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The Missouri Supreme Court entered a decision on a procedural issue.  The trial court had dismissed the University of Missouri as a defendant on the basis of sovereign immunity. That decision was appealed to the Western District Court of Appeals. Rather than reach the merits, the Western District, applying a recent Supreme Court decision, determined that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Essentially, the Western District decided that the issue of whether or not the University was a proper party could not be decided until the entire case was resolved.  

The Biojoint plaintiffs appealed that decision to the Missouri Supreme Court.  The Court issued it’s opinion holding that jurisdiction was proper. It confirmed long held law that when one party to a lawsuit is dismissed in a final ruling that resolves all claims agains that party, the decision can be appealed while the rest of the case continues, rather than waiting until the conclusion of the case. 

https://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=176499

$16M Biojoint Settlement by HendricksonLaw

Posted by Todd Hendrickson in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on $16M Biojoint Settlement by HendricksonLaw)

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Multiple news reports have recently disclosed the more than $16 million dollar settlement we achieved on behalf of 22 patients injury be the Mizzou “Biojoint” center.  Our lawsuits alleged that these patients all underwent knee surgery performed by doctors at the Mizzou Biojoint Center at the Missouri Orthopedic Institute. The surgery involved replacing multiple arthritic surfaces in their knee with cadaver bone and cartilage.  In some cases, we alleged that the surgeons performed entire knee replacements using cadaver bone and cartilage.  Specifically, our lawsuits alleged that the physician performed “bipolar” osteochondral allograft procedures—bipolar meaning that grafts were placed in two opposing weight bearing surfaces in the knee. 

Our lawsuits alleged that the procedures being performed were highly experimental. Previous research on bipolar knee grafts revealed that these procedures failed as much as 86% of the time.  However, the Mizzou Biojoint program advertised a success rate of 90% plus. This despite the fact that when they began advertising these claims that had performed few of these procedures and did not have data to show that their patient’s grafts survived at least 2 years. 

You can read the two primary news reports here and here. 

We are so proud to have been part of the stellar team that brought about this result. HendricksonLaw originated the investigation with two cases and then brought in Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson and Rader for their extensive expertise in complex litigation. Without the incredible team at BFRR, this result would not have been possible.  

On August 13, 2018, the Circuit Court of Boone County rejected the University of Missouri Curator’s motion to dismiss the pending lawsuits against the University of Missouri over the Mizzou BioJoint.

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To date, our office has filed 5 lawsuits against the University of Missouri, Dr. James Stannard, James Cook, DVM, and others over the so-called Biojoint surgery. Orthopedic surgeons at Mizzou, including Dr. Stannard, have promoted Mizzou as the only place in the world to have biologic knee replacement. The procedure involves removing portions of the surfaces of the patient’s knee and replacing them with donor (cadaver) bone and cartilage. While using this technique to replace small, isolated areas of damaged cartilage, previous studies have shown that it is unlikely to be successful as a treatment for arthritic knees. Despite that, Mizzou surgeons continue to perform the surgery.

The lawsuits we have filed include allegations against the University Curators under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, alleging that the University has misrepresented the procedure, the procedure outcomes and risks to patients in order to induce them to have the surgery. The Curators moved to dismiss the counts, but the Court denied their motion.

If you have had a Mizzou Biojoint procedure, and have had any complications, please contact our office.