Cobalt Chromium Toxicity

DePuy Pinnacle 2016 Trial Update 1



Hi, I am Stuart Talley. I am the partner responsible for the hip litigation. The reason I am doing this video today is to provide an update on the recent Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip litigation. As many of you may know, a trial recently started in the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip cases. The trial is pending in Dallas, Texas and it is on behalf of five individual plaintiffs.

The trial started about a week and a half ago, and there has been opening arguments. So far, we have heard from the attorneys in the courtroom that the case is going very well. This hip case is unique because the judge has allowed five individual plaintiffs to go to trial simultaneously. All previous hip cases were usually one plaintiff and one defendant, and were tried in various jurisdictions involving different types of hips. In this case, we have five people who all underwent revision surgeries because of problems with metallosis and their DePuy Pinnacle hips.

During opening statements, the plaintiffs made a very good argument that DePuy knew there were problems with these hips, they did not adequately test the hips and they put them on the market any way. Additionally, the plaintiffs argued DePuy was putting profits over the wellbeing of people who are receiving these hips.

The defense, as you might expect, took the position that all five people and their problems had nothing to do with the DePuy Pinnacle hip. Specifically, they are claiming that some people had an allergic reaction, some people had infections, and that there is a reason for every person as to why their hips failed. According to DePuy’s attorneys, the hips failing has nothing to do with the defect in their hip. They also went to great lengths to explain the evolution of technology and medical devices, and how there was metal-on-plastic and how there were problems with that, and so they tried metal-on-metal and realized that wasn’t working very well, and now we are going back to metal-on-plastic. So, there is this argument that this is the natural evolution of technology and medical devices. They state sometimes they fail, sometimes people get hurt and that’s just the cost of doing business, so to speak.

I don’t know if that type of argument is going to fly with this jury. I think if technology is developed, a company has an obligation to test it before they put it in people. And if the theory is that this is our way of developing a product, sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen, well then you have to pay for the bad things. At least, that would be my position.

So, that’s where the case is. There are lots of experts who have been testifying over the last couple of weeks. A lot of the treating doctors have been testifying as well. I think today one of the plaintiffs will testify and explain her experience with her hip.  I believe the trial is going well and I think the situation where we have five individual plaintiffs is going to make it very difficult for the defendant. It’s really easy when you have person saying, “Yeah, maybe our hip caused people problems but not this person.” Essentially, they have to say that five times in front of the same jury. That argument will be tough for the defense.

Stay tuned because we will provide additional updates.

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 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. 

How Settlements Work in Defective Hip Litigation


Hi, this is Stuart Talley of Kershaw, Cook & Talley. I am the partner here responsible for the defective hip litigation. The reason I am doing this video today is to provide some information about the settlement of hip cases. Many people are calling us asking how hip cases will typically settle. Although it is difficult to provide specifics in any given case, there are some general guidelines I think most people can be aware of that apply in cases like this.

Settlements in hip cases are unique. Typically, there are thousands of cases pending. In the DePuy ASR litigation, there are approximately 14,000 cases. In the Stryker Rejuvenate litigation, there are about 6,000 cases pending. So, when you settle cases like this on a global basis, it is a lot different than settling an individual lawsuit. In these cases, the defendant and plaintiffs will have settlement discussions and try to agree on what the average case should settle for. Once you have that number, you can extrapolate a settlement fund; $2.4 billion was put into a settlement fund in the DePuy ASR litigation. Then, you have to figure out an easy, quick, and verifiable way to apportion the settlement proceeds to people who have a case.

Generally, there is a “formula”, grid, or some process created, where people with severe damages end up with more money than people with limited damages. The formula is also used regarding people with problematic cases that may be difficult to win because of prior health conditions, or other factors, versus cases where someone doesn’t have those issues. So, you have a formula or grid, and you might start off with a certain amount of money that a plaintiff receives if they had a revision surgery. Then you would take a deduction of a certain percentage if they were a smoker, or a deduction if they have weight issues, or there might be a deduction if they’re older patients. There are different deductions that may be rational based on what the defendants believe make a good case or a bad case, and others may not be rational. Typically, there is some kind of formula that’s created to either bring somebody down from the base award, or up from the base award.

Modifications that increase base award are usually for extraordinary injuries. For instance, say you had your hip replaced and 3 months later you are up and running, and have no residual, permanent injuries; you would get the base award. Whereas, you might get more than the base award if you ended up with dislocations after your revision, or you had an infection and had to have 2 more surgeries, or you end up with nerve damage and have a limp or drop foot for the rest of your life.

The most important thing to understand is that you do not have to take the settlements in these cases; these settlements are not done deals. The case is an individual for every person who has a case against a hip manufacturer. This means only the plaintiff can settle the case. So, if there is a settlement fund, a way of apportioning money, at some point your lawyer is going to contact you and say, “If you take this settlement, here is how much you will get.” At that point, you are free to either take or reject the settlement. But you are not required to accept a settlement that’s offered to you. If you reject the settlement, then your lawyer will continue litigating your case, and hopefully get a trial date in your case, or do something to move your case forward. So, defendants will hopefully pay more than what you might be awarded under a global settlement.

If you have a recalled or defective hip, a metal on metal hip, give us a call toll free at (888) 817-2527 whether or not your case is settled. We can provide you with information about how settlements work. We can also tell you at the end of the case whether we believe a settlement is adequate or not for you.

J&J May Pay $250 Million to Settle 1,000 More Hip Claims


(Bloomberg)- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) may pay more than $250 million to resolve suits over its ASR hip implants that were excluded from a $2.5 billion settlement of similar claims last year over the device’s failure, two people familiar with the accord said.

J&J, the world’s largest seller of health-care products, is weighing whether to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits over removals of the recalled hip implants that occurred after August 2013, said the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the accord. The hips were made by J&J’s DePuy unit.

The company is considering extending the same settlement terms that covered patients who had their ASR implants removed earlier than last summer, the people said. Under that accord, J&J agreed to pay an average of about $250,000 per surgery and cover related medical costs to resolve about 8,000 cases.

“This is a sign that J&J is trying to get a solid handle on its whole ASR problem,” said Carl Tobias, who teaches product-liability law at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “They are not done paying yet, but they are moving in the right direction.”

If J&J resolves the additional suits, it will have settled about 75 percent of its total U.S. caseload. The total cost of the settlements over ASR, which stands for articular surface replacements, may exceed $4 billion by the time J&J resolves the remaining implant cases, Tobias said. The accord doesn’t cover hip litigation outside the U.S.

For the article, please visit: J&J May Pay $250 Million to Settle 1,000 More Hip Claims – Bloomberg (Jef Feeley)

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 Hip Recall Tweets about Pinnacle Hip Help Website


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