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149 dead in plane crash at Madrid airport

MADRID, Spain (AP) — A Spanish airliner bound for the Canary Islands at the height of the vacation season crashed, burned and broke into pieces Wednesday while trying to take off from Madrid, killing 149 people on board, officials said.

There were only 26 survivors in the mid-afternoon crash, said Spanish Development Minister Magdalena Alvarez, whose department is in charge of civil aviation. It was Spain’s deadliest air disaster in more than 20 years.

A police officer said the bodies were so hot that police could barely touch them and told El Pais newspaper the shattered wreckage bore no resemblance to a plane.

Dozens of ambulances rushed to the site as columns of smoke billowed from the wreckage. The prime minister broke off his vacation in southern Spain and rushed back to Madrid, heading straight for the airport.

“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” ambulance driver Luis Ferreras, who viewed the crash site, was quoted as saying by El Pais.

Spanair Flight JK5022 — bound for Las Palmas during the height of Europe’s summer vacation season — was just barely airborne when it veered right, crashed and broke into pieces, reports said.

Spanair spokesman Sergio Allard told a news conference the plane was carrying 175 people and the cause of the crash was not immediately known.

El Pais said the plane left an hour late because of technical problems. It eventually managed to get slightly off the ground but crashed near the end of the runway, El Pais said, quoting an employee of the national airport authority AENA.

Helicopters and fire trucks dumped water on the plane, which ended up in a wooded area at the end of the runway at Terminal 4.

A makeshift morgue was set up at the city’s main convention center, officials said.

Mats Jansson, the chief executive of Spanair’s owner, Scandinavian Airlines, said he had no information about the toll or the accident itself.

In Germany, Lufthansa said it issued tickets to seven people who checked in for the flight, and that four of those were from Germany. It was unclear whether they were German citizens.

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that two Swedes were onboard the aircraft. One of them has been located at a hospital while the other is unaccounted for, ministry spokeswoman Gufran al-Nadaf said.

The plane was an MD-82 on a codeshare flight with Lufthansa’s LH255, Spanair said. Departures from Madrid’s airport were suspended for several hours.

McDonnell Douglas was bought out by Boeing in 1997. Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx said the company would send at least one person to assist in the investigation of the crash as soon as it receives an invitation from Spanish authorities.

“We stand ready to provide technical assistance,” he said, reading from a prepared statement.

Allard said the plane last passed an inspection in January of this year and no problems with it had been reported since then. The plane is 15 years old and has been owned by Spanair for the past nine, he said.

Last July, 199 people were killed in Brazil when an Airbus A320 belonging to TAM airlines skidded off the runway at Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport before crashing into a nearby gas station and an air cargo building.

Five people died and 65 were injured on May 30 when the A320 belonging to Grupo Taca skidded off the end of the runway at Toncontin International Airport near the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.

The deadliest disaster in aviation history occurred in Spain in 1977 as a result of a runway collision between two fully loaded Boeing 747s in the Canary Islands. A total of 583 people died.

In November 1983, a Boeing 747 operated by the Colombian airline Avianca crashed near Madrid as it prepared to land, killing 181 people.

In February 1985, an Iberia Boeing 727 crashed near Bilbao in the Basque region, killing 148 people.

By HAROLD HECKLE Associated Press Writer

Jim Hall, Former NTSB Chairman and Counsel to The Nolan Law Group Issues Statement Regarding Flight Data Recorders

CHICAGO, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Jim Hall, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Counsel to the Nolan Law Group issued the following statement today:

At his press availability in Minnesota Friday morning, NTSB Member Steven Chealander revealed that there was no flight data recorder (FDR) installed on the Hawker 800 that crashed in Owatonna, MN, on Thursday morning.

Fortunately, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) will provide some limited information as to the flight crew’s reactions and actions regarding whatever caused the crash, but an FDR would provide a fraction-of-the-second readout of systems performance. This information would yield critical insight into any mechanical malfunction. Witness reports indicate the aircraft touched down at Degner Owatonna Airport, but that it appeared the landing attempt was aborted for some reason and the airplane was trying to become airborne when it crashed, killing the two pilots and the six passengers.

The NTSB must now try to piece together what happened in those final seconds.

We’ve had this frustration before — a fatal crash and no flight recorder to help document why the airplane stalled and plummeted to the ground. Recall the 2005 crash of a Cessna Citation V jet owned by Circuit City Stores in Pueblo Colorado where all eight people aboard the jet were fatally injured or the 2002 crash of a King Air A100 on approach at Eveleth, MN, that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone and the seven others aboard. Neither plane was equipped with an FDR. We see this time and time again — an accident occurs with air taxis or corporate airplanes, and recorders were not required to be installed, forcing NTSB accident investigators into a search for other data, such as radar tapes from air traffic control, to infer what happened. A supposition, however well educated, is simply not good enough.

As a result of the Wellstone accident, the NTSB recommended to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that if recorders are not going to be ordered installed on air taxis, at the least a video recording of pilots’ actions in the cockpit, in which the field of view would capture essential controls and the instrument panel, should be obtained.

On 7 March 2008, some six years after the Wellstone crash, the FAA ruled that video recorders would not be mandated for installation on air taxis. Needless to say, the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” safety recommendation remains in an “unacceptable” status. In its ruling, the FAA said, “The issue of cockpit video is unsettled.” The unsettled situation averred to by the FAA results in large measure because of its failure to press the issue with industry. Sadly, despite the availability of this invaluable technology, the inaction of the FAA and the business aviation community regarding these safety measures will once again leave the people of Minnesota asking questions.

According to the FAA, the 124-page March rule on recorders “will enable investigators to retrieve more data from accidents and incidents requiring investigation.” Unfortunately, that’s true only for airplanes carrying ten or more passengers. Hundreds of airplanes, including the Hawker and the King Air carrying Sen. Wellstone and party, are not covered. So much for the FAA’s much-publicized ethic of “one level of safety.” The sad fact is that occupants aboard air taxis are not afforded the same protection as passengers aboard a regularly scheduled airline. Make no mistake, recorders are part of the safety equipment, because with the information they contain, we can prevent the next accident.

To reach Mr. Hall for additional comment please contact either Brianne Murphy at 347-524-1415 or Jamie Crooks at 619-507-4182.

Small Jet Crashes in Minnesota; at Least 8 Killed

OWATONNA, Minn. (AP) _ A small jet crashed in strong thunderstorms Thursday while preparing to land at a regional airport in Minnesota, killing at least eight people, including several casino and construction executives.

Sheriff Gary Ringhofer said there were at most nine people aboard the Raytheon Hawker 800, which went down at a regional airport about 60 miles south of the Twin Cities. He said investigators were looking into whether there was a passenger who is unaccounted for.

Seven people were dead at the scene. One died later at a hospital.

Atlantic City Mayor Scott Evans told The Associated Press that those on board included two high-ranking executives from Revel Entertainment, which is building a $2 billion hotel-casino project in Atlantic City, and several employees of Tishman Construction, which is working on the project. He didn’t know their identities, but said Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctis was not on board.

Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Tishman, identified one of the victims as Karen Sandland, a project manager on the Revel project who worked out of Tishman’s Newark, N.J., office. He said the company thinks Sandland was the only Tishman employee on board, but that it was trying to confirm that.

Lauren Avellino Turton, a spokesperson for Revel, confirmed in a written statement that several company employees were killed in the crash, although she didn’t identify those killed or say how many were on board.

“Revel is mourning the loss of several of its team members,” the statement read. “The design team was heading to Minnesota for a glass manufacturing meeting.”

The charter jet, flying from from Atlantic City, N.J., to Owatonna, a town of 25,000, went down in a cornfield northwest of Degner Regional Airport, scattering debris, Ringhofer said. The wreckage was not visible to reporters because tall corn obscured the crash site.

Cameron Smith, a mechanic at the airport, said he spoke by radio with the jet’s pilot just minutes before the crash. The pilot was about to land and was asking where he should park for fuel, Smith said.

He ran to the crash scene to see if anyone could be helped, but saw only a long skid path and debris that he described as “shredded.”

“I was amazed to hear that someone survived,” he said. “There was no fuselage. There were just parts.”

Quinn Johnson, an assistant manager at a restaurant about three miles from the airport, didn’t see the crash, but heard it. She initially thought it was a tornado.

“It lasted, I’m guessing, probably 15, 20 seconds, maybe slightly longer than that. It was a really, really loud, kind of a rumbling, screechy type noise,” Johnson said.

The crash happened as severe weather battered parts of southern Minnesota. An hour before the accident, a 72 mph wind gust was reported in Owatonna, according to the National Weather Service.

Both Smith and Johnson said the crash happened after the worst of the storm had passed, with the sky clearing and only light rain.

The plane had been scheduled to land at 9:42 a.m., then take off at 11:40 a.m. for Crossville, Tenn.

Viracon earlier this year was awarded a contract to supply glass to the World Trade Center replacement project. The company’s president, Don Pyatt, told the Owatonna People’s Press that the customers were from “a couple of different companies” who were coming to the plant to discuss a project in Las Vegas.

Pyatt gave no other details, and didn’t return a call from The Associated Press.

Mary Ann Jackson, a spokeswoman for Viracon’s parent company Apogee Enterprises Inc., confirmed to the AP that those on board were Viracon customers, but declined to provide any other details. She said no Viracon employees were involved in the crash.

The airport lies alongside Interstate 35 as it skirts Owatonna’s western edge. The airport’s Web site describes it as “ideal for all classes of corporate aircraft use” with an all-weather instrument landing system. “Maintaining access to Owatonna’s business community in all weather conditions is a priority,” the site says.

Sharon Gordon, a spokeswoman for the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates Atlantic City International Airport, said the East Coast Jets plane landed at the airport at 7:10 a.m. from its base in Allentown, Pa.

It picked up several passengers, although there is confusion about how many actually got in the plane, she said.

“We really don’t know the total amount,” she said. “It turned around very quickly, leaving at 8:13 a.m., and required no services on the ground.”

Toni Evans, an executive assistant for the SOSH architectural firm in Atlantic City, said at least some of those on board the plane were affiliated with the company, though none were company employees.

“They were from a couple of different companies,” she said. “We’ve been asked not to say anything further about it at this point. We don’t know who survived and who didn’t.”

She said the people affiliated with the firm were New Jersey residents.

SOSH specializes in designing casino projects. It is helping design the $2 billion Revel Entertainment casino-hotel project in Atlantic City, and the $333 million Buffalo Creek casino-hotel project in upstate New York for the Seneca Nation, among other projects.

The Associated Press, 07/31/2008
By AMY FORLITI

Associated Press writer Wayne Parry in Atlantic City, N.J. contributed to this report.

Peruvian Government Insubstantial Report Not Surprising, Peruvian Government Issues Final Report for TANS Peru Crash August 23, 2005

Chicago The government of Peru has issued their final report of the TANS airlines Boeing 737-244 accident official investigation from August 23 2005. (Click link for full report) The vague report concludes pilot error and adverse weather conditions contributed to the crash which killed 45 people and injured the other 55 passengers. The report notes the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) had nothing usable to determine the cause of the crash and is still being held as what many see as the to determining what really happened.

On August 23, 2005, a TANS (Transportes Aeros Nacionales de la Selva) Boeing 737-200 with 100 people on board (92 passengers, 8 crew) was flying from Lima to Pucallpa, Peru, a popular tourist destination 840 kilometers (520 miles) northeast of the capital, when it crashed on approach to landing during turbulent weather conditions.

On April 4, 2006 Nolan Law Group served the Peruvian Government with 29 petitions, signed by survivors or families of the victims. These petitions requested the government of Peru, through its Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission (Comision de Investigacion de Accidentes Aereos), exercise its discretion under Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation to release the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder tapes. The Peruvian Government has refused to honor the request.

On May 31, 2006 Nolan Law Group filed lawsuits on behalf of six members of the Vivas family from New York, one Peruvian survivor and the father of a six month old baby who was killed in the crash. The plaintiffs complaints include two counts each against Boeing and United Technologies Company (operating as Pratt Whitney) alleging negligence and product liability and one count against TANS Peru alleging negligence.

“This unreleased evidence is vital in determining the actual cause of the crash and who may be” said Donald J. Nolan of Nolan Law Group regarding the withheld CVR and FDR. “Given the myriad of unanswered questions in the report, this is precisely a case that requires full disclosure” offers Nolan.

The final report indicates that the accident airplane was equipped with a ground proximity warning system (GPWS) and that a wind shear detection device was added to the airplane three months prior to the accident. With both of these systems in place, the pilots should have received warnings prior to the plane crashing. For example, the audible warnings of “wind shear, wind shear” and “terrain, terrain” would have alerted pilots under proper conditions. However, the final report states that investigators were not able to verify the functionality of this equipment, leading to speculation that perhaps the GPWS was not working properly.

Under international treaty, the investigation if the TANS Peru crash was lead by the government of Peru. The Peruvian investigators faced numerous constraints such as lack of funding and resources. These types of constraints limit the ability of investigators to perform proper testing and analysis and preclude their access to resources and independent experts.

Acknowledging the inevitable constraints of a governmental investigation, Nolan notes that his firm “stands ready to have all of the factual information and data analyzed and tested by the best available experts in order to provide the victims and their families with full and complete answers.”

To date, however, the government of Peru, which through (FONAFE) indirectly owns the stock of TANS Peru, has refused to provide the victims and their families with any of the factual information and data related to the crash. “We simply want access to factual information; you have to wonder why they won’t give us that.”

About Nolan Law Group

Nolan Law Group helps individuals and families, in Chicago and around the world, after a tragic loss or serious personal injury. The law firm focuses its practice primarily on mass tort aviation and closed brain injury litigation.

Nolan Law Group is one of small number of law firms with a niche in the highly complex and ever-changing area of aviation litigation and is active all over the world. With regard to traumatic brain injury litigation, Nolan Law Group has pioneered the use of sophisticated technology to demonstrate the extent of brain damage that can occur as a result of accidents.

The firm has earned recognition by the legal industry leading authority, Martindale-Hubbell, for impeccable professional ethics and for legal abilities of the highest caliber.

2 Medical Choppers Collide Near Arizona Hospital, Leaving 6 Dead and 1 Critically Injured

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona (AP) _ A helicopter ferrying a patient with a medical emergency from the Grand Canyon collided into another chopper carrying a patient near a northern Arizona hospital, leaving six people dead and critically injuring a nurse. Continue Reading

Survivors of 2005 TANS Peru Crash File Multiple Lawsuits Against Boeing Company

Formal Complaints filed Against Boeing, TANS Peru and United Technologies Company (DBA Pratt and Whitney)

CHICAGO Victims of TANS Peru Flight 204 have filed suit from the gruesome plane crash which killed 45 people and injured 55 passengers and flight crew in August 2005. Nolan Law Group today filed the first formal complaints in the Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois alleging negligence and product liability against Boeing, TANS Peru and United Technologies Corporation (DBA Pratt and Whitney.) The complaints were filed on behalf of six members of the Vivas family from New York, one Peruvian survivor and the father of a six month old baby who was killed in the crash.

On August 23, 2005, a TANS (Transportes Aeros Nacionales de la Selva) Boeing 737-200 with 100 people on board (92 passengers, 8 crew) was flying from Lima to Pucallpa, Peru, a popular tourist destination 840 kilometers (520 miles) northeast of the capital, when it crashed on approach to landing during turbulent weather conditions.

Attorney Donald J. Nolan stated “Not only has the memory of this devastating crash scarred the lives of the Vivas family and other families; their future is filled with enormous pain and suffering. Their life long torment will include significant expenses for necessary medical care and psychological treatment, Nolan explained

The lawsuits filed today include two counts each against Boeing and United Technologies Company (operating as Pratt Whitney) alleging negligence and product liability and one count of negligence against TANS Peru charging negligence.

“This is a situation where the combination of the aircraft and engine design, the weather and the poor pilot training proved to be lethal.” Nolan said.

On April 4, 2005 Nolan Law Group petitioned the Peruvian Government to release the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the crash. Peru would not comply. Peru rejected the firms request to have a transparent investigation on behalf of their clients and other survivors/ victims families.

The lawsuit claims the engines were not only poorly designed but defective in nature. The Pratt and Whitney engines failed to properly deflect precipitation, causing the aircraft to be inoperable in a tropical environment which commonly contains high liquid water content. In addition, the re-light system in the engines failed to energize igniters in the event of a flameout. Thirdly, the engines had not been properly maintained with proper safety instructions and warnings in place.

About Nolan Law Group

Nolan Law Group helps individuals and families, in Chicago and around the world, after a tragic loss or serious personal injury. The law firm focuses its practice primarily on mass tort aviation and closed brain injury litigation.

Nolan Law Group is one of small number of law firms with a niche in the highly complex and ever-changing area of aviation litigation and is active all over the world. With regard to traumatic brain injury litigation, Nolan Law Group has pioneered the use of sophisticated technology to demonstrate the extent of brain damage that can occur as a result of accidents.

The firm has earned recognition by the legal industry-leading authority, Martindale-Hubbell, for impeccable professional ethics and for legal abilities of the highest caliber.

Iowa Resident Dies After Using Contaminated Blood Thinner – Illinois Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Named In Lawsuit

CHICAGO, Illinois (May 14, 2008) – Last month a lawsuit was filed against Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter International Inc. on behalf of Davenport, Iowa resident, Mark Scott who suffered the tragic loss of his wife, Melissa Scott, on November 30, 2007. The complaint was filed On April 1, 2008 in the Circuit Court of Cook County by Nolan Law Group and alleges that Melissa Scott’s untimely death was caused by her exposure to Heparin Sodium Injection Therapy. The complaint cites two counts of product liability and negligence on the part of Baxter International.

The lawsuit filed by Nolan Law Group and Mark Scott asserts that Baxter International was responsible for the manufacture, sale and distribution of a product containing toxic chemicals. It also claims that the product was manufactured with insufficient amounts of the active ingredient API and that Baxter International failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions to assist users in identifying adverse reactions.

Baxter’s Heparin has been implicated in more than 400 life-threatening incidents and may be responsible for as many as 81 deaths. In February 2008, Baxter initiated a voluntary recall of nine lots of Heparin Sodium Injection Multi-Dose Vials. According to Baxter International, they recalled the lots due to a spike in adverse reports associated with the use of Baxter Heparin Sodium Injections. After receiving additional reports of similar adverse reactions from other lots of their Heparin Sodium Injection Products, Baxter recalled their remaining multi-dose and single-dose vials, as well as HEP-LOCK Heparin Flush Products.

It was around this same time that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued its initial Public Health Advisory warning doctors and other health practitioners not to use Baxter Heparin products. The report stated that serious injuries and deaths have been associated with the use of Heparin. The adverse effects have included allergic or hypersensitivity-type reactions with symptoms, such as low blood pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and death.

Since the original complaint was filed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted a formal investigation in which they identified an unknown contaminant found in the Baxter Heparin. In early April of 2008, researchers confirmed the FDA’S suspicion that the contaminant found in the Heparin is Oversulfated Chondroitin Sulfate (OSCS), a derivative of a popular supplement used to relieve arthritis, and a chemical that does not occur naturally during Heparin production. Additionally, the FDA investigation revealed more information about inadequate testing and supply-chain issues associated with the Baxter Heparin.

Raw Heparin is often processed by small, unregistered “mom-and-pop” workshops in China. However, the key to establishing causation in the Scott case, despite all of the issues with unsanitary conditions, etc., will be Baxter’s failure to perform a chemical test on the Heparin which would have been sensitive enough to identify the difference between Heparin and OSCS. The abhorrent conditions in China from where Heparin was being imported (and the fact that the FDA was not doing significant inspections) required the need for more sensitive testing.

According to the FDA’s inspection, the Changzhou SPL Facility was unable to provide FDA with any assurance “that processing steps used to manufacture heparin sodium, USP are capable of effectively removing impurities.” FDA also found that the facility failed “to have adequate systems for evaluating the suppliers of crude heparin materials, or the crude materials themselves, to ensure that these materials are acceptable for use.” Moreover, the methods employed to test Heparin Sodium United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) had not been verified to ensure suitability under actual conditions of use, and the equipment used to manufacture the product was “unsuitable” for its intended use.

China’s Ministry of Commerce is now requiring local Heparin makers to increase testing of raw materials, improve post-sale tracking and ensure that their raw material comes from registered suppliers. This requirement follows U.S. Congressional inquiries into the FDA’s overseas inspection process.

The House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on April 15th of this year regarding the distribution of contaminated Heparin. A follow-up hearing took place on April 22nd at which time the committee asked FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach how the agency will address concerns regarding its efforts to inspect foreign drug facilities.

Mr. Scott has been appointed special administrator of his wife’s estate and, as such, is seeking personal and pecuniary damages from Baxter International Inc. for the loss of his wife in a sum in excess of the minimal jurisdictional limits of the Cook County Circuit Court.

Nolan Law Group is a Chicago-based personal injury law firm concentrating in aviation accidents, construction accidents, brain injury litigation, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and trucking accidents.

Illinois Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Sued For Injuries To Kentucky Resident – Injuries Believed To Be Caused By Contaminated Blood Thinner

CHICAGO, Illinois (May 14, 2008) – The blood thinner Heparin continues to make headlines as more people are found to have suffered serious injuries and/or death after using the contaminated drug – a group of which appears to include many Kentucky residents.

On Friday, May 2, 2008, another lawsuit was filed against Chicago-area pharmaceutical giant, Baxter International Inc. on behalf of Louisville, Kentucky resident, Artemus Banks. The complaint was filed by Nolan Law Group in Federal Court located in Chicago, Illinois. Nolan Law Group has already been responsible for filing several lawsuits on behalf of victims and the families of victims who have suffered a personal injury and/or death caused by the use of this contaminated drug. Due to the enormity and severity of the contamination, Nolan Law Group expects to file many more similar cases.

This most recent lawsuit names Scientific Protein Laboratories L.L.C. (the company which manufactures the active pharmaceutical ingredient API in Heparin) as well as certain corporate officers of Baxter. The lawsuit asserts that Baxter International and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Baxter Healthcare Corporation, manufactured the drug with a contaminated API and that Baxter failed to recall the defective drug in a timely fashion. The suit cites four causes of action against Baxter and Scientific Protein Labs including Products Liability, Negligence, Breach of Warranties and Willful and Wanton Misconduct.

Baxter’s Heparin has been implicated in more than 400 life-threatening incidents and may be responsible for as many as 81 deaths. In February 2008, Baxter initiated a voluntary recall of nine lots of Heparin Sodium Injection Multi-Dose Vials. According to Baxter International, they recalled the lots due to a spike in adverse reports associated with the use of Baxter Heparin Sodium Injections. After receiving additional reports of similar adverse reactions from other lots of their Heparin Sodium Injection Products, Baxter recalled their remaining multi-dose and single-dose vials, as well as HEP-LOCK Heparin Flush Products.

In January of 2008, Mr. Banks received a box of 25 vials of Baxter Heparin from Fresenius Medical Care for use during home dialysis treatments. Banks used the product as prescribed but began experiencing numerous physical symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness, increased perspiration and sudden weakness. Today, Mr. Banks continues to suffer as a result of his Heparin use.

The suit falls on the heels of a recent finding by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifying an unknown contaminant found in the Baxter Heparin. In early April of 2008, researchers confirmed the FDA’S suspicion that the contaminant found in the Heparin is Oversulfated Chondroitin Sulfate (OSCS), a derivative of a popular supplement used to relieve arthritis, and a chemical which does not occur naturally during Heparin production.

Raw Heparin is derived from pig intestines and is often processed by small, unregistered “mom-and-pop” workshops in China. The key to establishing causation in this case, despite all of the issues with unsanitary conditions, etc., will be Baxter’s failure to perform a chemical test on the Heparin which would have been sensitive enough to identify the difference between Heparin and OSCS. The abhorrent conditions in China from where Heparin was being imported (and the fact that the FDA was not doing significant inspections) required the need for more sensitive testing.

According to the FDA inspection, the Changzhou SPL Facility was unable to provide FDA with any assurance “that processing steps used to manufacture heparin sodium, USP are capable of effectively removing impurities.” FDA also found that the facility failed “to have adequate systems for evaluating the suppliers of crude heparin materials, or the crude materials themselves, to ensure that these materials are acceptable for use.” Moreover, the methods employed to test Heparin Sodium United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) had not been verified to ensure suitability under actual conditions of use and the equipment used to manufacture the product was “unsuitable” for its intended use.

China’s Ministry of Commerce is now requiring local Heparin makers to increase testing of raw materials, improve post-sale tracking and ensure that their raw material comes from registered suppliers. This requirement follows U.S. Congressional inquiries into the FDA’s overseas inspection process.

The House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on April 15th of this year regarding the distribution of contaminated Heparin. A follow-up hearing took place on April 22nd at which time the committee asked FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach how the agency will address concerns regarding its efforts to inspect foreign drug facilities.

Mr. Banks is seeking judgment against all defendants for compensatory and punitive damages arising from the personal injuries that he suffered from the use of a pharmaceutical drug commonly known as Heparin.

Nolan Law Group is a Chicago-based personal injury law firm concentrating in aviation accidents, construction accidents, brain injury litigation, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and trucking accidents.

6.25 Million Dollar Settlement Approved for 5½ Year Old Girl Paid By Advocate Christ Hospital for Birth Injury

After three weeks of trial, Cook County Judge Thomas Hogan approved a settlement of $6,250,000.00 for the benefit of a 5 ½ year old girl (Twin A) who was seriously injured when nurses and a third year resident at Advocate Christ Hospital, Oak Lawn, failed to properly monitor the labor and delivery of twins in January of 2002. The mother of the twins was scheduled for a planned caesarean section (c-section) on the morning of January 16, 2002. On January 15, 2002, she presented to Christ Hospital in labor and provided documentation that she was to have a c-section. Despite this, she was prepped for a vaginal delivery and was attended to by a nurse and the third year resident until the very end of labor. During the laboring process, there were almost two continuous hours with no adequate fetal monitor tracings for the twins – their conditions could not be verified by electronic monitoring strips. Following the vaginal delivery, Twin A, with intervention from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, was diagnosed with severe brain injury requiring constant care for the rest of her life. Twin B was born normal and healthy with no signs of distress or injury. Advocate Christ Hospital maintained that the cause of the child’s brain injury was a chronic twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome that took place in the two weeks prior to presentation at the hospital. The hospital further maintained that the mother never requested a c-section and, even if she had, her ingestion of food within three hours of presentation at the hospital made an elective c-section unreasonably dangerous and thus could not be performed.

Attorneys for the estate of the child, Donald J. Nolan, William J. Jovan and Thomas P. Routh of Nolan Law Group alleged that the resident and nurses’ failure to properly monitor the delivery and the hospital’s failure to supervise the resident and have an attending physician present at the high risk delivery, was the cause of the brain injury to Twin A. A separate claim against the mother’s obstetrician, not an employee of Advocate Christ Hospital, was not part of the settlement.

Nolan Law Group is a Chicago based personal injury law firm concentrating in aviation accidents, brain injury, medical malpractice, workers compensation, premises liability, product liability, construction negligence, and railroad and motor vehicle accidents. Advocate Christ Hospital was represented by Patricia Barker of Barker & Castro, LLC.

Illinois Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Named In Yet Another Heparin Lawsuit After Virginia Resident Dies

CHICAGO, Illinois (May 14, 2008) – The blood thinner Heparin continues to make headlines as more people are found to have suffered serious injuries and/or death after using the contaminated drug – a group of which appears to include several Virginia residents.

On Friday May 2, 2008, a lawsuit was filed against Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter International Inc. on behalf of Coeburn, Virginia resident, Angela Lawson-Greear who suffered the tragic loss of her father, Thomas Troy Lawson, on February 13, 2008. This is the third lawsuit of its kind filed by Nolan Law Group and follows a recent finding by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifying an unknown contaminant found in Baxter Heparin. Due to the enormity and severity of the contamination, the firm expects to file several similar cases in the near future.

The complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County by Nolan Law Group and alleges that Thomas Lawson’s untimely death was caused by his exposure to contaminated Heparin. The complaint cites multiple counts of Products Liability, Negligence, Breach of Warranties and Willful and Wanton Misconduct on the part of Baxter International and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

The lawsuit filed by Mrs. Lawson and Nolan Law Group asserts that Baxter International and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Baxter Healthcare Corporation, was responsible for the manufacture, sale and distribution of a product containing toxic chemicals. It also claims that the product was manufactured with a contaminated API and that Baxter failed to recall the defective drug in a timely fashion.

Baxter’s Heparin has been implicated in more than 400 life-threatening incidents and may be responsible for as many as 81 deaths. In February 2008, Baxter initiated a voluntary recall of nine lots of Heparin Sodium Injection Multi-Dose Vials. According to Baxter International, they recalled the lots due to a spike in adverse reports associated with the use of Baxter Heparin Sodium Injections. After receiving additional reports of similar adverse reactions from other lots of their Heparin Sodium Injection Products, Baxter recalled their remaining multi-dose and single-dose vials, as well as HEP-LOCK Heparin Flush Products.

Prior to February 13, 2008, Thomas Lawson was receiving home dialysis for a medical condition and was prescribed Baxter Heparin as part of his Heparin Sodium Injection Therapy. Mr. Lawson used the product as prescribed but began experiencing numerous physical symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness, increased perspiration and sudden weakness. Mr. Lawson ultimately died as a result of his contaminated Heparin use.

In early April of 2008, researchers confirmed the FDA’S suspicion that the contaminant found in the Heparin is Oversulfated Chondroitin Sulfate (OSCS), a derivative of a popular supplement used to relieve arthritis, and a chemical which does not occur naturally during Heparin production.

Raw Heparin is derived from pig intestines and is often processed by small, unregistered “mom-and-pop” workshops in China. The key to establishing causation in this case, despite all of the issues with unsanitary conditions, etc., will be Baxter’s failure to perform a chemical test on the Heparin which would have been sensitive enough to identify the difference between Heparin and OSCS. The abhorrent conditions in China from where Heparin was being imported (and the fact that the FDA was not doing significant inspections) required the need for more sensitive testing.

According to FDA’s inspection, the Changzhou SPL Facility was unable to provide FDA with any assurance “that processing steps used to manufacture heparin sodium, USP are capable of effectively removing impurities.” FDA also found that the facility failed “to have adequate systems for evaluating the suppliers of crude heparin materials, or the crude materials themselves, to ensure that these materials are acceptable for use.” Moreover, the methods employed to test Heparin Sodium United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) had not been verified to ensure suitability under actual conditions of use, and the equipment used to manufacture the product was “unsuitable” for its intended use.

China’s Ministry of Commerce is now requiring local Heparin makers to increase testing of raw materials, improve post-sale tracking and ensure that their raw material comes from registered suppliers. This requirement follows U.S. Congressional inquiries into the FDA’s overseas inspection process.

The House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on April 15th of this year regarding the distribution of contaminated Heparin. A follow-up hearing took place on April 22nd at which time the committee asked FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach how the agency will address concerns regarding its efforts to inspect foreign drug facilities.

Angela Lawson has been appointed special administrator of her father’s estate and as such is seeking personal and pecuniary damages from Baxter International Inc. for the loss of her father in a sum in excess of the minimal jurisdictional limits of the Cook County Circuit Court.

Nolan Law Group is a Chicago-based personal injury law firm concentrating in aviation accidents, construction accidents, brain injury litigation, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and trucking accidents.

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