Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. We specialize in Personal Injury trial litigation and focus our energy and efforts on those we represent.

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Every year, thousands of patients are implanted with a retrieval inferior vena cava filters (IVC) but they are not warned by doctors about the risk of injury from these temporary devices.

And as time passes, patients tend to forget that they had this device implanted and the first inkling that they had the device, is when they suffer serious injury from a complication.

Starting tonight, on NBC Nightly News, there is a 2 part news segment about the dangers of the IVC devices and in particular the Bard IVC Recovery Filter device, its failure rate and the propensity to cause personal injury damage to patients. Shockingly many doctors who implant these devices are unaware of the risk and the dangers associated with these devices.

According to some experts, there is a very high failure rate with these devices, which only increases with the duration of the filter in the body, eventually all of the devices will fail. So 100% failure of the device becomes not a question of “if” but “when.”

What is an IVC Filter?

The filter devices are used when there is a blood clot in the leg known as a deep vein thrombosis and there is a contraindication to using blood thinners, which is the standard therapy for leg blood clots.

These devices are supposed to trap blood clots from traveling from the leg to the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.

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As a Dallas personal injury attorney and Texas medical doctor, I am highlighting the risks associated with retrieval inferior vena cava filters. Every year, thousands of patients are implanted with a retrieval inferior vena cava filters (IVC) but they are not warned by doctors about the risk of injury from these temporary devices.

Bard IVC FILTER Injury AttorneyAnd as time passes, patients tend to forget that they had this device implanted and the first inkling that they had the device, is when they suffer serious injury from a complication.

According to some experts, there is a very high failure rate with these devices, which only increases with the duration of the filter in the body, eventually all of the devices will fail. So 100% failure of the device becomes not a question of “if” but “when.”

What is an IVC Filter?

The filter devices are used when there is a blood clot in the leg known as a deep vein thrombosis and there is a contraindication to using blood thinners, which is the standard therapy for leg blood clots.

These devices are supposed to trap blood clots from traveling from the leg to the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.

These devices unfortunately, have been linked to hundreds of adverse event reports where they puncture the vena cava, tilt out of position or migrate or break apart and cause metallic fragments to travel to the heart or lungs, a condition known as embolization.

Now as many lawsuits are being filed, the lawsuits have similar allegations that plaintiffs experienced significant and serious side effects including death, after having the blood clot filter medical devices implanted into the inferior vena cava.

IVC Filters Complications:

  • Puncture of the inferior vena cava
  • Cardiac tamponade (puncture of the heart, leading to blood leakage around the heart)
  • Aortic perforation
  • Device breakup leading to embolization
  • Filter fractures
  • Migration of the device
  • Ventricular Tachycardia, (a deadly heart rhythm)

2 Major Manufacturers of IVC Filters

There are 2 major manufacturers of IVC filters, Cook Medical and C.R. Bard. The complaints in the Bard and Cook IVC Filter litigation have similar allegations, the injured patients claim that the manufacturers designed and sold retrievable defective devices that were unreasonably dangerous.

FDA Warnings

The FDA in August 2010, announced a warning about the risk of IVC filter injuries, noting that they had received hundreds of adverse event reports where filter devices broke apart and travelled to other areas of the body or caused perforation and migration.

Adverse Medical Studies

In March 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine journal questioned the effectiveness of IVC filters, noting that less than 10% of the study patients had successful removal of the devices and 8% of IVC filter patients developed pulmonary embolism despite the device.

In May 2014, the FDA cautioned doctors to remove IVC filters within about one to two months after the risk of a pulmonary embolism has passed, noting that many doctors were not adequately warned about the importance of retrieving the devices.

Bard IVC Filter Claims Heading to Arizona

Recently, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), ordered all filed Bard Inferior Vena Cava filter injury, perforation and migration lawsuits, are to be consolidated and centralized before one federal judge in Phoenix, Arizona for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

Existing cases pending throughout the federal court system will be transferred to U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell, who will oversee the multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings. Bard Peripheral Vascular is the manufacturer of these Bard IVC filters and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

This consolidation and centralization of Bard IVC filter cases only applies to cases filed in the federal court system. There are less than 50 filed Bard Recovery filter and Bard G2 filter lawsuits currently pending in U.S. District Courts nationwide.

Benefits of MDL Consolidation and Centralization

The MDL streamlines the trial process, by preventing duplicative discovery and all the plaintiffs and defendants are gathered before one judge.

MDL has been established for all Cook Medical IVC filter lawsuits, involving problems with the Cook Celect or Gunther Tulip filters. There are more than 100 complaints over those products centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana.

MDL Bellwether IVC Filter Trials

It is common in complex multidistrict ligation involving pharmaceutical and medical device cases, to have mini trials, known as bellwether trials.

A small group of cases will be prepared for early trial dates. The outcome of these trials are designed to aid settlement negotiations, especially if the jury sides with the injured plaintiffs and awards a large damage award or in cases involving gross negligence, awarding punitive damages, which are designed to punish the company for its reckless behavior.

 

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The epidemic of premature metal on metal hip implant failure continues surge at an alarming rate. DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, Biomet Magnum & M2a, Smith and Nephew, Wright Conserve, Zimmer Durom cup and Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II, are among hip replacements that continue to fail prematurely and require painful and risky revision surgery.

DePuy ASR Metallosis Injury AttorneyTotal Number of DePuy ASR Settlements Exceeds 9,400 Cases

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, has agreed to add another 1,400 hip injury claims to a settlement agreement reached in 2013. This new agreement extends the deal to include recalled ASR implants that were revised as of January 31, 2015.

J&J had initially agreed to settle about 8,000 ASR lawsuit cases, that folks brought when their hip replacement failed and had to be removed prior to August 31, 2013. The initial agreement left several thousand DePuy ASR hip lawsuits in limbo.

Settlement Extended to Cover J&J DePuy ASR Revisions as of January 31, 2015

On February 20, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal litigation was notified that an agreement has been reached that extended the settlement program to include U.S. citizens or residents who received an ASR hip and had revision surgery on or before January 31, 2015.

J&J DePuy ASR Settlement Details

Under terms of the original agreement, plaintiffs will receive an average payment of $250,000 for pain and suffering, with the age of the plaintiff, the length of time the implant was in place, the weight of the plaintiff, whether they were a smoker, will be considered prior to a final award.

Patients who developed “extraordinary injuries”, and complications associated with the revision surgery, can also obtain additional compensation and all medical expenses will be covered by the manufacturer.

Thousands of Americans affected by Defective J&J ASR Hips

Despite the settlements, there are thousands of people throughout the U.S. who still have a defective implanted DePuy ASR hip. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 ASR hips were implanted in the U.S. prior to the world wide recall.

FDA: August 2010 J&J ASR Recall

The metal-on-metal implant was recalled in August 2010, because of a high rate of failures associated with the flawed design. This defective hip released cobalt and chromium metallic debris into the body and the hip joint as the components grind against each other during normal use. This accumulation of heavy metals is known as metallosis.

DePuy ASR Hip Failure Rate

The metal-on-metal hip replacement system was recalled from the market after medical data found that about one out of every eight would fail within five years. More recent data has suggested that the DePuy hip failure rate may be substantially higher, ending up in the 35% to 45% range.

Latest $2.5M Oklahoma Jury Verdict

Andrea Smith, from Oklahoma has been awarded $2.5 million after suffering metal blood poisoning from DePuy ASR hip replacements. The state court jury found the DePuy ASR hip to be defective and unreasonably dangerous.

Smith, received ASR hip implants on each side in October 2006 and February 2007. According to Smith, she had to undergo revision surgery to have the implants removed in 2011 and 2012, after high levels of Cobalt and Chromium metal ions were found in her blood.

More Than 7,700 J&J DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuits

J&J is continues to deny, delay and defend thousands of cases involving similar metallosis and premature failure problems from the DePuy Pinnacle hip. The DePuy Pinnacle is an older model that features a substantially similar metal-on-metal design.

There are currently more than 7,700 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits pending throughout the U.S. In the federal court system, as of 7/15/2015, all complaints involving problems with DePuy Pinnacle implants are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade as part of a multidistrict lawsuit (MDL).

DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trials

The Dallas court has identified ten different cases that have been selected to be prepared for early trial dates. These early trials are known as “bellwether” cases. The trials help the parties gauge how juries may respond to similar evidence and testimony that is repeated throughout the litigation. It is anticipated that these mini trials will take place in 2016 and 2017.

The consolidated federal case is In re DePuy Orthopedics Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 10-MD-2197, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (Toledo).

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According to recent research, the new blood thinners Xarelto and Pradaxa are no safer than warfarin when it comes to bleeding and complications like heart attacks and strokes.

xarelto side effects attorneyResearchers found no difference in the risk of bleeding events or arterial thromboembolism events between any of the three groups for the first 90 days of use.

Medical experts are concerned about the new-generation anticoagulants, as they do not have a reversal agent, in the event of a serious or catastrophic bleeding, which can result in deadly results.

Medical Study: No Difference in Bleeding Side Effects

The latest research was published in the July edition of Circulation, here researchers found that there was no difference in the rate of bleeding events, strokes or heart attacks among patients using either Xarelto, Pradaxa or Coumadin (warfarin).

The researchers were investigating the safety and efficacy of the drugs during the early phases of treatment. Typically, patients first begin using the anticoagulant drugs as a preventative measure to prevent strokes caused by nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

What are Xarelto and Pradaxa?

Pradaxa and Xarelto are two new blood thinners, known as novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs), which are touted as being superior and safer than warfarin.

But these drugs do not have a reversal agent, unlike warfarin, which means that when bleeding complications occur, doctors cannot stop them. The blood thinning effect of warfarin can be quickly stopped through the use of vitamin K and blood transfusions.

Blood Thinner Bleeding Risks

Pradaxa is made by Boehringer Ingelheim and is the first to hit the market of a new class of anticoagulants. Xarelto is made by Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and is the second to be released and has rapidly gained the lion share of the market.

All blood thinners carry a risk of bleeding side effects, but Pradaxa and Xarelto injuries have become common as more patients are switched from warfarin to the new anticoagulants.

According to several recent medical studies, blood monitoring tests may help doctors identify patients at the greatest risk of bleeding.

Warfarin blood thinning effect on the blood is routinely measured by doctors on a monthly basis, and the makers of Pradaxa and Xarelto main selling point is that blood testing is not required with their drugs.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pradaxa Clinical Trial Data not shared with FDA

In July 2014, the BMJ reported that the Pradaxa’s Boehringer Ingelheim failed to provide the FDA with important clinical trial data. The data suggested that patients may benefit from regular blood monitoring to ensure the drug did not build up in their bloodstream, increasing the risk of bleeds.

According to research in the Journal of Cardiology in October 2014, researchers noted that Xarelto monitoring may have helped doctors understand the effects of the drug on a particular patient and their associated bleeding risk.

Pradaxa Bleeding Injury Lawsuits

Boehringer Ingelheim faced more than 4,000 Pradaxa lawsuits that allege inadequate warnings were provided about the lack of an available reversal agent for their medication.

The drug company agreed to settle the Pradaxa claims last year, with an average of $150,000 to former patients who developed injuries associated with uncontrollable bleeds.

Xarelto Bleeding Injury Lawsuits

Many Xarelto bleeding lawsuits are filed with similar allegations that inadequate warnings were provided about the lack of an approved reversal agent and that the companies should have never introduced the medication without an antidote.

Since December 2014, the cases have been centralized before Judge Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation, to reduce duplicative discovery and to have the cases supervised by one judge. As of August, 17, there are over 1,200 federal lawsuits consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

There are several hundred more cases pending in various state courts nationwide, including Pennsylvania state court, where a Xarelto mass tort was established earlier in January.

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Many hip and knee surgery patients develop bacterial infections of their implants, leading to painful re-do surgeries, long term antibiotic use and in severe cases amputation because of overwhelming infection.

bair hugger infection attorneyThere are many causes for this, including patient and surgical factors and according to some experts the bacterial infections it may be related to the bacteria in the operative room and hospital, since it is impossible to make the surgical room and hospital completely free of bacteria.

Now, a new source of surgical infections may be a likely culprit. 3M and their Arizant Healthcare subsidiary are exposed to personal injury and product liability lawsuits over hip and knee replacement infections caused by Bair Hugger warming blankets.

What is the Bair Hugger warming blanket?

The Bair Hugger has been used in many orthopedic joint replacement procedures over the past 30 years, including hip and knee replacement surgery. The device blows hot air onto the patient’s body, the forced air warming (FAW) to help control the patient’s body temperature during surgery.

Scott Augustine, an anesthesiologist developed the Bair Hugger device over 20 years ago. And his company was later acquired by 3M. According to the New York Times, there is a long standing feud between Augustine and 3M. Dr. Augustine claims that his invention is a danger to surgical patients receiving implant devices like artificial heart valves and joints. The forced air, he says, can spread bacteria associated with hospital-acquired infections.

How does the Bair Hugger warming blanket cause infections?

During long surgical procedures, the patient’s body temperature tends to drop, from lack of movement and the fact that the operating room is kept cold.

Hypothermia or a lower body temperature is a risk for post operative infections and so the Bair Hugger warming blanket was introduced to keep the patient’s temperature stable during surgery.

Now, according to hip and knee replacement infection lawsuits, the device causes bacteria and contaminants from the operating room floor to enter the sterile surgical field.

Bair Hugger Widespread Surgical Use

According to experts, there are more than 50,000 Bair Hugger units in use in hospitals across the United States.

Allegation: 3M Knew of the Infection Risk

The complaints have similar allegations that 3M has known about the infection risk for years, yet failed to make design changes or provide warnings to doctors and hospitals.

Allegation: Manufacturers lied to FDA

The complaints have similar allegations that 3M lied to the FDA about the unit’s effectiveness in filtering out and trapping bacterial contaminants.

Plaintiffs allege that 3M told the FDA that the Bair Hugger meets the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) standard, when it does not, causing hip and knee replacement patients to face a risk of serious infection during the procedure.

3M Bair Hugger Hip Infection Lawsuit

According to a recent lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, the Bair Hugger blanket caused Barbara Libby to develop a severe infection after a right hip replacement surgery in November 2010.

The complaint notes that as early as 1997, 3M admitted to the FDA that “air blown intraoperatively across the surgical wound may result in airborne contamination.”

Libby alleges that the Bair Hugger caused bacteria contamination in her surgical wound, resulting in severe infections and seven additional surgeries. Libby has now been left with permanent severe injuries and reduced mobility.

3M Bair Hugger Knee Infection Lawsuit

Michael Williams, claimed that he developed an infection following a right knee replacement surgery in February 2013, when a Bair Hugger warming blanket was used.

Williams needed two additional surgeries within less than nine months of the implant, the first to remove the artificial knee and place a temporary antibiotic spacer. Later, he underwent a second procedure to remove the spacer and place another knee implant.

Bair Hugger Infection Lawsuits Expected to Sky Rocket

As more patients know about the potential link between their knee or hip replacement infection and the Bair Hugger warming blanket, it is expected that the number of lawsuits will sky rocket.

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According to a recent ruling by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), all filed Bard Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter injury, perforation and migration lawsuits, are to be consolidated and centralized before one federal judge in Phoenix, Arizona for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

Bard IVC FILTER Injury AttorneyExisting cases pending throughout the federal court system will be transferred to U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell, who will oversee the multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings. Bard Peripheral Vascular is the manufacturer of these Bard IVC filters and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

This consolidation and centralization of Bard IVC filter cases only applies to cases filed in the federal court system. There are less than 50 filed Bard Recovery filter and Bard G2 filter lawsuits currently pending in U.S. District Courts nationwide.

Bard IVC Filter Injury Allegations

The lawsuits have similar allegations that plaintiffs experienced significant and serious side effects after having the blood clot filter medical devices implanted into the inferior vena cava.

The filter devices used when there is a blood clot in the leg known as a deep vein thrombosis and there is a contraindication from using blood thinners, which is the standard therapy for leg blood clots.

These devices are supposed to trap blood clots from traveling from the leg to the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.

These devices unfortunately, have been linked to hundreds of adverse event reports where they puncture the vena cava, tilt out of position or migrate or break apart and cause metallic fragments to travel to the heart or lungs, a condition known as embolization.

Benefits of MDL Consolidation and Centralization

The MDL streamlines the trial process, by preventing duplicative discovery and all the plaintiffs and defendants are gathered before one judge.

MDL has been established for all Cook Medical IVC filter lawsuits, involving problems with the Cook Celect or Gunther Tulip filters. There are more than 100 complaints over those products centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana.

MDL Bellwether IVC Filter Trials

It is common in complex multidistrict ligation involving pharmaceutical and medical device cases, to have mini trials, known as bellwether trials.

A small group of cases will be prepared for early trial dates. The outcome of these trials are designed to aid settlement negotiations, especially if the jury sides with the injured plaintiffs and awards a large damage award or in cases involving gross negligence, awarding punitive damages, which are designed to punish the company for its reckless behavior.

What is the Problem with IVC Filters?

The complaints in the Bard and Cook IVC Filter litigation have similar allegations, the injured patients claim that the manufacturers designed and sold retrievable defective devices that were unreasonably dangerous.

FDA Warnings

The FDA in August 2010, announced a warning about the risk of IVC filter injuries, noting that they had received hundreds of adverse event reports where filter devices broke apart and travelled to other areas of the body or caused perforation and migration.

Adverse Medical Studies

In March 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine journal questioned the effectiveness of IVC filters, noting that less than 10% of the study patients had successful removal of the devices and 8% of IVC filter patients developed pulmonary embolism despite the device.

In May 2014, the FDA cautioned doctors to remove IVC filters within about one to two months after the risk of a pulmonary embolism has passed, noting that many doctors were not adequately warned about the importance of retrieving the devices.

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According to recent reports, there is good news to share with injured women about a major vaginal mesh and bladder sling manufacturer announcing settlement to resolve their serious injury and product liability claims.

Trans Vaginal Mesh AttorneyBard Announces Avaulta Vaginal Mesh Settlement

C.R. Bard announces settlement of large groups of injury and product liability cases by women who have experienced complications after receiving their bladder sling and pelvic support products.

In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 24, C.R. Bard noted that it reached settlements in about 1,300 vaginal mesh claims in June, and another 1,500 in July.

According to Bloomberg News, the medical device manufacturer will pay more than $200 million to resolve a group of at least 3,000.

What is Transvaginal Mesh?

Transvaginal mesh and bladder sling devices are used for surgical repair of pelvic organ prolapse and female stress urinary incontinence. Serious side effects have reported including severe and debilitating problems due to erosion of the mesh through the vagina, infection, urinary incontinence and other significant complications, often leading to multiple painful revision surgeries.

Federal Multidistrict Mesh Litigation (MDL)

Judge Goodwin oversees more than 80,000 transvaginal mesh and bladder sling lawsuits centralized as part of seven different federal MDLs established for cases brought against different manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, Ethicon, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS), Coloplast, Cook Medical and Neomedic.

Bard is  exposed to more than 15,000 complaints filed throughout the U.S. Multidistrict litigation is a consolidation of lawsuits transferred from around the country to a single United States District Court to streamline the trial processes. Here, the plaintiffs and defendants are under one roof, the trials are being processed by one judge, and this leads to speedier outcomes.

All of the women allege injury complications from vaginal mesh that is used to repair pelvic organ prolapse or female stress urinary incontinence, when the mesh shifted, eroded through the vagina, caused infections or other problems. In many cases, women have required repeated painful surgical removal of the device and been left with permanent injuries.

AMS the only major Mesh Manufacturer to Settle

AMS is the only major manufacturer to settle the claims involving their mesh and bladder sling products. Endo International announced in October 2014 that it has agreed to pay about $1.6 billion to resolve “substantially all” of the 20,000 mesh lawsuits pending against it’s AMS subsidiary.

Johnson and Johnson Ethicon Mesh Trial Coming Up

Since Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary did not agreed to settle the claims against them, Judge Goodwin scheduled a consolidated trial, involving 26 different injured women going before the same jury in November 2015. Those lawsuits involve West Virginia plaintiffs who had surgery in the state to implant Ethicon’s TVT product used to treat stress urinary incontinence, according to the ruling.

To date, Ethicon has faced only two trials involving its TVT Obturator product. In September 2014, a federal jury in West Virginia awarded $3.27 million against Ethicon in a case involving the TVT Obturator product.

In April 2014, a Texas state court jury awarded $1.2 million to a woman who suffered severe injuries.

In 2013, an Atlantic County, N.J., jury awarded $11.1 million in damages against Ethicon, including punitive damages as a result of Ethicon’s actions surrounding the manufacture and sale of the Prolift product, a product used in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse.

Boston Scientific Mesh Verdicts

Recently in May, a Delaware jury awarded Plaintiff Deborah Barba $100 million following a trial against defendant-manufacturer Boston Scientific. The verdict consisted of $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages, designed to punish the company for its wrongful behavior.

Ms. Barba was implanted with Boston Scientific Pinnacle and Advantage Fit mesh products in 2009 to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. She underwent two corrective surgeries due to complications caused by the products. Ms. Barba continues to experience severe pelvic pain and other gynecological symptoms to this day.

This latest jury verdict is the sixth Plaintiffs’ victory against Boston Scientific, which include a $73.4 million verdict (subsequently reduced to comply with Texas damage caps) from a Texas court, a $26.7 million verdict to four women in Florida, and an $18.5 million verdict to a group of women in West Virginia.

Serious settlement negotiations are underway with Boston Scientific to settle the remainder of the 20,000 claims.

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The epidemic of premature metal on metal hip implant failure continues surge at an alarming rate. DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, Biomet Magnum, Smith and Nephew, Wright Conserve, Zimmer Durom cup and Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II, are among hip replacements that continue to fail prematurely and require painful and risky revision surgery.

DePuy ASR Metallosis Injury AttorneyTotal Number of DePuy ASR Settlements Exceeds 9,400 Cases

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, has agreed to add another 1,400 hip injury claims to a settlement agreement reached in 2013. This new agreement extends the deal to include recalled ASR implants that were revised as of January 31, 2015.

J&J had initially agreed to settle about 8,000 ASR lawsuit cases, that folks brought when their hip replacement failed and had to be removed prior to August 31, 2013. The initial agreement left several thousand DePuy ASR hip lawsuits in limbo.

Settlement Extended to Cover J&J DePuy ASR Revisions as of January 31, 2015

On February 20, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal litigation was notified that an agreement has been reached that extended the settlement program to include U.S. citizens or residents who received an ASR hip and had revision surgery on or before January 31, 2015.

J&J DePuy ASR Settlement Details

Under terms of the original agreement, plaintiffs will receive an average payment of $250,000 for pain and suffering, with the age of the plaintiff, the length of time the implant was in place, the weight of the plaintiff, whether they were a smoker, will be considered prior to a final award.

Patients who developed “extraordinary injuries”, and complications associated with the revision surgery, can also obtain additional compensation and all medical expenses will be covered by the manufacturer.

Thousands of Defective J&J ASR Hips in Americans

Despite the settlements, there are thousands of people throughout the U.S. who still have a defective implanted DePuy ASR hip. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 ASR hips were implanted in the U.S. prior to the world wide recall.

August 2010 J&J ASR Recall

The metal-on-metal implant was recalled in August 2010, because of a high rate of failures associated with the flawed design. This defective hip released cobalt and chromium metallic debris into the body and the hip joint as the components grind against each other during normal use. This accumulation of heavy metals is known as metallosis.

DePuy ASR Hip Failure Rate

The metal-on-metal hip replacement system was recalled from the market after medical data found that about one out of every eight would fail within five years. More recent data has suggested that the DePuy hip failure rate may be substantially higher, ending up in the 35% to 45% range.

Latest $2.5M Oklahoma Jury Verdict

Andrea Smith, from Oklahoma has been awarded $2.5 million after suffering metal blood poisoning from DePuy ASR hip replacements. The state court jury found the DePuy ASR hip to be defective and unreasonably dangerous.

Smith, received ASR hip implants on each side in October 2006 and February 2007. According to Smith, she had to undergo revision surgery to have the implants removed in 2011 and 2012, after high levels of Cobalt and Chromium metal ions were found in her blood.

More Than 7,700 J&J DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuits

J&J is continues to deny, delay and defend thousands of cases involving similar metallosis and premature failure problems from the DePuy Pinnacle hip. The DePuy Pinnacle is an older model that features a substantially similar metal-on-metal design.

There are currently more than 7,700 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits pending throughout the U.S. In the federal court system, as of 7/15/2015, all complaints involving problems with DePuy Pinnacle implants are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade as part of a multidistrict lawsuit (MDL).

DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trials

The Dallas court has identified ten different cases that have been selected to be prepared for early trial dates. These early trials are known as “bellwether” cases. The trials help the parties gauge how juries may respond to similar evidence and testimony that is repeated throughout the litigation.

The consolidated federal case is In re DePuy Orthopedics Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 10-MD-2197, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (Toledo).

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Power morcellators are medical devices used to allow surgeons to cut up and remove fibroids through a minimally invasive incision in the abdomen. Over the past 2 years, medical experts have questioned the safety of the devices, since some women may have undiagnosed cancers contained within the uterus, which the devices may rapidly spread throughout the body, during the grinding and cutting process.

J&J Ethicon Morcellator Cancer AttorneyFDA Black Box Warning for Power Morcellators

The FDA has hammered the laparoscopic power morcellator devices with the strongest warning possible, requiring the morcellators to have a black box warning concerning the risk of cancer spread.

FDA Notes Increased Risk of Uterine Cancer Spread

According to the FDA, most women should not undergo a laparoscopic power morcellation hysterectomy because of the risk of spreading undiagnosed uterine cancer.

The FDA issued the black box warning in November 2014, alerting patients, doctors and hospitals about the risk of spreading unsuspected uterine cancer, which can sharply reduce the affected patient’s survival chances.

FDA: Power Morcellator Hysterectomy Contraindications

Contraindications were also included on the warning label, including that the laparoscopic power morcellator should not be used in women who are peri- or post-menopausal or who could have the uterus tissue removed intact, and those women in which the uterus tissue being morcellated is known or suspected to be cancerous.

The FDA stated, “Based on a quantitative analysis of currently available data, the FDA estimated that approximately 1 in 350 women who are undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy for fibroids is found to have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma.

If laparoscopic power morcellation is performed in these women, there is a risk that the procedure will spread the cancerous tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, significantly worsening the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival.”

What is Power Morcellator Hysterectomy?

Power morcellator devices are used in minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures to remove fibroids, benign uterine tumors and during hysterectomies.

What is the problem with Power Morcellator Hysterectomy?

The major problem is that benign fibroids may harbor hidden or undiagnosed uterine sarcoma (a cancer). Morcellators grinds the uterine tissue with powerful blades, so it can be removed. But in that grinding process, the cancerous uterine tissue may spread through the abdomen.

In the case of uterine sarcoma, which cannot be diagnosed prior to surgery, the uterine tissue is a very aggressive cancer, resulting in a spreading of the cancer, which had been previously localized.

The FDA stopped short of an outright ban. The FDA noted that there are other options for women with uterine fibroids, including traditional surgery, laparoscopic hysterectomy and myomectomy without morcellation.

Power Morcellator Litigation Update

Many injured women and their families are now pursuing power morcellator lawsuits against manufacturers of the devices after women were diagnosed with the rapid spread of leiomyosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma or other uterine cancers following use of the medical device.

There are at least 22 lawsuits pending across 16 federal courts, alleging personal injury, wrongful death and product liability complaints against several manufacturers of power morcellators. All the plaintiffs claim that the devices caused the spread of uterine cancers during a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy, removal of benign fibroids.

Plaintiffs are requesting to centralize cases brought in the federal court system before U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil in the District of Kansas. The major manufacturers all oppose centralization of the litigation into a multidistrict litigation, stating that it would be impracticable and that there are not enough cases to justify it. A hearing is set for October, over whether to grant a power morcellator MDL.

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