Largest Verdict in a Personal Injury case
in Pennsylvania history
Largest-ever compensatory verdict
Then-second largest Product
Liability verdict in U.S. history
Auto Accident Verdict
Largest single-victim fatality settlement
Civil Rights verdict
- Click Here For Kline & Specter News Alerts
- Drexel University announces Thomas R. Kline School of Law (click here)
- National Law Journal names Kline & Specter among America's Elite Trial Lawyers (click here)
- 15 at Kline & Specter named Super Lawyers, Rising Stars (click here)
- On TV ⇒ Tom Kline files suit deadly NJ gas explosion - see coverage (click here)
- On TV ⇒ Tom Kline files suit in death of radio host E. Steven Collins (click here)
- On TV ⇒ Specter files suit in fatal fire escape collapse (click here)
- PA Supreme Court to hear Tom Kline appeal on liability cap law (click here)
- Kline, Safier, Clarke win $42.9M med-mal verdict -- one of PA's largest (click here)
- On TV ⇒ Shanin Specter interviewed on house explosion lawsuit (click here)
- Kline, Guerrini, Williams win $11.6M premises liability settlement (click here)
- Study: Kline & Specter tops in major PA verdicts, settlements (click here)
- Kline & Specter had largest award vs. VA in 10 years (click here)
- Kline & Specter settles first Penn State sexual abuse case (click here)
- On TV ⇒ Andy Stern comments on building collapse video (click here)
- On TV ⇒ Kline & Specter files suit in unnecessary stent procedure case
- Firm wins record $105 million settlement in power line death case
- Specter, Baldwin, Guerrini $109 million verdict among U.S.Top 10
- Tom Kline named 2013 Best Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
- Seven at Kline & Specter named "Best Lawyers in America"
- Kline & Specter Courtroom dedicated at Penn Law School
- Kline & Specter named No. 1 Product Liability Firm in the United States
- Kline, Specter named among nation's 500 "Leading Lawyers"
- On TV ⇒ ESPN features the Plevretes case, Shanin Specter
- Best Lawyers names Tom Kline No. 1 Phila. personal injury attorney
- Specter, Safier, Williams win $17.5M med-mal verdict
- See more Kline & Specter stories in the news
Pennsylvania - New Jersey - Delaware - New York - Nationwide
Popular osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphonates – whose brand names include Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Zometa and others – are believed to be linked to osteonecrosis, a serious and irreversible disease that causes jawbone decay.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw, also known as ONJ or jawbone tissue death, causes a patient’s jawbone to rot and die, requiring long-term antibiotic therapy or surgery to remove dying bone tissue.
Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax, manufactured by Merck, are taken mostly by post-menopausal women seeking to slow or prevent osteoporosis. The medication, which is generally prescribed in pill form but is also administered intravenously, is also used to treat certain cancers and Paget’s disease.
Symptoms of osteonecrosis include burning, tingling or localized pain or swelling in the jaw, infection (possibly with pus), and irregular sores with exposed bone.
Kline & Specter, P.C., handled cases involving bisphosphonates such as Fosamax and Boniva after professional organizations issued warnings about their use.
The American Association of Endodontists, whose members specialize in root canal procedures, issued a position statement on March 30, 2006 about the use of bisphosphonates. The AAE said reports suggested that problems with jawbone tissue death may be triggered by tooth extractions and other dental surgeries. However, the ailment can also occur "out of the blue," as a June 2006 article in The Philadelphia Inquirer put it. (See articles below.)
In 2004, a connection between bisphosphonates and osteonecrosis was found by doctors at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The findings, reported in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning to healthcare professionals.
In July 2005, at the request of the FDA, Merck added a warning notice to the label of Fosamax, which had been approved by the FDA in 1995. However, critics claim the warning was obscured, appearing only on page 13 of a 22-page document provided to pharmacies.
On April 10, 2006, a lawsuit was filed in federal court claiming that Fosamax is a defective product because it can cause osteonecrosis or jawbone tissue death and alleging Merck concealed the drug’s dangerous side effects from patients and doctors. New Jersey-based Merck is already facing thousands of lawsuits over another drug, Vioxx, which was withdrawn from the market in September 2004.
While the bisphosphonate medications support the buildup of bone in areas weakened by disease, one side effect is thought to be the opposite effect – a weakening of the bone – in the upper and lower jawbones.