A New Jersey Jury has awarded a South Dakota woman $3.35 million dollars in the first vaginal mesh case to go to trial against Johnson & Johnson regarding the Ethicon mesh, reports Reuters.
Many hospitals, and surgeons, are touting the benefits of their latest piece of technology–the DaVinci Robotic Surgery System. This new piece of high technology allows the surgeon to sit at a video game-like console to perform many types of surgery. Instead of performing minimally invasive surgery using now time-tested techniques of laparoscopic surgery, surgeons are opting for the DaVinci system. The claimed benefits are that the procedure is less invasive, has fewer complications, less pain and promises a quicker return to normal activities–all the same benefits derived from laparoscopic techniques compared to “traditional” techniques. However, it is becoming clear that patients may be experiencing a myriad of complications as a result of the DaVinci Robotic Surgery system.
So how do the three surgery types differ? In traditional “open” surgery the surgeon makes an incision and actually places his hands and instruments directly into the patient. The benefits are that the surgeon has a normal view and can manipulate organs and structures directly with his hands. The surgeon has tactile and other sensory feedback. Most surgeons are taught that when they encounter complications using any other type of procedure, they can and should convert to an “open” procedure for the remainder of the surgery. In fact, almost every consent form for either laparoscopic or robotic surgery will include permission to convert to an open procedure if needed.
The gold-standard for many surgical procedure in the last twenty years has been laparoscopy. In laparoscopy, the surgeon makes several small incisions and uses these incisions to insert a camera and instruments into the patient to perform the procedure. The surgeon directly manipulates the instruments but views what is going on in the patient on a video monitor. Almost every surgeon practicing today was either directly trained in laparoscopy or has been performing laparoscopy for many years. The benefits of laparoscopy are less pain and a quicker return to normal activities.
And now there is the DaVinci Robotic Surgery System, which takes laparoscopy to a whole new level. The same types of small incisions are made in order to insert a camera and instruments. However, once the instruments are placed, the surgeon does not hold them in his or her hands. Rather, the instruments are attached to a robotic surgery platform and the surgeon sits at a video console and manipulates the instruments using video game-like controllers. The alleged benefit of this system is that it allows the surgeon to make much more precise and controlled maneuvers, such that a 1/2 inch movement of the controller may equate to a 1mm movement of the instrument in the patient. The concept sounds wonderful. However, in practice, problems appear to have arisen.
DaVinci Robotic Surgery systems have been used for abdominal surgeries such as gallbladder remove, for gynecological procedures such as hysterectomies and for other procedures such as prostatectomies. They are even being used for endoscopic procedures.
However, patients have experienced complications such as bladder and bowel perforations, injuries to the ureter and rectum, and burns and other complications. One suspected problem is that the DaVinci system utilizes an electronic scalpel, called a cautery, to make cuts. The makers of the DaVinci system, Intuitive Surgery, Inc., a California company, used a monopolar system rather than a bi-polar system to ground the electrical current. It appears that this less expensive system allows the current used to make cuts to jump to places unintended by the surgeon, sometimes far remote from the spot where the surgery is occurring.
Complications such as bowel and bladder perforations and other injuries can be life-threatening. Serious injuries or death can occur if these complications are not promptly recognized and treated.
If you or a loved one have been injured during a DaVinci Robotic Surgery, please contact T
CNN reports that a popular inflatable pool slide, sold by Wal-Mart and Toys R Us, has been recalled due to deaths and severe injuries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has order the recall of the Banzai Splash inflatable pool slide. The slide can partially deflate, causing serious injuries. At least one death and one incident of paralysis have been reported. Additionally, the slide is unstable and carries inadequate warnings and instructions.
If you or a family member has been injured as a result of using one of these slides, please call our office immediately for a consultation. You must act quickly to protect your rights. Contact us at 1-800-557-8176 or click here.
The Chicago Tribune has reported that Des Moines, Iowa attorney Guy Cook has reached confidential settlements on behalf of 3 persons injured by a defective lounge chair sold by K-Mart under the Martha Stewart brand. The full story can be found here.
The chairs were defectively designed. The design allows the legs to snap forward and creates a guillotine effect. Numerous persons have experienced complete or partial amputations of fingers or fingertips. K-mart and Martha Stewart continued to sell the chairs for a period of time even after the first lawsuits were filed.
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, please contact the offices of HendricksonLaw.com to discuss your rights.
Hot Coffee, The Movie is a documentary entry in this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Hot Coffee is the story everyone thinks they know about crazy “runaway” juries awarding huge sums of money when people do stupid things and hurt themselves.
Well, that version of events was bought and paid for by a massive public relations campaign just like the one the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is currently running to try to get the public to buy into “reforming” our justice system. The problem is, this version of events, like all great lies, is founded on only a grain of truth. Stella Lieback, a 79 year old woman who, in 1992, spilled a cup of McDonald’s scalding coffee in her lap causing severe third degree burns. What isn’t usually talked about is the years of surgery and medical treatment Stella endured. What’s never discussed is the fact that the size of the jury’s verdict reflected their outrage when they learned that McDonald’s had been sued numerous times over severe burns caused by their coffee and that despite the known danger, they continued to serve their coffee at a temperature that could not be consumed by most individuals because by keeping it scalding hot, they could sell it longer without having to brew fresh pots of coffee. The temperature of the coffee was mandated by McDonald’s corporate offices in order to save a few cents.
Hot Coffee is an important piece of documentary film, telling not only the story of Stella Lieback, but others who have been destroyed by the public relations campaigns to limit your access to the Courts.
Today the 112th Congress was sworn in and the new Republican Majority ceremoniously conducted a reading of the U.S. Constitution. Hopefully, they listened when they read the 7th Amendment right to trial by jury. If they hold the Constitution as dear as they claim they do, then they will oppose any attempts to limit your right to trial by jury, whether it is imposing caps on lawsuits or punitive damages. A jury of your neighbors will know what is right. That’s what our founding father’s wrote into the Constitution.
The FDA has recalled Bard Surgical mesh distributed by RAM Medical, Inc., a medical product distributor in Wayne, New Jersey.
Surgical mesh is used in hernia and other abdominal surgeries to strengthen or repair defects in the abdominal wall or peritoneum. For example, in repairing an abdominal hernia, a surgeon may use surgical mesh to create a “backing” that will reinforce the repair.
The counterfeit Bard surgical mesh ranges in size from 2″x4″ to 10″x14″. It is not properly sterilized, the edges are not properly finished and the weave is larger. This mesh can cause infection and failures of the repair, necessitating additional surgeries and other complications. The counterfeit mesh was distributed beginning October 21, 2008. You can review the recall notice here.
If you or a loved one had a surgery using mesh after October 21, 2008, and have experienced any infection, pain or other complications, you may have received the recalled mesh. If so, you have legal rights that need to be protected. Please call the Law Office of Todd N. Hendrickson at 314-721-8833, or click here to submit an inquiry.
The New York Times is reporting that Congress will investigate Johnson & Johnson makers of Tylenol and the recalled DePuy ASR hip implants.
Johnson and Johnson has been the subject of intensive scrutiny recently. Among the problems is the recall of its ASR hip implants. Initially, DePuy announced they were retiring the line because of low sales. However, the truth came out that the ASR hip implants were experiencing extremely high failure rates in short periods of time, as much as 10% in the first 2 or 3 years of use. These failures are leading to severe injuries and revision surgery.
If you or someone you know has a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, contact our office immediately for a free consultation. Todd N. Hendrickson is an experienced medical malpractice and medical product liability lawyer and can help you evaluate your case. Contact us now.