Cobalt Chromium Toxicity

Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Claims Deadline


Hi, this is Stuart Talley. I am the partner here responsible for the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II cases.

I am discussing important deadlines regarding the recently announced Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II settlement agreement. There are essentially 2 deadlines you have to be concerned about if you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip.

The first deadline is what we call the registration deadline. The registration deadline is December 14, 2014. This means you have to register with Stryker before that date if you are a potential claimant. A potential claimant is anyone who has a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip. If you have or do not have a case filed you need to register even if your hip has not been revised.  This applies to everybody. The reason you want to register with Stryker is so they know who you are so they can send you notices and tell you what is going on with the litigation. It’s very important to register. By registering in the settlement program you are not agreeing to the settlement.

This leads to the next deadline, March 2, 2015. This is the deadline to enroll in the settlement program. Now, the settlement program is only open to people who’ve had a revision surgery. This enrollment is the process where you are agreeing to the settlement terms, and agreeing to participate in the settlement. After you enroll in the program, you have to submit a lot of paperwork to Stryker and the settlement administrator. You have to submit medical records to prove that you had a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip, that it was revised, and an estimate of your damages. This is a complex process.

Another complex issue is determining what you receive from the settlement. The settlement agreement is a 100 page document. You have to look at the settlement agreement and look at the medical records to figure out what you would get under the agreement, and it’s not that easy.

If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip, and have any questions about enrolling or about registering, we are here to help.

Hip Surgery: The Importance of Doctor-Patient Communication


An open and honest dialogue with your doctor before surgery contributes to better outcomes. This means providing your physician with a comprehensive medical, surgical, and social history. This also ensures the doctor gives you the best care in creating a plan that fits your specific needs. Before any surgery, it is essential to voice any questions or concerns you might have.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) created a list of questions which may help in discussions with your doctor:

  • What are your experiences with specific hip implant devices and how often do you use one over the other?
  • What are the risks and benefits of different devices (metal-on-metal, metal-on-polyethylene, ceramic-on-polyethylene, and ceramic-on-ceramic devices)?
  • If applicable, what is the surgeon’s personal experience and outcomes with the respective devices?
  • If your surgeon recommends a certain device, ask why that hip implant is the best for your situation.
  • What are the major and/or most frequent complications of surgery?
  • Is the skill and experience of the orthopaedic surgeon more important than the device or procedure?
  • Can you give me any information on outcomes and complication rates?
  • If I do not have surgery, what is the risk?
  • How much pain can I expect, and how will it be managed in the hospital and after I go home?
  • How long will the device last, and what can I do to make it last as long as possible?
  • What are the pros and cons of minimally invasive (mini-incision) surgery? Does it really make a meaningful difference in the result, or does it pose unnecessary risks?
  • What will I be able to do/not do after my total joint replacement?
  • Is therapy necessary after surgery?
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • Will I be able to contact you after the surgery if I have a question or problem?

What should I do if I have a metal on metal hip?


A series of product recalls involving prosthetic hips occurred recently. The design of these hips led to the release of toxic levels of cobalt and chromium (the metal the hips are made of) into the patients who receive them.  These metals cause extensive tissue damage in the hip and other areas of the body. This usually requires additional surgery to repair. Kershaw, Cook & Talley currently handles cases involving the following types of hips: DePuy PinnacleDePuy ASRStryker AccoladeStryker Rejuvenate, Stryker ABG IIBiomet, and Wright Medical.

Many individuals are unsure what to do when they find out their metal on metal hip is defective or recalled. Kershaw, Cook & Talley recommends the following steps:

A) Find out what name and model hip you have. There are various ways to do this:

  1. Contact your orthopedic surgeon by phone. 
  2. Request a copy of your medical records in writing from the orthopedic surgeon’s office or hospital where the surgery was performed. 
  3. Check your implant card. Often times, after surgery, your doctor gives you an implant card which states the hip name and type. 


B) Check to see if your hip implant was officially recalled (if not, you may still have a case).

  1. You might have received a recall letter notifying you that your hip implant was recalled. 
  2. If you did not receive a letter, ask your doctor if your hip implant was recalled. 


C) Have your blood tested for cobalt and chromium:

  1. Tell your doctor you want to get your blood tested specifically for cobalt and chromium. 


D) Get a MARS MRI:

  1. MARS MRI stands for Metal Artifact Reduction Sequence MRIA MARS MRI is an imaging technique which minimizes metal artifact (i.e. parts of the implant) while maintaining image quality.
  2. You will most likely have to request this imaging study from your orthopedic surgeon. 

F) Call our office for a free case consultation and if you have any more questions regarding your metal-on-metal hip. 

October 2014 Stryker Litigation Update



Hi. This is Stuart Talley. Bill Kershaw and I are the attorneys responsible for the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip cases. We are providing an update on the litigation status currently pending in Minneapolis, Minnesota before Judge Donovan Frank.  Right now, there are about 4,000 cases filed and that number goes up every day. We receive phone calls from new people every day who are having problems with their Stryker hips. By the next update, there will probably be around 6,000 cases on file.

We have not had a status conference with the court for a couple of months. The next one is set for November 6, 2014. In the interim, there was a lot of paper work filed with the court on discovery issues. Discovery is the process where we get documents from the defendants; we take depositions of the defendants, their engineers, executives, salesmen. The idea is developing evidence we will need for trial.

One of the big battles brewing in this case involves documents. In this case, Stryker informed us they produced all their documents. To date, we received about 700,000 pages. It seems like a lot but in the context of cases like this, it’s really a drop in the bucket. In other hip cases we’ve handled, defendants typically produced anywhere from 20 to 60 million pages of documents.  We’ve looked at Stryker’s documents and discovered enormous gaps in email production. Email production is where you see most of the documents. There are generally millions of emails between engineers, between sales reps, where we find the best evidence for the case. We discovered certain key witnesses produced one email or none at all. From our standpoint, it appears documents were destroyed or simply not produced.

We are trying to get a deposition from a Stryker representative to find out what happened to all the documents. We also want to know if they were destroyed. And if so, is there a way to get them back. Sometimes, emails or deleted documents off a server can be retrieved from backup tapes. Companies often have servers with large amounts of data backed up on tapes. Those tapes are then stored in a separate, safe location apart from the facility with the servers. This ensures that if there is a disaster they can use the tapes to restore data. We hope there are the backup tapes on emails we can use to fill in the gaps.

Stryker does not want us to take that deposition, and filed a motion to quash the deposition. They asked the judge to prevent us asking questions regarding the documents and where they went. This issue will be decided on November 6. If it’s determined Stryker destroyed documents, and they destroyed documents knowing of an impending lawsuit (after the recall), it poses serious consequences for Stryker. If you can show the knowing destruction of evidence, judges have lots of remedies available to punish the party that destroyed the evidence. Judges can impose monetary sanctions, issue sanctions, or jury instruction sanctions. An issue sanction is when the judge has an issue deemed admitted by Stryker. For example, say there are key documents showing Stryker knew about the problems with the hip before it was put on the market. If we can’t prove this as a result of documents that were destroyed, the judge might enter an issue sanctioned so jurors are told at the trial Stryker knew there were problems with the hip before they put it on the market. With a jury instruction sanction, you can have the judge advise the jury that Stryker destroyed evidence in the case, and for purposes of deciding the case, they can assume there were documents that probably would have hurt Stryker down the road.

Stryker Litigation Update: August 2014


 

Hi, I’m Bill Kershaw with Kershaw, Cook & Talley. Stuart Talley and I are the partners responsible for providing a status update on the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II litigation case.

We had a status conference on August 21st. We addressed a number of issues at the status conference. Approximately four thousand cases are filed in various courts nationwide. We were meeting in the multi district litigation (MDL) in St. Paul, Minneapolis. There are two thousand cases pending in St. Paul, and we are currently engaging in discovery. We are taking depositions of corporate representatives on various scientific subjects, and electronic storage of information subjects which are central to the trials. We are also in the process of selecting Bellwether cases or test cases. A bellwether trial is a selection of representative sample of cases tried in front of a jury. Bellwether cases are normally demonstrative of matters which may arise in every injured party’s case. We are picking roughly twelve cases and they will go to trial next summer. Those cases will inform us how to handle many of the other cases pending since thousands of cases cannot be tried. The hope is these cases provide a blueprint how to resolve litigation later on. The Plaintiff’s Steering Committee believes it is critical we obtain discovery and understand what is happening with the cases before we settle.

The next status conference is September 22nd. We have reached an agreement with Stryker with respect to foreign entities to toll the statute of limitations for any claims against those entities so any claims those individuals have might have will be preserved going forward.

Broadspire Called?



Hi, I’m Stuart Talley with Kershaw, Cook & Talley. Bill Kershaw and I are the partners responsible for providing a status update on the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II litigation case.

We are sharing this video in order to provide information concerning Broadspire. Many individuals have called and asked us whether or not they need a lawyer to deal with Broadspire.

We highly recommend you retain a lawyer. At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, we have a team who helps submit claims to Broadspire on behalf of hundreds of our clients. We have dealt with Broadspire on numerous occasions, and have the advantage of knowledge and experience. We know what claims Broadspire will pay, and how to get those claims processed. In addition, we have developed a rapport with many Broadspire claims examiners and get claims processed expeditiously.

We take NOTHING from your Broadspire settlement.

Stryker Hip Recall: Why Call an Attorney, Don’t Let Your Statute Of Limitation Run Out


Hi, I’m Bill Kershaw with Kershaw, Cook & Talley. Stuart Talley and I are the partners responsible for providing a status update on the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II litigation case.

We are handling quite a few Stryker cases. Recently, we are receiving quite a number of calls on the statute of limitations issue.

Ongoing Updates Regarding Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Litigation


Attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley are actively involved in the ongoing Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII Hip Implant Products Liability litigation (Case No. 13-MD-2441) now pending in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. These cases are among more than 2,000 Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II cases occurring throughout the country. Kershaw, Cook & Talley recently launched a litigation update page in order to better advise their clients. The page contains a series of videos from partner, Stuart Talley, concerning the status of the litigation.

In the most recent video, Mr. Talley provides a description of what occurred during the court’s June status conference in Minneapolis. According to Mr. Talley, there are conflicting agendas between the parties. During the status conference,plaintiffs discussed how Stryker was still refusing to produce documents and failed to produce witnesses for deposition. These issues will most likely resolve through a series of motions to compel.

In Mr. Talley’s most recent video update, he provides a more detailed description of these discovery disputes along with his opinions on how the litigation is progressing and what is expected for the future.

Kershaw, Cook & Talley is a Sacramento-based firm representing individuals nationwide in defective medical device cases. The firm generates hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries for their clients and the classes they represent. Individuals impacted by Stryker’s hip systems are entitled to compensation for wage losses, medical bills, and pain and suffering. For a free case evaluation, and more information about the status of the case, feel free to call Bill Kershaw or Stuart Talley directly at (888) 817-2527 or visit https://www.cobalt-chromium-toxicity.com.

MDL 13-2441: Transcript of Status Conference, June 12, 2014

The correlation between prostheses failure and elevated metal ion levels in patients


This study focuses on whether or not higher metal ions in the blood could help determine the likelihood of prostheses failure in patients with metal on metal (MOM) implants or total hip arthroplasty. The study involved 597 patients who received hip implants approximately one year prior. Patients with failed prostheses and patients with non-failed prostheses were compared via their blood metal ion levels. A prosthetic was considered a failure if they were revised, a revision was pending, or the patient reported poor hip function.

Patients with failed implants had elevated cobalt and chromium blood levels compared to patients with non-failed hips.  Patients with failed hip resurfacing (replacement of the joint’s articular surface) had less blood cobalt levels than patients with failed total hip arthroplasty (surgical removal of the femur’s neck and insertion of a stem deep within the bone connecting with the pelvic socket and liner). There was not a significant difference in blood chromium levels between the two procedures.

The presence and amount of the metal ions were good indicators of whether or not a hip would fail. There was a 23% increase in failure among patients with a total hip arthroplasty for each increase in 1 part per billion (µg/L) of metal ions. Whereas, patients with hip resurfacing had a 5% increase in failure with each increase in 1 part per billion (µg/L ) of metal ions.

In conclusion, there was a direct correlation between higher levels of blood metal ions and metal on metal hip resurfacing and total hip arthroplasty failures.

Source: Surveillance of Patients with Metal-on-metal hip resurfacing and total hip prostheses

Filing Deadlines For Oregon Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Recall Victims


Hi, I’m Stuart Talley with Kershaw, Cook & Talley. Bill Kershaw and I are the partners responsible for providing a status update on the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II litigation case.

Oregon Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Recall

Our firm is leading the charge in cases against Stryker involving their defective Rejuvenate and ABG II hips. We are a part of a small group of attorneys, known as the plaintiffs’ steering committee, pursuing these cases. There are several thousand cases filed all over the country.

We are providing more information, especially to our Oregon clients, concerning the statute of limitations. Many clients are calling, and asking, when the statute of limitations starts to run, or if there are deadlines for filing a case. It is essential to know when the statute of limitations starts to run and when it ends, or expires. This is not always clear; this is a gray area.

Oregon has a two year statute of limitations. This means you need to file a case within two years of discovering, or reasonably knowing, injury from a product. It is difficult knowing when the statute of limitations starts to run. Did it start when Stryker announced a recall of their hip? Did it start to run on the date you found out about the recall? Did it start to run on the date you found out you had elevated levels of cobalt and chromium? Or, did it start when your surgeon stated your hip needs replacing? These are all potential start dates for the statute of limitations. It is safest to choose the earliest start date and file your case before that start date.

The statute of limitations start date was possibly July 6, 2012; the date Stryker first announced the recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II hips. The best option is getting a case on file before July 6, 2014. Clients are asking, “What if I don’t have a problem with my hip? What if it doesn’t hurt? What if the doctor says it doesn’t need replacing at this time?” Filing a case anyways is the safest option. We have many Oregon clients who have not undergone revision surgery. We filed their cases to “preserve” the statute of limitations. Preserving the statute of limitations means that if anything bad were to happen in the future you would have protection. If you don’t file a case, you will not have protection.

We recommend everyone err on the side of caution, and call Kershaw, Cook & Talley immediately. We will get a case on file before July 6, 2014, the first potential deadline. We still urge you to call us after July 6 if that is not the actual date, and is in fact a later date.

If you have a Rejuvenate or ABG II hip, contact an attorney immediately and get protection. Contact an attorney at Kershaw, Cook & Talley even if you are not having problems with your hip.

Give us a call if you live in Oregon. We are licensed in Oregon and many of our clients are from Oregon. We are more than happy to get a case on file for you, and even get one on file the same day you call. Please contact us for a free evaluation with the number on the screen, or via our website and fill out the questionnaire. All of our cases are on contingency and there are no out of pocket expenses on your part.

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