Cobalt Chromium Toxicity

stryker rejuvenate

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.

Stryker Rejuvenate Status Update: October 2015



My name is Stuart Talley and I am the partner at Kershaw, Cook & Talley responsible for the Stryker Rejuvenate recall litigation. The reason I am doing this video today is to give an update on the status of the litigation. We had a status conference with the court yesterday and we wanted to provide an update on where we are with these cases.

As many of you may know, the Stryker Rejuvenate litigation originally involved about eight thousand cases that were filed on behalf of people who had Stryker Rejuvenate hips. Most of those cases were consolidated in Minneapolis, Minnesota before Judge Donovan Frank. After year and a half litigation, there was a global settlement that was announced.  It was actually a global settlement program. Any individual who had a revision surgery as of November 2014 had the option of participating in the settlement program.

The hearing yesterday discussed the current situation regarding where certain cases stand, how many have been settled, how many remain. We learned there are many cases still pending in the court that have not been resolved. Those cases fall under different categories:

  • The first category includes people who have not had revision surgery. Stryker has offered nothing to those individuals and is not agreeing to settle their cases.
  • The second kind of case involves people who had revision surgery but after the settlement was announced in November 2014. So, if you had revision surgery after November 2014 you were not included in the settlement program.
  • The third kind of case that is sitting out there is for people who opted out of the settlement program. They decided they didn’t like the terms of the settlement and decided not to take it.
  • The last category of cases, 175 remaining, those will be tried to a jury. There is a lot of work right not to get those cases ready for trial. There’s a lot of discovery that’s being conducted with respect to Stryker and retrieving documents from Stryker. There are many depositions lined up for November of this year of various Stryker executives. There’s a lot of work and effort going into getting those cases ready for trial.

With respect to the unrevised cases, people who haven’t had revision surgery, there is a process that will be set in place. Essentially, Stryker has agreed to allow these people to dismiss their case. In the future, if they ever need revision surgery, they can refile the cases as if it was never dismissed in the first place. This process is called a “tolling agreement”. Stryker agreed to “toll”, or suspend, the statute of limitations. For example, you dismiss your case and are allowed to refile if you ever have revision surgery. If you do, it’s as if your case was never dismissed in the first place.

These cases are ongoing. There’s a lot that’s happening. Many cases have settled. If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate hip, and have not filed a case, we recommend you file one immediately. The statute of limitations could be running on your case. And unless you actually have a case on file, you are not protected even if your hip has not been revised. This tolling agreement only applies to individuals who have cases on file.

If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate hip, contact us for a free case consultation. You can call us toll-free at (888) 817-2527, or fill out and submit the confidential submission form found on this page.

Stryker Settlement Deadline: Extended to March 16th!


There are approximately 6,000 Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II cases now pending around the country; most are in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stryker made a global settlement offer for individuals who underwent revision surgery (replacing their Rejuvenate or ABG II hips) prior to November 3, 2014.

The Stryker Settlement deadline (i.e. deadline to participate in the settlement) is now extended until March 16, 2015. There are specific requirements to fulfill before the settlement deadline. Various forms and documents (e.g. medical records) need to be submitted to the settlement claims administrator by the March 16th deadline.

You must submit sufficient medical records to show you had a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II and it was revised for “recall-related” reasons, as defined in the settlement agreement. The medical records should show you had elevated cobalt and chromium, tissue damage,  or some other indication showing your hip was revised due to the recalled hip.

Many people ask why there is a need for an attorney. “What’s the benefit of having an attorney if I settle my case on my own? Won’t I save money doing it myself?”  The settlement agreement actually encourages individuals to hire an attorney. The process of submitting the required forms and documents to the claims administrator is arduous and complex. An attorney facilitates this process on your behalf. Under the terms of the settlement, if you do not have an attorney, your settlement amount (i.e. compensation you receive), is reduced by 32%. Most attorneys charge 33.3%. However, an attorney goes through the process of determining what the client is entitled to under the settlement. This can often be a complicated process involving medical records and interpreting the 96 page settlement agreement. We are responsible for putting together the settlement admission to the claims administrator, and insuring all the appropriate forms and documents are provided by the deadline. Failure to properly analyze the claim, or failure to submit the proper paperwork, can result in receiving less than you are entitled to under the settlement agreement or a substantial delay in your payment. Therefore, it is truly in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the process, and focus on your claim.

Another question is, “How do I guarantee I’m getting what I deserve under the settlement?” This is another situation where you should consider hiring an attorney. An attorney will make sure you get the most of what you’re entitled under the settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement is divided into two parts:
1) The Base Award–  this is typically $300,000.  This base award may then be adjusted downward for age and/or whether the original hip was put in to replace another hip.
2) Enhanced Benefit Matrix–  potential enhanced benefits for specific damages resulting during or after revision surgery; damages are assigned a monetary value.

 What is the timing of payment? When will I get paid?
Under the settlement agreement, the Base Award is distributed in late summer 2015 or early fall 2015. Individuals who submit all the appropriate paperwork will be paid during that time frame. However, if you do not submit the appropriate paperwork, you will move to the “end of the line”. This greatly delays the time period in which you get paid. Payments for the enhanced benefits are distributed in early 2016. These payments are also affected by how the forms are submitted. If you make a mistake, this also delays the enhanced benefit payment.

 What if I do not take the Settlement? What if the Settlement is not right for me?
If you fall into this category, you essentially have one option. Your option is continuing with your lawsuit, if you have one on file. If you don’t have one on file, you need to file a lawsuit immediately. You do not have to take the settlement; the settlement is only an offer. No one is required to take it. We have many clients who are not taking the settlement. We intend to pursue their cases, attempt to get trial dates, and hopefully get them a verdict more than the settlement or a future settlement more than what is currently offered.  Some people are not taking the settlement because it just doesn’t work for them.  There are individuals suffering problems after revision surgery resulting in permanent injuries (e.g. chronic limps, lifelong pain medication). They have significant damages not adequately compensated by the settlement.

If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip, and are experiencing any problems, feel free to give us a call. We can also help with the settlement and how to process the appropriate paperwork and navigating the deadlines. We have an upcoming deadline on March 16th. Don’t wait until it’s too late, act now.

Stryker Status Conference Update


On Thursday,  January 22nd, there was a status conference regarding In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implant products liability litigation (MDL 13-2441). The conference occurred before Judge Donovan W. Frank in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The conference began with an update concerning the two-step process of the litigation. The first step was having all cases formally registered with the Defendant and the settlement processor. All plaintiffs should have registered their claims whether the case was filed, unfiled, qualified, or unqualified. It was reported that the majority of potential plaintiffs completed registration successfully. The second step is the actual and formal enrollment of those individuals who are qualified and choose to enroll in the settlement. The enrollment process is more complicated than registration. The enrollment process opened on January 16th and ends on March 2nd, 2015. Depending on your individual circumstances, your attorney should guide you to make an informed decision as to whether or not to participate in the settlement.

The formal website for the Stryker Hip Litigation is www.strykermodularhipsettlement.com. If you are trying to settle your case without a lawyer, the site contains the appropriate forms to participate in the settlement.

Another status conference is set with a tentative date of March 27th.

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. 

STRYKER HIP SETTLEMENT: NEW REGISTRATION DEADLINE



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. You must register by the December 19, 2014 deadline.

You are not required to join the Settlement Program if you register. However, you must register your claims with the Claims Processor by FridayDecember 19 if you intend to enroll and participate in the Settlement Program.

Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating defective hip cases. We can answer any questions regarding the Stryker Hip Settlement and offer free case consultations.

Stryker Hip Settlement: Registration Deadline Only 1 Week Away!


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 registration process is open until the deadline on Sunday, December 14, 2014. Registration Orders were issued in Multi-District Litigation (MDL) and Multi-County Litigation (MCL) courts. The orders instruct attorneys with “un-filed claims and filed lawsuits, pro se plaintiffs, and unrepresented claimants” to register claims, whether the patient was revised or unrevised (www.strykermodularhipsettlement.com).

You must register to enroll in the Settlement Program. However, you are not required to enroll in the Settlement Program if you register. Contact us for a free case consultation, or for any help regarding the Stryker Hip Settlement. 

Stryker Hip Settlement: Permanent Damage Compensation



Hi, I’m Stuart Talley. I’m the partner responsible for the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II litigation. I am doing this video to answer a question our clients asked regarding the Stryker hip settlement.

The question is, “Does the settlement agreement provide additional compensation for individuals who underwent revision surgery but sustained lifelong injuries?” These people had their hip revised but have a permanent disability secondary to soft tissue damage from the hip. Many of our clients are a year post-revision and still use a wheelchair, cane, or crutches. They are in chronic pain and taking pain medication. They are curious if the settlement provides additional compensation for their situation.

Unfortunately, the settlement does not give additional compensation for an “inoperable” problem. However, it does provide additional compensation for procedures. For instance, if you are in chronic pain and need another hip operation after revision surgery, you would receive additional compensation.

The problem with the settlement is not fairly compensating people with lifelong damages caused by soft tissue injuries from cobalt and chromium toxicity (metallosis). If you fall into this category, you have 2 options: accepting the settlement or not accepting the settlement.

Contact Kershaw, Cook & Talley for a free case consultation or with any questions about the settlement if you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip.

 

Stryker Hip Settlement: Surgery Before the Recall



Hi, I’m Stuart Talley. I’m the partner responsible for the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II litigation. I am doing this video to answer a question our clients asked regarding the Stryker hip settlement.

The question is, “Does the settlement provide additional compensation to people who underwent surgery before the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hips were even recalled?” Before the recall, many surgeons performed operations on injured individuals. The surgeons operated to find the source of the problem. Generally, the surgeon could not figure it out, and would then replace the ball and the cup. Unfortunately for these individuals, the problem had nothing to do with the ball and the cup. The problem with the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hips were the stem and the neck.

We have many clients who underwent surgery replacing the ball and the cup before the recall. This situation is not covered by the settlement agreement. After the recall, the surgeons realized the real problem was with the stem. The patient subsequently underwent another operation removing the stem. The settlement agreement only provides compensation for a revision surgery. Revision surgery is defined a certain way under the settlement agreement. It means the stem is replaced. You receive no additional compensation for the surgery where the stem was not replaced. This is a hole in the agreement that does not result in fair compensation for a lot of people.

You essentially have 2 options if you fall within that category. The options are either taking the settlement as is, or not taking it at all. If you don’t take it, you will have to wait and get your case potentially resolved in the future.

Contact Kershaw, Cook & Talley for a free case consultation or with any questions about the settlement if you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip.

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