Contaminated Transplants and Tainted Tissue Claims
More than a million people receive a transplant of human tissue each year in the United States alone. Examples of transplants are:
- skin grafts
- bone grafts
- blood vessel parts
- bone marrow
- dental implants
- organs (e.g., heart, lung, kidney, intestines, liver, and pancreas)
- heart valves
- tendon or cartilage replacement
The collection and cleaning of all human tissues for use in transplants in the United States is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A billion-dollar industry has sprung up, made of the many companies that collect and clean human tissues for transplants at hospitals nationwide. Phillips Law Group handles cases involving contaminated transplants and tainted tissue. Our attorneys in Phoenix are helping individuals who’ve become ill or otherwise suffer after receiving infected human tissue.
Unfortunately, the guidelines intended to safeguard the health of recipients of human tissue have been subverted by a tissue-services company that allegedly harvested body parts illegally, forged accompanying documents, and distributed the tissues to several tissue banks for use in transplants all over the country. Thousands of Americans who received a tissue transplant may well have gotten some of this “tainted tissue”: our attorneys can give you more information about the pathway from tissue harvesting to transplant. You or a loved one may be one of the many patients who received contaminated transplants contact an injury attorney in Phoenix at the Phoenix offices of Phillips Law Group to explore this issue.
Biomedical Tissue Services Class Action Lawsuit
In early 2006, the district attorney (D.A.) in Brooklyn, New York arraigned the president of the New Jersey-based company Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS) and three other men on charges of opening graves, unlawful dissection, body stealing, forgery, and enterprise corruption. In addition, 30-some funeral homes in New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia that may have provided corpses or body parts to BTS are being investigated. The defendants allegedly:
- forged death certificates (to make some cadavers appear to be young enough for tissue harvest, and to make some cadavers appear to be free of disease)
- forged accompanying organ donor consent forms, and
- gave non-matching, “clean” blood samples to go with the harvested tissue.
The D.A. estimates that these criminal activities by BTS were ongoing from 2001 to 2005. Thousands of transplants using this “tainted tissue” may thus have been performed throughout the United States. For example, just one cadaver’s bone can be made into a paste to fill small holes in thousands of other bones, and hundreds of skin grafts can be made from one cadaver’s skin. BTS is alleged to have obtained hundreds of cadavers.
In March 2006 the FDA sent a warning to all U.S. healthcare providers recommending that they inform their patients who received human tissue in any form that there is an increased risk of infectious disease from some tissue. The FDA recommended that all such tissue recipients should be tested for:
- Hepatitis (B and C)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) forms -1 and -2
- Bacterial infection
- Fungal infection
- Other infectious diseases
The tainted tissue transplant attorneys of Phillips Law Group can tell you more about the Biomedical Tissue Services class action lawsuit that has been initiated. Call today for a consultation.
In May 2006, the “Safe Tissue Act” was introduced in Congress. This legislation would mandate greater control of the human tissue industry. The major sponsors of the Act, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), noted that much more needs to be done to safeguard the collection and distribution of human tissues.
If you received a transplant or implant of human tissue, you should be tested by a physician for infectious disease. There is a possibility that you received “tainted tissue.” Attorneys with experience regarding this issue can provide the representation you need. The contaminated transplants attorneys at the Phoenix offices of Phillips Law Group have the knowledge and ability to help you.
CryoLife Bone and Tissue Recall
The FDA issued a nationwide bone and tissue recall in 2002, targeting another human tissue-processing company, CryoLife, based in Kennesaw, Georgia. CryoLife was investigated by the FDA after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concluded that half of the transplant infection cases in the United States were linked to tissues processed by CryoLife. All of the human tissue released by Cryolife since October 2001 (other than pediatric heart valves) was recalled by the FDA. However, once human tissue has been transplanted into a patient, it is very difficult to “recall” it. Thus, patients across the United States who received human tissue from CryoLife are at risk for HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis, and other serious diseases. If you think that you may be one of the individuals who received a tainted tissue transplant, our contaminated transplants attorneys in Phoenix can advise you regarding your legal rights.
For more information, call our team of legal professionals today at 1-800-706-3000 .
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