Last week, the U.S. division of Novartis issued a nationwide recall of certain bottled versions of Excedrin and Bufferin after consumer complaints reported issues such as broken gelcaps, chipped tablets and inconsistent bottle packaging. Novartis voluntarily suspended operations and shipments from its Lincoln, Nebraska facility to rectify problems at the site. An internal product review confirmed the complaints, so Novartis Consumer Health also applied the recall to NoDoz and Gas-X as a precaution.
Since there is a potential mix of different products in the same bottle, the company fears that a consumer could take a higher or lower strength medication than intended, unintentionally ingest a harmful ingredient, or take the wrong medication altogether. All of which could lead to an allergic reaction or an overdose.
The Novartis recall applies to bottled packages of Excedrin and NoDoz with expiration dates on or before December 20, 2014 and for Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention products with expiration dates on or before December 20, 2013.
To date, neither Novartis nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have reported any illnesses or fatalities in conjunction with the recall.
What should you do if you are harmed by a defective product?
The first step to take if you have been injured by a product that is defective is to ensure that the product is not lost or destroyed. The product would most likely need to be inspected by a qualified expert to determine the exact nature of the defect. Secondly, you should not sign any document provided by the maker of the product because you could unknowingly relinquish some, if not all, of your legal rights. The final step to take if you are injured by a defective product is to contact a qualified products liability attorney who will help you receive compensation for any harmed caused.
Some examples of recent product defects that have lead to accidents, injuries or deaths include:
Consumer Product: July 2009–The CPSC recalled over 400,000 Simplicity Drop-side Cribs after the suffocation death of an 8-month old child, which was caused by faulty operation of a crib’s drop-side. In two prior recalls, a total of 1.6 million cribs were recalled for the same problem.
Automobile: January 2010–Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles that were prone to sudden acceleration due to faulty gas pedals. Another 5.3 million cars were recalled in November 2010 due to fix poorly-fitting floor mats that were also believed to cause acceleration whenever a car’s gas pedals were accidentally pressed.
Medical Device: August 2010–DePuy Orthopaedics recalled two hip replacement devices, the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, after a high number of recipients experienced pain and other negative side effects, making a second hip replacement surgery necessary.
Medication: September 2004–Merck voluntarily issued a worldwide recall of the arthritis drug Vioxx after a study linked the drug to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. 27,000 eventually received compensation as a result of an injury or death related to the use of the drug.
Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. is an Atlanta, Georgia law firm with experience in products liability and dedicated to helping their clients recover all of the damages to which they are entitled by law. We represent individuals who have been seriously injured as a result of defective products, as well as survivors who have lost a loved one due to a defective product. For a free consultation, call us today at (404) 814-8949 or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
New York Times
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