As reported by KTLA 5 yesterday, the family of a recently deceased 87 year woman was shocked and devastated to learn that she had been buried in the wrong resting place by Funeraria Latino Americana, a funeral home in East Los Angeles. A day before the scheduled viewing for the woman, her family was notified that she had been buried over a week earlier by the East L.A. funeral home. Even worse, according to the woman’s granddaughter, staff members at the funeral home continued to lie about the mistake, leading the family to doubt whether their beloved departed family member was in fact buried where the funeral home claims. As the family anxiously awaits the proper burial of their loved one, the funeral home maintains they are taking all steps to “rectify this situation.”
Unfortunately, tragedies like this one are not uncommon. Funeral homes, particularly ones serving lower income communities, often cut corners by hiring unqualified personnel and having inadequate policies and procedures in place in order to enhance profits. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer have unique experience at handling these types of claims against funeral homes and cemeteries, ranging from cases involving the fraudulent selling of occupied plots to the improper burial of individuals, including a recent high six figure settlement against a funeral home for burying a family’s beloved grandmother in the wrong grave and then trying to pass another family’s departed loved one as their grandmother at the viewing.
Errors like these only compound the anguish your family is experiencing in the bereavement process from the loss of a loved one, which only prolongs it indefinitely by creating new emotional scars that can take years to heal, if they do at all. Funeral homes undertake a sacred obligation when they agree to handle the interment of your loved ones, and serious errors like these are unacceptable and require holding the funeral home accountable so that these types of tragedies are avoided in the future. If your family has experienced funeral home negligence during the interment of a loved one, call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.
RECORD-SETTING VERDICT RETURNED IN CASE INVOLVING MOTRIN THAT RESULTED IN DEVASTATING INJURY TO YOUNG PATIENT
On October 3, 2011, a Los Angeles jury returned a record-setting verdict against Johnson & Johnson and their fully owned subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare for $48.2 million, with pre-interest and cost of judgement is expected to reach 60 million dollars. Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer represented Christopher Trejo, now 22 years old, in a trial that resulted in general, special and punitive damages against the pharmaceutical giant. The verdict was based on findings of malice towards the consumers of the over-the-counter drug Motrin, specifically for not putting a warning label on the product that could have spared Trejoâ€™s and othersâ€™ health. This is believed to be the first verdict of its kind involving punitive damages associated with this over-the-counter temporary pain reliever.
At age 16, Trejo, after taking Motrin as directed on the label for less than one week, contracted a drug-induced reaction called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). It caused a severe inside-out exfoliating reaction affecting all of his mucosal membranes, which is equivalent to second- and third-degree burns over 100% of his body. The TEN reaction also caused severe pulmonary damage, near-blindness, infertility, whole-body scarring and a hypoxic brain injury. Trejoâ€™s abilities to see, hear, smell, taste and touch have been severely diminished.
Attorney Brian Witzer presented testimony from the burn surgeon at Shrinerâ€™s Burn Center who saved Christopherâ€™s life that, in his opinion, TEN is 100% attributed to the active ingredient in Motrin and has been known for years to cause serious skin reactions, including Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). Experts addressed each of Trejoâ€™s injuries as well as the causal link between TEN and his injuries.
After hearing the evidence, the jury found that the labeling on Motrin was inadequate and should have been changed years earlier to properly educate and alert consumers to the developing signs of severe reactions, which include skin reddening, rash and blisters. Early detection and treatment of these symptoms can prevent TEN or SJS.
Johnson & Johnson denied any connection to the product, even though the company owned the Trademark and has represented on its own website that Motrin is its product. Although Johnson & Johnson claimed to be â€śonly a holding company,â€ť the jury unanimously found that it was an integral part of the marketing of Motrin, with its own attorneys on crucial committees.
The verdict included $9,476,220 for Trejoâ€™s past and future medical expenses and $1,925,000 for his future loss of earnings. Additionally the jury awarded $21,166,660 for his pain and suffering, which included a shortened life expectancy.
The punitive damages against both Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary McNeil totaled an additional $15,625,000. The total verdict was just under $48.2 million, which will be close to $60 million due to pre-judgment interest and costs to which the Plaintiff is entitled.
For more information on the details of the case, please contact Brian D. Witzer at 310-777-5999.
On September 1, 2009, a unanimous federal jury in Chicago, Illinois, found that plaintiff Karen Robinson, a 40 year-old woman, sustained $3.5 million in damages after she suffered a dangerous drug reaction to Childrenâ€™s Motrin. Childrenâ€™s Motrin and Motrin are brand-name versions of the well-known painkiller and fever-reducer ibuprofen. Both products are manufactured by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
The life-threatening condition that caused Karen Robinson $3.5 million in damages is called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, or SJS. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, and its more severe form called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, or TEN, are drug-induced allergic reactions. They are both life-threatening disorders that attack the skin and mucous Read more…