Cobalt Chromium Toxicity

Wright Medical Hip Lawsuit Update



Hi, I am Stuart Talley. I am the partner responsible for the prosthetic hip litigation. I am providing an update on the Wright Medical metal on metal hip litigation. There are thousands of filed cases and they are consolidated in Atlanta, Georgia. The first Wright Conserve hip trial takes place on March 9, 2015.

Currently, there are multiple deadlines to prepare for the trial date. The first deadline is “dispositive motions”.  Dispositive motion is a motion seeking to dispose all or part of a claim. Dispositive motions are generally filed by the defendant(s).  The deadline for filing this motion is January 9, 2015. We fully expect Wright Medical to file a dispositive motion.

The next motion deadline regards a “daubert motion”. Defendants and plaintiffs can file daubert motions.  A daubert motion is a special type of motion. It is raised before or during trial, and seeks to exclude expert testimony and the presentation of unqualified evidence to the jury. There are certain circumstances where defendants and plaintiffs will submit expert testimony from doctors or scientists. The daubert motion is employed by a party to potentially exclude testimony. Daubert motion in these cases is important. Expert testimony is critical to a plaintiff’s ability to prove their case.

The next deadline is “motions in limine”. Motion in limine is a motion filed by a party asking the court for an order or ruling limiting or preventing the other side from presenting certain evidence at the trial of the case.

The daubert motions and motions in limine will be submitted at the pre-trial conference on February 26, 2015. The pre-trial conference is a hearing held before the judge. The judge typically rules on the dispositive motions, daubert motions, and motions in limine. After the hearing, you have a good idea how your case looks for the Wright Conserve hip trial. We are confident the motions filed by the defendants will be unsuccessful. The cases are very strong and we think the first case going to trial will be successful.

Wright Medical Hip Lawsuit: http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/mdl/wright_medical.html

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.

Wright Medical Hip Settlement Update



Hi. This is Stuart Talley with Kershaw, Cook & Talley. Bill Kershaw and I are the partners responsible for the prosthetic hip litigation. Many of our clients are asking for a status update on these cases. I am doing this video today to provide an update on the ongoing Wright Medical metal on metal hip litigation.

There are several thousand Wright Medical cases now pending throughout the country. Most were consolidated in Atlanta, Georgia and some were consolidated in Los Angeles, California. There are ongoing settlement discussions in these Wright Medical metal on metal hip cases.

The Wright Medical cases are different than other hip cases we are dealing with. Wright Medical isn’t nearly as large as some of the other metal on metal hip manufacturers that have recently settled cases, such as DePuy ASR. DePuy is a huge company and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It produces billions in profits every year. Wright Medical is much smaller than DePuy. It would be difficult for them to pay a large settlement to everyone who has a case, given the number of cases pending. And it would be very difficult for them to pay along the lines of the DePuy ASR litigation.

So far, Wright Medical has made claims to their insurance carriers for compensation for all of the claims that were asserted with respect to their hips. There was an enormous dispute between Wright Medical and their carriers about the extent of the coverage. This concerns when a claim was technically made under the insurance policy for each one of these insurance carriers.

Over the last 6 months, there were extensive negotiations between Wright Medical and their own insurance company about the nature and extent of coverage. This is a critical issue because you need to know the amount of coverage before you can settle the cases. There was a lawsuit filed where Wright Medical actually sued their insurance carriers. My understanding is the issue with respect to the extent of coverage is close to being resolved. There will soon be discussions regarding how much each person will get under a global settlement agreement. Unfortunately, you cannot settle the individual cases until you know the amount of coverage.

I think we are getting very close to some type of settlement resolution in this case. You should listen to some of our other videos if you want some more information about how settlements in cases like this typically work. For Wright Medical, the amount and terms of the settlement are up in the air at this point. However, it does appear that a settlement is close. If the case does not settle, we have trial dates set for early next year.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants and Revision Surgery


Patients undergo hip replacement surgery in order to improve their quality of life. Hip replacement surgery is supposed to increase activity levels, improve range of motion, and ease pain and suffering. Unfortunately, after their index (initial) surgeries, individuals soon find their hip replacement is hindering rather than helping. This is often the case with metal-on-metal hip replacements.

Metal-on-metal hip systems such as the DePuy PinnacleDePuy ASRStryker Rejuvenate, Stryker ABG IIStryker AccoladeWright Pro Femur and Wright Conserve, have the highest failure rate compared to any other hip implant. Most individuals experience serious complications and subsequent failure with these implants. Complications from metal-on-metal hips include cobalt-chromium toxicity, metallosis, pseudotumors, infection, loosening and implant wear, joint stiffness, and fracture. These complications cause implant failure. Implant failure requires a second surgery, known as a revision surgery. A revision surgery requires removing the failed implant(s) and replacing with a new device.

Revision surgery is more complex and risky than the index surgery because it is more invasive. Therefore, the risk of complications is greater with a revision surgery than initial surgery. The implants are more likely to loosen, migrate, and fracture since the bone and hip joint are severely manipulated from the previous implant.

What if you do not have a recalled hip?


What if you do not have a recalled hip?

Over the past 6 years, medical device manufacturers have been flooded with lawsuits involving defective prosthetic hips.  Some of these lawsuits involve hips that have been recalled, such as the DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate.  However, there are many other cases involving hips that have not yet been recalled.  These other, less publicized cases, involve what are commonly referred to as metal on metal hips.  These are prosthetic hips that do not have a plastic liner in the cup, but instead, have metal cups that rub directly on a metal ball.  Although, at one point, these hips accounted for nearly 1/3 of all hip replacements used in the United States, today they are no longer being used at all.

do you have a recalled hip

The reason for this is that doctors have discovered that as these metal on metal hips shed metal particles (cobalt and chromium) into the patients who have them.  These particles cause, pain, pseudotumors, and irreversible soft tissue damage in the hips of patients who have them.  As a result, many cases are being filed on behalf of anyone who has a metal on metal hip; regardless of whether the hip has been recalled.

The manufacturers of metal on metal hips that are the subject of significant litigation include:

Wright Medical

DePuy

Biomet

If you have any kind of metal on metal hip, even if it’s not a “recalled hip” you should contact an attorney right away.  At Kershaw, Cook & Talley we represent hundreds of individuals with non-recalled hips in litigation throughout the country and are happy to provide a free consultation

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