Cobalt Chromium Toxicity

Stryker Settlement: When will I get paid?


Q: When will I get paid?

A: This depends on the individual circumstances of your case. The process of going through thousands of settlements and figuring out whether or not people qualify, and how much they will receive, is an incredibly complex process. There is a Stryker settlement administrator being put into place to administer all the settlements. This company is called Garden City. Garden City will hire hundreds of individuals such as retired nurses, or people skilled at reviewing medical records, to help process this mass wave of settlement claims that are going to be made over the next couple of months.

The process of getting the infrastructure in place is time consuming. Right now, the Stryker settlement is structured in two parts: a base award and enhancements. The base award is simpler to figure out. If you had a revision surgery that qualifies, you receive the base award. There might be some small deductions but it’s a pretty straightforward process. We expect base awards will be entirely processed and payments will start to be made probably in the late summer of 2015. The enhancements are more difficult to evaluate and process. There are many medical records that need to be reviewed and specific things that have to be shown in the medical records to qualify for an enhancement. If an enhancement is denied or objected to by Stryker, there’s an appeal process. We expect the enhancement process of the settlement will be paid around early 2016.

We understand for many people waiting 9 months to a year for their Stryker settlement seems like a long time. But not having a settlement means waiting even longer. There are more than 5,500 cases on file right now. The idea of not taking the settlement for fear of waiting too long to get paid needs to be compared to the alternative. The alternative is getting in line behind 5,500 people to get your day in court. Many people will be upset about how long it takes to get paid. Unfortunately, that is the reality.

For a PDF of the Stryker Settlement FAQs and answers, please click Kershaw, Cook & Talley Stryker FAQs to download the file.

hip hasn’t been revised. How does that impact me?



The Stryker settlement offered at this time only applies to individuals who had their Stryker hips revised (the hip was replaced) before November 3, 2014.

There is one exception to that rule. There are many people who need to have their hip replaced. Their surgeons recommended revision surgery because of elevated cobalt and chromium, or other issues. However, due to their age or health status, are unable to undergo a revision surgery. For example, someone needs a revision but experiences heart problems and cannot have the surgery. The Stryker settlement agreement allows for compensation for people who fall into that category. The agreement gives them $75,000 should they accept that offer.

Perhaps, you do not fall into that category: you are in a wait and see approach, you’re monitoring your cobalt and chromium levels yearly, you aren’t experiencing any pain, and you may never need revision surgery. If you fall into that category, your case will still be pending and none of your rights will be released under the settlement agreement. At some point in time, within the next year, your case will most likely be dismissed. However, under the settlement agreement, if you believe you have injuries, you can continue pursuing your case. If you have your case dismissed, but 2 years from now you do need revision surgery, we can refile your case and the statute of limitations will be tolled during this time. This means the filing date of your new case will relate back to the date you initially filed your case. In other words, if you have a case on file, and your hip has not been revised, then by filing a lawsuit you protect yourself against the statute of limitations running on your case.  You are not prejudiced in any way by having your case dismissed.

If you have not had your hip revised, and you do not have a case on file, the tolling of the statute of limitations does not apply to you. If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II that is not revised, it is crucial to get a case on file so that your statute of limitations is preserved. The statute of limitations is essentially the time period by which you have to file a lawsuit.

If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II that is not revised, feel free to give us a call. We can provide you with more information on how this settlement works and what you need to do to preserve your rights.

For a PDF of the Stryker Settlement FAQs and answers, please click Kershaw, Cook & Talley Stryker FAQs to download the file.

Stryker Settlement: Do I have to participate?



No. You do not have to participate in any settlement that Stryker offers. Everyone who has a case is free to evaluate that offer and determine whether or not they want to take the settlement. You do not have to accept the Stryker settlement if does not compensate you adequately for your injuries.

It is important to have an attorney to evaluate your case if you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip. An attorney can inform you if the offer on your case is one you should or should not accept. The alternative of not taking the offer is pushing your case forward and trying to get a trial date; that is the only way Stryker will offer more for your case than the settlement.

If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip, and are wondering whether or not to participate in the Stryker settlement, we are happy to help. We have a lot of these cases and experience litigating hip cases. We settled many cases and can tell you our opinion on whether you have a good case or whether you should settle.

For a PDF of the Stryker Settlement FAQs and answers, please click Kershaw, Cook & Talley Stryker FAQs to download the file.

Stryker Settlement: How much will I receive?



The Stryker settlement that was announced on November 3 covers individuals with Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hips that were revised. A common question we hear is, “How much will I get?”

The amount you will receive depends on numerous factors. The base, or where you start, is $300,000 if you had a hip revision. This amount is per hip. So, if you had two hips revised you would get $600,000. The settlement is structured so that each hip is dealt with independently.

There are deductions from the $300,000 based on age (anyone over 70), weight (over a certain BMI), and other medical circumstances. There is also a deduction if the hip was initially put in as part of a revision surgery.  This means in your index surgery you had a non-Stryker hip which wore out and then you were implanted with a Stryker hip.

There are upward adjustments, or enhancements, to the $300,000. An upward adjustment will occur when you have extraordinary injuries. An extraordinary injury example is if they had to do an osteotomy during your revision surgery. Osteotomy is a procedure where the cut the femur in order to get out the stem. There are enhancements for individuals with severe muscle damage during the revision surgery that required repair. Specifically, I am referring to the abductor muscle. There are also enhancements for people who had dislocations after the revision surgery. People who got an infection after revision surgery may also get an enhancement. The settlement has a series of enhancements designed to compensate people who had extraordinary injuries.

Determining the enhancements is not an easy process. It involves a detailed examination of your medical records and a thorough understanding of the settlement agreement. Analyzing your medical records and comparing it to the settlement agreement will figure out how much you need.

For a PDF of the Stryker Settlement FAQs and answers, please click Kershaw, Cook & Talley Stryker FAQs to download the file. 

Payment Timing Under the Stryker Settlement


Hi, I’m Bill Kershaw. I’m with the firm of Kershaw, Cook & Talley. Our firm is currently talking to quite a few of our clients about participating in the proposed Stryker settlement. Some big questions of the proposed settlement we are getting from client include, “Is it right for me?” “Does it fit my needs?” and “What is the timing of the payment? All these questions concern whether or not someone wants to participate under the settlement. Particularly, many of our clients are in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties. The sooner someone can get their award the better. So, I want to discuss timing of payments under the proposed settlement. There are 2 parts to the settlement: there is the base award and there is the enhancement benefit. The enhancement benefit program is payment for secondary surgeries you had to go through.

With respect to the base payment program, you are going to receive $300,000 for a revision surgery which is the base payment. In order to participate, you have to enroll in the program by March 2, 2015. The defendant will then make the decision of whether or not to participate by June 15, 2015. Then on June 18, the claims processing for all the claims that have been put into the settlement will begin. You can expect your first base award, $300,000, on or around July 15, 2015.

The second part of the program, the enhanced benefit program, will actually begin the day after Stryker makes the decision of whether or not to accept and participate in the program. That is June 16, 2015. So, your lawyer will have to enroll you with respect to whatever enhanced benefits you are seeking. Enhanced benefits are things like re-revision surgery for which you can receive $175,000. Enhanced benefits also include an osteotomy (the stem cut out of your femur), surgery for subsequent infections, hardware removal, dislocation, abductor muscle repair, and more so. All of these will be assessed and the claims processing will take place between June 2015 and 2016. You can expect your first enhanced benefit payment to occur roughly February 2, 2016. Those payments will continue over course of Spring Summer and maybe even Fall of 2016.

Reading this settlement agreement is like reading the internal revenue code. So, if you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the phone number on the screen or go to our website and fill out our online form.

 

 

Stryker to Pay Over $1.4 Billion to Settle Defective Hip Cases


On Monday, November 3rd, a settlement was announced in which Stryker Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, agreed to pay approximately $1.4 billion to resolve more than 4,000 lawsuits against the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants. The hip implants were recalled in July 2012 following numerous reports the devices caused tissue damage and elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in the body.

The cases brought forth from patients nationwide are consolidated in federal court in Minneapolis, Minnesota under Judge Donovan W. Frank and under Judge Brian Martinotti in Hackensack, New Jersey in a multi-district litigation (MDL 13-2441). A multi-district litigation involves thousands of cases from various federal courts around the country that are moved to one court. The purpose of an MDL is to better handle cases by conserving resources and promoting consistent rulings regarding different lawsuits about the same issue.

Stryker will pay a base award of $300,000 to qualified patients who underwent a revision surgery, replacing the recalled hip, prior to the November 3, 2014 settlement announcement. The website http://www.strykermodularhipsettlement.com outlines the terms of the settlement.  This settlement can either go up or down depending on individual circumstances of the plaintiff. The settlement can go up if someone has extraordinary injuries, or injuries that go beyond an average case, such as multiple surgeries, infection, or dislocation.

Stryker is scheduled to begin making payments in 2015.

In re: Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Stem and ABG II Modular Hip Stem Litigation, Case No. 296, Master Docket No. BER-L-936-13, venued in MCL Court and In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 13-2441, venued in the MDL court.

BREAKING NEWS: Jury Clears J&J In DePuy Pinnacle Trial


Oct 23 (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson was found not liable by a Texas jury on Thursday in the first case to go to trial over whether Pinnacle hip implants made by the company’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit were defective.

The Dallas federal jury ruled unanimously against the plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, who said the two metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips she received were faulty.

DePuy had said the implants had been improperly positioned, and were not to blame for her injuries. Jurors needed about two days to deliberate, following a seven-week trial. The trial served as the first test case for more than 6,600 similar lawsuits. (Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York and Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Editing by Chris Reese)

For more information on the DePuy Pinnacle Trial and verdict, please visit:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/23/us-johnson-johnson-trial-verdict-idUSKCN0IC2GH20141023

Closing Arguments in the DePuy Pinnacle Trial began October 21, 2014


Closing arguments in the DePuy Pinnacle Trial started Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Closing arguments are essentially where each side, plaintiffs and defendants, summarize the evidence put forth at trial and argue their case to the jury.

In this case, Mark Lanier, the plaintiff’s attorney, will likely argue that DePuy was at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries and the jury should award her damages accordingly.

On the other hand, the defendants will likely argue that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the Pinnacle implant but rather caused by negligence from her doctor, or other factors, and should deny recovery.

DePuy Pinnacle Trial Status (Week 7 10/13-10/16)


DePuy Pinnacle Trial Status (Week 7 10/13-10/16)

Monday, October 13th was Columbus Day and the courts were closed.

On Tuesday, October 14th, the defendants called Dr. Roger Emerson, an Orthopedic Independent Medical Examiner, to the stand.

Dr. Emerson returned to the stand on Wednesday, October 15th. His testimony was followed by Dr. Math, an orthopedic radiologist.

Andrew Ekdahl, the ex-president of Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit, returned to the stand via video deposition on Thursday, October 16th. He was followed by Dr. Lisa Pruitt, defense witness, and a mechanical and biomedical engineer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Her testimony will resume Monday, October 20th.

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