News & Results

DePuy ASR Hip Implant Settlement Update-Round 2 Settlements Announced

February 27th, 2015

On Friday, February 20, 2015, DePuy/ Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay approximately $420 million more to resolve approximately 1400 additional DePuy ASR lawsuits. The order came from the Court extending the settlement offer to Plaintiffs who had revision surgery after August 31, 2013 up through January 31, 2015.  hip

From the beginning of this litigation, almost five years ago, our goal at Childers, Schlueter & Smith has been to prosecute cases aggressively until DePuy accepted responsibility for its actions and offered to settle viable cases, or until viable cases were tried before a jury.  While we are pleased that DePuy has proposed a second round of settlements now for certain plaintiffs.

There are a number of very important issues we want all ASR patients to be aware of given this recent proposal:

1)      This is not a blanket, one-size-fits-all settlement proposal. DePuy’s proposal set outs specific terms which determine the individual settlement amounts for each person’s case (see below). As we have always maintained, all ASR cases are different.  Because of the differences in each case, the proposed settlement amounts for all claimants will be different.

2)      The settlement proposal is just that – a proposal – which you are not required to accept.  Individual claimants in any case can accept or reject any settlement offer.  At CSS, we evaluate each case and determine, as precisely as possible, the amount of compensation you would likely receive under the proposed settlement and whether it makes sense to continue under the program. For most it does, for a few select others it may not.

DePuy ASRWhat are the terms of the settlement?

DePuy is offering the proposed settlement to citizens and residents of the United State who: 1) had an ASR hip implanted in the U.S.: and 2) whose ASR hip was revised between August 31, 2013 and January 31, 2015. DePuy is only making the settlement proposal to patients who received an ASR hip. The proposal does not cover any other hip implant device manufactured by DePuy.

DePuy’s settlement proposal lists a number of factors which will determine the value of a settlement offer, such as whether you suffered a loss of income, whether you required another surgery after the revision of the ASR hip, your age, smoking history, and/or obesity.  As noted above, we are in the process of determining how these factors apply to our client’s cases right now and can do the same on new cases if you act fast.

Payment of Liens

If you choose to accept DePuy’s proposed settlement, they have also agreed to pay any liens that may be asserted by your medical providers or health insurance companies.  Liens are monies owed to repay your insurance company for the funds they paid relating to your ASR hip implant, or monies still owed to your medical providers for services they provided that relate to your ASR hip implant.  Ordinarily, such liens would be paid by you out of the settlement proceeds you receive.  In light of the fact that you have had revision surgery, the liens associated with your case could be significant.  We believe DePuy’s agreement to pay your liens is a benefit to anyone who chooses to accept DePuy’s proposed settlement.

Broadspire benefits

The Broadspire benefits that have been provided so far have been of great benefit to most of our ASR clients that are uninsured.  These benefits have been limited. In anticipation of the program potentially stopping, we urge you to provide us with documentation of all out of pocket expenses and lost wages that you have not already provided us, so we can submit them to Broadspire for processing if they were incurred prior to January 31, 2015.

What is the timeframe to decide to accept or reject DePuy’s proposed settlement?

To be eligible, you must register your case with DePuy by the stated deadline. Following that registration period, there will be a final enrollment date for all eligible claims where all the applicable medical records and settlement materials have to be properly submitted. We are currently waiting on the announcement of the enrollment deadline date. Once we have that date and the documents are made available, we will prepare settlement packets for our clients review and signature. We also have the capacity to do this on any new claims submitted to our office in the very near future.

DePuy’s walk away option

DePuy will have a walk away option. The percentage of enrollment is still to be announced. If enrollment is less than the target percentage, DePuy can choose to walk away and not pay you any settlement at this time.  DePuy can also choose, however, to continue with the settlement if less than the target percentage of people accept it, but they do not have to do so.  If less than target percentage of the eligible people agrees to the proposed settlement, DePuy must decide whether to continue with or withdraw the proposal by a date that will be published shortly.

Our next steps

As noted above, the law firm of Childers, Schlueter & Smith continues to investigate and take on new DePuy ASR clients that need assistance with their potential claims. We are evaluating all cases under the terms of the proposed settlement, and we will take all steps needed to ensure your rights are protected. As time is limited, you must act now if you want to put our firm’s experience to work for you. As always, if you have any questions, please can contact our office for more information on the Round 2 DePuy ASR Hip Implant Settlement. All calls are confidential and all initial consultations are free of charge.

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MDL Consolidates Xarelto Lawsuits Filed in Federal Court

February 20th, 2015

Bayer Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary currently face nearly 90 product liability lawsuits over their new-generation coagulant, Xarelto. Late in 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) announced that all nationwide Xarelto lawsuits filed in federal courts would be consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Experts estimate that eventually several thousand cases will be transferred into the MDL.xarelto

An MDL typically streamlines the litigation process, helps avoid repetitive discovery and conflicting pre-trial motions, and allow bellwether trials to be set to determine the strength of the plaintiffs’ claims.

What is Xarelto?

Xarelto was developed by Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 2011 as a new generation anticoagulant meant to be a superior alternative to Coumadin (warfarin) in terms of better prevention of strokes and non-central nervous system embolism and the absence of a requirement for regular blood monitoring, making use more convenient.

Although all blood thinners, including Xarelto and Coumadin, have side effects and increase the risk of bleeding problems, Xarelto has been associated with a high number of adverse reports involving injuries associated with uncontrollable bleeding. While the effects of warfarin can be quickly reversed in case of an emergency through the use of vitamin K and blood transfusions, there is no approved antidote available for those using Xarelto, and side effects from the drug have resulted in catastrophic outcomes when doctors were unable to control the bleeding.

Xarelto Lawsuits

All the Xarelto lawsuits make basically the same allegations: drug manufacturers failed to warn consumers and medical professionals about the potentially dangerous side effects of Xarelto, which include uncontrollable bleeding, the need for blood transfusions, and death in severe cases. According to court documents, severe injuries and deaths could have been avoided had the pharmaceutical companies not provided misleading information about the blood monitoring, and if stronger warnings had been issued concerning the lack of a reversal agent or antidote.

Get Help

If you or a loved one has suffered serious, uncontrollable bleeding while on Xarelto, you should speak with Childers, Schlueter & Smith today about seeking compensation. It may be the only way to alleviate the financial hardship that has been placed upon you.

Consultations are free and without obligation.

 

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Syngenta Faces Over 750 Lawsuits

February 19th, 2015

At least 762 lawsuits have been filed by U.S. grain farmers and grain exporters such as Cargill Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. against seed maker Syngenta AG over Agrisure Viptera corn, also known as MIR 162. The lawsuits allege damages arising from China’s rejections of U.S. corn exports containing traces of the Viptera corn, but now Reuters reports that Syngenta may be considering counterclaims.syngenta-viptera-corn-lawsuits

Syngenta released MIR 162 genetically modified corn in 2009, but Chinese regulators did not approve it until five years later. After shipments were found to contain MIR 162, China adopted a zero-tolerance policy regarding genetically modified corn and began halting shipments of American corn in November 2013, barring nearly 1.45 billion tons of corn and resulting in approximately $427 in loss sales. MIR 162 is an insect-resistant strain of GMO corn that was approved in Europe and the U.S. but illegal in China until late 2014.

Although Viptera is estimated to have been planted on only about three percent of U.S. farm acreage, the commingling of corn from various sources at corn distribution centers makes contamination with trace amounts of MIR 162 difficult to predict or control. Chinese officials say their concern for the safety of genetically engineered food precipitated the ban.

Syngenta Lawsuit Allegations

The lawsuits filed by farmers and exporters allege that Syngenta attempted to commercialize a genetically modified corn seed product that had not been approved for sale in China by misleading the agriculture industry about China’s timeline for import approval and blame the company for an 11 cents per bushel decline in U.S. corn prices and estimated losses in excess of $1 billion, according to court documents.

Although China, a major U.S. corn buyer, approved imports of Viptera corn in December 2014, the damage had already been done. Cargill claims that the company’s sale of the unapproved seed cost it more than $90 million in losses. The lawsuits against Syngenta have been consolidated in Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas.

How Childers, Schlueter & Smith Can Help

The attorneys at Childers, Schlueter & Smith have devoted their careers to helping people who have been harmed financially or physically. We are willing to go up against any company, no matter how large, to seek compensation for our clients.

We understand that you may be hesitant to hire a lawyer. It’s something no one wants to have to do. But you need to know that if you want to seek compensation, Syngenta has a team of highly skilled attorneys who don’t care about you or the financial wellbeing of your business. You need someone on your side who does.

That’s our job as attorneys.

Case Evaluations Are Always Free

If Sygenta’s practices financially damaged your business, we can help get you back on track. Our attorneys offer free consultations. We will get the details of your case and discuss your options. We’ll tell you how we may be able to help, and then you decide. There’s no obligation.

Give us a call today at (404) 419-9500 or fill out the form on this page to get in touch with us.

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Childers Schlueter & Smith Helps Brings Holiday Cheer and Toys To Deserving Children

December 11th, 2014

Our firm is proud to be a part of the Boys and Girls Club’s 2014 holiday gift program. We are helping to ensure that 50 children in need receive gifts this Holiday Season. We are also sponsoring two deserving families in need of help.  We hope to spread happiness and cheer in the community, and in a small way make the holidays better for those we are helping.  All of us at Childers, Schlueter & Smith value giving back to the community, and we wish everyone a joyous Holiday Season.

Boys & Girls Club Photo 12.11.14

You can learn more about the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta and the good work they are doing by visiting their  website: http://www.bgcma.org/

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Chantix Lawsuits Settled for $300 Million

December 9th, 2014

All of the nearly 2,900 lawsuits against the smoking cessation drug Chantix have been settled for approximately $300 million, and a federal judge in Alabama ruled earlier this month that the nationwide litigation should be dismissed.

More than 10 million smokers in the U.S. have been prescribed Chantix to help them stop smoking. The drug is highly effective as an aid to smoking cessation, but it has been blamed for triggering suicidal thoughts, behavioral changes, hostility, agitation, depression, and other psychological problems in patients.

In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated the warnings and precautions section on Chantix to include information from some new studies that have found that the drug’s psychological effects may not be as bad as originally thought, but an FDA advisory panel voted overwhelmingly on October 16 to retain the most serious warnings. Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of Chantix, had been seeking to have the Black Box warning removed, but only one advisory panel member voted in favor of removal, while 11 voted to maintain the warning, and six voted to strengthen the labeling to include references to sleep disturbances.

The panel also recommended that any further changes to the Black Box warnings should not be considered until after Pfizer completes a post-marketing study anticipated in the third quarter of 2015. Had the Black Box warning been removed, it would have been difficult to have it reinstated later, even if the post-marketing study showed negative findings, what some experts consider to be a motivating factor in the company’s urging to have the warnings removed.

Soon after Chantix was approved for use in 2006, the drug has been associated with reports of suicide and violence. Sales fell to $648 million in 2013 from $846 million in 2008, and Pfizer has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to settle the lawsuits.

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Complications Linked to DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement System

December 4th, 2014

If you have experienced problems or complications after receiving a hip replacement utilizing the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant system, legal recourse may be available to you.

hipThe DePuy Pinnacle is similar in many respects to the recalled DePuy ASR hip system, which was taken off the market in August 2010 because of a higher than anticipated failure rate, which is likely related to the design of the artificial hip.

The Pinnacle system was designed to accommodate younger hip replacement patients by providing more flexibility and range of motion than existing hip replacement products, but the metal-on-metal feature of the system, which was created to help lower failure rates, instead has resulted in more serious problems. 

 

 

Problems with the DePuy Pinnacle System

Some individuals who have received DePuy Hip Replacement systems are reporting debilitating symptoms such as:

  • Unexplained hip pain
  • Problems standing or walking
  • Reduced or lost mobility
  • Dislocation of the hip implant
  • Infection
  • Early hip replacement failure
  • Need for additional hip revision surgery

The metal-on-metal components of the DePuy Pinnacle system has been found to result in metallosis, biologic toxicity and a high failure rate due to microscopic metal particles that are shed when the parts rub against one another. Placement of the system is extremely difficult, even for the most talented surgeons, and without perfect placement, problem results may be intensified.

FDA approval for the DePuy Pinnacle artificial hip system was given to Johnson & Johnson and their DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary in 2000 under the 510(k) approval process, which does not require rigorous premarket approval testing. Instead, the system was approved as a substantial equivalent to older hip replacement devices.

Doctors who are tracking groups of patients who received the Pinnacle estimate that more than 10 percent of the devices will likely fail in the next two or three years, according to sources.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one received a hip implant and have experienced complications or had to undergo revision surgery as a result, contact our metal-on-metal hip implant lawyers today for a free case evaluation and learn about your legal options. There is no obligation. Our attorneys will work closely with you to seek justice and fight for compensation for your injuries.

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Takata Air Bag Recall-Should It Have Been Done In 2004?

December 3rd, 2014

Former Takata employees have charged that the Japanese airbag manufacturer conducted secret tests in 2004 on 50 airbags retrieved from scrapyards, saying that tests were performed after work hours, on weekends, and holidays during the summer of 2004 at the company’s American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Takata denies the allegations.

According to the employees who came forward on the condition of anonymity, when the tests exposed defects in the steel inflators of two of the airbags, instead of alerting federal safety regulators to the potential danger, company executives discounted the results and ordered technicians to delete the testing data from computers and dispose of the faulty airbag inflaters in the trash.

The secret tests, not previously disclosed, were conducted four years before Takata admitted in regulatory filings that it had conducted tests on the problematic airbags. Later tests led to the first airbag recall four years later, in 2008. Takata blames manufacturing problems and exposure to moisture by cars in humid regions for the defect, which caused the propellant to degrade and burn too strongly when the airbag deployed, rupturing the inflater.

Currently, eleven automakers have recalled more than 14 million vehicles worldwide because of Takata airbag rupture risks. So far there have been four deaths and more than 30 injuries linked to the defect, which causes the airbag’s steel canister to crack and explode into pieces when deployed in a crash, spewing metal debris into the vehicle’s interior, severely injuring drivers and passengers. But complaints have been received by regulators blaming Takata airbags for a minimum of 139 injuries, including 37 individuals who said that the airbags ruptured or spewed out metal fragments or chemicals.

Takata is one of the world’s largest suppliers of airbags, with a global market share of about 20 percent. Although Takata has said the problems with the airbags were corrected in the early 2000s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reopened an earlier investigation into four deaths in Hondas related to Takata airbags since 2008, and the company is also the subject of a U.S. criminal investigation over the defective airbags.

For more information on the expanded air bag recall click here.

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Wright Medical Profemur Total Hip System Plagued By Design Defects

December 2nd, 2014

The Wright Medical Profemur Total Hip System was approved in the U.S. as a substantial equivalent to existing hip replacement systems, but it is becoming apparent that design defects may make the device prone to early failure.

Signs indicating potential problems with the system include:

  • Inexplicable hip pain
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Inability to stand or walk
  • Hip replacement failure
  • Necessity for additional hip revision surgery

The Wright Profemur femoral neck is designed to be modular so that it can be adjusted according to leg length. It was also intended to be subject to bend, which consequently may lead to faster-than-normal deterioration and an increased risk of hip replacement failure. Numerous consumers who received hip replacements with the Wright Profemur system have reported that the femoral neck broke or fractured during normal use, resulting in severe pain, the need for revision surgery and even permanent injury. 

Wright Profemur Hip Lawsuits 

Allegations made in numerous lawsuits say that the design of the Wright Profemur Total Hip System is unreasonably dangerous, causing the femoral stem to fracture, break, degrade, fret, and ultimately fail. The Wright Medical Group also failed to adequately research the safety of the implant and a recall should be issued after a higher-than-expected number of patients experienced problems within a few years of hip implant surgery, according to court documents.

Wright Medical Group is headquartered in Arlington, Tennessee has been designing, manufacturing, and marketing joint implants since 1950, and about 60 percent of the company’s sales come from its hip and knee products

Although the company has had success with its ceramic-on-ceramic products, the same cannot be said for its metal-on-metal devices, including the Profemur Total Hip System and the Wright Conserve Plus. Like other metal-on-metal systems, the Profemur system is prone to fracture and failure early, and a number of patients have already brought lawsuits against Wright arising from early device failure, pain, excessive metal ions in the blood, and the need for additional revision surgery because of faulty design.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one received a hip implant and have experienced complications or had to undergo revision surgery as a result, contact our metal-on-metal hip implant lawyers today for a free case evaluation and learn about your legal options. There is no obligation. Our attorneys will work closely with you to seek justice and fight for compensation for your injuries.

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Do I have a Recalled Hip Implant?

December 1st, 2014

Our firm is frequently contacted by patients from all over the country to help determine whether their hip implant has been recalled or is defective.  This is currently a very common question following the recent announcement of the proposed settlement of a large number of claims relating to recalled Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implants for approximately $1.4 Billion.

Trying to determine whether you even have a recalled or defective hip implant can be frustrating, as there is no hip recalldatabase a patient can review to make that determination.  Additionally, it is often difficult to obtain this information from the hospital where the hip replacement surgery took place or from your implanting surgeon.  They are busy and often cannot release that information unless and until you to complete and submit specific forms to obtain your medical records.

The good news is – we can help.  Our hip implant recall lawyers at Childers, Schlueter & Smith have been working on these cases for several years, and we know the right questions to ask and how to get the information quickly.  With approaching settlement deadlines and statutes of limitation, it is critical that you figure out what type of hip implant you received, and whether your hip device has been recalled.

Please call us at 1-800-641-0098 or email us intake@cssfirm.com for an immediate and free initial review.

Our hip recall lawyers, led by firm founder Richard Schlueter, have spoken with and assisted thousands of patients all over the country, including patients implanted with the following hip implant devices:

Stryker Rejuvenate

Stryker ABG II Modular-Neck

Stryker Accolade TMZF

DePuy ASR

DePuy Pinnacle with Ultamet liners

Biomet Magnum M2a and Magnum M2a Taper

Zimmer Durom Cup

Wright Profemur Modular Neck

Wright Conserve Hip Implants

Wright Dynasty Acetabular Cup

If you know the date of your hip replacement surgery, the hospital where the surgery took place, and the name of your implanting surgeon, we can quickly help you determine if you received a recalled implant or a device with a known defect.Hip Implant X-Ray

Other limited forms of information can also help us determine what type of hip implant device you have. Some patients only have a portion of their records, and do not have the have the “implant stickers” that identify the specific make and model of their implanted device. We frequently receive records via e-mail, fax, or text message, and can review them immediately.  We also can review photos or x-rays to narrow down or definitively determine the specific hip implant involved.  With the large number of hip implants that have been recalled over the past several years, it is important that you know what type of implant you have.  Without this information, a patient may not appreciate the need to follow up with their doctor, and may not discover their injuries until they have progressed to the point of causing long-term and/or permanent health problems.

If you have questions or think you may have a defective or recall hip implant device, call or e-mail us now to get answers: 1-800-641-0098 or intake@cssfirm.com

There is no obligation and all initial reviews are free of charge.

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Update: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII Hip Global Settlement Announced

November 3rd, 2014

Just over two years since the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implant products were recalled from the market in June 2012, national leadership in the multi-district litigation (MDL) today announced a global settlement proposal for all Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implant victims who have undergone revision surgery to remove and replace their recalled Stryker hip implant on or before November 2, 2014.  The settlement proposal includes a base award amount of $300,000.00 to each claimant who has undergone revision surgery on or before to November 2, 2014, and otherwise qualifies for the settlement. There are certain limited potential reductions to the base award for age, prior hip revisions, and other relevant factors.  Claimants may also receive additional compensation, referred to in the proposed settlement as “Enhancements,” at a later date if they can demonstrate that they meet the eligibility requirements for the categories set forth in the settlement agreement.

Stryker-Rejuvenate-Hip-Replacement-Recall-Although participation is voluntary, it is expected that many of those that qualify (those who have had their recalled Stryker hip removed and replaced on or before November 2, 2014) will benefit from the settlement program, and may ultimately decide to participate in the settlement.  Any such decision should be made on an individual, case-by-case basis.

The following is a basic summary highlighting key aspects of the Master Settlement Agreement:

The settlement program applies to patients who are U.S. citizens and residents who had either an ABG II Modular Neck System or a Rejuvenate Modular Neck System implanted in their bodies in the United States, and who had a qualified surgery to remove and replace the recalled device on or before November 2, 2014.  The settlement program is also open to certain patients who have been deemed to be too sick or medically unstable to undergo a necessary revision surgery.

At Childers, Schlueter & Smith, our attorneys will immediately undertake to determine how the proposed settlement will affect each of our clients, and will work with each client individually to carefully consider the benefits of the proposed settlement so that they can make an informed personal decision on whether or not to participate.  As a nationally appointed leader in this litigation, founding partner Richard R. Schlueter will ensure each and every one of our clients has all of the information he/she needs to make the best choice for his/her unique situation.   Richard Schlueter has been involved in the various hip implant litigations (including DePuy ASR/Pinnacle, Zimmer Durom Cups, Biomet M2a Magnum and Wright Conserve Plus among many others) for several years, and has unique knowledge relating to hip implant failures and the injuries caused by those failures. Our current and future clients will be continue to be very well represented and informed during the entire process.

Attorneys representing those interested in participating in the Stryker hip implant settlement will have to register their clients in the program on or before the initial reporting deadline of December 14, 2014.  After that, the next deadline will be the formal enrollment of each individual patient who chooses to participate into the Settlement Program.  Those qualified claimants who would like to participate in the settlement program must enroll by March 2, 2015.  If less than 95% of the qualified claimants elect to participate in the settlement, Stryker has the ability to walk away and cancel the settlement program.  Stryker must make that decision on or before June 15, 2015.  Assuming the participation threshold is met and the settlement continues after June 15, 2015, the deadline to file claims for Enhanced benefits is September 30, 2015.  Additional compensation through the Enhanced benefits portion of the settlement will relate to damage to the femur, soft tissue damage, additional procedures and infection.  There is a cap on the Enhanced damages so that most total claims (Base award and Enhanced benefits) will be no more than $550,000.00 per claimant.

Patients-Suing-Over-Recalled-Stryker-Hip-ImplantBased on the timing of the deadlines in the proposed settlement, it is unlikely that any settlement payments will be made prior to late summer or early fall 2015.

For patients who are not eligible for the settlement program, Stryker’s existing program for reimbursement of eligible out of pocket costs, administered by Broadspire, remains available.  The decision to undergo a revision surgery is a medical decision, not a legal decision, and should be made only by patients in consultation with their surgeons.  If you were implanted with a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII hip implant product but are not eligible for the settlement program, all of your legal rights and claims are preserved and you will not be affected so long as you have a filed legal claim with the Court.  Patients who have been implanted with a recalled Stryker hip in both hips (referred to as “bilateral” hip implants), in whom only one hip has been revised, will retain all of their claims and legal rights in regard to the unrevised hip, even if they participate in the settlement for their revised hip.

Childers, Schlueter & Smith is committed to continue litigating all claims for our clients who don’t qualify, who are arbitrarily penalized so as to not receive an offer under this proposal, who have not had revision surgery by today’s date, and those who choose not to participate in the proposed settlement.  If you have a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII, please call us for a free consultation regarding your legal options.

For those looking for answers and guidance on these and/or any other Stryker hip implant related issues, we welcome you to contact our office for more information.

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