Cobalt Chromium Toxicity

Defective Hip Settlements: Do I Have To Take What The Defendants Are Offering?


In the past few months, several large hip manufacturers have announced global settlements programs in an effort to resolve thousands of lawsuits alleging that their hips were defective.  In almost all of these cases, the amounts being offered by the defendants do not reflect the true settlement value of the cases.  However, despite the small amounts being paid, most plaintiffs are settling their cases as part of these settlement program.  In considering a settlement, here are important things to consider.

  • The decision to settle your case is yours and yours alone.  If you have an attorney that is telling you that “you have to settle your case” for an amount that you believe is less than what you deserve, get a second opinion.  When getting a second opinion, try to find an attorney who is active in the litigation and has a large number of cases.  Most plaintiffs’ attorneys would be happy to speak with you free of charge.
  • Understand that in settling large mass hip cases, the defendants really have two points of leverage.  First, because there are thousands of similar cases clogging the courthouse, they can make you wait.  If you decide not to participate in a global settlement program, the only way to get the defendant to pay what your case is worth is to get a trial date.  In most cases, judges are not interested in setting cases for trial until all the other cases have been settled.  This can often take years.  Second, the defendants in these hip cases rely heavily on the fact that many plaintiff’s lawyers who file them do not have the financial resources to try one to a jury.  The defendants know that these attorneys will often pressure their clients to accept settlement that are less than they deserve.
  • Know that you if you do not settle your case, you may have to wait years for a better settlement is offered.  Many plaintiffs, especially those who are older, are not willing to wait.
  • Understand that when a settlement is offered you have to take into account the “deductions.”  In almost all cases, there are three items that will come out of your settlement; attorney’s fees, expenses, and insurance liens.  Make sure your attorney lists all of these deductions out and tells you what your “net settlement” will be before you sign any settlement documents.  The only exception to this advice has to do with “insurance liens.”  Insurance liens constitute the amount that you have to pay to your health insurance company from your settlement for any treatment it paid for that is associated with your defective hip.  Determining the amount of an “insurance lien” requires negotiations with your health insurance company and these negotiations can often take several weeks or months.  You may not know the amount of the lien by the deadline for accepting a settlement.  However, your attorney should be able to determine the maximum amount of the lien be examining your medical bills.
  • Feel free to ask your lawyer questions.  In most hip cases, the injuries suffered by plaintiffs are substantial and once your case is settled, its settled forever.  Make sure your attorney answers every question you have and that you are satisfied with his answers.  If you are not receiving acceptable answers or you lose faith in your lawyer, get a new lawyer.  In most states, the law permits plaintiffs to switch lawyers without paying any additional fees.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your recalled or defective hip, call Kershaw, Cook & Talley at 888-817-2527 for a free case consultation.

2015 DePuy ASR Settlement and Upcoming May Deadline


On February 20, 2015, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. announced it is extending the DePuy ASR settlement program for a new group of plaintiffs who were excluded from the previous settlement announced in November 2013. This new settlement is referred to as the “Round 2 Settlement”. The enrollment deadline for Round 2 of the U.S. DePuy ASR Settlement Program is May 1, 2015. The Settlement Program is a voluntary program and was established via the Settlement Agreement dated November 19, 2013. The Settlement Agreement is between DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and the plaintiffs. It is meant to compensate eligible DePuy ASR patients who underwent revision surgery (replacing the hip), during certain time periods as outlined within the agreement.

If you had a DePuy ASR revised after August 31, 2013, and on or before January 31, 2015, you may be eligible for the Round 2 Settlement. Attorneys William Kershaw and Stuart Talley represent numerous clients implanted with DePuy ASR hips. Many clients enrolled in the first round of the settlement, which was open to individuals who were revised on or before August 31, 2013. Therefore, clients and individuals who underwent revision surgery after September 1, 2013 until January 31, 2015 are now eligible to participate in this new round of the settlements.

The settlement terms for Round 2 are nearly identical to the terms from the prior U.S. DePuy ASR Settlement program. The executed Master Settlement Agreement is now available on the Claims Processor website. Mr. Kershaw and Mr. Talley can help determine whether or not the settlement adequately compensates an individual’s situation.

Under the Settlement Agreement, there is a significant deduction for plaintiffs who are not represented by an attorney. In fact, unrepresented plaintiffs will receive approximately 34% less than those who have an attorney. If you do not have a case on file, it is important you get one filed immediately.

DePuy ASR Statute of Limitations



Stuart Talley is the partner responsible for the DePuy ASR litigation. There is an upcoming deadline that may impact your ability to bring a case. The deadline is the statute of limitations. DePuy recalled the ASR hip in August 2010 and this August will be 5 years since the recall. Every state has a statute of limitations, or the time period in which you can file a lawsuit from the date you reasonably suspect you have a claim.

The big issue is, “When should you have reasonably suspected you have a claim?” There are many potential start dates for when the statute of limitations begins to run. The date could be when DePuy recalled the ASR hip approximately five years ago. Another date is when you find out you have the DePuy ASR hip. It may be the date you find out you have elevated cobalt and chromium. Or it may be the date your doctor states you require revision surgery. All these examples are potential start dates for when the statute of limitations starts to run.

If you have a DePuy ASR hip, and you have not undergone revision surgery, it’s important to get a case on file immediately. The sooner you get a case on file the better. If you have a case on file, and your hip is not revised, DePuy allows you to dismiss that case and toll the statute of limitations. Tolling the statute means it does not run (running of the period set forth by a statute of limitations is paused or delayed). So, if you have a case on file, you can dismiss it. And say, hypothetically, you need revision surgery one year from now. You can subsequently refile your case as if it was never dismissed and proceed with your case. If you do not have a case on file, you do not get the benefit of the tolling agreement.

If you have a DePuy ASR hip (unrevised or revised), and you do not have a case on file, feel free to give us a call. Our attorneys are happy to explain this in more detail, and provide an analysis of your state’s law regarding the statute of limitations. We will help protect your rights.

DePuy ASR Settlement Extended!



Stuart Talley is the partner responsible for the DePuy ASR litigation. DePuy established a new settlement program resolving a large number of ASR hip cases currently pending around the country. As you may know, DePuy previously agreed to a large scale settlement for individuals who underwent revision surgery. The settlement was approximately $3.5 billion. This settlement only covered people who had revision surgery before August 31, 2013. After this date, many people had revision surgery. It’s estimated over 1500 individuals had revision surgery. The big question on everyone’s mind is, “What will DePuy do for those individuals?”

We received news that DePuy is willing to compensate those people. This new settlement agreement is nearly identical to the previous settlement. Essentially, the settlement starts at $250,000, and this value decreases or increases depending on various factors outlined in the agreement. You are entitled to participate in the new settlement program if you had revision surgery before January 31, 2015 (the cutoff date for eligibility is this date).

Additionally, this settlement offer is voluntary. No one is required to take the settlement. If you believe your case is worth more than the settlement offers, you do not have to take it and can proceed with your lawsuit. Our firm has clients from the first round of settlements who elected not to take the settlement. We are attempting to get trial dates for those clients.

If you have a DePuy ASR hip, and what to know more about the settlement, contact us for a free case consultation at 888-997-5170, or fill out our confidential online form.

DePuy ASR Settlement Round 2 Enrollment!


This week, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. announced it is extending the DePuy ASR settlement program for a new group of plaintiffs who were excluded from the settlement announced in November 2013. This new settlement is referred to as the “Round 2 Settlement”. The enrollment deadline for Round 2 of the U.S. DePuy ASR Settlement Program is May 1, 2015. The Settlement Program is a voluntary program and was established via the Settlement Agreement dated November 19, 2013. The Settlement Agreement is between DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and the plaintiffs. It is meant to compensate eligible DePuy ASR patients who underwent revision surgery (replacing the hip), during certain time periods as outlined within the agreement.

If you had your DePuy ASR revised after 8/31/2013, and on or before 1/31/2015, you may be eligible for the Round 2 Settlement.  Attorneys William Kershaw and Stuart Talley represent numerous clients implanted with DePuy ASR hips. Many of our clients enrolled in the first round of the settlement, which was open to individuals who were revised on or before August 31, 2013. Therefore, our clients and individuals who underwent revision surgery after September 1, 2013 until January 31, 2015 are now eligible to participate in this new round of the settlements.

The settlement terms for Round 2 are nearly identical to the terms from the prior U.S. DePuy ASR Settlement program.  The executed Master Settlement Agreement will post on the Claims Processor website in a few weeks. Our attorneys can help determine whether this settlement is right for you, and if the settlement adequately compensates your individual situation.

Under the Settlement Agreement, there is a significant deduction for plaintiffs who are not represented by an attorney. In fact, unrepresented plaintiffs will receive approximately 34% less than those who have an attorney.

If you do not have a case on file, it is important you file one immediately. It is necessary to update Registration on or before April 2, 2015, pursuant to the terms of the Round 2 Master Settlement Agreement.  Our attorneys will help get your potential case on file, and make sure your information is up to date, specifically for those individuals eligible for Round 2.

If you were implanted with an ASR hip, contact our firm for a free case consultation. You can call us, toll free, at (888) 817-2527, or fill out the confidential contact form found on this page.

Bloomberg: J&J to Pay as Much as $420 Million More in ASR Hip Accord

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You can visit the U.S. ASR Hip Settlement website at  www.usasrhipsettlement.com.

DePuy ASR Hip Settlement Program Extended!


On February 20th, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and the Settlement Oversight Committee announced they reached an agreement extending the existing DePuy ASR Hip Settlement Program to individuals implanted with ASR hips who underwent revision surgery (surgery replacing the implant) on or before January 31, 2015.

Attorneys William Kershaw and Stuart Talley represent numerous clients implanted with DePuy ASR hips. Many of our clients enrolled in the first round of the settlement, which was open to individuals who were revised on or before August 31, 2013. Therefore, our clients and individuals who underwent revision surgery after September 1, 2013 until January 31, 2015 are eligible to participate in this second round of the settlement. Further program details and additional information regarding the settlement extension will be available in the next few weeks (www.usasrhipsettlement.com).

If you were implanted with an ASR hip, contact our firm for a free case consultation. You can call us, toll free, at (888) 997-5170, or fill out the confidential contact form found on this page.

Article: J&J to Pay as Much as $420 Million More in ASR Hip Accord

joint-status-report-re-settlement-program

 

DePuy ASR Lawsuit Upcoming Deadline


Hi, I am Stuart Talley. I am the partner responsible for the DePuy ASR litigation. I am providing information about a category of case that is involved in the DePuy ASR lawsuit relating to non-revised cases.

There are numerous claimants with cases on file against DePuy who still have their ASR hip. These are considered non-revised cases. There is an upcoming election process specific to non-revised cases. The election must happen before January 31, 2015. The election relates to your individual circumstances.

There are some non-revised cases where people have minimal problems with the hip. For instance, they have slight pain, low metallosis levels, and their doctors indicated they do not need revision surgery. Those individuals can elect to have their case dismissed without prejudice, preserving your rights if your case is dismissed. Additionally, the statute of limitations on your case is tolled. Tolling the statute of limitations is essentially delaying the statute of limitations. So, from the moment you dismiss the case to the moment you refile, the statute is not running.  You can refile your case if you require revision surgery in the future.

The other non-revised case is unique. There are individuals with a DePuy ASR who require revision surgery but are unable to undergo revision surgery because of an underlying medical condition. Many individuals underwent multiple hip surgeries before implantation with the DePuy ASR. Their surgeons do not want to operate even though the ASR implant is leeching cobalt and chromium and causing damage to their hip. If you fall into this category, your case does not need to be dismissed. This case can potentially go to trial and possibly win. The key to a case for an individual with a health issue is proving the cobalt and chromium ions cause tissue damage in the hip joint.  You need blood tests every six months and imaging studies (e.g. MARS MRI) to show the damage. The MARS MRI is an MRI for patients implanted with metal artifacts and implants. It can show pseudotumors and other inflammatory responses in the soft tissue of your hip.

 

DePuy ASR Lawsuit: Election Obligation Deadline Extended


The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, filed an Order on December 24, 2014 extending the deadline for non-revised DePuy ASR plaintiffs who decide to either proceed with their case or voluntarily dismiss their case. Plaintiffs must notify the court by January 31, 2015 on whether or not they will opt into a tolling agreement with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics.

The tolling agreement for non-revised plaintiffs involves dismissing their case without prejudice; meaning the statute of limitations on their case is postponed until revision surgery occurs. The tolling of the plaintiff’s statute of limitations is then extended for one year from the date of their revision. After the revision surgery, plaintiffs may re-file the lawsuit within the tolling period and will not lose any of their rights. A plaintiff must update their registration status to indicate they underwent a revision surgery.

Non-revised plaintiffs who elect not to dismiss their case will be required to prove that they have suffered some type of damage as a result of their recalled hip.  Typically, these plaintiffs will fall into the category of individuals who require a revision of their DePuy ASR hip implant but suffer underlying health issues that make revision surgery impossible. Other plaintiffs have significant problems with hip replacements and their surgeon does not want to perform surgery. In these respective cases, plaintiffs can advise the court of their situation and may continue pursuing their case.

Lawsuit updates for metal on metal hips


Hip implants are touted as life-changing medical advancements designed to improve an individual’s quality of life. Unfortunately, in some cases patients suffer more pain and discomfort than expected from the devices. This is due to toxic poisoning from defective, metal on metal implants. It is commonly a result of Cobalt Chromium Toxicity. Thousands of hip replacement patients are discovering their hip implants are releasing cobalt and chromium particles into their bodies, whether or not they have symptoms.

The primary hips associated with this complication include Stryker Accolade, Stryker Rejuvenate, Stryker ABG II, DePuy Pinnacle, DePuy ASR,  and Biomet M2A Magnum.

Settlements continue for the following metal on metal hips:

Stryker

Stryker Orthopaedics announced a Settlement Agreement on November 3, 2014. The Stryker Hip Settlement Program may provide compensation to eligible patients who underwent revision surgery, replacing their ABG II Modular Neck Hip Stems and/or Rejuvenate Modular Neck, before November 3, 2014. Additionally, patients who cannot undergo revision surgery are possibly entitled to compensation; if the procedure was contraindicated for the patient prior to November 3, 2014.

The Stryker Modular Hip Settlement registration requires patients implanted with a Rejuvenate Modular hip or an ABG II Modular hip to submit basic information, pursuant to a court order. The court-ordered process applies to individuals regardless of whether they filed a claim or lawsuit, whether or not they underwent a qualified revision surgery (implant was removed before November 3, 2014), and whether or not they have legal representation. The registration process ended as of December 19, 2014.

You are not required to join the Settlement Program if you registered. However, if you intend on enrolling and participating in the Settlement Program, registering with the Claims Processor is not the same as enrolling in the Settlement Program. You will need to complete and submit an enrollment claim form as part of the separate Enrollment Process if you want to enroll in the Settlement Program. The Enrollment Process opens on January 16, 2015 and ends on March 2, 2015.

http://strykermodularhipsettlement.com/

DePuy

DePuy Orthopedics announced on November 19, 2013 they were initiating a voluntary settlement program in an effort to resolve approximately 8,000 lawsuits filed against them from the recall of their DePuy ASR prosthetic hip. Under the program, individuals who underwent revision surgery of their DePuy ASR hip prior to August 31, 2013 will receive a “base award” of $250,000 to settle their claims against DePuy. The base offer can adjust downward for a variety of health factors including the plaintiff’s age,  the plaintiff’s smoking history, the plaintiff’s weight, and the length of time the implant was present prior to removal.

Under the program, there is a separate fund available to provide adjustments upward for individuals who underwent two revision surgeries or complications following their revision surgery.  The extent of upward adjustments is extremely complicated and is based on a variety of individual factors.

The settlement does not impact or affect your rights if you have not had your ASR hip revised.  The unrevised cases will continue to go forward. Eligible individuals had until Sept. 30, 2014 to potentially claim $250,000 or more from the DePuy ASR Hip Settlement Program.

https://www.usasrhipsettlement.com/

Wright Profemur and Conserve Plus

On September 15, 2014, approximately 800 claims regarding the Conserve hips were filed against Wright Medical Technology Inc. in the ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL) in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (In re: Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2329). As trial proceeds, filings continue to grow on behalf of individuals who suffered painful injuries associated with the Conserve hips as well as the Profemur hip replacements. The injuries sustained from the Conserve metal-on-metal hips include early device failure, femoral neck fractures, and metallosis.

The Wright Profemur and Conserve Plus hip lawsuits allege the hips caused serious complications as a result of elevated levels of metal ions, like cobalt and chromium, released from the hips.Currently, the court has selected a case for the litigation’s first bellwether trial scheduled for March 2015.

Recent studies demonstrate patients implanted with the Wright Profemur and Conserve Plus hip replacement systems often experience early failure and femoral neck fractures. Specifically, both these devices are “metal on metal” hips and recently the subject of much controversy. Under certain conditions, metal on metal hips can release metal particles into the hip joint and surrounding tissue. When this occurs, patients may experience significant pain in the hip joint resulting from the body’s reaction to the metal particles released into the hip. This condition is known as “metallosis” and often results in permanent damage to the hip joint.

Biomet

Approximately 2,000 cases are currently pending in the Biomet M2A Magnum Multidistrict Litgation (MDL) underway in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. On December 9th, court documents showed the cases were filed on behalf on claimants who allege complications such as metallosis, pseudotumors, and other adverse effects secondary to the metal on metal design of the implant.

The court granted approval for a proposed settlement of the Biomet M2A Magnum lawsuits at the start of the year. The settlement would resolve hundreds of cases if finalized. The settlement terms were announced on February 3, 2014. Under the settlement, if plaintiffs underwent revision surgery (removing the hip) after the Biomet was implanted for more than 180 days from the index (initial) surgery, they are potentially entitled to a base award of $200,000. Court documents indicate the Biomet settlement would need to be accepted by 90% of eligible plaintiffs in order to be accepted.

http://www.innd.uscourts.gov/millermdl2391.asp

Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating defective hip cases. We can answer any questions regarding these settlements and offer free case consultations. We will focus on your case, so you can focus on yourself. 

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