Dangerous ET-Plus guardrails

Ed Rowan, Esq. of Taylor Martino, P.C. recently met with an expert engineer, Dr. Brian Pfeifer of BEC Consulting about his extensive experience investigating potential defective designs and installation of guardrails and barriers along highways and interstates. His specialty is roadside safety and analysis of maintenance of traffic issues.

The sole purpose of guardrails and barriers is life safety – to protect us from a hazard that is on the other side of the guardrail or barrier in case of a crash such as trees, embankments, and other structures. All across the United States, there currently exists a potentially defective end cap installed on guardrails (called the guardrail terminal) – this is an endcap called the “ET-Plus” manufactured by Trinity Industries. This end cap does not collapse when a car impacts it, but rather has the potential to cut the car into pieces and the rails have speared through the driver or passenger-side doors, into seats and through the vehicle floors. This particular guardrail endcap has been the subject of a recent $680 million verdict in Texas and the company faces at least 40 product liability lawsuits nationwide over its ET-Plus product.

A recent study conducted by the University of Alabama-Birmingham concluded that a redesigned version of the ET-Plus guardrail system places motorists at a higher risk of serious injury or fatality than its previous version. The study examined eight years of data for injury and death crashes in Ohio and Missouri involving five different guardrail end terminal designs. The study found that the ET-Plus design was 3.95 times more likely to produce a fatality than its predecessor, the ET-2000 design. In addition, the ET-Plus guardrail was 1.45 times more likely to produce a severe injury. The study was funded by The Safety Institute and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

If you were seriously injured in a crash and there was a guardrail or barrier involved, there could very well be a defectively designed and/or installed guardrail or barrier that did not serve its one and only purpose – to protect you.

Please contact Ed Rowan at (800) 785-8755 or at for a free and confidential consultation.

455 St. Louis Street Suite 2100
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Taylor Martino, PC has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Portersville Bay Oyster Company against 4H Construction and Gunter N. Guy, Commissioner of Alabama Department of Conservation. Portersville Bay Oyster Company holds private and state-owned aquaculture easements for cage-raised and bottom oysters. Portersville claims the heavy machinery used by 4H Construction to complete the Marsh Island Restoration Project is creating more than normal sediment and silt and the project is causing the larvae and mature oysters to become contaminated and smothered by the extra silt and sediment.

Click here to read Lagniappe’s story Lawsuit claims state project is killing oysters in Portersville Bay dated September 29, 2016. The story features our client, Troy Cornelius, owner of Portersville Bay Oyster Company in Coden, Alabama.

In January 2016, Department of Conservation awarded 4H Construction out of Mississippi a contract to complete the Marsh Island Restoration Project. The project was intended to rehabilitate and restore the salt marshes destroyed by past hurricanes and affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The state decided to do this by constructing a semi-permeable segment breakwater barrier to project the shoreline. The Marsh Island Restoration Project requires the construction company use heavy machinery to remove sediment from the salt marshes, which, in turn, creates more than normal sediment and silt, which is then carried by the tides and the currents. The larvae and oysters become contaminated and smothered by the extra silt and sediment, which has decimated the young oyster population by  Portersville Bay Oyster Company and other oyster farmers in the bay. 

The extra sediment and silt began to affect the oyster beds as early as May 2016. Prior to the Marsh Island Restoration Project, the Portersville oyster beds had a mortality of 3-5% and now the affected oyster beds have 40-50% mortality rate, which is continuing to grow as the work continues on the berm.  The oysters being raised on the bottom have all been lost.

Portersville Bay Oyster Company alleges the Alabama Department of Conservation and 4H Construction has not implemented the proper safeguards to prevent the movement of dredged sediments and has failed to limit or has created turbidity that exceed acceptable levels.  “I’ve been making a living on this river for 30 years and for someone to sit behind a desk and tell me how things work down here is unbelievable, pumping all of this silt and sediment is killing my oysters,” said Troy Cornelius, owner of Portersville Bay Oyster Company. 

During the bidding phase, the Alabama Department of Conservation and contractors were aware creation of the breakwater marsh could create the excess silt and pollution to the oyster beds.  “The State of Alabama is using a portion of the settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to rebuild the salt marshes but, at the same time,  have embarked on a project that will destroy the oysters and the livelihood of local oyster farmers like our client,” said attorney Steve Martino of Taylor Martino, PC, which represents Portersville Bay Oyster Company.

“We are hopeful that this will get the state’s attention and prevent further damage to the state’s burgeoning oyster industry,” said attorney Brad Kittrell of Taylor Martino, PC, which represents Portersville Bay Oyster Company.

Taylor Martino is a law firm that serves victims in Alabama and Mississippi. If you believe you or a loved one have a personal injury claim, please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation by calling 251-433-3131 or by email.

Steven A. Martino, Esq.

455 St. Louis Street Suite 2100
Mobile, Alabama 36602
 Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Endo International announces it will stop manufacturing all vaginal mesh products due to the billions in lawsuits it is facing related to its vaginal mesh implants. Endo announced that it will close its Astora Women’s Health device unit.

Endo paid $150 million in legal settlements related to its vaginal mesh in Q4. And more payments are on the way. The company recorded a $834 million pretax charge to increase the estimated product liability accrual. It had already set aside $1.4 billion to cover the legal costs at the end of the previous quarter according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Taylor Martino is a law firm that serves victims suffering from medical device defects in Alabama and Mississippi. If you believe that you, or a loved one, have been injured by a negligent medical device, please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation.

455 St. Louis Street Suite 2100
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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The New York Times published a great article today about nursing home arbitration clauses and erosion of the right to a trial by jury. A pending wrongful death lawsuit will test a new legal strategy to prevent nursing homes from requiring their residents to take disputes to arbitration. Below is an excerpt of the article and click here for the full New York Times article.

“In September 2009, a month after her 100th birthday, Elizabeth Barrow was found dead at a nursing home, Brandon Woods in South Dartmouth, Mass. She was strangled and suffocated with a plastic shopping bag over her head. The killer, the police said, was her 97-year-old roommate. Workers at the nursing home had months earlier described the roommate in patient files as “at risk to harm herself or others.” The authorities did not focus on the nursing home, though. After police inquiry, the roommate – despite her age and dementia – was charged with murder. When the roommate was deemed unfit to stand trial and committed to state hospital, the sensational case essentially disappeared.”

“More than six years after the killing, Mrs. Barrow’s only son, Scott, is still trying to hold the nursing home accountable. Mr. Barrow was barred from taking Brandon Woods to court in 2010 because his mother’s contract with the nursing home contained a clause that forced any dispute, even one over wrongful death, into private arbitration.”

“Arbitration clauses have proliferated over the last 10 years as companies have added them to tens of millions of contracts for things as diverse as cellphone service, credit cards and student loans. Nursing homes in particular have embraced the clauses, which are often buried in complex contracts that are difficult to navigate, especially for elderly people with dwindling mental acuity or their relatives, who can be emotionally vulnerable when admitting a parent to a home.”

The secret nature of arbitration can hide patterns of wrongdoing at nursing homes. When the nursing-home staff or managers do not uphold a standard of decency, and their negligence or wrongful actions cause residents to suffer death, injury, or illness, the nursing home must be held responsible for the harm it causes. Taylor Martino is a law firm that serves nursing home abuse/neglect victims in Alabama and Mississippi. If you believe that you, or a loved one, have been injured by a negligent nursing home, please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation and case evaluation.

455 St. Louis Street Suite 2100
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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By Jef Feeley(Feb 5, 2014 3:22 PM CT)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) improperly destroyed files about some vaginal-mesh implants and may have to let juries weighing lawsuits over the devices hear evidence about the destruction, a court official said.

J&J’s Ethicon unit, which made Gynecare Prolift and TVT Retropubic meshes, lost or destroyed thousands of documents and computer files about the development of the devices from as far back as 2007, Cheryl Eifert, a U.S. magistrate judge in Charleston, West Virginia, concluded yesterday. Suits over the devices are consolidated there for pre-trial hearings.

The finding comes as J&J prepares to face its first trial Feb. 10 in West Virginia over claims the TVT Retropubic sling, used to support women’s internal organs, eroded and shrank over time, causing pain and injuries. J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is facing more than 12,000 federal-court claims over the TVT Retropubic and its other vaginal-mesh inserts.

Ethicon officials acknowledged their document-retention system “failed miserably in certain instances” to properly preserve vaginal-mesh files, Eifert said. She recommended that U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing the consolidated cases, allow women suing J&J to tell jurors about the loss of documents if they can show the destruction put them at a disadvantage.

“While Ethicon produced millions of pages of documents in the MDL, it did inadvertently fail to preserve some documents, many of which were available elsewhere” in files that were turned over to women suing over the implants, Matthew Johnson, an Ethicon spokesman, said today in an e-mailed statement.

File Management

In her report, Eifert said there was no evidence Ethicon officials deliberately sought to keep vaginal-mesh files out of court. They documents were destroyed after employees left the company as part of Ethicon’s file-management system, she said.

Still, Eifert found Ethicon officials were negligent in their mishandling of the files and should be punished by allowing some juries to hear about the document destruction. The magistrate’s recommendations must be reviewed by Goodwin before they become final.

The consolidated case is In Re Ethicon Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, 12-MD-02327, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston). The case set for trial Feb. 10 is Lewis v. Johnson & Johnson, 12-cv-04301, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware at

Safety Announcement:

FDA evaluating risk of stroke, heart attack and death with FDA-approved testosterone products

[01-31-2014] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the risk of stroke, heart attack, and death in men taking FDA-approved testosterone products. We have been monitoring this risk and decided to reassess this safety issue based on the recent publication of two separate studies that each suggested an increased risk of cardiovascular events among groups of men prescribed testosterone therapy. We are providing this alert while we continue to evaluate the information from these studies and other available data, and will communicate our final conclusions and recommendations when the evaluation is complete.

At this time, FDA has not concluded that FDA-approved testosterone treatment increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death. Patients should not stop taking prescribed testosterone products without first discussing any questions or concerns with their health care professionals. Health care professionals should consider whether the benefits of FDA-approved testosterone treatment is likely to exceed the potential risks of treatment. The prescribing information in the drug labels of FDA-approved testosterone products should be followed.

Testosterone is a hormone essential to the development of male growth and masculine characteristics. Testosterone products are FDA-approved only for use in men who lack or have low testosterone levels in conjunction with an associated medical condition. Examples of these conditions include failure of the testicles to produce testosterone, because of reasons such as genetic problems or chemotherapy. Other examples include problems with brain structures, called the hypothalamus and pituitary that control the production of testosterone by the testicles.

None of the FDA-approved testosterone products are approved for use in men with low testosterone levels who lack an associated medical condition. FDA-approved testosterone formulations include the topical gel, transdermal patch, buccal system (applied to upper gum or inner cheek), and injection.

The first publication that prompted FDA to reassess the cardiovascular safety of testosterone therapy was an observational study of older men in the U.S. Veteran Affairs health system published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in November 2013.1 The men included in this study had low serum testosterone and were undergoing imaging of the blood vessels of the heart, called coronary angiography, to assess for coronary artery disease. Some of the men received testosterone treatment while others did not. On average, the men who entered the study were about 60 years old, and many had underlying cardiovascular disease. This study suggested a 30 percent increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and death in the group that had been prescribed testosterone therapy.

A second observational study reported an increased risk of heart attack in older men, as well as in younger men with pre-existing heart disease, who filled a prescription for testosterone therapy.2 The study reported a two-fold increase in the risk of heart attack among men aged 65 years and older in the first 90 days following the first prescription. Among younger men less than 65 years old with a pre-existing history of heart disease, the study reported a two- to three-fold increased risk of heart attack in the first 90 days following a first prescription. Younger men without a history of heart disease who filled a prescription for testosterone, however, did not have an increased risk of heart attack.

We urge health care professionals and patients to report side effects involving prescription testosterone products to the FDA MedWatch program, using the information in the “Contact FDA” box at the bottom of the page.


  1. Vigen R, O’Donnell CI, Baron AE, et al. Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels. JAMA. 2013;310(17):1829-1836.
  2. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085805


The FDA has recently issued a class 1 recall of Stryker’s OASYS Midline Occiput Plate due to reports of fracture of the pin that connects the implant’s tulip head to the plate body. The OASYS Midline Occiput Plate is used to stabilize the junction between the occipital bone and the vertebrae in the cervical spine.

The fracture of the pin may cause serious health issues including blood loss, nerve damage, and the need for revision surgery to replace the fractured spinal implant. If an implant recipient begins experiencing symptoms including pain, weakness, or numbness, urgent medical evaluation is needed.

Class I recalls are the most serious type of recall and involve situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of these products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.

If you or anyone you know have received this device implant and need revision surgery due to pain and suffering from the product defect, please contact Richard Taylor or  Steve Martino at (251) 433-3131 to learn about your or their rights.

The law firm of Taylor Martino serves clients along the entire Gulf Coast, including Mobile, Montgomery, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Baldwin County, Alabama and Mississippi.

Click to view recall on FDA web site


Two weeks after the NFL agreed to settle its concussion lawsuit for $765 Million, all eyes have turned to the NCAA and whether it will now settle Arrington v. National Collegiate Athletic Association – the most notable concussion litigation involving the college ranks.

In many ways, the Arrington lawsuit (which is currently in mediation) will be challenging to settle. One reason for this is because the NCAA is composed of 1200 members rather than just 32  — a factor complicates achieving association-wide consensus on a settlement.

Nevertheless, settlement of the NCAA concussion lawsuit seems to be in college sports’ best financial and public relations interests.  At the same time, the NCAA may be interested in settling the case given its recent agreement to mediation.

From a legal perspective, a number of factors seem to make the NCAA’s risk exposure, if it does not settle, far greater than that of the NFL.  For example, the NCAA may owe a greater “duty of care” to its athletes because it purports to exist for the very purpose  “to protect young people from the dangerous and exploitive (sic) athletic practices of the time.”  By contrast, the NFL has generally held itself out as nothing more than a collection of profitmaking businesses.
(Click for Full Article on

By Marc Edelman
September 12, 2013



A large area of land in Eight Mile, Alabama, has been contaminated with the chemical Mercaptan, which escaped from the Mobile Gas Service Corporation’s natural gas facilities located in Eight Mile. Mercaptan is added to natural gas by natural gas processors to give the gas a detectable smell, because natural gas is odorless. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Mercaptan has “a strong, obnoxious odor like garlic or skunk.” Exposure to Mercaptan can also cause adverse physical reactions.

The escaped Mercaptan entered the groundwater and resurfaced throughout the Eight Mile community, where it entered the atmosphere. Residents of the affected area have lost the use and enjoyment of their homes due to the sickening Mercaptan smell, and their properties have been substantially reduced in value.

Taylor Martino represented many residents of the affected area in a lawsuit against Mobile Gas, which sought monetary damages for the Mercaptan pollution and a cleanup of the pollution. Our firm is no longer accepting Mercaptan pollution cases.

Mercaptan odor investigation report reveals new details – by Letisha Bush, Fox10 News

Articles on the Eight Mile Mercaptan Spill


Taylor Martino is investigating warranty claims that may have been improperly denied. American Home Shield Corporation (“AHS”) sells warranty contracts covering the repair and replacement of home appliances and systems due to “normal wear and tear.”  Taylor Martino is investigating whether AHS has improperly denied certain claims its customers made under their warranties.  The cases under investigation involve persons who, between October 21, 2009, and the present, were denied coverage under AHS warranty contracts for air conditioners, or other large home appliances or systems, on the grounds of improper maintenance, failure to maintain, misuse, abuse, failure to clean, and/or pre-existing conditions.

NOTE: This does not include persons who are members of the settlement class in Faught v. American Home Shield, Case No. 2:07-cv-1928-RDP (in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama), and who were denied coverage after April 26, 2012.

If you were denied coverage by AHS as specified above, you may have a claim for money damages.  Please contact Taylor Martino for a free evaluation.