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Johnson & Johnson and its division, DePuy Orthopedics, was hit with a $498 million dollar verdict today in federal court in Dallas Texas, for its defective Pinnacle hip implant. The case involved 5 plaintiffs, all Texas residents, who were implanted with the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip device.

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Verdict was for approximately $130 million in compensatory damages and almost $360 million in punitive damages.

The trial team was led by Mark Lanier. Our office has been happy to place a small roll in this case and continues to accept additional victims of this truly awful product.

For a consult, please call.

Johnson & Johnson hit with $8.3 million dollar verdict in the first case to go to trial over the defective Depuy ASR hip implants, reports Bloomberg.

The verdict was for more than the $5.3 million in compensatory damages requested by plaintiff, but did not include any punitive damages. Apparently the issue of punitive damages was hotly debated by jurors. The jury deliberated for five days.

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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.

Another hip implant has been recalled. Stryker Orthopaedics has recalled two brands of its devices, as reported here. Unlike previous recalls by DePuy which were of the metal-on-metal implant contact surfaces, consisting of a metal ball and a metal hip socket, the Stryker recall is of femur stem implants.

Post-implant complications indicate that the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck systems are experiencing fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction. This corrosion and fretting appears to be leading to the same kind of patient reactions as the metal-on-metal head implants.

It would appear that patients may expect to encounter metalosis, pseudo tumors, aseptic loosening and other problems.

If you or a loved one have Stryker implant and have experienced any problems, please call our office at 314-721-8833.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN’s senior medical correspondent, has posted Medical Mistakes: Patient’s Stores: 10 Shocking Medical Mistakes.

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In a well-written piece, citing real examples of patient victims, Cohen outlines 10 common medical mistakes that represent easily prevented, easily corrected medical malpractice. These mistakes are estimated to cause more than 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S., and injuries to millions more.

1. Treating the wrong patient–failing to identify the patient;

2. Surgical “souvenirs”–surgical instruments and sponges left in patients;

3. Lost patients–dementia patients being lost or wandering off;

4. Fake doctors–people posing as doctors or doctors who have had their licenses revoked continuing to practice;

5. ER waiting game–failure to properly triage patients;

6. Air bubbles in blood–a deadly and preventable complication of chest tubes and IV lines;

7. Operating on the wrong patient–failing to identify the correct patient and the correct procedure;

8. Infection infestation–bad hygiene by doctors and nurses;

9. Lookalike tubes–medication vials that look deceptively similar with terrible consequences;

10. Waking up during surgery–insufficient anesthesia, causing injuries when patients awake

These 10 mistakes seem so obvious, that many people think they simply can’t occur that often. But they do, with alarming frequency.

If you or a loved one were injured or killed as a result of medical negligence, please call for a consult. STLMedicalMalpractice.com

A federal judge in Charleston, West Virginia has set the first Bard vaginal mesh case for trial next February, reports Bloomberg News.

The U.S. FDA issued a report last year finding that vaginal mesh products should be classified as posing a high risk to patients based on its review of side-effect reports. The mesh products are inserted vaginally and used to stop pelvic organs from bulging, called prolapse. They are also used in treating incontinence.

If you think you have been injured by a vaginal mesh product, whether manufactured by Bard, Johnson & Johnson or others, please contact our office to discuss a possible claim.

The New York Times has reported that a Johnson & Johnson/DePuy hip implant that was sold overseas, was rejected by the FDA in 2009.

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The implant was new hip resurfacing implant. Unlike traditional hip implants, in which the ball portion of thigh bone or femur is removed and a replacement stem and ball are implanted, this particular implant left the femur largely intact and placed a ball shaped cap over the existing femoral head. Most importantly for U.S. medical consumers, the same pelvic (or ace tabular) cup portion of the implants, was used in both the ASR resurfacing system and the ASR system which was approved and sold in the U.S. That ASR implant was eventually the subject of a recall in August 2010–a full year after the FDA had rejected the sister-product.

Both systems are so-called metal-on-metal hip implants because they involve a metal ball and a metal socket. The apparent problem with the implants is that the design of the metal sockets are such that the friction between the two components creates metal debris which reacts in many patients and causes infection-like responses, destroying bone, muscle, ligament and soft-tissues, leading to pain and dislocations of the hips. The metal can also seep into the blood and, in effect, cause a type of metal blood poisoning. The only way to stop the effects is to remove the metal cup and replace it with a traditional plastic lined cup.

The DePuy ASR implants are the subjects of thousands of lawsuits around the country. Most have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation based in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. However, many cases remaining pending in state courts throughout the U.S.

In related litigation, another DePuy metal-on-metal hip implant, the Pinnacle, has also seen cases consolidated in a multi-district litigation, this one in the Northern District of Texas. Generally, the same metal debris problems are occurring with the DePuy Pinnacle implants as occurred with the ASR implants.

For more information on the DePuy ASR Hip Implants, see my previous posts listed below. If you or a loved one have a DePuy ASR or DePuy Pinnacle implant, or suspect you have any metal-on-metal implant, call our offices immediately at 1-800-557-8176.

DePuy ASR Hip Implants Recalled

Hip Implants Withdrawn From Market

Metal on Metal Hip Components Linked to Early Failures

Bloomberg and other sources are reporting that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay the U.S. $1 billion to settle the U.S. Attorney’s marketing probe. Read the full report here. Criminal please still may come in this case.

Risperdal was once J&J’s biggest selling drug. It was an anti-psychotic drug approved for use in psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. J&J began marketing it for off-label uses, such as bipolar disorder, dementia, mood and anxiety disorders and other unapproved uses.

Medtronic medication pumps are widely used to deliver pain medication, anti-spasm medication and other prescriptions directly into the spinal cord. And the FDA has determined that these pumps can cause serious harm. The FDA has issued a Class 1 recall.

The SynchroMed II implantable pumps, models 8637-20 and 8637-40 are the subject of the recall which has been reported here. A Class 1 recall means that these pumps have a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death. The pumps are failing, apparently due to a defective design relating to the battery.

These pumps are surgically implanted under the skin with delivery tubes placed to the point of delivery. Medtronic is not recommending that the pumps be removed and replaced at this point, says MedPage Today.

If you or a loved one has experienced a failure related to one of these pain pumps, or if you have one of these pumps implanted, you should contact our office to discuss your legal rights. Contact us at 314-721-8833 or at www.stlmedicalmalpractice.com.

Dr. Richard Berger, a Chicago surgeon who was a long time user of Zimmer implants, has urged the manufacturer to recall some of its artificial knee implants, reports the New York Times.

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Dr. Berger was a long-time consultant to Zimmer on its products. He began experiencing premature failure of the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral knee replacement. A 2010 study indicates that the failure rate after only a few years may be as high as 9%. The study reveals that 36% of patients implanted with the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Porous show signs of implant loosening after only 2 years.

Zimmer has responded by criticizing Dr. Berger’s surgical technique, which is interesting, because over the years Zimmer has paid Dr. Berger almost $8 million to lecture and train surgeons in how to use and implant this and other Zimmer products.

To date, Zimmer has refused to order a recall. However, litigation is underway against Zimmer for these high failure rates. If you have a Zimmer knee implant and have experienced knee stiffness, knee pain, diminished motion in the joint, difficulty with weight bearing, have been told that your implant is loose or that you need a revision, you may have a claim against Zimmer for this defective product.

Contact Todd N. Hendrickson at HendricksonLaw.com or 314-721-8833 or toll free at 1-800-557-8176 for a free consultation.