Personal injury lawyers - why you need them, Depuy, the hip replacement device recall that seriously hurt so many.

I exclusively represent seriously injured people in my personal injury law practice.

The kindness and concern for others, even when a person has been seriously injured by that other person's negligent act, is a great thing. My clients are most often concerned about what happens to the person they sue. I always explain that although the lawsuit will have the other driver’s name on it, we are actually going after the insurance company’s money. In most every case the person doesn't pay even a penny. The attorney and legal fees are also paid for by the insurance company. Even in verdicts that are over the other driver's insurance coverage, the insurance company still has to pay because it was their decision to not pay the limit in the first place.

But people still often wonder, why do you need the civil trial system and a personal injury lawyer?

Looking at the greed of auto insurance companies and their bad faith tactics of underpayment often not even covering enough to pay medical bills, delay, and denials, is one example of why, but another is the greed of corporations in product liability cases. The recent 'metal on metal' recalls and the big cases just starting for Depuy ASR hip implant are a good example of corporate greed, even a medical device producing company, putting profits ahead of people.

People who have received these metal on metal hip implant devices are suffering all types of injury. In some cases people are getting toxic metal poisoning, even arguably getting cancer. In an estimated 40% of the recipients will have to have another revisioning surgery within 5 years of receiving the Depuy ASR., this has just come out in trial as new information.

According to the FDA web page on metal on metal recalls, "On Aug. 24, 2010, there was a voluntary recall of the DePuy ASR TM total hip system because of new, unpublished data from the UK joint registry indicating the revision rates within 5 years were approximately 13 percent." [1] After the first Depuy trial in the USA, new information came to light that Depuy itself estimated that these rates were closer to 40%. [2] As reported in the New York Times:

Johnson & Johnson executives knew years before they recalled a troubled artificial hip in 2010 that it had a critical design flaw, but the company concealed that information from physicians and patients, according to internal documents disclosed on Friday during a trial related to the device's failure.

The A.S.R. represents one of the biggest medical device failures in recent decades. According to DePuy's internal estimates, it is projected to fail within five years in about 40 percent of patients who received one. That is eight times the failure rate of most orthopedic implants. [2]

These symptoms have been severe and painful for people who received these implants. For many people, the revisioning surgery means that they may end up with limited mobility and chronic pain.

Over time, the metal particles around some implants can cause damage to bone and/or tissue surrounding the implant and joint. This is sometimes referred to as an “adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR)” or an “adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD).” Soft tissue damage may lead to pain, implant loosening, device failure, and the need for revision surgery (the old device is removed and replaced with another one). Patients with a progressing ALTR may be considered for earlier revision to prevent extensive damage to bone, muscle and nerves. [3]

Depuy didn't only put profits over people in the slow response of the failure of these implants and fail to tell the medical community. Depuy hired a company to handle these cases, Broadspire. As reported by Reuters News, this move was unusual.

In a highly unusual move, DePuy has hired a third party -- Broadspire Services Inc, which manages workers compensation and other medical claims on behalf of insurance companies and employers -- to administer patient claims for out-of-pocket medical costs associated with the recall.

The move has prompted debate among industry and legal experts. Some see it as an efficient way to outsource a process that is unrelated to making artificial hips. Others see it as a way for J & J to limit payments while gaining control of medical records and other material that could be used against patients in court. [4]

Depuy set up a system that put them in charge of deciding what was needed and what they would pay - they aren't even offering to pay the full medical costs of necessary revisioning surgery. The amount covered by DePuy is limited to what DePuy independently determines is reasonable. DePuy will not compensate you for your lost wages, your pain and suffering or your future medical needs. However, in stark contrast, the law allows you to seek the total billed amount of your medical treatment, the full amount of your lost wages, the total value of your future medical needs, as well as pain and suffering damages.

This is why you need trial lawyers and our civil litigation system.

Corporations put profits ahead of people. Many thousands of people have suffered because of the Depuy ASR in the USA. Like Mr. Kransky, the first USA Depuy case who received a jury verdict for 8.3 million dollars, and his day in court with the help of his personal injury law team.

I handle all types of Oregon personal injury law such as truck accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, boat accident, railroad accidents, wrongful death, on the job injury, construction site accidents, dog bite injury, product liability, and product liability,any situation where you have been seriously injured by the negligence of another. If I can be of assistance, please contact me for a free consultation so that we may discuss your case.

Resources

1. FDA

Recalls Specific to Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants DePuy ASR TM XL Acetabular System

2. Maker Hid Data About Design Flaw in Hip Implant, Records Show
The New York Times
By BARRY MEIER
Published: January 25, 2013

3. FDA Concerns about Metal on Metal Hip Implants

4. Insight: DePuy's handling of hip recall sparks questions
By Toni Clarke
BOSTON | Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:24am EDT
(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson, which could face billions of dollars in costs over an artificial hip recall, is taking an unusual approach to managing the crisis -- one that could limit its financial exposure, legal experts say.