Once the statute of limitations expires, the lawyers say, good luck getting any money out of Broadspire or DePuy.
Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) August 13, 2012
Consumer protection advocates at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff recently published a question/answer page for hip replacement patients dealing with hip recall claims through Broadspire. Broadspire is the third party claims administration company hired by DePuy Orthopedics to help process claims for reimbursement made by patients who were implanted with the recalled DePuy ASR metal on metal hip.
In August 2010, DePuy, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of medical devices, recalled approximately 90,000 DePuy ASR metal on metal prosthetic hips. The recall was announced in response to numerous reports that the hips were shedding metal particles into the patients who received them. As a result, thousands of patients throughout the world have had to undergo expensive and painful revision surgeries to remove their defective ASR hips.
As part of the recall, DePuy retained Broadspire to help process claims for reimbursement made by individuals with ASR hips. Through Broadspire, injured individuals can receive reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the recall.
To help people understand the implications of dealing with Broadspire, the attorneys at Kershaw, Cutter, and Ratinoff have dedicated a page on their website that attempts to answer some of the most commonly asked questions raised by their clients.
“We were really surprised at how little our clients understood about how Broadspire could impact their legal rights,” says KCR partner, Stuart Talley. “We thought it would be helpful to publish the answers to their questions on our site.”
The primary purpose of the website is to help their clients and other patients understand the potential dangers of metal-on-metal hips. They also provide information about the statute of limitations for hip replacement lawsuits, and other legal issues that may arise in dealing with Broadspire.
“A lot of our clients were under the impression that DePuy was required to pay their expenses and that since Broadspire was taking care of them, there was really no need to initiate a lawsuit. However, this is not how it works. Broadspire was brought in by DePuy as a PR move to try and limit the number of lawsuits filed against it. Once the statute of limitations has run, there is little doubt that Broadspire and DePuy will stop offering reimbursement to anyone injured by the ASR. This sets up a very dangerous situation where thousands of ASR patients who have not yet reached the point where they need revision surgery may be completely out of luck if they wait to retain an attorney,” said Talley.
On the website, the attorneys provide an example of a hip patient with a defective ASR hip and elevated cobalt and chromium levels. However, the patient’s doctor is taking a “wait and see” approach before deciding to proceed with revision surgery. The individual gets in touch with Broadspire and is assured that it will pay any out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the recall. According to the site, this is a red herring used to give patients a false sense of security. Once the statute of limitations expires, the lawyers say, good luck getting any money out of Broadspire or DePuy.
They also point out that through a Broadspire claim, DePuy has no obligation to pay for any lost earnings, pain and suffering, or long term complications that often occur after revision surgery.
“We believe that DePuy is using Broadspire to set a trap for the thousands of ASR patients who have not yet filed a lawsuit. Since the statute of limitations in most states will arguably expire in August 2012, ASR patients need to act right away even if they have not yet had revision surgery. This is the only way their rights will be protected,” added Talley.
In addition to warning patients about the risks associated with Broadspire, the website also provides information concerning what Broadspire will and will not cover as well as the types of information Broadspire requires to substantiate a claim. The website can be found at http://www.cobalt-chromium-toxicity.com.