Monday, January 13, 2014

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Litigation: My Corner of the Legal Universe

A friend recently asked me how I spend my time as a lawyer. She is an attorney in Florida, handling  real estate issues, wills and trusts. I know a little bit about those areas, but not much. Like a lot of attorneys, I know a little about a lot of areas, and a lot about a few tiny niche subjects.

In the last few weeks, for example, I helped a Spanish speaking lady find help with child support. I talked to a prospective client about a medical malpractice case, and discussed a debt collection issue with a friend whose property was damaged by a renter. I also spent time preparing for a trial in a car wreck case. But the vast majority of my energy was devoted to the finer points of litigating on behalf of patients with failed metal-on-metal prosthetic hip implants. If you're keeping track at home, that falls into the field of torts, in the area of product liability, in medical devices. It's a pretty small corner of the legal world, but many lawyers spend their time hanging out in these niche areas. Here's a blog post that I wrote about hip implant injuries, for our law firm, Jones Ward PLC.

"Metal-on-metal hip implants made by DePuy, Zimmer, Stryker and other companies can fail after just a few years, forcing the patient to undergo a painful and costly revision surgery. But that’s just the starting point in terms of injuries that some of these defective devices can cause unhappy customers. Here are some of the other problems that can result from a failed metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty:
Dislocation after revision: after the metal hip is surgically removed, it’s not uncommon for the patient to experience a painful dislocation in the following months. This usually requires a return trip to the hospital, where the surgeon performs a closed reduction or open reduction operation to re-join the femoral components.
Foot drop: even the most skilled surgeons face a tough job repairing a joint with damage from metallosis. This condition is caused by elevated levels of cobalt and chromium, which can lead to osteolysis, purulent fluid, infection, tissue necrosis, ALVAL, pseudotumors, and other damage to the hip area. Revision surgery also carries a risk of damage to the sciatic nerve. If the nerve is stretched or cut during surgery, it can lead to a condition called drop foot, where the patient has trouble lifting the front part of the foot.
Re-revision: having a revision surgery to remove the failed prosthetic device carries a higher risk of future revision due to the compromised hip area.
Pulmonary embolism: dangerous blood clots can form during or after revision surgery. A clot in the legs, often called a deep vein thrombosis, can breaks free and travel to the lungs, causing blockage of the arteries. In some cases, this can be fatal.
Stroke and heart attack: unfortunately, revision surgery can lead to increased risk of stroke or heart attack, especially in a patient with a history of cardiac trouble.
The lawyers at Jones Ward PLC represent people with metal-on-metal hip implants across the nation. Here is a list of some of the defective hip devices that Jones Ward is litigating, along with typical dates of implantation.

Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG hip stem: Feb. 2009 to June 2012.
DePuy ASR: 2005 to 2010.
DePuy Pinnacle: 2003 to 2012.
Biomet M2A Magnum: 2004 to 2011
Biomet M2A Taper: 2003 forward

Smith & Nephew BHR and R3 liner: 2006 to 2012
Zimmer Durom: 2007 and 2010
Wright Conserve and ProFemur: 2003 to 2012.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, call Attorney Alex Davis for a free case evaluation, or send an email to"

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