By Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D., The Health Law Firm and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Two nationwide recalls of metal-on-metal hip implants by Johnson and Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics and Stryker Orthopaedics has prompted The Health Law Firm to take on plaintiffs’ products liability cases against these manufacturers. In August 2010, DePuy recalled 93,000 ASR XL hip implants after a significant percentage failed within five years. (Click here to read the press release from DePuy.) Followed by Stryker issuing a voluntary recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems in July 2012. (Click here to see the press release from Stryker.)
Both recalls came after reports of hip replacement failures and issues with metallosis, which is metal poisoning from the chromium and cobalt ions in the metal-on-metal hip implants. Patients who have the recalled hip implants are undergoing revision surgery to have the defective hips removed and new types of artificial hips substituted.
In this blog series, we would like to share the top things all metal-on-metal hip implant patients need to know about their medical and legal options. Click here to read part one, and click here to read part two.
7. We Do Not Recommend Surrendering Your Defective Hip Implant.
This is a question every patient should discuss with an attorney. Our position is that you should not surrender the removed hip implant. The device could become evidence in your claim against the manufacturer. You paid for it, so you do own it.
8. DO NOT Talk to Broadspire.
Stryker and DePuy both hired Broadspire as a third party claims administrator. According to the website, Broadspire is a division of Crawford and Company and is said to be one of the largest insurance and claims adjusters in the world. Stryker and DePuy both fund Broadspire.
We’ve heard that Stryker has sent thousands of letters to patients who have received the recalled hip system. The letters request that patients sign a medical authorization form, which would release detailed information included in that patient’s medical records to Stryker/DePuy and Broadspire. By signing the authorization form, Stryker/DePuy can access and use the information in the medical record as evidence in court.
Some medical offices do require the forms to be filled out and submitted to Broadspire for continued care, so before you fill out the form speak with an experienced attorney.
9. Hiring an Attorney.
Besides revision surgery, having a failed hip implant can cause many additional health issues for patients. Stryker claims it will compensate patients for any tests or work that has to be done. However, reports say Stryker has requested that patients submit all of their bills to private health insurance, and the company only offers to pay patients for the out-of-pocket expenses. This might not cover rehabilitation therapy, or other hardships facing patients with the defective hip implant systems.
If you or a loved one has received a recalled hip implant from either Stryker or DePuy and has experienced hip pain, developed metallosis, has had a revision surgery or has experienced any failure of your hip implant, contact an attorney experienced in products liability litigation.
Other Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Recalls.
We’ve also learned of a number of other manufacturers that are producing orthopedic implant products accused of being defective. These products include the Biomet metal-on-metal hip implant, the Wright hip implant, the Zimmer Durom Cup and the Zimmer NexGen Knee.
If you received any of these products and have experienced pain, swelling, high levels of metal in your bloodstream, a corrective revision surgery or other complications, we may be able to help you obtain compensation.
Contact an Attorney Experienced in Products Liability Litigation.
Although The Health Law Firm represents predominantly physicians and other health care providers, we are involved in products liability litigation. At the request of our clients, we have agreed to take on and prosecute a number of hip implant cases against their manufacturers for the patients. We currently are representing several plaintiff patients with DePuy hip implants and several plaintiff patients with Stryker hip implants.
We are able to combine our knowledge of the health care industry with our litigation experience for the benefit of patients. If you received a DePuy, Stryker or any metal hip replacement and have experienced pain, swelling, high levels of metal in your blood, a corrective revision surgery, or other complications, we may be able to help you. To learn more about your legal rights, contact The Health Law Firm for a consultation today.
To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Do you think some manufacturers rushed certain orthopedic products into the market without adequate testing? Have you experienced complications for a metal-on-metal hip implant? Please leave thoughtful comments below.
About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
Carole C. Schriefer is a nurse-attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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