| Read Time: 2 minutes | Community

2020 Year In Review: Cory Watson Attorneys

2020 brought its share of hardships and troubling circumstances to our families, communities and nation, but it was also a season of perseverance and growth for our firm. Ultimately, we reflect on 2020 with gratitude. The Cory Watson family remained dedicated, resilient and hopeful in the face of numerous challenges this year, and we are thankful for the opportunity to look back on the positive moments, memories and milestones that prevailed despite trying times. These are key moments from 2020 that our firm takes great pride in. Cory Watson Attorneys celebrated recovering more than $3 Billion for clients Cory Watson Attorneys announced Hirlye “Ryan” Lutz as a shareholder Attorneys Adam Pittman and Curt Tanner were elected as principals Cory Watson Attorneys welcomed Julianne Zilahy and Taylor Pruett to our team of personal injury attorneys Firm Co-founder Leila Watson was named Lifetime Fellow of the Birmingham Bar Foundation Attorney Lauren Miller was recognized as one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2020 Women to Watch Thirteen Cory Watson attorneys ranked in the 2020 Super Lawyers class Eight Cory Watson attorneys were recognized as Top Attorneys of Birmingham 2020 Four Cory Watson attorneys were recognized at Top Women Attorneys by B-Metro Three Cory Watson attorneys Recognized as NextGen: Rising Stars of Law 2020 by Birmingham Business Journal Cory Watson Attorneys received the US News Best Law Firms distinction Cory Watson Attorneys was named a finalist in the Tennessean’s 2020 Best of Music City award Our team of attorneys has served our clients for more than 25 years, so we celebrated this anniversary by giving back to our community through a combination of 25 individual giveaways and philanthropic initiatives. Here is a brief glance at the community organizations initiatives that we are honored to have been involved with. American Heart Association The Arc of Central Alabama Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham The Birmingham Zoo Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama Crisis Center Birmingham Empowerment Alliance Equal Justice Initiative Feeding Alabama Firehouse Ministries Folds of Honor Restoration Academy United Way of Central Alabama Community Crisis Fund As a result of our perseverance, our firm has won over 25,000 cases across the country; securing a total of more than $3 Billion in groundbreaking multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients, as well as helping improve the safety of products for consumers worldwide. The Cory Watson family is profoundly thankful and honored for another year to serve our clients. We look forward to giving back to our community in 2021 and into the future.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injuries

Could Your Holiday Party Get You Sued? What Every Party Host Needs to Know

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Friends, neighbors, and co-workers find time to get together and host holiday festivities — from Christmas parties to New Year’s celebrations. In addition to food and entertainment, hosts often provide beer, wine, or other alcoholic drinks to their guests. But what are the legal risks involved when you provide alcohol to your guests at a holiday party or similar get-together? In fact, if one of your guests has too much to drink, you could be held responsible for paying damages to anybody they injure or kill in a drunk driving accident. What is Social Host Liability? “Social host liability” results when a host serves alcohol to a party guest who is obviously drunk, and the intoxicated guest hurts or kills another person, at the party or offsite. The common case is when an intoxicated guest drives away from the party and wrecks into another vehicle, hurting or killing its occupants; those victims can then sue the drunk driver as well as the party host. The laws which allow the lawsuit against the host are called “dram shop” acts.  These laws were initially focused on holding bar and restaurant owners responsible for injuries to others caused by their overserving of visibly intoxicated customers. Alabama Dram Shop Act Almost all states have dram shop acts, but these laws vary widely as to whether they cover public places like bars, restaurants, and clubs, as well as private individuals who serve alcohol to party guests. For example, Alabama’s Dram Shop Act allows individuals injured by an intoxicated person to sue the drunk and any person or business that provided alcohol to the intoxicated person. The private host serving alcohol is not liable for overserving the partygoer, unless the partygoer is a minor. Alabama also has a law known as the Civil Damages Act, which is specifically to protect minors (in Alabama, a person under the age of 19). It states that anyone providing alcohol to a minor who is subsequently hurt or killed because they are intoxicated can be sued for the injuries to, or death of, the minor. This is a very different law from the Alabama Dram Shop Act. Party Without Problems No matter what the social host liability law is in your state, you owe it to yourself and your guests to make sure that your party is a safe one, and that the alcohol you serve does not become a source of tragedy or liability. Follow these safety tips to minimize alcohol-related risks both during and after your party: Keep the kids away from the booze. Not only should you not serve alcohol to minors, but you should also make sure that they aren’t able to serve themselves in the middle of a hectic, crowded party. Hire a pro. If you’re responsible for serving drinks in addition to all of your other duties as host, or if you have an open bar, it can be hard to keep an eye on folks’ consumption and keep them from overserving. Professional bartenders are trained to spot intoxication and can help keep guests from having one too many or alert you to potential issues. Keep it together. The last person you want getting too drunk at your party is you. If you have too much to drink, it will make it difficult if not impossible to evaluate how your guests are doing during – and more importantly, at the end – of your party. Food and (non-alcoholic) drink. You’ll probably be serving food at your party, which can safely slow down the absorption of alcohol in the body. Additionally, have water and non-alcoholic drink options available so your guests can switch from booze if they want to slow down a bit or stop drinking for the night. Options for getting home – or staying. The biggest danger is an intoxicated party guest driving home drunk. Not only should you check and see if your guests have a designated driver in their group, but you should also have other transportation options available to them, such as Uber or Lyft. Make it clear that it’s okay for your guests to leave their cars behind, and if possible, offer your overserved guests the option of sleeping it off. All of us at Cory Watson Attorneys extend our best wishes to our friends, clients, colleagues, and their families for a happy, safe, and joyful holiday season. WE’RE ALWAYS HERE TO HELP We have made it our mission to fight for the rights of injury victims wherever and whenever they need us. If you or a loved one has been injured by someone else’s negligence, we want to fight for you. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out our online form for your free and confidential case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Community

Halloween: The Scariest Night of the Year for Personal Injury Attorneys

For those who celebrate Halloween, this is a wonderful time of the year filled with tricks and treats. For an experienced personal injury attorney, however, Halloween can be a very scary night. Children in colorful costumes running from house to house, collecting treats from strangers in dark, unfamiliar neighborhoods. Adults gathering for parties with friends, often drinking late into the night. Use these tips to help keep your community safe and avoid a lawsuit this Halloween! Halloween Safety Tips for Kids Make sure that children’s costumes fit properly, so they can walk easily. Don’t hide faces behind elaborate hats or masks that may reduce vision – opt for face paint instead and avoid wearing any tripping hazards. Bring along glow sticks and flashlights to light the way. Trick-or-Treating Safety Plan on going in a group, and stick together or buddy up to keep everyone accounted for. Set curfews for older, unsupervised children. Be sure that kids stop at the curb, look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street. Stay on a sidewalk whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic so drivers can easily see you. Wait until you get home to dig into the candy. That way, parents can check for tampering, spot treats with allergens and discard homemade food items or anything deemed unsafe. Halloween Safety for Drivers Be on high alert while driving – With so many more people walking around, drive slowly and watch for pedestrians on the street. Dark costumes may be hard to see, and children might be wearing a mask or hat that obstructs their view. Don’t drive drunk. Adults might celebrate by drinking at a house party or bar. Have a designated driver, or take an Uber/Lyft service home. Avoid distractions– don’t use your cell phone while driving. Halloween Home Safety Tips If you’re in charge of handing out treats, here are some tips to make sure your visitors enjoy themselves. Clear your property and light the path so guests can easily find your door. Excited children may cut through your lawn, so check that you haven’t left out obstacles that could trip someone. If you have a dog, keep it safely away from the door. Not only will some children be afraid, but the constant doorbell ringing and stream of trick-or-treaters may overwhelm your pet. Provide store-bought treats. Play-Doh, erasers, and other small Halloween toys can be a fun surprise for those with allergies, but avoid anything homemade in case of food poisoning. Halloween Personal Injury Lawyers Halloween should be fun, not dangerous. Spread the word around your neighborhood to keep your community safe. If the worst should happen and you or your child is injured, the personal injury lawyers at Cory Watson Attorneys can help. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your claim. Have a happy and safe Halloween from everyone at Cory Watson Attorneys!

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accidents

2020 National Teen Driver Safety Week

We care deeply about our clients’ safety and well-being both on and off the road. In honor of Teen Driver Safety Week we’re focused on raising awareness about teen driver safety statistics and best practices for keeping your family safe behind the wheel. Here are important facts and statistics you and your teenager should know about teen drivers. Source: NHTSA Empower Your Loved Ones Remind your teen driver that driving is a privilege, not a right. If they aren’t following the rules of the road, they shouldn’t expect to have the keys to the car. Become familiar with your state’s nighttime driving restrictions, passenger restrictions, and all the graduated driver licensing (GDL) restrictions, and help law enforcement and educators enforce them. Practice constant communication about safe driving skills. Self-reported surveys show that teens with parents who set and enforce firm rules for driving typically engage in less risky driving behaviors and are involved in fewer crashes. Be a good role model for your teen driver and set an example with your own safe driving habits. Know the Facts about Teen Driver Fatalities Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens (15-18 years old) in the United States. Parents: You can be the biggest influence on your teen’s choices behind the wheel. Take the time to talk with them about some of the biggest driving risks for teens, including: Impaired Driving: All teens are too young to buy, possess, or consume alcohol. However, nationally, in 2018, 16% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had alcohol in their system. But alcohol isn’t the only substance that can keep your teen from driving safely. Like other drugs, marijuana affects a driver’s ability to react to their surroundings. Driving is a complex task, and marijuana slows reaction time, affecting a driver’s ability to drive safely. Remind your teen that driving under the influence of any impairing substance — including illicit or prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medication — could have deadly consequences. Seat Belts: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways to stay safe in a vehicle. Yet too many teens aren’t buckling up. In 2018, 45% of the teen passenger vehicle drivers who died were unbuckled. Even more troubling, when the teen driver involved in the fatal crash was unbuckled, 9 out of 10 of the passengers who died were also unbuckled. Distracted Driving: Distractions while driving are more than just risky — they can be deadly. In 2018, among teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, almost 10% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. Put it Down: Talk to your teen about safe cell phone use while in the car. Require them to stow their phones while driving, designate a texter, or to pull over before answering phone calls or responding to text messages. Speeding: In 2018, 28% of all teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash, and males were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than females. Passengers: Teen drivers transporting passengers can lead to disastrous consequences. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up dramatically in direct relation to the number of passengers in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers. Remember the Rules of the Road Don’t Drive Impaired. Set a good example and do not drive after drinking or consuming marijuana or other impairing substances. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and/or marijuana and driving should never mix, no matter your age. Driving under the influence of any impairing substance — including illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs — could have deadly consequences. Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time. Everyone — Front Seat and Back. Lead by example. If you wear your seat belt every time you’re in the car, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Tell your teen to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what (both in the front and back seats), including in taxis and when using ride-sharing services. Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel. All the Time. Tell your teen about the dangers of texting, dialing, or using mobile apps while driving. Require your young driver to put their phones away when they are on the road and turn on the “Do Not Disturb” or similar feature on their phone. Distracted driving isn’t limited to phone use; other passengers, audio and climate controls in the vehicle, and eating or drinking while driving are all sources of dangerous distractions for teen drivers. Know your state’s law regarding mobile phone and texting while driving restrictions; 38 states and Washington, DC ban all cell phone use by novice drivers. See Distracted Driving Law Chart. If your teen disobeys, enforce the penalties you set for your teen before they started driving. Obey All Posted Speed Limits. Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, especially for teens who lack the experience to react to changing circumstances around their cars. Obey the speed limit, and require your teen to do the same. Limit Passengers. With each passenger in the vehicle, your teen’s risk of a fatal crash increases. Review your state’s GDL law before your teen takes to the road; it may restrict the number of passengers in the vehicle operated by a driver with a learner’s permit, and it may further limit passengers to adult family members only. Engage in Safe Driving Conversations Year-Round Start the conversation with your teen about safe driving habits during National Teen Driver Safety Week and continue the conversation every day throughout the year. Even if it seems like they’re tuning you out, keep reinforcing these rules. Get creative! Talking is just one way to discuss safe driving. Get it in writing. Create a parent-teen driving contract that outlines the rules and consequences for your teen driver. Hang the signed contract in a visible...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Cory Watson Attorneys

Cory Watson Attorneys Reaches $3 Billion in Recoveries for Injured Clients

In 1984, attorneys Ernest Cory and Leila Watson began practicing law together. In 1995, they founded a law firm in Birmingham, Alabama, with a simple goal – to help people injured by wrongful conduct. They built their practice to be a safe harbor for those who need help, and did what many lawyers refused to do – take on powerful corporate interests who place profits before people. They knew they would be fighting big insurance companies. They knew they would be going up against global corporations. They knew it wouldn’t be easy. But they didn’t back down. They took them on and they won. Over and over again. As a result of this perseverance, our firm has won over 25,000 cases across the country; securing a total of $3 Billion in groundbreaking multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients, as well as helping improve the safety of products for consumers worldwide. A few of these notable verdicts and settlements include: $670 Million Toxic Chemical C-8 Cancer Verdict $50 Million Verdict Against DuPont in PFOA Cancer Case $25 Million Verdict Against Nissan in Auto Defect Product Liability Case $10 Million Verdict in Hit-and-Run Wrongful Death Case $9 Million Verdict in Lee County, AL Medical Malpractice Case These wins represent so much more than just a dollar amount. They represent the wellbeing of our cli­ents, which is something we take deep pride in protecting. As one of only a handful of U.S. law firms to reach this milestone, Cory Watson is proud to have cultivated a national reputation for serving injury victims across the country in cases involving: Motor vehicle wrecks Dangerous drugs Medical malpractice Defective medical devices Asbestos and mesothelioma Class action lawsuits Product liability Environmental injury Wrongful death Personal injury Our firm’s case success is largely based on our commitment to providing the most determined, compassionate representation. We strive to provide the highest level of service and a renewed sense of hope to our clients because we genuinely care about each and every one of them and their families. This is possible because of the hard work of the hundreds of dedicated employees, attorneys, and staff who, over the last 25 years, have helped Cory Watson evolve into the firm it is today. Cory Watson has grown beyond the state of Alabama into Memphis and Nashville with the enduring goal of fighting for the justice that our clients deserve. You Deserve the Best. Never Settle for Less.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Food Poisoning

Massive Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Red Onions

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the FDA have linked a nationwide Salmonella outbreak to red onions produced by Thomson International in Bakersfield, California, and distributed by Sysco. This Salmonella outbreak has sickened more than 900 people in the United States so far, with many more likely still unidentified. At least eighty-six people in 43 states have been hospitalized. If you have tested positive for Salmonella, contact our food poisoning legal team for a FREE consultation with an experienced lawyer. Which Onions Are Affected by the Salmonella Recall? Thomson International, a major onion supplier in California, issued a nationwide Salmonella recall on August 1, 2020. Because of the way the products are shipped and stored, the recall also includes red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions shipped since May 1, 2020, to grocery stores in all 50 states. “The wide distribution of these onions explains the rapid growth of this Salmonella outbreak,” said attorney Rick DiGiorgio, whose law firm Cory Watson is signing up clients who wish to file a lawsuit. These onions may have been sold individually by online retailers, in bulk bins at grocery stores, and in small packages. In addition to grocery stores, these products were distributed to foodservice establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and nursing homes. Products containing onions such as salads, wraps, dips, and salsas also pose a risk. Consumers who cannot tell if onions they have purchased were produced by Thomson should not eat them. What are Symptoms of Salmonella Infection? Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure, include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. In some people, the illness may be so severe that it requires hospitalization. Children younger than five years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness or fatal infection from Salmonella bacteria. The Salmonella organism may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream, producing severe illnesses and complications such as reactive arthritis, infected aneurysms, colitis, meningitis, or wrongful death. An experienced Salmonella attorney can help you get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the harm caused by your infection. The Cory Watson Attorneys food poisoning legal team is currently signing up clients for a lawsuit related to this Salmonella outbreak. Contact Experienced Salmonella Lawyers Our food safety attorneys have represented hundreds of clients in major food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. We pursue maximum compensation and justice for you, so you can focus on your health. If you or someone you know has been sickened or hospitalized and would like a free consultation with our experienced Salmonella legal team, call (877) 562-0000 now or complete the form below. There is no obligation, and we don’t get paid unless we win.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

June is National Safety Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) has designated June as National Safety Month to increase safety awareness and reduce leading causes of injury and death on the road and in our communities. At Cory Watson Attorneys, we know the importance of protecting yourself from personal injury. But we also know that injuries happen. And when they do, it’s important to know who to trust with your legal claim, so you can focus on healing. If you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by negligence, we are here to help. Call (877) 562-0000 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Alabama and Tennessee. Defensive Driving Tips that Could Save Your Life Summer is officially here, and more and more people are hitting the road as travel restrictions are lifted across the nation – often for the first time in months. Stay alert on the road and drive defensively with these safety tips: Use extra caution while driving Don’t drive distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol Take your time getting to your destination Pullover to rest if you feel yourself getting drowsy If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a wreck, or if someone has died because of unsafe conditions caused by negligence, contact our motor vehicle attorneys as soon as possible. Preventing Slip and Fall Injuries A slip and fall injury can happen anywhere — but risks are elevated when potential dangers go unaddressed. Falls can cause severe injuries including hip or knee fractures and traumatic brain injuries, making it difficult to live independently. Frequent causes for slips and falls include: Improper concrete maintenance, resulting in uneven levels of pavement Spills of liquid or chemicals that have not been removed Stairs with broken handrails Inadequate lighting If dangerous conditions caused you to slip and fall — and the property owner was aware of the dangers before your accident occurred — you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer The skilled personal injury attorneys at Cory Watson are committed to giving your case individual attention. We have helped thousands of people secure the compensation they need to reclaim their future, recovering more than 3 Billion for clients across the country. If you are injured, it’s easy to get the help you need – Our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers are available for you to contact 24/7. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call (877) 562-0000 today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Asbestos

Johnson & Johnson Will Finally Stop Selling Talc-Based Baby Powder in U.S.

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will finally stop selling its talc-based Baby Powder in the U.S  and Canada after thousands of lawsuits claimed that the product causes ovarian cancer. The company faces more than 19,000 lawsuits from cancer patients and their survivors claiming its talc was contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen, and that the company knew of the risks. “Johnson & Johnson did today what they should have done decades ago,” said Cory Watson attorney Beth Chambers. “Now, they should accept responsibility for so many women who are suffering or who have died as a result of ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder products.” The company has also faced lawsuits from consumers who claim their exposure to contaminated talcum powder caused them to develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Juries across the U.S. have hit the company with billions of dollars in damages on behalf of plaintiffs over their handling of the product. Johnson & Johnson Knew About Asbestos in Talcum Baby Powder for Decades Johnson & Johnson has faced intense scrutiny over the safety of its baby powder products following several investigative reports in 2018 that found the company knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its talc. These investigations revealed that J&J was aware of possible asbestos contamination in talc for at least 50 years, but did not warn consumers. In addition to the lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled 33,000 bottles of Baby Powder last year after the Food and Drug Administration uncovered traces of asbestos in samples of the product. J&J has also been the target of a federal criminal investigation into whether the company lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder, as well as an investigation into the health risks of asbestos in talc-containing consumer products by a Congressional subcommittee. Take Action with a Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Now, thousands of women and their families are coming forward to seek compensation for their pain and suffering – and it’s not too late to join them. Our firm continues to investigate these cases. If you or a loved one regularly used talcum powder and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the compassionate and determined advocates at Cory Watson Attorneys are ready to fight for you! Don’t wait to reach out – contact us today for a FREE initial case consultation. Call (877) 562-0000 now or fill out the online consultation form on this page. Related News: Law360 – J&J To Stop Talc Sales In North America Wall Street Journal – Johnson & Johnson to Stop Selling Talcum Baby Powder in U.S. Bloomberg Law – Johnson & Johnson Discontinues Talc Powder in U.S. CNBC – Johnson & Johnson discontinues talc-based baby powder in US Reuters – Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder in U.S. New York Times – Johnson & Johnson to End Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales AL.com – Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder in US

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Community

Important Coronavirus Update

During this time of growing concern and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 virus, we want to assure our existing and future clients that there will be no disruption in legal services from our firm. Cory Watson is fully prepared to continue to provide the same superior customer service, expertise, and experience you would expect from your lawyers in the normal course of everyday business. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily as it evolves and are following recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization, as well as state and local authorities. Our primary goal is to protect our employees, their families, and our clients. Our normal operations have not been impacted and we continue to be fully available to our clients. We will continue to provide free initial case consultations online and over the phone, while protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our community through this uncertain time. We are closely monitoring the various Court-mandated delays and restrictions and will continue to update our calendaring and strategies to best protect our clients’ interests. We have solid contingency plans in place, which includes plans to transition to a more widespread remote-work scenario, if necessary. In short, Cory Watson Attorneys remains committed to serving our thousands of clients across the country in the fashion they deserve. We appreciate your trust, patience, and support as we all face challenges posed by the virus. Our hearts are with you and your families in this difficult situation. Please stay safe and healthy. Resources: Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) from UAB Medicine

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Dangerous Drugs

Bloomberg Business: The FDA Recall System is Voluntary and Broken

Bloomberg Business recently published a comprehensive look at how patients suffer when drug manufacturers and regulators fail to protect them and effectively recall dangerous drugs from their medicine cabinets. For the past 25 years, the experienced drug injury lawyers at Cory Watson have helped thousands of victims hurt because of dangerous medical devices and unsafe drugs released without accurate testing. “If you think the FDA is a true watchdog over the safety of drugs put into the marketplace, you are wrong,” said Ernest Cory, managing shareholder of Cory Watson Attorneys. “The FDA only gets what the drug manufacturer wants them to see. And too often, they don’t get the whole story until the product has come onto the marketplace and injured many victims.” Contact us today for a free, confidential case review – Call (877) 562-0000 now or fill out the online consultation form on this page. Zantac Recalled for Carcinogen Contamination In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received a 19-page document with startling claims about a popular medicine. Researchers at Valisure, a Connecticut lab that tests prescription drugs, found extremely high levels of a probable human carcinogen in the antacid ranitidine, best known under the brand name Zantac. Millions of people around the world use ranitidine; it’s available both with a prescription and over the counter. As for the carcinogen, NDMA, the FDA knew it well: For more than a year, the agency had been recalling batches of the blood pressure medication Valsartan contaminated with it. The FDA issued an alert that seemed to downplay the lab’s findings. The agency said it had learned that some ranitidine medicines contained low levels of NDMA, but it wasn’t advising people to stop taking the drug. Those with prescriptions could contact their doctors — if they were worried — and everyone else could consider alternatives on drugstore shelves. However, high levels of NDMA were found in every version of ranitidine tested, and labs concluded the problem was inherent to the molecule itself. In other words, there is no safe version of ranitidine. The FDA’s Limited Authority Over Recalls By mid-October, a month after the FDA’s alert, at least two dozen countries had pulled ranitidine from stores or halted its distribution. Numerous companies acted on their own to slow or stop the supply of the drug. The FDA continued to conduct tests. 43 jurisdictions and governments around the world took action before the United States did. Finally, on November 1, the agency announced that it had found higher-than-acceptable levels of NDMA in some ranitidine. The FDA then asked manufacturers to voluntarily recall some of the Zantac on the market. When the FDA finds that a drug’s quality is compromised, recalls are supposed to reverse the supply chain and remove the affected product from warehouses, pharmacy shelves, and patients’ medicine cabinets. But the agency’s authority over this system is limited. It can only request a pullback – the manufacturers can say no, and they often refuse. The FDA can’t contact patients directly; it relies on pharmacies for that. It also doesn’t control how the recall is conducted or how its effectiveness is assessed. A probable carcinogen in a medication taken by millions of people, manufactured in a factory that the FDA knew had problems, is a crisis for the agency. An effective recall system is crucial to prevent further injuries. How Do You Stop Taking a Recalled Medication If You Don’t Know It’s Been Recalled? Patients using Valsartan and Zantac were supposed to be notified by their pharmacies that their drugs could be dangerous. Those notifications didn’t always happen. Old mailing addresses, a switch in pharmacies or the use of more than one, and failure to distinguish a recall letter from junk mail can all interfere with alerting patients to dangerous drugs. There are also gaps in the flow of information, especially when drugs are recalled in batches identified by manufacturers’ lot numbers, as is common practice. Meanwhile, the number of anxious patients mounts. The failure of that system can be seen in the client base of plaintiffs’ attorney Ernest Cory of Cory Watson, a firm representing hundreds of people who took the potentially-tainted drugs. Many of his clients hadn’t been warned of the FDA recall, and only found out on through the news, social media, or through attorney advertising. Don’t Sit On Your Rights The experienced drug injury attorneys at Cory Watson are evaluating the claims of hundreds of people with cancer – liver, stomach, intestinal, colon, pancreatic, or kidney – who took these drugs. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Valsartan and Zantac drug manufacturers involved in the recalls. If you or a loved one developed cancer after taking these drugs, call today for your FREE case evaluation. Call (877) 562-0000 or fill out the online case consultation form on this page.

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