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Author Archives: Todd Hendrickson

The St. Louis Post Dispatch, in an in-depth article, reported that St. Anthony’s Medical Center in south St. Louis County, failed to report Dr. Surendra Chaganti to the Missouri State Board of Healing Arts, the state board that “regulates” doctors.

Dr. Chaganti, apparently one of the busiest psychiatrists in St. Louis County, was accused of negligent care of multiple patients, according to the Post Dispatch story. When St. Anthony’s took action to revoke his hospital privileges, Dr. Chaganti responded by suing St. Anthony’s. Dr. Chaganti was represented in the suit by his brother, attorney Naren Chaganti. Attorney Chaganti also represented his brother in several other lawsuits brought against others who accused Dr. Chaganti of improper care. The suit against St. Anthony’s was ultimately settled with an agreement that Dr. Chaganti would resign his privileges but St. Anthony’s would not report his resignation or their action to the National Practitioner’s Data Bank, a federally mandated repository for information on doctor discipline and malpractice. The data bank is not available to the general public, but hospitals and malpractice insurers have access and use the information in making decisions regarding whether to grant privileges or offer insurance.

The problems with reporting physicians for sub-optimal care are myriad, but in this particular case two specific problems are highlighted. First, St. Anthony’s entered into an agreement, which was approved by a judge, to not report Dr. Chaganti to the data base. By the data base’s definitions, reporting should have occurred. Resignations made after action is taken to revoke privileges is a reportable event and St. Anthony’s should have reported him. Their failure to do so apparently only came to light after a series of events in which Dr. Chaganti attempted to obtain privileges elsewhere and the other hospitals suspected or discovered the failure to report.

The second problem this highlights is the fact that the National Practitioner Data Bank is kept secret from those who would most benefit from being able to know if a doctor has been found to have given bad patient care–patients! By keeping this information secret, the public is being deprived of its right to make an informed decision.

You can read the complete Post Dispatch story here.

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.

DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson that manufactures orthopedic implants, including hip implant replacement systems, has withdrawn its ASR metal-on-metal implants, reports the New York Times. DePuy has touted this as its way of protecting patient safety, but in truth, evidence suggests that DePuy has known of this problem for years.

DePuy has informed doctors in a letter that the ASR had a higher-than-expected failure rate in certain types of patients. Data from a study out of Australia suggests that small statured patients, such as women, are at the highest risk. DePuy seems to indicate that the problem lies in how surgeons are installing the implants.

However, evidence suggests that the metal-an-metal implants can generate large amounts of metallic debris as they wear. This debris can cause severe inflammatory responses in some patients, damage muscles, soft tissue and bone. These reactions can lead to early need to replace the implants through revision surgery, in some cases in as little as 2 years. The normal expected life of such implants is 15 years and more.

Many implant manufactures began offering metal-on-metal implants a number of years ago as alternatives to the polyethylene (plastic) or ceramic components. With the metal-on-metal, both the ball and the cup (socket) are made from metal and, as they wear, they give off metal shavings and residue.

At this time it appears that DePuy and possibly other manufacturers did not sufficiently test these implant materials and, even after learning of unusually high failure rates, continued to actively market and promote the product. If you have had an implant fail within a few years after your surgery, you should immediately contact Todd N. Hendrickson. Our office specializes in medical malpractice and medical product liability claims and can help you fight for your rights. Call our office at 314-721-8833 for a free consultation.

The New York Times is reporting that doctors are finding that “metal on metal” hip implants are failing at a much higher and faster rate than expected, leading to the need for early revision and replacement.“Metal on metal” refers to the materials used in the design. A typical hip implant consists of a femoral stem which is fixed into the femur or thigh bone. The hip socket (or acetabulum) is replaced with a “cup” of one design or another. A ball device is attached to the end of the femoral stem and fits into the acetabulur component, completing the ball and socket joint. Until about 10 years ago either the ball or the liner of the acetabulm was made of either ceramic or a poly plastic. Beginning in the late ’90s manufacturers began replacing either the ball or the cup or both with metal components. The theory was that the patient would achieve a longer life thus avoiding revision surgery to replace either the ball or the cup or both. The older ceramic and poly components had typical lifespans of 15 to 20 years.The theory is apparently proving to be false. As the is reporting, these metal on metal implants are failing much sooner than expected, some in as little as two years. What is occurring is the wear of the components is creating metal debris which is destroying soft tissue and bone. The estimate now is that 1 to 3% of implants are failing at this rate. However, since the metal on metal didn’t reach the peak of their popularity until 5 years or so ago, the real extent of the problem is still unknown. Given that 80,000 or more of these implants are used in primary replacements a year, that could be anywhere form 8,000 to 24,000 patients affected each year. Given that the typical hip replacement procedure can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 and lead to additional lost income and other losses, the financial impact on patients is potentially extensive.If you have experienced an early component failure, either due to pain or component loosening, or have had your hip implant revised for other reasons earlier than expected, you may want to consider a product liability action against the implant manufacturer. If you would like to explore this further, please feel free to contact me, attorney Todd N. Hendrickson. Although my practice is concentrated in Missouri and Illinois, I will consider appropriate cases throughout the United States. I have extensive experience and expertise in medical malpractice and medical product liability litigation, with particular emphasis in orthopeadic matters, including hip, knee and shoulder replacements. I have successfully litigated cases against hip implant manufactures for a variety of matters and I am uniquely qualified to review these types of cases.

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.

On October 1, 2009. a jury in the Federal District Court of Southern Illinois in Benton, Illinois returned a $600,000 verdict in a difficult survival action. I represented the Estate of Jennifer DeArmon in a case against Primary Care Group and Dr. Vinay K. Mehta, a general surgeon.After 4 days of evidence, the 7 person jury took less than 90 minutes to find that Dr. Mehta was negligent in perforating the superior vena cava (the main vein returning blood to the heart) while placing a central veinous catheter. Jennifer DeArmon, who suffered from a form of muscular dystrophy, had been wheelchair bound since age 6. Her disease, anterior horn cell disease, progressively weakened her muscles, leaving it difficult for her to cough and clear her lungs, resulting in frequent bouts of pneumonia. She had been hospitalized for two weeks in December 2004 before Dr. Mehta attempted to place the catheter. As a result of the perforation, Jennifer was transferred by air ambulance to another hospital. She was hospitalized for more than 2 months following the perforation and her health deteriorated. In July 2005 she passed away from unrelated causes.It was my honor and pleasure to have met Jennifer shortly before her death and to go on and represent her Estate.If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, please contact me at 314-721-8833 or use the Contact form on this page.

Thousands of people each day fall victim to criminal attacks and suffer severe life changing injuries and loses. The most frustrating part is that many of these attacks are preventable and are the result of poor and inadequate security by property owners.Premises and Security Liability laws state the property owners must be responsible for protecting visitors from harm, and that includes criminal activity. It is their duty to study their surroundings and be aware of any signs of criminal activity. A property owner must provide adequate security such as proper lighting, security patrols, and security hardware on doors and windows.If you were attacked or victimized on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact an experienced negligent security attorney who can take action and investigate your case.St. Louis accident and injury attorney Todd Hendrickson, P.C., has successfully represented numerous clients in complex security negligent claims. He understands how difficult it is to experience such tragedies and will aggressively work to have the responsible party held liable for your injuries and damages.A list of possible negligent security claims include:• Landlord liability• Inadequate parking lot surveillance• Inadequate lighting• Negligent hotel security• Forced entry• Employer Security Liability for negligent hiring• Bank Security Liability and ATM kiosk security• Attacks in elevators and stairwells• Shopping mall security negligence• College campus and dorm room security negligence• Negligent hospital security• Negligent sport stadium securityIf you or someone you know is injured or attacked on someone else’s property, and you suspect inadequate security was part of the problem, contact an experienced attorney who can take immediate action and help you pursue compensation.St. Louis negligent security attorney Todd Hendrickson, P.C. has the skills and the experience to get you the results you need.

I’m announcing the launch of a new attorney web resource for Plaintiff’s Attorneys only. It is called MOPAO (Missouri Plaintiff’s Attorneys Only). Membership is strictly moderated and is open to Missouri attorneys who represent only plaintiffs in the personal injury and medical malpractice arena. Absolutely no memberships will be granted to any attorney who is a member of any defense firm. The goal of the list serve is to give a private and secure environment for open discussions and exchanges of information.If you are a 100% plaintiff’s only firm or solo, you may request membership by sending an e-mail to MOPAO. I look forward to your requests.Todd N. Hendrickson, Moderator–MOPAO

Anderson Cooper 360?will air “Operating under the Influence” tonight, March 31, 2008, at 10pm, eastern. The advertisements for the show indicate “imagine undergoing the knife, while your doctor is undergoing treatment for addiction!” Unfortunately, a number of my clients don’t have to “imagine” that consequence.I have a number of cases in which a physician’s addiction is an issue. In one, within days of operating on my client, the physician tested positive for cocaine use. Only after the patient suffered a horrible complication did he learn that his surgeon had returned from rehab only a few days before operating. And worse yet, the hospital was aware of the stint in rehab and had not provided for drug testing before allowing the surgeon to return to the operating room and had not required that the surgeon be monitored by another surgeon in surgery.This type of negligence, on behalf of both the addicted doctor and the hospital, is clearly inexcusable. All hospitals have, or should have, in place policies and procedures to detect and monitor impaired doctors, nurses and other staff.I’ll watch “Operating under the Influence” tonight with interest. For more, see AndersonCooper360

An Arkansas jury found that Wyeth’s Premarin and Upjohn’s Provera menopause drugs caused a woman’s cancer. Donna Scoggin’s developed breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy after taking the drugs for ten years. The jury found her damages at $2.75 million. The same jury will hear additional evidence before deciding whether an additional award of punitive damages is appropriate.

Premarin cotains estrogen and Provera contains progestin and have been prescribed for years to relieve menopause symptoms. However, a U.S. National Institutes of Health study, completed in 2002, found that the combination of the two drugs increased the risk of invasive breast cancer by 24 percent.

The two drugs were combined in a single pill 1996 and marketed as Prempro. Despite the Institutes of Health study, there has been no recall of any of the drugs.

If you are a loved one has developed breast cancer after taking Premarin, Provera, Prempro or other menopause drugs for an extended period of time, please contact our office to discuss the matter.

Source of Post: Bloomberg.com