Marc Whitehead August 2018



Aug/Sept 2018 888-497-9061 |

A T T O R N E Y S A T L A W , L L P

Undisclosed Risks Claims Against Xarelto

is no known antidote. When uncontrolled bleeding occurs, there is no way to quickly and effectively make the blood clot. Even small injuries can be life-threatening for patients taking Xarelto. Making matters worse, it’s likely that the manufacturers and marketers were well-aware of these risks when they brought the product to market. Even in 2014, well after the lawsuits started rolling in, the makers of Xarelto attempted to get the drug approved for the treatment of more conditions. From August 2013 through May 2016, they altered the warning label on the drug five separate times. It’s a matter of great debate in the legal community whether the FDA has the reach and resources to be able to keep massive pharmaceutical companies from bringing less-than-fully-vetted medications to market. There’s no doubt that the regulating body tries their best, but the pressure for an approval is overwhelming. When companies fail to disclose risks to the FDA or patients, it’s the patients who need to demand justice. If you or somebody you know has been injured by taking Xarelto, you can file a tort or civil action claim against the companies responsible. The attorneys at our firm have years of experience dealing with cases like these and can help you get what you’re entitled to. Call us

treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but its use would later extend to reducing the risk of stroke in many patients. Upon its release, Xarelto received praise for its innovative qualities. Unlike other anticoagulants, Xarelto works effectively with just one daily oral dose. It doesn’t require the regular blood monitoring, dosage adjustments, or dietary restrictions of its competitors. With so many apparent advantages, sales of Xarelto skyrocketed, earning Johnson & Johnson over $400 million in the third quarter of 2014 alone. But there was a serious problem. In their rush to get the product to market and make money, the companies behind Xarelto failed to disclose serious risks to patients. Chief among them was the risk of uncontrolled bleeding, especially in the brain and gastrointestinal system. While this risk is common in medications of its kind, Xarelto poses a specific problem because there

Medicine is advancing all the time, whether through the introduction of new drugs or the development of advanced medical devices. Of course, you can’t just create, market, and sell a medical product like you would a t-shirt or book. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rigorously tests all medications and devices before they are allowed to be sold on a wide scale. In an ideal world, an FDA approval would guarantee that all the risks of a product were well-known and patients would understand them. Sadly, the FDA isn’t perfect, and medicine occasionally makes it to market without users being properly warned. Such is the case with Xarelto (Rivaroxaban), which was first approved by the FDA in 2011. Manufactured by Bayer and marketed by Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Xarelto was touted as a revolutionary anticoagulant and an alternative to drugs like warfarin. The FDA initially approved the drug for use in the

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Through the Most Challenging Cases, She’s by Your Side Madison Is There for You

A valuable member of our legal team, Madison goes wherever she’s needed for our clients. In addition to working with Britney and Anthony with Social Security and VA cases, she’s been a huge asset for her work on mass tort cases that involve trips around the country to

be by a client’s side. Throughout the year, she finds herself flying to meet clients and support them through these tough cases. “Disability law is about helping those who’ve been injured,” Madison says. “It’s about being there for them.” It’s no wonder Madison is so passionate about the law — legal DNA runs in her family. “My grandfather went to South Texas College of Law, and my mom has been a paralegal here at Marc Whitehead & Associates for over 23 years. I grew up around the firm. I saw what they did, and I knew I was going to go to law school at some point,” Madison explains. While working as a law clerk at our firm during law school, Madison realized she was passionate about disability law — not in spite of the emotional aspect of the cases, but because of it. “You can’t just bury yourself in an office here. You interact with clients and accept the emotional side. It’s what comes along with severe injuries. You’re taking on responsibility for guiding them through their case. It’s not like being a contract attorney and being detached,” Madison says. Especially when it comes to cases involving defective pharmaceutical devices, like transvaginal mesh, Madison understands the sensitivity and the pain that clients may be experiencing while they wait to have their case tried. “There’s a level of embarrassment because of the nature of these injuries,” Madison says. “These poor clients; sometimes their families don’t even know what’s going on. People, and especially women, tend to hide their suffering. They feel like they have to grin and bear it.” To decompress after intense cases like these, Madison turns to her running shoes. “I’ve always been a runner. Running is a big relief for me. My mind goes off in different places when I’m running — it’s free to wander.” Madison played soccer growing up and turned to running when, she says jokingly, she got too old for contact sports. “My dad has always been a big marathoner and got me into it.” We’re grateful to have a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney like Madison on our side, and we know you’ll be glad to have her on yours, too.

Aimee Mullins: Athlete, Speaker, Model, and Amputee Many people have to realize that the word “disability” it isn’t as black and white as it appears. Disability, as defined in 1980s, is parallel with words such as crippled, wrecked, senile, and decrepit. However, this outdated definition holds no water to people described as “disabled,” something Aimee Mullins feels strongly about. As an amputee, Mullins disagrees with the definition mentioned above. This definition was in circulation around the time when she entered primary school. Mullins explains, “I mean, from this entry, it would seem that I was born into a word that perceived someone like me to have nothing positive whatsoever going for them, when in fact, today I’m celebrated for the opportunities and adventures my life has procured.” Mullins was born without fibula bones in either of her legs, but that didn’t stop her. From learning to walk and, later, to run on prosthetic legs, she has competed at the national and international level as a champion sprinter — setting world records in 1996 at the Paralympics in Atlanta. Mullins strives to shift the way the public views disabled people. For her, it boils down to what the words mean and how that affects the people who are called these names. “It’s not just about the words.” Truly, the words themselves are harmless. However, once meaning is attached to a word, it shifts how the person sees the word and who the word is describing. “It’s what we believe about people when we name them with these words,” Mullins states. “It’s about the values behind the words and how we construct those values.” Being disabled in no way represents someone’s worth as a person, as the old definition may have many believing. Mullins is only one of many people who contradict the obsolete definition. Shifting how society views the meaning of a word can take time, but it is possible. Humans are the best of all species at adapting and evolving to the world as it changes. As people progress, as technologies enhance, and as understanding spreads, words and their meanings can change. Redefining disability has taken time, but it’s people like Aimee Mullins who are taking the lead in changing how the world views people labeled as disabled.

How to Achieve a More Restful Night’s Sleep

to sleep quality. Light from these devices is disruptive to your brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which helps regulate your circadian rhythm, and screen time before bed can throw off normal SCN function. Put your excuses for staying up too late to bed. Say no to “one more episode.” And all those emails? They can wait until tomorrow. Not getting enough quality sleep is harmful to your mental and physical health. When you get into the habit of following these three tips, you’ll find yourself feeling rested and refreshed in no time.

A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mind and body. One study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that the quality of your sleep is much more important than the quantity — that is, if you want to feel rested. And we all want to feel rested. So, what can you do to improve the quality of your sleep and get the rest you need? LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. This, above all else, is crucial to a good night’s sleep. Your body knows when it’s time for bed. Generally, you want to go to bed when you feel tired, whether that’s at 8 p.m. or 1 a.m. Whenever your body tells you it needs rest, you should make a habit of going to bed then. The more consistent you are, the better your sleep will be. WAKE UP NATURALLY. Jolting yourself awake with an alarm or radio isn’t doing your brain and body any favors (it can be stressful on the body and even elevate blood pressure, which is not good first thing in the morning). If you do need an alarm, consider a wake-up light. Wake-up lights mimic the sunrise, slowly brightening the room, waking your body in a natural, gentle way. KICK THE SCREEN HABIT. You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: Looking at an electronic screen — a TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone — before bed is detrimental

Green Bean and Sesame Salad

inspired by


• • • •

1 small red onion, finely chopped Small bunch of fresh mint Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley

• • • •

3 cups green beans, ends trimmed 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil; cook green beans for 4–5 minutes; drain well. 2. In a blender, mix finely chopped mint and parsley with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined. 3. Add dressing, onion, and sesame seeds to beans. Toss together. Cool dish, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Puzzle Time!


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Unlabeled Risks, Unscrupulous Companies

Meet Our Knowledgeable Team Changing the Meaning of Disability Sleep Better and Feel Great Green Bean and Sesame Salad



Meet Shadow: The Hang-Gliding Service Dog

The Amazing Hang-Gliding Service Dog

to chase him. “So I would be out here flying, and he would chase me and jump up at me and sometimes get my foot and hang on a little bit … It felt like he wanted to keep me safe,” he says. And when he left the dog at home, he’d often come home to a scratched-up floor and doors. It seemed that Shadow couldn’t bear to be away from his owner. So, about 12 years ago, McManus had a special harness made for Shadow, enabling the pup to join him while he took to the skies. They’ve been side-by-side on nearly every flight since. Some pet owners might balk at the idea of taking a dog on a hang glider, but it’s clear that, in this case, Shadow definitely wants to fly. Whenever they go out, Shadow wraps his paws around McManus’ arm, remaining stoic as they survey the landscape together from high above. While we all struggle with our own obstacles in life, it’s nice to know that our canine pals will always be there to offer their furry support. As McManus and Shadow demonstrate, it’s a bond that remains strong even hundreds of feet above the ground.

For his entire life, Utah resident Dan McManus has suffered from several mental health issues, including generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, night terrors, and severe panic attacks. Over the years, he’s utilized numerous coping mechanisms to stave off the symptoms, but there are two things that calm him more than anything else: hang gliding across the Utah skies and the companionship of his service animal, an Australian cattle dog named Shadow. hang-gliding hobbyist to an expert instructor in Salt Lake City, going out gliding as often as possible. But it seemed that his passion gave his pup a bit of anxiety of his own. Whenever McManus would take off, Shadow always wanted Over the course of 37 years, McManus went from being a

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