Archive for February, 2019


Is it Legal for a Restaurant to Ban E-Cigarettes?

February 27, 2019

The use of e-cigarettes and vaporizes is widespread throughout the country. In fact, wherever you look, it can be hard not to find someone puffing from a device that releases nicotine in the form of vapor. With their huge popularity, it may be hard to fathom that e-cigs were only first introduced for sale in the United States in 2007—just a little over a decade for their popularity to increase throughout every state.

Due to their quick increase in popularity, the FDA was unable to keep up with demand and for a while, e-cigs were released and sold without any guidelines or regulations attached to them. Because of this, many people are suffering from intense injuries and even death after using e-cigs and vapes that had faulty batteries and bad equipment. As more and more people were injured or dying from the use of e-cigs, states began to realize the need for more regulation.

Just a few years ago, a decade after the e-cigs were released, states began enacting laws that banned or limited the use of e-cigs in certain places. Across the world, the regulation on e-cigs vary. Some countries and states within the U.S. have banned devices entirely, while others have limited them or introduced no regulations at all. In 2016, we saw the first widespread regulation when the use of e-cigs were banned on airplanes in the United States. That same year, the FDA mandated that e-cigs be regulated the same as all other Tabaco products.

Still, though, it is up to each state to determine their laws regarding vaping and e-cigarettes. Here in Indiana, Indianapolis has banned all enclosed workplaces from using e-cigarettes. This includes bars and restaurants, so yes, it is legal for a restaurant to tell you to leave if you are using one of these devices or to ban them from use entirely while in their place of business. Similarly, in Greenwood, there has been a ban on e-cigs in all enclosed workplaces, but this does not include bars and restaurants, so you can smoke your device if in that area.

Other areas of Indiana do not have regulations set in terms of smoking e-cigs, but they do regulate the way they are marketed and sold. Throughout the state, the sale of any type of e-cig is illegal to anyone under 18 and a company must have a license and permit before selling any type of e-cigarette. As of now, there is no special tax on e-cigs in Indiana.

But, just because there are little to no regulations in the state for e-cigs does not mean that those injured by the devices do not have grounds to file a lawsuit against the manufactures who make them. E-cigs pose a great risk of injury due to devices often overheating and exploding in hands, pockets and mouths. E-cig users have reported second and third-degree burns, loss of limbs and even death after using an e-cigarette or vape.

If you have been injured or a loved one has died because of an e-cigarette, you deserve to be compensated. At Stewart & Stewart, we know what it takes to get our clients the money they deserve after using a defective or unsafe product, and we will work hard to get that for you. For more information, give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.


What Do I Do IF I am Injured by an E-Cigarette?

February 25, 2019

E-cigarettes have only been around a short time compared to regular cigarettes, but their popularity has grown rapidly. As vaping becomes a regular occurrence in all areas, including places where smoking is banned, there has been an increase in the number of injuries associated with e-cigarettes as well.

An e-cigarette encompasses a variety of different devices, from vaporizers to mods. In short, any device that delivers nicotine is technically an e-cigarette, but most will come in the form of a battery-powered handheld that delivers nicotine through a vapor. Because of the vapor, many e-cigarette users believe that they are safer than the average cigarette. Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence supporting this claim. What we do know, though, is that these e-cigarettes may not pose a greater risk to our organs, but they do pose a greater risk for our well-being.

As more people have latched on to e-cigarette use, there have been more instances of injury, from devices blowing up in people’s hands and mouths and causing serious harm or even death.

Safety Regulations

As of right now, there are no federal standards or laws in place for e-cigarettes. Some states have recently begun to place bans on where you can smoke, but overall, there is no regulation as to how an e-cig or vape is made. Because of this, many companies have resorted to using cheap batteries that explode when they get too hot—something that should be of high concern when used for something like a vape pen.

Many e-cigarette brands have also been targeting teens and younger generations, which has caused a recent push for the FDA to regulate the ads and marketing tactics associated with e-cigs.

Overall, though, each time you use an e-cig, you are putting yourself at risk. Without any real guidelines in place, many people could be using faulty pens, vapes or e-cig devices without knowing and if their device should explode or malfunction, the results can be life-threatening.

Accidents Associated with E-Cigs

A large majority of the accidents associated with the use of e-cigs are explosion and fire related. Many claimants have reported their devices spontaneously blowing up while in their purse, pocket, or worse, their mouths. The injuries that occur can range from second and third-degree burns, chemical burns, and temporary vision loss to smoke inhalation, loss of fingers or limbs and even death.

Many victims of e-cig explosions end up in the hospital and require intense surgeries such as skin grafts, reconstructive work, and more. A number of unfortunate e-cig accidents have even left people in medically-induced comas.

What to Do If Injured by an E-Cig

If you do find yourself injured by your e-cigarette or vaporizer, be sure to get medical help right away. Once your injuries are tended to, your next step is to contact an attorney. Without set guidelines in place, filing a lawsuit against an e-cig or vape brand can be difficult and it takes an experienced e-cig attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

There are many reasons someone may want to file a lawsuit against an e-cig or vaporizer company. Injuries can lead to large medical bills, time off work and even death. In addition to personal injuries, e-cigs can also damage property should they explode and lead to prolonged health issues from the chemicals inhaled. If you want to file a lawsuit against an e-cigarette or vaporize brand after an injury, contact Stewart & Stewart today to learn more about how we can help you file a claim and get the compensation you deserve. For more information, give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.


What Can I Do If I am injured Due to the Use of Acetaminophen?

February 23, 2019

If you aren’t sure if you’ve ever used Acetaminophen, it’s likely that you have. In fact, Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used drugs in the country and is the main ingredient of common over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and Nyquil. Those who have been injured, undergone surgery or needed painkillers for any other reason have also used Acetaminophen, as it is the main ingredient in stronger drugs like Percocet and Vicodin.

Taking a Tylenol to cure a headache won’t cause you to be hurt by the drug, but many people end up taking too much Acetaminophen without realizing, whether they take too many of one medication or mix multiple different medications all containing the drug. This can lead to liver damage and severe health problems. But taking too much Acetaminophen is actually quite easy. Have you ever taken a Tylenol during the day to help with head pressure and then a Nyquil at night to help you sleep? By doing this, you are putting yourself at risk for Acetaminophen overdose and liver failure—something that many of us are not warned about properly.

In 2011, the FDA required all drugs containing Acetaminophen to lower the amounts of it in their product. Given three years to comply, by 2014, all drugs should have lowered their amounts. While this helped some, there are still tons of lawsuits proving that Acetaminophen has led to liver damage and health problems, even when taking the drug correctly. In fact, according to the American Association of Poison Control Center, 30,000 people overdose from Acetaminophen use each year, many of which end up needing a complete liver transplant or even dying.

For many, Tylenol, and other popular drugs containing Acetaminophen, is seen as a safe drug to use at-will and when needed. Risks are often not noted, but can include everything from stomach pain, insomnia, constipation and more. Many believe that those who overdose or experience liver damage from Tylenol did not use the product correctly, intentionally took too much, or took the drug with alcohol. While this is true for many cases, it’s important to note that overdosing on Acetaminophen is very easy and can happen to anyone, even those who follow their doctors’ prescription or the amount labeled on the bottle.

If you do end up suffering from an Acetaminophen overdose, you are likely to show signs a day or two after taking the drug. Patients often experience stomach pain and vomiting first, before a decreased urinary output and then liver failure, which will manifest about 3-5 days after initial ingestion.

If you or someone you know overdosed on Acetaminophen, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer to get compensation for your medical bills and any future pain, suffering or health complications you may experience. The attorneys at Stewart & Stewart know how hard it can be to undergo a medical complication after using a common drug that is only meant to help. We are ready to fight for you and your family to ensure you get the help you so rightly deserve. For more information about how we can help you, contact us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.


If You Used Zofran, You Need to Read This

February 21, 2019

When a woman first gets pregnant, she may experience signs of nausea and sickness that come and go or last throughout the entire day. These symptoms can be so severe that they interrupt daily life and make it hard for a woman to work and go about her life as normal. To help release the painful symptoms, many women are prescribed Zofran, an anti-nausea drug that is said to be safe to take while pregnant.

Zofran first came on the market in 1991 after it was manufactured by GSK, but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago when the drug became a mainstream option for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness and severe nausea. Once the drug was released, though, its’ popularity was fast and by 2013, about one million women were using the drug to help with their symptoms. The way Zofran works is quite simple: it blocks serotonin, a natural substance the body produces that can cause vomiting and nausea. Unfortunately, it’s been proven that serotonin also has many other roles to play during pregnancy and blocking it completely may cause a risk to your unborn child.

Since its’ popularity increased, there have been studies around the world trying to associate Zofran with prenatal risks and birth defects. Some studies found that Zofran actually passes directly to the fetus through the placenta and lingers inside the child for a long time, causing issues and defects. A major issue is heart defects, which one study found increased by 20% in mothers taking Zofran. In addition to heart defects, infants born to mothers taking Zofran have also been reported having mental deficiencies, kidney malfunctions, skull deformation, clubfoot and more.

These studies have led to women coming forward and suing the manufacturer after their child was born with a defect directly related to the use of Zofran. These lawsuits have proven that GSK knew of the potential risks to unborn babies but continued to market their product to pregnant mothers.

What Can You Do?

Today, there are other options for morning sickness than just Zofran, and while doctors will still prescribe this drug, it is usually as a last resort. If your doctor prescribes you Zofran, be sure you understand all the risks associated with it and speak with your doctor about alternative options, such as a more recent anti-nausea drug called Diclegis, which is proven to be safe for pregnant women.

If you have already taken Zofran throughout your pregnancy and have a child born with a defect, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering and the suffering of the child. You should contact an attorney right away, who can file a lawsuit against the manufacture on your behalf and get you and your family the help you so rightly deserve.

At Stewart & Stewart, we know how tragic a birth defect can be, and we want to fight for you every step of the way to ensure you get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills and more. If you have been hurt by the use of Zofran, contact us right away at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.


Everything You Need to Know About the Taxotere

February 19, 2019

Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug produced by French company, Sanofi-Aventis, and is used to help prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. Taxotere has been used to treat a number of different cancers, but it is most widely associated with the treatment of breast cancer.

Doctors were well aware of the common side effects associated with this drug, as they are similar to other chemotherapy drugs given to patients. These include fatigue, nausea, constipation and even numbness in the hands and feet. One symptom they weren’t aware of was the permanent hair loss that many patients experienced after using Taxotere.

Almost all chemotherapy treatments are associated with hair loss, but that loss is temporary and hair will usually begin to grow back shortly after chemotherapy treatment comes to an end. Unfortunately for those using Taxotere, many of which were women suffering from breast cancer, their hair never began to grow back and many developed alopecia, a technical term for permanent hair loss. And while hair loss is not technically a medical issue, women often suffer emotionally after losing their hair—and those emotions are only enhanced when they learn their hair will never grow back.

The most unfortunate part for Taxotere users is that many women were not warned of this potential side effect. With such big numbers of women experiencing permanent hair loss—about 20% of users—it is necessary and just for all patients to be warned of this possible side effect, particularly when there are other drug options that offer the same results without the risk. But it is not the doctors who are to blame. In fact, studies have shown that most doctors were also unaware of this risk, a fact that seems alarming knowing that the manufacturer of the drug knew about the hair loss side effect since the 1990’s. It has now been shown that the company worked hard to downplay the side effects of the drug and even offered incentives to doctors and medical professionals to use the drug over other, less expensive options that do not result in permanent hair loss.

The biggest surprise to many patients and their doctors was that Europe became aware of the hair loss risk associated with Taxotere in 2005, when Sanofi-Aventis put out a warning for the drug. But, it wasn’t until 10 years later that any patients or medical staff in the United States were made aware of this warning when the FDA finally required the company to inform patients of the risk.

While this is hopeful news for new patients undergoing chemotherapy, the amount of women already suffering from permanent hair loss is insurmountable. After fighting to win the battle with cancer, no woman should continue to fight emotionally for a semblance of their old selves. If you or a loved one used the Taxotere drug during your chemotherapy treatments and experienced permanent hair loss, you may be entitled to compensation.

Fore more information on the Taxotere lawsuit, or to find out how you can enter a claim against the manufacturer, contact the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart today at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.


5 Defective Products Everyone Should Be Aware Of

February 02, 2019

When you buy a product at the store, you assume that it will not only work correctly but will not harm or injure you in any way. Unfortunately, products injuring consumers is an all-too-common occurrence that most of us cannot avoid. From big manufactures failing to warn consumers of potential dangers to manufacturing plants creating faulty equipment, there are many ways you can be hurt by a product.

Some of the most popular defective product cases involve large companies and corporations and a large number of people who were hurt or fell ill after using their product. But, those aren’t the only defective product cases there are. Many consumers may be singularly hurt by an item when they receive a faulty product or are not properly warned of the dangers of using a product when having a certain illness or taking other medications.

While any type of product can hurt or injure you, it’s important for all consumers to be aware of the most common defective products out there so they can be on the lookout and avoid potential harm.

Medical Devices

Medical devices are widely used to help people live longer, fuller lives. But with the influx of medical devices being used, we have also seen an increase in harm due to a device. Most consumers are familiar with complications due to transvaginal mesh and metal hip replacements.

Auto Parts

During the car manufacturing process, there are many details that can go wrong. From entire models being made poorly to faulty parts passing inspection and making it into the market, many people find themselves suffering from accidents and injuries at the hands of an otherwise safe mode of transportation. Common cases often include faulty airbags and defective tires.

Children’s Toys

Quite possibly the most concerning one on this list, children’s toys pose a great risk to consumers. Whether a toy is a choking hazard and does not warn parents or the chemicals used to create the toy are dangerous to children of a certain age, parents everywhere should take caution when a lawsuit concerning a toy or baby product comes out and be aware of the items they buy their kids.

Prescription Drugs

While it may seem bizarre, many drugs currently on the market have actually not been put through enough testing to ensure their safety to the public. Often, a company will release a drug to consumers without knowing all of the potential risks, causing patients to be harmed or contract serious health issues.

Chemicals and Materials

From Roundup Ready Weedkiller causing cancer to industrial equipment causing Mesothelioma, lawsuits for chemicals causing harm are long and vast. Putting harmful chemicals in things like paint can cause consumers to be unknowingly exposed and put them at risk for major health problems and even death.

If you have experienced an injury or contracted a health problem after using a defective product, you need an experienced attorney on your side to help you fight this battle. The attorneys at Stewart & Stewart are experienced in defective products and know what it takes to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. For more information about how we can help you with your defective product claim, give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.