Sacramento, California (PRWEB) June 14, 2012
According to the medical device lawyers at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, 2012 could see one of the largest payouts in orthopedic device history, and the statistics on their website reveal just how many people are affected by the metal-on-metal hip debacle.
The DePuy ASR hip replacement system was recalled in August 2010 due to a flaw in the design that caused excessive friction between the metal parts. This friction resulted in what's known as "metal wear debris," where metallic ions composed of cobalt and chromium leach into the patients' blood stream. In many hip replacement patients, this resulted in higher infection rates, the formation of "pseudo tumors" and the patient's body rejecting the hip implant. Since then, other metal-on-metal hip implants have come under scrutiny by the FDA, including the Biomet Magnum and M2A hip devices, and metal hips made by Wright Medical and Smith & Nephew. Claims have also arisen involving another DePuy metal hip, the DePuy Pinnacle system.
Faced with hundreds of clients who were concerned about the effects that increased levels of cobalt and chromium may have on their health, the lawyers at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff developed a website they call the "cobalt and chromium toxicity resource center." On this site there is a research library with numerous medical journal articles as well as several hours of video interviews with a noted expert in metal toxicology. The attorneys report that web traffic has surged as patients have anxiously researched the potential dangers of their metal-on-metal hip replacements. Since launching http://www.cobalt-chromium-toxicity.com last March, the site has received over one-hundred-thousand hits and their online videos have received over 25,000 views from concerned patients and loved ones attempting to figure out the implications of high cobalt blood levels.
"We've never seen anything quite like this," says medical device lawyer Stuart Talley. "The device was recalled almost two years ago, but many patients are only recently becoming aware of their cobalt and chromium blood levels and the implications to their health."
According to Talley, they developed the cobalt toxicity website after interviewing an expert in metal toxicology. This expert provided them with a great deal of information that answered many of the questions their clients were asking.
"Nobody's giving our clients direct answers, and the medical data unfortunately hasn't been widely circulated on the internet," Talley explained. "So we took matters into our own hands by contacting experts, attending conferences and researching medical journals to find the answers our clients were seeking."
Talley's firm estimates that Johnson & Johnson (parent company to DePuy) and Zimmer Holdings, two primary manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants, could end up paying out as much as $8 billion in settlements and legal costs arising from hip replacement lawsuits.
Patients who have received any metal on metal hip implant, particularly the recalled DePuy ASR or the all metal version of the DePuy Pinnacle, are encouraged to discuss their situation with a medical device lawyer before it's too late to make a claim. Most states have time limits that restrict how long a person can wait after learning about a recall before taking legal action, and for many this time is drawing near.
Additionally, for patients concerned about their cobalt or chromium blood levels, this article explains the proper protocol for requesting cobalt and chromium blood testing from a laboratory: http://www.cobalt-chromium-toxicity.com/accurate-cobalt-chromium-testing.html
Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff represents individuals and businesses in personal injury lawsuits, insurance bad faith cases, product liability cases and class action lawsuits. They have demonstrated their ability to devote substantial resources in pharmaceutical lawsuits, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, consumer fraud, defective medical devices and wage and hour lawsuits, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries for their clients and the classes they have represented.