer in birth control litigation. He filed the first battery of cases against the makers of Nuvaring for what he alleged was a product which caused a disproportionate amount of blood clots. Similarly, Mr. Brown has helped many women with their cases against Bayer for the use of Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella and Gianvi alleging it caused embolic events like deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks, stroke, blindness and death. “As a Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella, Gianvi, DVT, PE, stroke, death, blindness] Yasmin lawyer, I still believe that there is no need for these new generation products, when the earlier generations were safer.” Other products Mr. Brown is handling or investigating include asbestos injuries like mesothelioma, transvaginal mesh revision surgery, alleged Da Vinci Robot injuries, and metal on metal hip revisions. The JTB Law Group website is http://www.IFightForYourRights.com and has a more comprehensive list of cases Mr. Brown handles. The firm has 24/7 phone service and with its dedication to fighting on behalf of those who have been injured or shorted money, it’s no wonder that Mr. Brown has received the well-deserved Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® rating.
Birth Defects from Over the Counter Cold Medications
By Jason T. Brown On October 2, 2013 .
Do drug manufacturers just turn a blind eye to the consequences of their products or do they secrete information about long term side effects? Time and time again the public has been shown that the big pharmaceutical companies are more interested in profits than corporate responsibility and have pushed unsafe products to make a buck. Decades ago it was with thalidomide and children being born with malformed limbs. More recently, revelations have come out that certain SSRI drugs, like Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Topamax have been linked to serious birth defects of the heart and lungs, cleft palate and a variety of other conditions. Most recently, it has been shown that some over the counter cold medicines containing Phenylephrine, Phenylpropanolamine and Pseudoephedrine have been linked birth defects when the mother takes these drugs during the first trimester. According to a published study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, based on research conducted on 20,000 babies by Harvard and Boston University, a mother using Phenylephrine, Phenylpropanolamine and Pseudoephedrine had a manifold risk of having a child with a birth defect. Specifically, Phenylephrine, an active ingredient in Sudafed PE congestion was linked to an eightfold risk of endiocardial cushion defect, a condition generally requiring surgery where there is malformation of the walls of the heart in the baby. Phenylpropanolamine thankfully has been banned for use in decongestants, but still is residually used in some diet pills such as Accutrim and Dexatrim. This was linked to an eightfold risk in ear birth defects and a threefold risk in pyloric stenosis, a stomach condition that may require surgical correction. Pseudoephedrine, which is found in Sudafed Congestion, was linked to an abdominal wall condition known as gastroschisis, which may also require surgical intervention. One of the most logical things to vet with a drug is the potential it has to interact with the formation of a fetus and the possible consequences. Is the FDA asleep at the switch? I’ll answer that a bit, they are an overworked, understaffed federal agency, which they’ll admit. They may not admit, but many FDA personnel go on to take lucrative jobs in pharmaceutical companies or are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to consult for them after they leave the FDA! So is the fox guarding the henhouse? A lawyer and the jury So is this a case that Big Pharma doesn’t know or did they hide the info or have they deliberately turned a blind eye. Well, I want to know! If your child was born with endiocardial cushion defect, pyloric stenosis or any other birth defect and you took cold medicines containing Phenylephrine, Phenylpropanolamine, or Pseudoephedrine please contact us so we can evaluate your case.
Yaz Settlement Values – How Much is My Case Worth?
By Jason T. Brown On September 20, 2013 ·
If you used Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella, Gianvi, Loryna, Safyral, BeYaz or any other fourth generation birth control pill with the hormone drospirenone, you may have contemplated consulting with an attorney to find out about your rights if you sustained a birth control injury. Some of the common and understandable questions we are asked is, “How much is my Yaz case worth” or “What are the average Yaz settlement numbers.” To answer these questions, first, let’s dissect what the yasmin litigation is about. The plaintiffs allege in their complaints that this new fourth generation hormone drospirenone that is the active hormonal ingredient in Yaz and Yasmin has caused a disproportionate amount of birth control side effects. These side effects range from gall bladder removal to embolic events, commonly known as blood clots. The medical terms for the Yaz blood clots may range from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke, blindness or in some cases even death. Also seen are portal vein thrombosis, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVT), superficial thrombosis, and sometimes varicose veins that may mask as a superficial thrombosis. Of course, if you have any symptoms of any thrombotic event or are concerned about any of the symptoms of your birth control medicine, the first person you should speak with is your doctor or a doctor – not a lawyer! If you already have endured and “event” and are being treated or have completed treatment a lawyer can discuss with you your legal rights. The settlement values for the gall bladder cases is quite clear. The case has been resolved and in the public record. The maximum dollar amount for the case is $3,000. This is not a lot of money for someone who had to have their gall bladder removed, but the settlement was based on the status of the case and the proofs. The ability to participate in the gall bladder settlement has expired. The settlement value for other portions of the Yaz litigation will greatly differ from plaintiff to plaintiff and will depend on you the plaintiff. For example a Yaz DVT for a 40 year old women without a hospital stay who has a family history of blood clots will differ radically from a 25 year old woman who had a Yasmin Pulmonary Embolism and DVT who was hospitalized for weeks and is still on blood thinners. The United States Supreme Court has erected more challenges for generic products, so a Gianvi DVT may be compensable if you can trace the product back to Bayer, but a Gianvi PE that is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals may not be. The best way to determine the actual value of your case is to definitively and candidly discuss your case with a Yaz lawyer who has been through the process before and they may use the past to help evaluate the future.
On top of blood clots, studies find that Yaz and Yasmin also cause anxiety and emotional distress
By Jason T. Brown On February 8, 2014 ·
Despite Yaz and Yasmin being linked to the deaths of 23 Canadian women, a spokeswoman for Health Canada says they are not going to pull Yaz and Yasmin from the shelves. “At this time, it is Health Canada’s view that the benefits of Yaz and Yasmin continue to outweigh the risks, when used according to Health Canada’s approved labeling instructions,” said Leslie Meerburg, a spokeswoman for Health Canada. She added: “The risk of blood clots with these products is well known, and is included in the drug label.” In 2011, a Health Canada safety review concluded that Yaz and Yasmin might increase the risk of blood clots by 1.5-3 times compared with other birth control pills. The U.S. FDA reached a similar conclusion when they studied 835,000 women and found the risk of clots to be up to three times higher compared to other pills. The findings from a Danish study published in the British Medical Journal were even more staggering. They studied 1.3 million women, over nine years, and found that a woman’s risk of blood clots was six times higher when taking Yaz or Yasmin. Blood clots are lethal, and they kill in three ways. They cause a heart attack, trigger a stroke, or stop you from breathing. They can also cause blindness by damaging the artery behind the eyes. 24 year-old Carissa Ubersox, of Madison, Wisconsin, ended up blind a few weeks after starting Yaz. She recalled the experience: “I was going about my business, getting ready for work, so everything seemed normal…My legs felt achy, but I disregarded it because as a nurse I often had to be on my feet for 12 hours at a time. I remember telling one of the doctors at work, ‘Oh, my calves hurt,’ and he was like, ‘Stop being a hypochondriac. You’re 24 years old, you’re healthy, there’s nothing that could possibly cause that.’” Later that day, when she was taking a shower, multiple clots from her legs, travelled to her lungs, and caused a double pulmonary embolism. “I wasn’t able to breathe,” recounted Carissa. “But on the way down in the elevator, my heart stopped.” Before paramedics revived her, she was declared clinically dead for four minutes. She was also in a coma for 14 days. When she woke up, she was blind. Today, Carissa is still almost completely blind. “I don’t want another 20-something woman to have to learn how to tie their shoelaces, or talk, or learn how to wash clothes,” she said. “It’s horribly difficult, an unimaginable thing to have to do.” Carissa also lost her job and her fiancé. She explained: “I just kept looking at him and thinking, ‘He can’t take the ring back without looking heartless.’ I had to break it off.” As if blood clots weren’t enough, a 2012 study by eHealthMe (which analyzed data from the FDA) found that of the users who reported adverse Yasmin and Yaz effects, 42% reported experiencing anxiety and 60% reported suffering emotional distress, respectively. 32-year-old Helena Mathis, from Philadelphia, PA, began taking Yasmin while at University. “The heart palpitations would wake me up in the middle of the night. I was unable to sleep and even afraid of falling asleep in case I wouldn’t wake up,” she recounted. Mathis found herself bursting into tears for no reason. “There I was with an open, exciting future ahead of me, yet I felt like I was dying,” she said. It took seven years and three doctors before Mathis made the connection with Yasmin. “I cried for days. I felt robbed of my life and youth. I felt like a human guinea pig, but most of all I felt that I had been lied to all of these years.”