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Prescription Drug Lawyer


A closeup of a prescription drug bottle spilling white tablet pills over a doctor's note. Dangerous prescription drugs injure thousands each year.

Each year, millions of Americans are prescribed medication to treat their illnesses, injuries or pain. From anti-anxiety to chronic pain medication, the pharmaceutical options are endless.

Trusting patients rely on their doctors’ expertise to find the safest and most effective drugs to treat their condition, but this doesn’t always happen. In many cases, the seriousness of a drug’s side effects clearly outweighs its benefits, leaving many patients to suffer debilitating or life-threatening side effects.

Moreover, patients prescribed one of today’s powerfully addictive opioid drugs for pain, such as Fentanyl, face additional health risks. The addictive nature of these drugs can cause susceptible patients to abuse their medication, leading to severe physical and mental injuries. Once addicted, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to stop. As a result, patients and their families suffer tremendous pain and loss while powerful drug companies continue to prosper.

Dangerous Prescription Drug Lawyers in Virginia

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dangerous drug, we are deeply sorry for your loss. Our team represents people who have suffered serious side effects, illnesses, organ failures and deaths of family members or loved ones from the prescribed use of a prescription drug. You are not alone, and our team can help.

Contact the experienced attorneys at The Smith Law Center at (757) 695-9263 to receive a private consultation about your legal rights, completely free of charge.

TODAY’S FAST TRACK APPROVAL FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

You may ask, “Why are dangerous drugs approved for use?” The problem lies with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which can’t keep up with the influx of new drugs being pushed for approval.

To address this, the FDA has a program that helps sort through the arrival of new drugs, allowing manufacturers to “fast track” their products to the market. This significantly cuts the time it takes for a drug to go from the research phase of development to the market. While it helps pharmaceutical companies to meet business goals, it also increases the number of people who become seriously ill or die from reactions to insufficiently tested drugs.

Unsafe and highly addictive products are sold and prescribed without being properly tested. As a result, more than 200,000 innocent people die each year from adverse drug reactions caused by many of these drugs.

Opioid Epidemic Compounds the Existing Dangerous Drug Problem

Dangerous drugs of all types are a serious problem in our country, but one class of drugs leads the way in the rapidly rising rate of injuries and loss of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a powerful class of pain drugs – opioids – claims the lives of 91 people every day.

This does not account for those who commonly suffer traumatic brain injuries from the drug’s highly addictive nature. One in particular, Fentanyl, is an overly prescribed synthetic opioid that can cause disastrous harm. It is similar to heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

A syringe lies next to a glass vial atop a prescription for fentanyl. Prescription drugs can lead to fatal addictions or side effects.

Because of the high potency of these drugs, finding the right pain medication can become extremely complicated and dangerous. The potential for serious, permanent injury or loss of life increases drastically as a result of overmedicated or unmonitored prescription drug use.

Opioids include:

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Opium
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycodone
  • Lorcet
  • Demerol
  • Amytal
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone

Prescription Drug Overdose

Opiates and opioids are most often prescribed to treat chronic pain. They are a class of depressants, meaning the drugs slow down breathing and heart rate. The most significant risk of an overdose is lack of oxygen to the brain, which is vital for brain function. When oxygen supply is inadequate, the brain becomes hypoxic, leading to severe and quick damage.

Similarly, when there is no oxygen supply to the brain, it leads to anoxic injury. In an opiate overdose, the victim usually becomes unconscious and the central nervous system depressed. The body fails to breathe and deliver oxygen to the brain, leading to severe brain damage and even death.

Sadly, people of all ages are at risk of being affected by the opioid epidemic. From teens stealing pills from their parents to adults becoming addicted to their prescriptions, dependence does not discriminate against any age group or demographic.

RISK OF NERVE DAMAGE

Opioid overuse can also lead to serious nerve damage that results in short-term paralysis.

Excessive opioid use can cause:

  • Injuries to arms, legs, and other extremities
  • Long-term nerve damage
  • Frostbite from nerve damage due to loss of sensation
  • Damaged lungs

Opioid overuse can also lead to erratic behavior and mental instability, leading to:

  • Injuries from acting on ideas of self-harm
  • Injuries from car accidents as a result of drug abuse
  • Broken bones as a result of increased risky behavior

Other Drugs Linked to Adverse and Dangerous Side Effects

Opioids are certainly not the only dangerous drugs under scrutiny for damaging countless people. For years, medications designed to treat a variety of ailments have been linked to serious risks and side effects:

Accutane

Released in 1982, this drug is used to treat severe acne. It is known to cause depression and psychosis, and in some cases, suicide. In 1998, the FDA notified doctors that they should watch for these side effects in patients.

Arava

Approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Arava was released in 1996 and works to modify arthritis, but not cure it. Patients who have been treated with Arava have suffered serious liver injuries, hepatitis, hepatic failure, and acute hepatic necrosis. In 2002, an advocacy group requested that the FDA recall the drug due to its severe side effects.

Baycol

A cholesterol-lowering drug approved in 1997, maker Bayer Pharmaceutical Division voluntarily took the drug off the U.S. market due to a reported fatal muscle reaction known as rhabdomyolysis.

Celebrex

Approved in 1998 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and intestinal polyps, health concerns surrounding Celebrex have been raised as to whether the drug increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Cytotec

Developed in 1973, Cytotec is used to treat ulcers as well as to induce labor. When administered to pregnant women, the drug has been found to cause abortion, premature birth, birth defects, or uterine rupture.

Duragesic Patch

Approved in 1995, this drug is a prescription pain medication containing the powerful narcotic, fentanyl. Numerous reports of fatal fentanyl overdoses have been associated with the patch. The FDA issued an alert in 2005 warning of the risk of these overdoses. In 2006, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay almost $1 million in damages to a family of a Texas woman who died after receiving a lethal dose of fentanyl through the Duragesic Patch.

Enbrel

Approved in 1998, Enbrel is used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Adverse reactions reported include serious infections, such as sepsis.

Ephedra

Used to control weight or to help with weight loss, the FDA banned the sale of supplements containing ephedrine in 2004 after serious side effects that included heart attack, stroke, and ephedra-related deaths were reported.

Fen-Phen

Prescribed for the treatment of obesity and refers to the combined use of fenfluramine and phentermine, some patients developed heart valve disease after taking Fen-Phen. The FDA has since issued a public health advisory relating to the use of this drug.

Ketek

In 2006, the FDA issued a public health advisory after reports of liver failure and death related to Ketek, after it was prescribed to treat community-acquired pneumonia. It was approved by the FDA in 2004.

Lotronex

Marketing of this drug has been restricted by the FDA due to gastrointestinal adverse effects as well as death. Originally approved by the FDA in 2000, it is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome.

Meridia

This anti-obesity drug was originally developed in 1988 and marketed until 2010. It has been associated with cardiovascular events and strokes.

Oxycontin

Developed in 1917, Oxycontin is an opioid used to treat pain. Because of its highly addictive properties, the drug has been associated with overdose and death.

Prempro

This drug, first approved in 1995, is a hormone replacement drug used to treat postmenopausal conditions with a combination of estrogen and progestin. It has been shown to increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and breast cancer.

Propulsid

Used to treat nighttime heartburn by increasing motility in the upper gastrointestinal tract, Propulsid was discovered by Janssen Pharmaceutical in 1980. It is now the target of FDA advisories to physicians regarding related cardiac problems.

Rezulin

Introduced in the late 1990s, Rezulin was used to treat type 2 diabetes but was pulled from the market in 2000 after it was found linked to liver damage and death.

Serzone

Serzone was first marketed in 1995 but was withdrawn from the market in 2004 due to incidents of liver damage. The medication is used to treat depression but has received reports of life-threatening hepatic failure.

Thimerosal

This compound was used in vaccines and medicines starting in the early 1930s and contains a high level of mercury content. Mercury has been found toxic and causes serious developmental and neurological problems in children.

Vioxx

Used to treat symptoms of osteoarthritis, acute pain in adults, and painful menstrual cycles, Vioxx is linked to reports of stomach ulcers, heart attack, stroke, and liver damage. The drug was approved by the FDA in 1999 and recalled in 2004 due to safety concerns.

Prescription Drug Lawsuits

At The Smith Law Center, we represent clients who have suffered as a result of prescription drugs such as Accutane, Arava, Baycol, Celebrex, Cytotec, Enbrel, Ephedra, Fen-Phen, Lotronex, Meridia, Oxycontin, Prempro, Premarin, Propulsid, Rezulin, Serzone, Thimerosal, Vioxx and many others that present known hazards to the public.

If you or a loved one has taken a prescription medication that led to serious injury, please contact us today. We have devoted much of our practice to exposing the negligence of large pharmaceutical companies, and you and your family deserve to be compensated for your losses.

If you are uncertain about whether you want to pursue legal action, we can help you understand what your options are moving forward. For a private consultation, call The Smith Law Center today at (757) 695-9263 and we will answer any questions you have, free of charge.

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If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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DELIVERING RESULTS SINCE 1949

We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU - Tablet View

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU


Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.
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