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SACRAMENTO, CA, October 29, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Currently representing a number of hip replacement patients who have had to undergo painful revision surgeries due to the DePuy hip implant recall, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff has published a Hip Replacement Recall Legal Resource Center on their website to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
Recalled in August of this year due to high failure rates, DePuy's two hip implant systems - the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System - have been implanted in an estimated 93,000 patients worldwide. Reportedly, the ASR systems' metal-on-metal bearings, composed largely of cobalt, generate enough friction to release harmful metallic debris into the bloodstream. In some patients, the metal debris creates tissue damage and inflammation, killing nerves and muscles in the hip joint. The debris can cause additional problems as the body's immune system tries to attack the foreign material. Additionally, studies have revealed that high levels of cobalt in the bloodstream leads to a condition known as cobalt toxicity, which may cause significant long term problems to the patient's health.
Although not enough time has elapsed to provide definitive scientific proof, studies suggest that cobalt toxicity may cause heart problems, dementia, loss of hearing and/or eyesight, and cancer. It has also been shown that cobalt can be passed onto the fetus in pregnant women who have undergone hip replacement with this type of metal hip implant. Because of this recall, several new studies are currently under way to thoroughly examine the risks of excessive cobalt in the bloodstream.
"For most of our clients, the decision to undergo their initial hip replacement surgery was difficult," says hip recall attorney Stuart Talley, a partner at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff. "They are now being told that there is something wrong with their hip and that another painful and risky surgery may be necessary. Our clients are confused, concerned, and justifiably angry. Unfortunately, the spin from DePuy has only added to their confusion and anxiety. No one is telling these people what exactly is wrong with their recalled hips, what the long term health consequences of having one may be, or what the chances are they will have to have the hip replaced. So we created a hip recall resource center on our website to provide answers for hip replacement recall questions."
Talley's Sacramento class action and personal injury law firm is no stranger to contending against big pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical devices. They've litigated against Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary companies for years over the safety of their medical products, so they are well aware of the tactics they employ to minimize their liability during a recall such as this.
One such tactic that has been frequently reported is the request by DePuy to obtain patients' medical records. According to Talley, companies like DePuy use information from medical records to try and refute their responsibility, claiming that any problems patients may be experiencing from use of their products can actually be attributed to their own medical history.
"It's important to be very suspicious of DePuy's actions, as well as their motives in seeking patients' medical records," Talley notes.
Talley's advice for anyone who has undergone hip replacement surgery is to contact their doctor immediately to find out if they in fact have the recalled device prior to contacting an attorney. For those who have already received a hip implant recall notice from their doctor, they should contact an experienced medical device recall attorney immediately.
Despite the publicity urging patients with the recalled device to file a claim, many have chosen to wait and see if their device fails. According to Talley, this is a huge mistake. As explained on his firm's website, most states have a statute of limitations that require a lawsuit to be brought within a period of time following any 'suspicion' that there may be a claim. Talley says that DePuy's lawyers will undoubtedly argue that anyone made aware of the recall would have been sufficiently advised that they had a claim, thus the date of the recall would mark the beginning of any applicable statute of limitations. Therefore, it is a very real possibility that when and if the hip implant fails, or if the patient discovers adverse affects from cobalt toxicity after the statute of limitations has expired and the patient did not initiate a lawsuit, they will not be able to recover any damages for their injuries.
Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff have demonstrated their dedication to protecting the legal rights of patients affected by medical devices, as well as their ability to devote substantial resources throughout lawsuits involving large corporations. Their lawyers have represented thousands of victims of defective medical devices, dangerous drugs and consumer products in cases throughout the United States, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in recoveries for their clients and the classes they have represented.
If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Stuart Talley, please call Taryn Smith at 916.448.9800 or 888.285.3333, or click here to send an email.
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