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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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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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Why Parking Lots are Fertile Ground for Accidents

August 27th, 2014

Parking lots are unique places where those frequenting them have likely been both a hurried driver and a distracted pedestrian at one time or another. There’s a lot going on in a parking lot: cars coming and going, drivers pulling in and out of parking spaces, pedestrians walking to and from business establishments, sometimes in the path of oncoming vehicles.

Although cars typically move more slowly in parking lots, drivers are also distracted (looking for that perfect spot, no doubt), traveling unpredictably in all directions, weaving back and forth, and generally putting other motorists and pedestrians at risk. Not surprisingly, the Washington Post reports that more than one in five motor vehicle accidents occur in parking lots.

Parking Lot Accident Procedure

If you’re involved in a parking lot accident, either as a motorist or pedestrian, there are certain steps you should take as soon as possible:

  • Remove the cars from the accident scene into a safer location, or if they cannot be moved, turn on your emergency flashers and exit the vehicle.
  • Check for injuries, and call for medical assistance if necessary.
  • Call the police and your insurance company to report the accident.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party involved.
  • Note the time, date, location, weather conditions, parking lot conditions, and another other important details.
  • Take pictures of the scene, the damage, and the injuries sustained if possible.
  • Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
  • If you or someone else has been seriously injured, consider speaking with an accident attorney.

Fault in Parking Lot Accidents

Establishing fault in a parking lot accident can be extremely challenging, and for this reason, if you are injured, calling an attorney might be advisable. Because parking lots are typically on private property where the rules of the road don’t apply, the police might not investigate or complete a report on a parking lot accident. It generally comes down to one person’s word against the other, and insurance companies usually split the fault equally, regardless of who may have actually been to blame.

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Childers, Schlueter & Smith Continue to Investigate Stryker Claims Related to Recalled Hip Implants

August 8th, 2014

Our personal injury lawyers are still investigating claims on behalf of anyone who has had revision surgery due to complications from the recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II modular-neck stem implant. In July of 2012, the Stryker Corporation issued a voluntary recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stem hip implants due to the risks associated with corrosion of the modular neck joint of the implant. For more information, check out the “Top 10 Things all Stryker Hip Implant Patients Need To Know

depuy-recallAccording to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 48 percent of the total hip arthroplasties measured in the study resulted in elevated metal ion levels for the patients that received them. The study also indicated that the rate of revision surgery administered to hip implant patients was 28 percent. We believe those numbers will continue to increase in the months and years ahead based on our own specific findings.

Those patients in the study who received a modular hip implant had the Kaplan-Meier survivorship (a measure of the life cycle of a product) of their devices measured at 40 percent after 4 years even though they are intended (and marketed to patients) to last for at least 15 years.

It comes as no surprise to us that results from this new study are consistent with what our clients have been alleging all along: The Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II are defective and should have never been placed on the market. Our national hip implant attorneys are currently investigating Stryker hip implant recall claims on behalf of all persons who have received a Rejuvenate or ABG II modular-neck stem implant. This includes those that have already had a revision (replacement) of the hip device as well as those that have yet to have the recalled implant replaced.

If you or a loved one has suffered medical complications from the Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II, contact the national personal injury lawyers at Childers, Schlueter & Smith LLC for a thorough investigation into your claim. All inquiries are kept confidential and all initial consultations are free of charge.

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Georgia Car Accident Basics

February 26th, 2014

When a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, or other obstruction, a car accident results. Car collisions can cause minor or more serious injuries, vehicle damage, property damage, and even death.

Factors Affecting the Risk of Car Accidents

Many factors contribute to the risk of car accidents, including the design of a vehicle, road conditions, debris, as well as driver skill, behavior, reaction time, and impairment. Some common types of impairments that may contribute to a higher frequency of car accidents include alcohol, physical impairments, sleep deprivation, drug and alcohol use, and driver distraction.

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the top contributing factors of all crashes and fatal accidents in the state include:

  • Following too close
  • Failure to yield
  • Changed lanes inappropriately
  • Driver lost control
  • Object or animal in roadway
  • Improper backing
  • Disregard of stop sign or traffic signal
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Improper turn

I’ve Been in an Accident – What Should I Do? 

If the accident resulted in injury or death of any person or property damage over $500, you are required to report the accident to the authorities immediately.

Georgia law requires the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident to do certain things, including:

  • Stop and remain at the accident scene.
  • Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured, including transporting or making arrangements to transport them to the hospital if necessary.
  • Exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, driver’s license information, and vehicle registration number.
  • Move the vehicle off the roadway onto the shoulder, emergency lane, or median if it can be safely driven and does not require towing.

You will also need to notify your insurance company of the accident, and if possible, take photographs of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles, and any physical injuries. Always be careful about what you say after an accident. Although you have an obligation to cooperate with law enforcement and your own insurance company, you are not required to give a statement to the other driver or his insurance company – the best way to proceed is to seek legal advice first.

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When Minor Impact Causes Major Injuries

February 22nd, 2014

When someone is injured in a seemingly minor collision with minimal property damage, a popular insurance defense tactic is to say that such minor impact could not have caused the plaintiff’s injuries. But no amount of expert testimony and excuses can change the fact that severe injuries often result from minor impact.

Speed and Motor Vehicle Collisions

Many people assume that the greater the speed and impact, the more serious the injuries sustained. While this may be true, it is not always the case. In the case of an automobile wreck with major or minor impact, common sense says that but for the car crash, the victim would not have suffered the injuries they did.

When a crash involves vehicles that are traveling very slowly and little or no property damage occurs, victims can still suffer significant injury and pain, particularly whiplash and other neck injuries. Although automobile bumpers may be built to withstand up to a five mile-per-hour crash without damage, the reality is that when the bumper doesn’t crumble and absorb the force of the impact, more of the crash is felt by the occupants, who are thrown forward with a severe jerking motion that causes necks to snap and backs to twist.

Injuries Can Manifest Later

What may appear to be minor injuries in the first few days and weeks after the accident can turn out to be serious injuries down the road. Some serious injuries that can occur after car crashes involving major as well as minor impact include:

  • Whiplash
  • Herniated discs
  • Lower back and neck pain
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Headaches
  • TMJ disorder

Never Underestimate Your Injuries

It’s very important that an individual exposed to impact as a result of a motor vehicle accident – no matter how insignificant the impact may seem to have been – be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. When dealing with your body and related trauma, it is generally always better just to be safe and get checked out.

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Update: J&J Ordered To Pay $11.1 Million In Prolift Mesh Jury Trial

February 28th, 2013

In an update on our previous posts concerning the transvaginal mesh implant case of Gross v. Gynecare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey, the same jury just returned a verdict of $7.76 Million more dollars in punitive damages. This amount is in addition to the compensatory verdict of $3.35 Million awarded earlier this week for a grand total of $11.1 Million in all.

Jurors in Atlantic City made the award today to punish J&J, the world’s largest seller of health-care products. The verdict came in the first of 4,000 lawsuits to go to trial over J&J’s pelvic mesh, including 2,100 in New Jersey. The jury of six men and three women declined to comment on its decision.

The total of $11.1 million goes to Linda Gross, a South Dakota nurse who complained of constant pain and underwent 18 operations after J&J’s Gynecare Prolift was implanted to shore up weakened pelvic muscles. On Feb. 25, the panel found that J&J and its Ethicon unit failed to warn her surgeon of the risks of the device and fraudulently misled her about the risks.

The Bloomberg news has just reported the events of the case here:

J&J Owes $7.76 Million in Punitives in Vaginal Mesh Case

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