What You Need To Know About Settlements In Defective Hip Cases

Hip cases are settling. Do I have to take the settlement?

Hi, I’m Stuart Talley of Kershaw, Cook & Talley. I am the partner here responsible for the defective hip litigation. The reason we are doing this video today is to provide some information about hip settlements. We’ve settled hundreds of defective hip cases, and a question we always get is whether or not the client has to take a settlement.

In these cases, where you have thousands of people impacted by a defective hip, there will generally be a global settlement. A possible settlement works where everybody who had a hip replaced will be offered a certain amount of money which may be adjusted upward or downward depending on individual circumstances. But at some point there will be a settlement. Individuals with these hips should ask themselves whether they want to take that settlement. It’s important to know that whenever you have a case like this, with thousands of individual lawsuits, each individual must make their own decision on taking the settlement or not.

If you have a defective hip, and do not like the terms of the settlement, and don’t believe it sufficiently compensates for your injuries, you do not have to take the settlement. You can tell your attorney that it’s not adequate and that you’re not going to settle the case. Your attorney should continue litigating your case on your behalf and try moving it towards trial, and potentially get you more money. However, there is a problem of time. Usually, when there are thousands of cases and a settlement is made to everyone who has a case, and you don’t take it, you’re probably going to have to wait a lot longer to have your case settled than if you accept the settlement. It is important to know the decision is yours.

There are a couple of things to consider which I tell people when they call me. In hip cases, one of the most important things to know when there is a settlement is that you need a lawyer, and you need a lawyer you can trust. You need a lawyer who has experience handling hip cases; not just one or two but hundreds of hip cases. You need a lawyer with a lot of hip cases. If you have a lawyer with only a few cases, and you don’t settle your case, your lawyer will have to expend huge amounts of money litigating your case moving forward. And if they only have one or two cases, it may be difficult to do that from a financial perspective. Whereas, if you have a lawyer with hundreds of hip cases, it’s not that expensive, on a proportional basis, for them to continue litigating cases that don’t settle.

When looking for a lawyer, you want someone you trust and someone who will give you the best information about your individual case. You want a lawyer who has experience handling hip cases and you want a lawyer who has a lot of them. Many people are concerned about getting lost in the shuffle, or being just a number, if a firm has hundreds of cases. However, the reality is firms who have lots of cases, should be able to get you more money should you decide not to take a settlement.

If you have a metal on metal hip, or any recalled hip, and have concerns or issues about settlements in defective hip cases, feel free to give us a call. We give FREE case evaluations, and can answer any questions you may have.


 

Thousands of hip cases are pending within the United States. Many of our clients asked how these cases are resolved. Hip manufacturers have not made any meaningful settlement offers in these cases. Therefore, understanding the potential settlement process could greatly increase your potential recovery.

First, you should learn the procedural frame work under which settlements are likely to take place. Presently, there are more than 10,000 lawsuits pending against various hip manufacturers. Plaintiffs have injuries from defective hips by DePuy, Stryker, Wright Medical, and Biomet. Lawyers often refer to these cases as “mass torts.” Generally, a “mass tort” involves situations where many individuals have injuries from a single product (like a recalled hip device) or incident (a plane crash), and each injured individual files their own lawsuit against one or more defendants. In mass torts, the evidence and testimony in each case will often be the same and, therefore, the court system “consolidates” the cases before one or more judges. For example, in the DePuy ASR hip litigation, more than 9,000 cases were consolidated in two courts: The California Superior Court in San Francisco and the United States District Court in Toledo, Ohio.

Many of our clients confused these types of cases with what is commonly referred to as a “class action.” In a class action, there is usually one lawsuit filed by one person (the “class representative”) who is asserting claims on behalf of thousands of other people (the class). On the other hand, in a mass tort, each injured individual has their own individual lawsuit. This is essential to differentiate since in a mass tort, a settlement can only be achieved on an individual basis. In other words, each case is treated separately and can only be settled by each individual plaintiff. In contrast, class actions are typically settled by one person, the class representative, and class members are usually forced to either accept the settlement or opt out.

In mass tort litigation, settlement values are often arrived at through a formulaic approach. For example, many mass torts are settled with the defendants placing money into a “settlement fund. That fund is then apportioned to each plaintiff through the use of a formula or point system that is based on objective factors. Such factors could include things such as 1) whether the hip had to be revised; 2) whether the plaintiff has one or two defective hips; 3) were there complications following revision surgery; 4) does the plaintiff have any long term disabilities as a result of the defective hip; 5) the age of the plaintiff; and 6) the levels of cobalt/chromium found in the plaintiff’s blood.

During this process, the factors used to determine how much each plaintiff is apportioned from a settlement fund must be verified through the plaintiff’s medical records. For example, if a plaintiff claims he/she suffered irreversible nerve damage following a revision surgery, this will not be considered in the formula unless this injury is verified and described in the plaintiff’s medical records.

Getting the help you deserve

Do you have an advocate looking out for your best interest?  At Kershaw, Cook & Talley we represent hundreds of hip replacement patients who, for decades, continue to rely on our knowledge and expertise in fighting and winning cases against manufacturers that put defective medical devices on the market. All it takes is 3 simple steps! Start by sharing your story with us through our free evaluation form on this page or give us a call, toll free, at 888-817-2527 for a confidential case review.

At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, we look forward to serving you and your family.



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