Based on our experiences and conversations, the average client is usually unaware of the level of sophistication a risk management firm such as Broadspire, who has been hired by DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson to help control and downplay their massive DePuy ASR hip implant recall dating back to August of 2010, and the levels to which it will operate in favor of its clients: DePuy and J&J. Broadspire, in its role as a risk management firm, uses the data and documents sent in by claimants (related to their medical bill reimbursement requests) in order to garner as much information about the patients as possible.
A brief look at Broadspire’s website is illustrative of the context in which the company utilizes medical records of the claimant for the benefit of its client, DePuy and J&J. Broadspire even claims to have a panel of medical professionals at their disposal as represented on their website.
Many clients have come to rely on the reimbursement benefit that affords only out of pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles. So the next two key questions become:
- Will this benefit continue into the future for the client that needs it?
- Will Broadspire continue to pay a patient’s out of pocket medical expenses after their statute of limitations (“SOL”) runs in August of 2012 (for most 2 year SOL states)
In seeking to look at these questions it is important to remember that this “reimbursement process” is not a contracted or promised benefit of funds being administered by DePuy and J&J. This benefit can therefore be changed at anytime without recourse by DePuy and J&J. Some have suggested the purpose of the Broadspire process is really to influence the hip implant victim to not pursue a legal claim or lawsuit for the harms associated with the defective hip implant device. If this underlying theory and goal of Broadspire is fulfilled: Will DePuy and J&J continue to pay reimbursements when the claimant can no longer pursue a civil claim barred by their respective statute of limitations?
In trying to answer this important question, it is also important to know that the harms associated with cobaltism and metallosis are very significant. Many of the known harms associated with the DePuy ASR device are latent and do not manifest for 3-6 years after implantation of the device. Many claimants therefore will only recognize the full extent of their harms after statute of limitation has expired in their given state and many may be left without any recourse for their medical bills, injuries and suffering after that SOL time period lapses. Because DePuy and J&J are not required by law to pay, or even consider, claims that are beyond the statute of limitation, it is very possible, and even likely, that they will tell Broadspire to stop making reimbursement payments on its behalf to patients that are beyond their SOL. Is this a risk consumers, with absolutely no contractual guarantees or promises being made in writing, should be willing to take?
In the estimation of Childers Schlueter and Smith, LLC, we strong suggest the answer should be No as the harms and value of each timely filed and prosecuted claim will include future considerations and medical expenses that may not be accounted for unless the responsible companies are held legally accountable. Given the hundreds of millions of dollars that could potentially be saved from such a course of action, the risk is too great for a claimant to rely and trust a company like DePuy and J&J to do the right thing when there is no legal mechanism to force them to do so. The average claimant will have been exposed to high levels of Chromium and Cobalt that will require ongoing monitoring and treatment. Questions will persist into the future: Will there be long term affects from exposure, such as impaired renal function, hearing, neurologic effects, or conditions that affect the heart, or perhaps effects that will impact to the thyroid gland or cause other forms of cancer like lymphoma?
If you are faced with these same questions and concerns regarding the DePuy ASR hip implant device, the firm of Childers Schlueter and Smith LLC is available to answer your questions and explain your legal options.
Individual considerations of particular circumstances are evaluated including the possible uncertainty of the longstanding effects of metallosis, cobalt, chromium and other known complications. Each represented client has claims that are different in many respects and therefore should be treated as such.
After revision many patients find impairment to their vigor and health. It is not uncommon to have tissue damage and destruction of the joint by the time they were diagnosed. Substantial impairment of range of motion could be a real concern and not just related to an awful complication from revision surgery. The body can only take so much insult to it from repetitive procedures and loss of bone may be a real problem that limits you from the enjoyment of activities and hobbies from physical limitations caused by the failure of the device. Despite these findings, we have already seen that Broadspire routinely denies reimbursements for collateral injuries to the body that, in their sole opinion and discretion, is not directly related to the defective hip implant. Even when other patients’ medical doctors disagreed with Broadspire’s assessment, they still have refused to change or re-evaluate their self-serving opinions and findings in an effort to avoid responsibility and accountably.
Further, routinely, Broadspire has disallowed reimbursements that it deems “chronic”. For the claimant that has substantial bone loss and joint destruction caused by the failed device, it calls into question long term concerns for mobility and whether those patients deserve to be properly treated and be compensated for the harms the DePuy devices have caused, rather than simply labeling these conditions “chronic” and refusing to cover the same. We commonly refer to such tactics and actions as “Putting Profits Over People”.
By our evaluation 28 states have statutes of limitation that are two years or less for product liability claims like the 6,000 other claims already filed by other victims of the DePuy ASR hip implant device all over the Country. For those clients unrepresented we encourage them to speak to a lawyer immediately and consider formally filing a claim/lawsuit before their statute of limitation expires in order to avoid this potential pitfall.
In short the concerns of future problems regarding this device are potentially daunting and will ultimately leave many harmed victims of this device without real options or recourse. The attorneys at Childers Schlueter and Smith, LLC are experienced and understand the methodology employed by DePuy and J&J in their Mass tort strategy to limit and minimize client claims either through the process employed by its agent Broadspire or via the national law firms it hires and employs to limit a client’s potential claim in litigation. Based on our experience, the DePuy defendants will not voluntarily consider or pay a reasonable hip implant settlement that takes into account many of the above considerations without the assistance of an experienced lawyer or firm.
If you want help or just the ability to become more informed about the overall process, please call us at 1-800-641-0098 and ask to speak to one of DePuy hip implant attorneys. You can also contact us on the internet at www.cssfirm.com