Jury Awards $8 Million in Damages for Metal Hip Replacement

March 20, 2013

A Los Angeles jury has ordered the healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, the world’s biggest medical products maker, to pay $8 million in damages for injuries resulting from the all metal hip replacement made by DePuy, the orthopedic branch of Johnson & Johnson.

This is the first verdict and award in nearly 11,000 suits filed against the company for the DePuy metal hip replacements.

Loren Kransky, a retired prison guard, claimed the all metal ball and socket hip implant left him with crippling injuries, and the jury agreed.  The jury found the implant was defectively designed, which lead to metal poisoning and other health issues suffered by Kransky.

Johnson & Johnson pulled the product from the market about 2 years ago, but has set aside around $3 billion to cover the costs of recalling defective hip implants and law suits resulting from these implants.

This verdict sends a clear message that the claims arising from the DePuy hip implant are real and cause severe and significant damages which Johnson & Johnson will be held accountable for.

During the trial, Kransky’s lawyers demonstrated how the all metal hip implant would deteriorate and some of the metal would flake off, causing metal poisoning which led to Kransky’s health issues and could potentially have killed him.  Despite the defense bringing up Kransky’s long history of past health problems, the jury returned a verdict ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay.

The artificial hip implant was made to help with pain and mobility issues.  The hip joint was sold for more than 8 years to more than 90,000 people worldwide.  In 2008, roughly 40% of U.S. hip replacements were all metal.  By 2009 pulled from the market and Johnson & Johnson stopped manufacturing them.

If you received a metal hip implant and believe it is causing health issues, please contact The Brad Hendricks Law Firm, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, at (501) 588-0549 or toll free (866) 676-5096 today.


Injured by Yaz?

March 12, 2013

Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella Birth Control Injuries Litigation

The Brad Hendricks Law Firm wants to help if you or a loved one has been harmed by Yaz (also known as Yasmin and by its generic name "Ocella").

Originally developed and manufactured by Berlex Laboratories, these medications are referred to as "combination birth control," which contain the hormones estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (drospirenone or "drsp"). Yasmin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on May 11, 2001.

Bayer AG acquired Berlex Laboratories in 2006 and began marketing this product as "a "different type of birth control pill." At one point, Yaz was marketed as an effective treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but in October 2008, the FDA issued a warning letter for this deceptive claim and clarifying that the medication was only meant to help treat Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) while simultaneously reducing the effects of acne. This marketing campaign was highly effective and today it is the number one birth control pill in the United States, with more than $600 million sales in 2008.

Unfortunately, this "different type of birth control pill" that was marketed as offering such additional perks, in addition to preventing pregnancy, is not without its risks. Some women might simply experience symptoms such as:

Severe Headaches

Severe allergic reactions including rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing.

Tightness in the chest swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue.

Fainting

Irregular heartbeat

Symptoms of liver problems

Unusual or severe vaginal bleeding

Unusual tiredness or weakness

Vaginal irritation or discharge

Vision changes (eg, sudden vision loss, double vision)

For others, however, the risks are much higher and include the following:

Heart Attack

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Stroke

Pulmonary embolism (an artery in the lung is blocked)

Blood Clots (Non-Vaginal)

Kidney Complications and Kidney Failure

Seizures

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Gallbladder Disease

Hepatic Adenomas

Pancreatitis

Sudden Death

There have been more than 50 reports of deaths filed with the FDA since 2004.

The Brad Hendricks Law Firm believes that these risks are simply unacceptable. If you or someone you love have experienced any of these symptoms after taking Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced attorney about your claim, please contact us today at (501) 588-0549 or (866) 676-5096 today!


Injured by GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte® Dry Acid Concentrate while on Dialysis?

March 12, 2013

Call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm Today!

The Brad Hendricks Law Firm, a full-service law firm located in Little Rock, Arkansas, is investigating claims of severe complications associated with the of GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte® Dry Acid Concentrate during dialysis treatments.  The use of these products has been linked to a significant increase in the risk of cardiopulmonary events, including cardiac arrest and even death.

On March 29, 2012, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that it was recalling Naturalyte Liquid and Granuflow Dry Acid Concentrate, both of which are manufactured by Fresenius Medical Care North America.  The recall was identified as a Class I recall, "the most serious type of recall," which are appropriate when the FDA determines"there is a reasonable probability that use of a product will cause "serious adverse health consequences or death."

The concentrate, formulated for use with a three-stream hemodialysis machine, has been recommended for the treatment of acute and chronic renal (kidney) failure in patients undergoing dialysis treatments.  According to the FDA, the concentration of acetate or sodium diacetate contained in Fresenius’ Naturalyte Liquid and GranuFlo Dry Acid Concentrate, when improperly administered, can lead to a high serum bicarbonate level in dialysis patients which may contribute to "metabolic alkadosis."

Metabolic alkadosis, the FDA warns, is a significant risk factor associated with the following: 

Heart Problems, including Myocardial Infarction or Heart Attack

Low Blood Pressure

Hypokalemia, Hypoxemia, Hypercapnia

Cardiac Arrythmia

Stroke

If not properly treated, cardiopulmonary arrest or even death may result.  In fact, cardiac death has been identified as the leading cause of death of dialysis patients!

Reports suggest that FMC officials knew that high pre-dialysis serum bicarbonate levels increased patients’ risk of cardiac arrest and death at all times, but they continued to market Naturalyte and GranuFlo, anyway.  What’s worse, FMC continues to market the products, placing hundreds of thousants of patients undergoing dialysis at any of the thousands of dialysis clinics across the country, at risk!

Call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm if you believe you have been injured by Naturalyte Liquid and GranuFlo Dry Acid Concentrate

If You or a Loved One has suffered any of the side effects listed above, including cardiac arrest, while undergoing dialysis, and you believe that Naturalyte or GranuFlo may have contributed to your injuires, please call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm today at (501) 588-0549 or (866) 676-5096 for a free consultation with an experienced team of lawyers and professionals.  You can count on us to make sure you are compensated for your injuries!


What Debt Collectors Will Not Say, but the Debtor Should Know

March 4, 2013

MP900387492 In recent years, as America’s economy has floundered, many people have found themselves considering bankruptcy.  A unifying theme that recurs in almost every consultation with a prospective client includes tales of the incessant calls made by bill collectors.  Those calls can make an overwhelming time seem unbearable.

In 2011, Reader’s Digest magazine published an article entitled “13 Things a Debt Collector Won’t Tell You.”  Michelle Crouch, the author, summarized a behind-the-scenes perspective of the debt collection industry offered by debt collectors and former debt collection agency employees, which we at The Brad Hendricks Law Firm believe includes some truly candid insights to keep in mind if you or a loved one falls into difficult financial times and are being hounded by debt collectors:

  1. The more money the collector is able to collect, the larger his or her bonus check will be.
  2. Debt collectors may hound you for the full amount of your debt, but most collectors are, in fact, authorized to settle on a reduced rate that may be 15 to 35 percent lower than the total debt.
  3. Often, collection calls come from debt collection companies that have purchased large debt portfolios from original merchants or credit card companies for pennies on the dollar.  What they may later collect from you is simply icing on the cake.  More importantly, though, the fact that the portfolios are purchased for so little by the debt collector means that many of them are willing to accept a reduced amount to settle your debt in full.
  4. Debt collectors will not voluntarily inform you that the statute of limitations associated with the debt may have already expired.  It is important to avoid making any promise to the caller until that information is known.  We have seen cases in which debt collectors have called trying to solicit payments on debts that are between 15 to 20 years old.  The statute of limitations in Arkansas for the typical credit card debt is 5 years.  Any promise to the creditor to pay even a reduced payment may revive the debt so that the statute of limitations no longer bars collection.  Be aware of this, and it could be your greatest defense against a debt collector.  The statute of limitations for most debts, under Arkansas law, ranges from two to five years.
  5. Debt collectors are not allowed to call you at work.  Ever.  If they call after you have asked them to stop, you may have a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  You may be able to recover your damages, attorney’s fees, and costs from the collector.  Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for a claim under the FDCPA is one year from the alleged violation of the Act by a collector.
  6. Debt collectors will not tell you that the FDCPA also prohibits them from threatening to have you arrested, using profanity, or calling between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Dealing with debt that has gone into collections can create massive amounts of stress for a debtor and the debtor’s family.  Much of the stress comes from a general lack of knowledge of how the debt collection process works and the laws governing debt collection. 

If you or a loved one has been repeatedly contacted by debt collectors, we have included some things for you to keep in mind when dealing with the collector.  If negotiating with the creditor fails, you may have other options.  Call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm at (501) 588-0549 or (866) 676-5096 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our Bankruptcy Department, led by Lyndsey Dilks, to discuss those options and whether you might be protected under the law.

Lyndsey Dilks joined The Brad Hendricks Law Firm in 2008 and was specifically recruited to create and develop the firm’s Bankruptcy Department.  Lyndsey has been named as one of the Best Bankruptcy Attorneys in Little Rock by Soirée Magazine.  Her practice is devoted exclusively to Bankruptcy matters.  Caroline Lewis joined the firm in 2009 and has assisted the Bankruptcy Department in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases since 2011. 


Tweets may be used against you in a court of law

January 7, 2013

twitter_muzzleIn an era where social media has become a popular source of information, you should be aware that the things you say on Twitter (or Facebook, or "Insert Next Big Social Platform Name Here") may be used against you in a court of law – no Miranda warnings (or other prior notice) required.

This lesson was learned the hard way by Omiesha Daniels, who was injured in a car wreck in Georgia.  Originally, Ms. Daniels sued for more than $1.1 million in damages.  Although the jury originally awarded Ms. Daniels $237,000, the award was reduced to $142,000, after the defense used Ms. Daniels’ tweets against her.

In a personal injury lawsuit such as Ms. Daniels’ case, she has the burden of proving the extent of her injuries, which may include medical bills, ongoing medical treatment, and lost wages.  Even where the defendant’s liability is not in dispute, however, the any defense attorney worth her salt will try to prove that the plaintiff’s injuries are not as severe as claimed.  Often, the plaintiff’s statements, including those made online, may be the most vital evidence of all.

Ms. Daniels claimed that her injuries prevented her from returning to work as a hairstylist, but her tweets described parties in New Orleans, beach romps during spring breaks.  A photograph of her carrying a purse on the arm that had been broken did not help Ms. Daniels, either.   In response to the evidence presented against her, Ms. Daniels claimed that the handbag was not heavy, and her attorney advised that the jury did not understand the complexity of her job.  Ultimately, according to the defense attorney, Ms. Daniels’ tweets were her undoing. 


Seatbelt Use at Record High, Says NHTSA

November 19, 2012

That National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has released the results of a recent study regarding the use of seatbelts by Americans.  According to the NHTSA’s survey, seatbelt use has reached an all-time high in 2012 – roughly 86% of travelers are buckling up, as opposed to the 84% in 2011.  The most dramatic increase in seatbelt use, according to the NHTSA, has been seen in the southern region of the United States, where seatbelt use rose from 80% in 2011 to 85% in 2012.

Seatbelt use has steadily increased since 1994, the NHTSA reports, but continues to be higher in states with primary belt laws, which allow law enforcement officers to issue citations to motorists solely for not using a seatbelt rather than requiring additional traffic violations. In the United States, only New Hampshire has no law on the books regarding seatbelt use (although it does have a law that applies to all drivers and passengers under the age of 18 years).  32 states and the District of Columbia have passed primary laws requiring seatbelt use, while another 17 states have secondary laws. New Hampshire is the only state that has not enacted either a primary or secondary seatbelt law, though the state’s primary child passenger safety law applies to all drivers and passengers under the age of 18.

This post is brought to you from The Brad Hendricks Law Firm as a service to provide legal and other information of public interest. If you have any questions about this or any other post, please contact our firm at (501) 221-0444 or (800) 603-5100 or email us. Our firm provides legal counsel in the areas of Personal Injury,Medical Malpractice, Social Security, Bankruptcy, Business Law,Employment Law, and Family Law, among others.


Injured by Hip-on-Hip Metal Implants?

October 29, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration announced recently that it is gathering and reviewing information related to metal-on-metal hip implant systems.  According to the FDA, “[h]ip joint deterioration can lead to symptoms such as pain, stiffness or difficulty walking. When symptoms do not respond to conservative treatment, patients may be advised to undergo total hip replacement or hip resurfacing. Patients may receive a “metal-on-metal” hip implant in which the “ball and socket” of the device are both made from metal.”

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Unfortunately, recent developments outlined in medical journals and other literature suggests that many metal-on- metal implants are defective.  A recent study indicated that up to 50% of patients with a metal on metal implant may be forced to undergo revision surgery within six years of receiving the implant.

These implants are defective and fail due to a design flaw for two principle reasons.  First, the device slips or the shell does not sit in place in the hip and it resists bone growth. Second, the friction of the metal on metal (metal hip ball and metal hip socket) causes microscopic shavings and metal debris to be released into the surrounding tissue and blood. This can lead to a painful, inflammatory reaction in the tissue and high blood metal content. For these reasons our firm is expanding representation to include other metal on metal hip implants.

Many doctors are recommending that patients with a metal on metal implant undergo blood testing to determine whether their patient has high levels of cobalt or chromium in the patient’s blood stream. You may want to consider asking your doctor to perform such blood tests.

If you have received a hip implant since 2003, or if you have been advised to undergo an additional hip replacement surgery, you should contact your doctor immediately to determine which hip replacement device was initially implanted, even if you are currently experiencing no adverse symptoms or side effects. Complications from these devices can occur at any time.

If you have a metal-on-metal hip replacement implant, please call The Brad Hendricks Law Firm today to discuss your rights and potential claim.  at (501) 588-0549 or (866) 676-5096.

For all your legal needs, and for your peace of mind, you can count on us.


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