Practice Areas

Defective Medications and Bad Drugs

There is a never ending rush to bring new drugs into the market; often pharmaceutical giants withhold information about side effects and long term issues pertaining to a medication. While the FDA must demand testing and approve a drug before it is made available to consumers, the FDA is usually unaware of long terms effects of medication before they are granted approval. We often do not learn about a drugs serious side effects or how it interacts with other medications until years later, only after it becomes newsworthy by causing serious death or injury.

Many physicians who prescribe medications based on FDA reports are misled. Unfortunately, doctors sometime prescribe medications or treatments that have debilitating side effects; normally the doctor is unaware of the dangers that these defective medical treatments pose to the patients.

The damage caused by defective medication often results in emotional damage or serious physical injuries. Unsafe pharmaceuticals may cause stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, degradation of bones, or decreased quality of life; other defective drugs may cause damage to the reproductive organs, brain, and endocrine system (hormones).

We are currently evaluating claims related to:

  • Actos: a diabetes treatment medication linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Long-term users of this defective drug are at risk.

  • Fosamax: this and other osteoporosis treating medications known as bisphosphonates present a risk of bone weakening to long-term users.  Dangers include a rare, debilitating condition called osteonecrosis (bone death), commonly of the jaw.  The FDA warns of this danger but has yet to issue a recall of bisphosphonates. New York Times article on Fosamax and other Bisphosphonates

  • GranuFlo: a concentrated dry acid product used in hemodialysis for diabetics and other victims of acute renal failure.  The FDA recalled GranuFlo and the liquid counterpart NaturaLyte after an internal document produced and distributed by the defective product’s maker, Fresenius, was uncovered.  The document showed that patients treated with GranuFlor were six to eight times more likely to suffer cardiopulmonary arrest and sudden cardiac death immediately following the treatment. See the full GranuFlo Defective Product memo here.

  • Humira: Humira is an injectable drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Humira is a member of a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. Tumor necrosis factor is a protein occurring naturally within the human body that is capable of killing tumor cells. 

  • Mirena: a contraceptive device designed to be inserted into the uterus by a physician, where it stays implanted for up to five years. Since its approval in 2000, the FDA has received over 45,000 reports of adverse effects of the device including vaginal bleeding, dislocation of the device and uterine perforation. Read more about Mirena birth control complications on our blog.

  • Nuvaring: contraceptive device linked with blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening conditions.  Makers of this defective device arguably failed to warn of the dangerous side-effects caused by the product since it began being prescribed in 2001.

  • Pradaxa: this blood thinner was recently approved by the FDA amid a host of studies linking the medication to increased risk and severity of viral sicknesses.  Additionally, reports of severe gastrointestinal bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage (brain bleeds) have surfaced with patients being treated by Pradaxa and its predecessor Warfarin.

  • Risperdal: an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with Autism in children. While these uses are approved by the FDA today, the drug was not approved for use in children when it was originally released in 1993. Despite that restriction, the drug’s manufacturers Ortho-McNeil-Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) marketed the drug for uses in children. Years later, some children who were prescribed Risperdal for treatment of mental disorders began to experience serious side effects associated with the drug- particularly gynecomastia (male breast growth).

  • Yaz: another contraceptive medication that is taken oral and has been tied to an increased risk of blood clots and cardiac damage than the older alternatives.  A synthetic hormone used in this and similar defective medications causes increased potassium levels that can lead to heart attack in even younger women. Is it worth the risk?

  • Zithromax: a very commonly-used antibacterial medication that is used to treat a range of bacterial infections.  An FDA warning was issued on March 12, 2013, describing the danger this medication poses to the patients.  This defective drug can cause abnormal changes to the electrical activity of the heart and may potentially cause fatal heart attacks. A link to the recent FDA warning.

  • Transvaginal Mesh Complications: A transvaginal mesh is a surgically implanted device that was expected to assist with that condition. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates that reports of potentially life-altering complications from transvaginal mesh patches are increasing at an alarming rate.

At the Dolman Law Group we define bad drugs as any medication whose harm outweighs its potential benefit. If you have been physically harmed as a result of a defective medication, call the experienced lawyers at the Dolman Law Group for your free consultation and case evaluation: 727-451-6900


HMOs- Managed Care Abuse

Originally, managed care and HMOs (Health Management Organizations) were implemented to provide necessary medical attention at a reasonable cost to a wide range of patients. Unfortunately, these health care plans deteriorated to an industry where the bottom line takes priority over patient welfare. Although HMOs and other managed care plans have been effective in reducing inappropriate and unnecessary health-care measures and procedures, there is considerable concern that they may cut back or eliminate certain activities that may be necessary for the patient’s care; HMOs goal in cutting costs may jeopardize patients’ well-being.

Managed care companies protect their bottom line through refusal to pay insurance claims: a tactic known as slow-pay/no-pay. At the expense of patients’ health, insurance companies regularly delay payments to physicians, therefore causing doctors to deny further treatment. The systematic delay or denial of insurance payments allows health care companies to reap substantial additional profits; instead of making timely payments to hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors, they keep the funds and invest the money for additional gain. While managed care companies profit, unrelieved insurance payments to physicians may result in a disastrous impact on the patient’s health.

Physicians and patients in Florida are often compelled to file lawsuits against HMOs as a result of their HMOs’ refusal to authorize or pay for medically necessary services. In other cases, the HMOs set the payment for the procedure so low that it becomes cost-prohibitive for doctors to perform the procedure. If you have been denied care that was medically necessary, your HMO failed to pay you timely (slow-pay / no-pay), you were forced to use an HMO Specialist known to deny care to patients and control costs and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please contact the Dolman Law Group. Call today: 727-451-6900


Insurance Carrier Bad Faith

An insurer owes the insured “utmost good faith” in evaluating and processing claims against its policyholder(s). Baxter vs. Royal indemnity Co., 285 So.2d 652, 655 (Fla. 1st DCA 1973.) Furthermore, the insurer owes a non-delegable duty to completely and accurately investigate a claim and evaluate it on behalf of the policy holder. Insurers should begin conducting due diligence from the moment they learn about a claim; they must look out for the best interests of their insured because the insurance carrier must investigate and evaluate the claim without the input of the insured. Bad faith, in the context of an insurance company, occurs when the company acts unreasonably in denying or delaying benefits owed to you or a loved one as expressed within the insurance policy.

Many individuals are never told of the consequences of their insurance carrier’s actions until it is too late and a lawsuit has been filed; At this point such individual may have personal exposure above and beyond the limits of coverage available. Insurance claim adjusters often make decisions based on corporate policy and through a cookie cutter process; they don’t look at claims individually or judge the merits one at a time. Adjusters often make blanket statements. Despite their lack of medical training or certification as either a physician or a bio-mechanical engineer they tend to claim that a client’s injury could not possibly have come from property damage. When we produce evidence on the contrary, the insurance adjuster will often ignore us and fail to retain an expert in the area needed (physician or a bio-mechanical engineer).

Examples of Bad Faith on Behalf of an Insurance Adjuster or Insurance Company include:

  • Unreasonable claim denial

  • Unreasonable delay in payment or stall tactics

  • Failure to thoroughly investigate the claim

  • Failure to investigate a claim in a timely manner

  • Unreasonable interpretation of the language contained in the insurance policy

Not every claim denial is the result of bad faith; there are many forms of first and third party insurance claims. It is important to retain an attorney experienced in recognizing when an insurance adjuster or insurance company has deviated from the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Many attorneys list bad faith as a practice area but fail to keep up with the current state of bad faith law or recent Court decisions that greatly affect this ever changing, fluid area of the law. A Florida bad faith attorney should be well versed in recent first and third-party coverage decisions in both County Courts and Federal Court. Further, a competent Florida bad faith attorney should have a strong grasp on how adjusters evaluate claims and work to ensure that the insurance carrier is provided all medical records so they may make an articulate decision as to the value of the claim.

An experienced Florida bad faith attorney will understand how and when to preserve bad faith insurance claims. At the Dolman Law Group we make it a point to work with insurance carriers and provide them with all pertinent records and cooperate as much as possible. The insurance carrier will often screw up without you forcing their hand; these are the strongest bad faith claims. If you have been victimized as a result of an insurance carrier’s misconduct, please call us for a free consultation. 727-451-6900


Medical Malpractice

Doctor’s offices and hospitals are places where we are supposed to feel safe and taken care of. While most of the time things do not go wrong, unnecessary injury and death do occur in these settings every day. In 31% of lawsuits brought against medical professionals the injured person died. Nearly one in three mistakes by a medical professional result in someone’s death and in 47% of such lawsuit, the injured person suffered a major or permanent injury.

The third leading cause of death in the United States is iatrogenic causes, or medical error. The numbers are staggering and medical malpractice is a real danger to our population. When medical treatment falls short of the practice standard, medical malpractice may have occurred. The four basic parts to a medical malpractice suit are: the provider did not perform a duty, the provider did not perform a duty properly, the duty preformed caused injury directly, and this duty caused damage.

As a patient, have you been neglected by your health care provider? Did they fail to take action—or did they take the wrong action and you are paying the price for it?

  • Failure to diagnose

  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment

  • Unreasonable delay in treatment

  • Treatment without consent

All of these are grounds for talking to one of our Clearwater medical malpractice attorneys today. We are the ones who will be able to adequately file the lawsuit against the health care provider for compensation of lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering. Our lawyers have a thorough understanding of medical malpractice law; we know who to consult and which questions to ask and we can get you the reimbursements you deserve. Although this may be an overwhelming process for you, even life altering, we are experienced with these cases. It will not be our first time aggressively defending the rights of our client and it is probably not the first time your healthcare provider will be forced to legally defend themselves.

If you have been injured, we highly recommend you contact a Clearwater medical malpractice attorney at the Dolman Law Group immediately. We have experience holding physicians accountable for their mistakes; we only represent the injured, never the interests of insurance carriers. Call for your free consultation and case evaluation today: 727-451-6900