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Almost 100,000 patients have received the DePuy ASR, metal-on-metal hip implant system. Those implants are failing at an alarming rate, at least 13% in the first few years. That is far beyond any “normal” failure rate. As a result, DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has recalled these hips.

The problem is, you can’t easily “recall” medical devices that have been implanted. That means they have to be explanted, or surgically removed and replaced. In the case of hip implants, this is called a revision, and it can be an expensive and painful operation.

If you have a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, and you talk to your doctor about a hip revision, please talk to an attorney before you have the surgery. Reports are appearing around the country of hospitals treating these explanted hip components as medical waste and discarding them. Don’t let them do this to you! The removed implant is vital evidence. Just because the hip has been recalled doesn’t mean that you will automatically win a case against DePuy. You will still have to prove that the implant was defective in some way and the implant itself is the best evidence.

Please contact our office you have had a DePuy hip implant and need to discuss your legal rights.

Missouri’s doctors are policed by the Board of Healing Arts. And Missouri’s Board is among the most lax in disciplining physicians, according to a recent St. Louis Post Dispatch article, Missouri Secretive, Lax on Doctor Discipline. The Post recounts a story all too familiar to those of us who spend our professional lives prosecuting medical negligence actions: doctors who perform the wrong surgery, who falsify records to cover it up and do so again and again, simply aren’t subject to any meaningful discipline. Suspension of a doctor’s license in Missouri is almost never done, and then usually only when another state’s board has suspended the doctor’s license to practice.

In another article, “Deviant Doctor got OK to Work in Bootheel” the Post describes a truly horrendous situation in which a physician, already on probation for improperly dispensing prescriptions, merely had his probation lengthened after he admitted to the board that he was having improper sexual contact with his patients. It was not until the physician, Martin McDonald, was charged with sexual abuse by Dunklin County prosecutors did the Board take action to suspend his license.

Missouri patients deserve real governmental oversight of all professions, but particularly those whose actions can cause grave harm and death. The process of “disciplining” doctors is long and complicated and allows physicians with known problems to continue to put their patients at risk, with no warning to the patients or the community.

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.

DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has issued a recall on its ASR hip replacement components, including the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System. You can read about the recall here.
The DePuy ASR components are known as metal-on-metal components. Rather than using a poly-vinyl, ceramic or other material pelvic cup surface, the DePuy, like many other manufacturers, designed the ASR system to utilize a metal ball head and metal pelvic cup. The result is apparently is a disaster.
By some reports, more than 13% of these implants are failing within five years. The average him implant lasts 15-20 years before it wears out and needs to be revised. The highest rate of failure is in the smaller ASR implant sizes, 50mm and less, the most common sizes implanted in women.
If you have an ASR hip implant that has been revised due to early loosening or other problems, please contact the office of Todd N. Hendrickson immediately. Our office is aggressively investigating these cases and can help you. It is important that you be represented by an experienced medical malpractice and medical product liability lawyer, as DePuy will attempt to defend these cases by claiming that surgeon error in implantation. Don’t trust your case to a so-called “mass tort” law firm that doesn’t prosecute medical malpractice cases.
Contact our office today, by clicking on this link.

Pfizer, Inc., the pharmaceutical giant, has agreed to settle a wrongful death suit alleging that the drug Neurontin caused a suicide. Neurontin is an anti-seizure drug approved for use to combat epilepsy. However, Pfizer has promoted the drug to treat chronic pain–a so-called “off label” use.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an off-label use of Neurontin, contact medical malpractice attorney Todd N. Hendrickson to protect your legal rights.

For more information on the settlement, see the story on bloomberg.com.

Dennis Quaid recently testified before Congress regarding the near fatal ovedose of his newborn twins at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. See his testimony here on YouTube. Mr. Quaid testified very effectively on the need for FDA recalls of Heparin and the need to keep the path to the courthouse open for families devastated by medical negligence.Please, take the time to listen to Dennis Quaid’s story and his argument that the Supreme Court and Congress should not protect a drug company from liability because the drug and the labeling was approved by the FDA.

The Illinois Supreme Court has declared legislation imposing a limit, or “cap,” on the amount that a jury can award to the victims of medical malpractice is unconstitutional. In Lebron v Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, the Court held that “statutory caps violate the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution and declared the entire Act invalid.”The case represents a major victory for civil justice. By declaring that a legislature cannot substitute its judgment for that of a jury of citizens, the Illinois Supreme Court has joined a growing number of state supreme courts who have deemed such legislation unconstitutional, or otherwise invalidated such acts.In order to understand what this decision means, it is important to understand what so-called “tort reform” acts “cap.” These acts place a limit, or cap, on what a jury can award in any case for non-monetary damages. These are damages for loss of a normal life, pain and suffering. By placing a uniform limit on these damages, legislatures have, in effect, said that those who are harmed the most should not receive compensation for their losses. The Lebron case is a perfect example:The Lebrons filed suit for injuries their child received during delivery, including severe brain injury, cerebral palsy and cognitive mental impairment. Because of the negligence of the doctor and nurses involved, Abigaile Lebron will never develop normally and will be fed by tube for the rest of her life. And Abigaile is exactly the type of victim of medical malpractice who deserves compensation and, due to tort reform, is exactly the type of patient who is most affected by caps. Because caps act to limit only non-monetary damages, it is the young, the old and those who have low earnings who are most affected by caps. If a 50 year old banker making $250,000 a year is left in the same condition as a 1 year old, that 50 year old banker will be able to show earnings losses in the millions of dollars, in addition to past and future medical bills. But, if the same thing happens to an infant, that infant has no earning history, so it is difficult or impossible to establish those lost earnings. Thus, with caps in place, hospitals and doctors consistently devalue loss of life and injury to the very young and the very old.The Illinois Supreme Court made the right, and just, decision.

“Stacking”-sounds like something you do with firewood or kid’s blocks. But in personal injury and automobile accident cases, it may mean more money available for the injured victim. Stacking” refers to multiplying the available insurance coverage by the number of insurance policies. Under Missouri law, uninsured motorist coverage has “stacked” for many years. An example will help to make this clear(er):If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and you have auto insurance in Missouri, by law you have at least $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. However, if your injuries are severe, $25,000 doesn’t go far. But, if you have more than one policy, the coverage stacks. For example, if you have 3 policies, you would have at least $75,000 in uninsured motorist coverage.While this has been the law in Missouri for years, liability policies have not stacked. Liability coverage is that coverage which is purchased to cover injuries caused by a driver. Again, Missouri law requires that every driver carry at least $25,000 in coverage. In a decision handed down by the Missouri Supreme Court last week, the Court has declared for the first time that such coverage stacks, at least to the amount of the statutory minimum coverage. Again, an example may make this clearer:If you are injured by a driver who has liability insurance, the maximum the insurance company will be required to pay (if your damages support such an amount) is the sum of the policy limit on the involved vehicle, plus the minimum $25,000 coverage existing on each other insured vehicle. So, if the vehicle involved in the collision has a policy limit of $50,000 per accident, but has 2 other vehicles insured, then you may be able to collect up to $100,000 from that insurer ($50,000 + $25,000 + $25,000).This is a major change in Missouri law that clearly benefits victims of motor vehicle crashes. If you or a family member has been injured in an auto crash, please call The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson for a free consultation at 314-721-8833.

Toyota has issued a massive recall as reported by USA Today and elsewhere. The recall affects:2009-2010 Rav42009-2010 Corolla2009-2010 Matrix2005-2010 Avalon2010 Highlander2007-2010 Tundra2008-2010 SequoiaCertain 2008-2010 Carolla modelsThe recall is due to reports that the gas pedal can stick, causing the driver to be unable to cease acceleration. A previous notice indicated that the problem was occurring due to the gas pedal sticking in floor mats, but this recall indicates that it can occur even when the floor mats have been removed.Toyota has taken the step of notifying its dealers to cease selling the current new models until the problem has been corrected. This recall affects millions of vehicles.If you have been involved in an accident in which you were driving one of these Toyota models, or were struck by one of these Toyota models, you may have a claim against Toyota for product liability, in addition to any other claim you may have. If you’ve been involved in an accident in any Toyota in which you know or suspect that it was caused due to a sticking accelerator, please contact The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson immediately. You have rights and we are here to protect them. Please call at 314-721-8833 for a no cost consultation.

After your attorney has filed a lawsuit for you, you’ll undoubtedly hear the term “discovery.” What is “discovery?”Discovery is the phase of the litigation before trial. This is when both sides try to “discover” everything they need to about the other side’s case–how the negligence occurred, how the plaintiff was injured, the nature and extent of the injuries, extent of wage loss, defenses etc. Whether your case is a simple personal injury suit involving an auto accident, or a more complex case involving medical malpractice or product liability, the basic process is similar, involving the same steps.Usually, the first thing that will occur is that the attorneys for all parties will exchange written discovery.Written discovery will usually consist of one or more of all the following:Interrogatories: These are written questions that you and your attorney will answer together. Your attorney will usually send these questions to you or have you come into the office to review them. These questions are answered under oath and under penalty of perjury. Usually, but no always, these questions will ask about basic information such as identity of your medical care providers, amounts of your bills, whether you’ve given any statements, etc.Requests for Documents: Fairly self explanatory. These are requests for your to produce documents such as medical records, tax returns and pay stubs to prove lost income, medical authorizations to allow the defense to gather their own copies of your medical records, and things like photos and Xrays.Requests to Admit: These are written statements which a party must admit or deny. If the party admits the statement, then the requesting party is relieved of having to prove this statement at trial and the answer can merely be submitted to the jury. Requests to admit are often used to narrow the issues in a case and establish basic facts.Usually the next stage of discovery involves depositions. A deposition is a question and answer interview conducted by the other party’s lawyer. Testimony is taken and recorded by a court reported and transcribed into a booklet for later use. Depending on your jurisdiction, this testimony may be directly admissible in court. A deposition may be the only testimony you give in a case and it is important that you are properly prepared to answer the type of questions that will likely be asked.In many cases, the attorney’s will produce expert witnesses to give testimony on certain aspects of your case. The testimony of a treating doctor as to how your injury happened and the type of medical care you received to treat it is one type of expert testimony. In some cases, you may have expert testimony on things such as accident reconstruction or product defects. In a medical malpractice case doctors or other health care providers will give testimony as to how the defendant was negligent.These are the basic steps of the discovery process.If you are in need of an attorney for a personal injury, auto accident, medical malpractice, wrongful death or product liability case, please call Todd N. Hendrickson for a free consultation.