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Author Archives: Todd Hendrickson

As we’ve reported on several occasions, our office is involved in the DePuy ASR hip implant recall litigation. In fact, we recently scored a minor victory against DePuy in one of our cases filed in Jackson County, Missouri. DePuy had sought to remove the case from the Missouri State Court in Jackson County to the United States Federal District Court. After extensive motions, the federal judge in the Western District of Missouri granted our Motion to Remand–one of very few such motions granted around the country.

In other developments, most DePuy ASR cases are being litigated in a Multi-District Litigation case pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Ohio. There, the plaintiffs’ attorneys are working together to conduct discovery. It is anticipated that DePuy will release, literally, millions of pages of documents.

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This isn’t in my usual area of practice, but as a long-time Apple user and fan, I thought I’d pass this link along: Apple Patent Infringement. Oh well, I’m sure it will be appealed.

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DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implants

Posted by Todd Hendrickson in Insurance - (0 Comments)

DePuy, the manufacture of many types of orthopedic implants, issued a recall on its ASR hip implants last year. However, our office has seen a number of inquiries regarding the DePuy Pinnacle implants. Both implants appear to have similar issues: the “metal-on-metal” configuration creates metal debris in the hip. This metal debris causes an infection-like reaction, called metallosis. The result is a painful hip and, often, damage to bone and surrounding soft tissues as well as loosening of the components. The treatment is usually a surgical revision of the implants.

If you have a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant and have experienced any problems, please contact our office at 314-721-8833 or 1-800-557-8176 for a free consultation.

California was one of the first states to institute caps on medical malpractice awards back in 1983. The limit is only $250,000 for non-economic damages. Well, recent reports in the Sacramento Business Journal reveal that the largest malpractice insurer in California is paying out less than 10% of what it collects in premiums to pay claims. It is spending far more to defend claims and even more goes directly to profit. Other insurers in California are paying out as little as 3% in claims. As a result, the insurance commissioner is requesting rate decreases.

This points out that caps do not result in reduced premiums for doctors–they result in higher profits for insurance companies. No surprise, since insurance companies are some of the biggest supporters of so-called “tort reform.” Why? Bigger profits.

We don’t need caps and other forms of “tort reform” in this country. What we need is insurance reform.

Congressman Phil Gingrey, Republican from Georgia, is again sponsoring a congressional bill to sharply cut malpractice awards. Interesting, since, as the New York Times reports on February 8, 2011, Congressman Gingrey has been sued for medical malpractice and his insurer has paid a settlement.

The details of the lawsuit are contained in the New York Times article, so no need to repeat them here. Suffice it to say that Congressman Gingrey is also Dr. Gingrey, an obstetrician. And this isn’t the first time he’s introduced bills to protect doctors at the expense of their injured patients.

The simple fact is that good doctors make mistakes and when they do, people die or are badly hurt. Medical malpractice is simply medical negligence. You wouldn’t restrict an award that could be entered against a trucking company that caused a death in an accident would you? If not, then why would you restrict the right for the victim of medical negligence to be fully compensated? The injuries aren’t any different. Death is still death. Whether the negligent person is a truck driver, an airplane pilot, a company that manufactured a deadly product, or a doctor, negligence is negligence.

And when the person introducing the bill is biased, you have to wonder. Don’t you?

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.

For those interested, see the September 28, 2010, Wall Street Journal article titled Medical Malpractice Claims Data Being Used to Curb Medical Mistakes. Among those interviewed are malpractice insurers who admit that medical malpractice suits are “reflective of deeply rooted problems” in the medical industry.

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.

DePuy, a division of Johnson and Johnson, has issued a recall of its ASR metal-on-metal hip implants. There has been a tremendous push by attorneys across the country to attract patients with ASR hips to file cases on their behalf. Before you respond to one of these advertisements, understand that a goal of many of these attorneys is to gather as many of these cases as possible to prosecute them “in volume.” There may be patients for which this type of representation is appropriate, but it won’t be for everyone.

Patients who have DePuy ASR hip implants will basically fall into three categories: (1) those who have had serious and debilitating injuries as a result of receiving an ASR implant; (2) those who have had or will need a revision surgery but obtain a good result; (3) those who haven’t experienced any problems. If you fall into the first category, you should avoid the “mass tort” lawyers. You need individual attention to your case and an attorney who will focus on your unique injuries. If you fall into the last category, you may be an appropriate client for those who will prosecute these cases as part of a class action or multi-district litigation. If you fall into the second category, you should explore the case in more detail.

If you want personal attention to your case, contact our office for a personal consultation.

The John Cochran VA Medical Center appears to have exposed at least 1800 veterans to heapatitis and HIV. It appears that the problems stems from improperly cleaning and sterilizing dental instruments. Numerous news outlets, including CNN have reported that technicians at the John Cochran dental clinic hand-washed dental instruments. The practice of hand-washing dental instruments is reported to have begun in February 2009 and continued up until the initial news reports at the end of June.

Hand-washing instruments is a clear breach of sterilization protocols. If a patient has contracted HIV, Heapatitis or any other blood-born infection after receiving dental treatment at John Cochran VA Medical Center dental clinic, there is a good chance that the infection was a direct result of these negligent practices.

HIV and Hepatitis C are serious illnesses that can lead to death. HIV is the precursor to AIDS. Both HIV and Hepatitis are highly infectious. If you or a family member have received dental treatment at the John Cochran VA in the last two years, please contact The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson, P.C. for a free consultation. You should immediately seek legal advice. If you have contracted a blood-born infection you may be entitled to significant compensation.

Click on these links to learn more aboutmedical malpractice and infection. To send a confidential e-mail message to attorney Todd N. Hendrickson, click this link: CONTACT. Please remember to give your name, e-mail address, telephone number and a brief description of when you treated at John Cochran VA Medical Center and the type of procedure.