Mass Tort Newsletter | September 2015

In our efforts to keep you abreast of developments in various mass tort cases, this update provides potential claimant information along with the most recent MDL status for each case. Pope McGlamry is integrally involved with mass tort cases and continually monitors their progress. Should you be contacted by a potential claimant on any of these cases and require a mass tort attorney to assist, please contact Mike McGlamry or Kirk Pope at (877) 285-7656 or (877) 265-7656. You can also email us at info@popemcglamry.com.

We value our relationship and look forward to working with you on these and future mass tort cases.

Regards,

Pope McGlamry

IVC Filter

This litigation involves complications with inferior venous cava (IVC) filters. IVC filters are small devices implanted into the inferior vena cava to prevent a pulmonary embolism by “catching” blood clots when they break free from inside the deep veins of the body and travel toward the lungs. These IVC filters have been linked to a large number of cases where the filters failed due to the “legs” failing to properly function. These “legs” or struts, expand inside the vein to hold the filter in place. However, problems arise when the legs break or otherwise fail to keep the device in place by allowing the filter to move to other parts of the body, which can lead to piercing the inferior vena cava or other vital organs.

Potential Claimant
Had an IVC filter implanted and the device subsequently failed by perforating the vena cava and causing injuries to the surrounding tissue, intestines, spine, vertebrae, and/or arteries.

MDL Status

  1. Cook Medical, Inc. is consolidated in the Southern District of Indiana before Judge Young in MDL 2570.
  2. Motions for consolidation regarding Bard WC filters will be heard at the JPML hearing on Oct. 1, 2015.


Xarelto

Xarelto is an anticoagulant (blood-thinner) that is manufactured by Bayer and marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It is used to reduce the risk of stroke & blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, and to treat DVT and Pulmonary Embolism, particularly in patients who have just had hip/knee replacement surgery. Unlike other anticoagulants, there is no antidote to Xarelto and thus patients are at risk of severe uncontrollable bleeding incidents.

Potential Claimant
Experienced the following while taking Xarelto:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Intracranial bleeding
  • Stroke

MDL Status
Consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana before Judge Fallon. MDL No. 2592.

Wright

This litigation involves claims that the CONSERVE and PROFEMUR Total Hip Systems manufactured by Wright Medical Technology, Inc. were defectively designed and caused personal injury to plaintiffs. The shallow nature of the Wright Conserve cup is similar to the recalled DePuy® ASR metal-on-metal (“MOM”) devices which cause increased metal ions in the body, specifically, cobalt and chromium. Constant friction between the metal acetabular cup and the metal femoral head result in the release of miniscule metal particles into surrounding soft tissue and bloodstream. The elevated metal ions result in metal toxicity that can cause a multitude of health problems such as cysts, necrosis, rashes, cardiac problems, among other adverse reactions.

Potential Claimant
Has been implanted with Wright’s CONSERVE or PROFEMUR Total Hip System and has experienced any of the following:

  • Elevated chromium or cobalt blood levels
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Crunching or popping noises
  • Hip fractures or dislocation
  • Tissue inflammation, infection, necrosis
  • Severe Pain

MDL Status
Consolidated in the Northern District of Georgia before Judge Duffey in MDL No. 2329.

DePuy

This litigation involves Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary DePuy’s now-recalled ASR Hip Replacement System. The metal in the implant contains the elements cobalt and chromium, which have been known to grind off of the ASR hip implant, damaging surrounding tissues and muscles and increasing the level of these dangerous metal ions in the body. It was not until March 2010 — almost three years after hip failures were first reported — that DePuy informed physicians of the failures of the ASR hip replacement. Depuy finally recalled the ASR hip system in July 2010. The company acknowledged that the ASR system had a 12% failure rate and that the ASR XL Acetabular System had a 13% failure rate, though news reports suggest the company was well aware that this rate was actually far higher.

Potential Claimant
Has been implanted with DePuy’s ASR Total Hip System and has experienced any of the following:

  • Swelling
  • Component loosening or misalignment
  • Infection
  • Bone fractures
  • Dislocation
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Unexplained hip, thigh and groin pain
  • Clicking sounds
  • High levels of Chromium and/or Cobalt in the blood or urine

MDL Status
Consolidated in the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division before Judge Katz. MDL No. 2197.
Also consolidated in California JCCP 4649, New Jersey and Illinois.

Stryker

This litigation involves Stryker Orthopaedics’ Rejuvenate modular and ABG II modular-neck hip systems. In July 2012, as a result of numerous health complaints and a recall in Canada, Stryker voluntarily recalled both the Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip System from the U.S. market. A combination of factors — poor material selection, poor taper design, defective coatings, and improper manufacturing — make Stryker hip implants prone to metal debris affecting the patient. On November 3, 2014, a settlement was reached providing a $300,000 base award for plaintiffs who have undergone revision surgery.

Potential Claimant
Has a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II Hip System with evidence of metal-on-metal injury such as:

  • Pain
  • Impaired mobility
  • Pre-revision elevated metal levels
  • Abnormal diagnostic scan
  • Intraoperative or pathology finding of tissue damage

MDL Status
Consolidated in New Jersey MCL No. 296 before Judge Martinotti and in the District of Minnesota before Judge Frank. MDL No. 2441.

Zofran

This litigation involves Zofran, an anti-nausea medication approved to treat post-operative surgery patients, as well as cancer patients undergoing certain treatments. Zofran is the brand name of Ondansetron and is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. The medication is currently not approved for use in pregnant women, although doctors have prescribed it to treat morning sickness during pregnancy. Pregnant women who took the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy have reported serious birth defects such as heart problems, cleft palate or cleft lip.

Potential Claimant
Took Zofran during the first trimester of pregnancy and whose child experienced one of the following birth defects:

  • Cleft palate
  • Heart defects such as dysrhythmias or abnormal cardiac rhythms

MDL Status
JPML hearing scheduled for Oct. 1, 2015.

Takata

Thousands of vehicles have been recalled as a result of defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation. The propellant wafer used to accelerate and inflate the airbags is unstable, causing a heightened risk of a failure to deploy, an overaggressive inflation, or an explosion potentially launching plastic and metal shrapnel at the vehicle’s occupants.

Click here for a full list of recalled vehicles.

Potential Claimant

The focus is on Takata Corp. for the faulty airbags, but also on Honda and other vehicle manufacturers for failure to act despite being aware of the problem for years. These problems include personal injuries caused by exploding airbags and diminished value.

MDL Status
Consolidated in the Southern District of Florida before Judge Moreno. MDL No. 2599.

Zimmer Durom Acetabular

The Zimmer Durom Acetabular Component was introduced in the United States in 2006. Unlike traditional hip replacement components, the Zimmer Durom Cup is constructed from a single piece of metal (monoblock). Made of a cobalt chromium alloy, the Durom cup is designed for use in combination with Zimmer’s Metasul® Metal-on-Metal Tribological Solution LDH™ (Large Diameter Heads) for Total Hip Athroplasty (THA). In July 2008, Zimmer decided to suspend U.S. sales of the product. Zimmer said that it intended to reintroduce the artificial hip implant after it developed instructions about the special surgical techniques that doctors need to use to avoid the risk of Durom Cup problems. Zimmer also indicated that it would implement a new training program for U.S. surgeons. To this day, the Durom cup remains off the market.

Potential Claimant
Has been implanted with a Zimmer Total Hip System and has experienced any of the following:

  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Crunching or popping noises
  • Hip fractures or
  • dislocation
  • Tissue
  • inflammation,
  • infection or
  • Necrosis
  • Severe Pain

MDL Status
Consolidated in the District Court of New Jersey before Judge Wigenton. MDL No. 2158.

Actos

This litigation involves Actos, a prescription drug used to treat diabetes and is alleged to case bladder cancer. It is manufactured by Takeda, a major drug manufacturer in Osaka, Japan. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, patients taking Actos for more than a year may have increased risk of bladder cancer. Patients and doctors charge Takeda with failure to warn of the heightened risk of bladder cancer associated with Actos.

Potential Claimant

Was or is taking Actos and has been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

MDL Status
Consolidated in the Western District of Louisiana before Judge Doherty. MDL No. 2299.

AndroGel

Testosterone drugs like AndroGel have recently been linked to serious injuries such as heart attack, stroke and cardiac death. There are numerous Testosterone Replacement Therapy products on the market including gels, patches applied to the skin or gums, pills and shots. On January 31, 2014, the FDA announced that they were investigating the increased risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiac death related to Testosterone Replacement Therapy use. Men using Testosterone Replacement Therapy drugs are at risk and could experience serious side effects, including heart attack, stroke and even death.

Potential Claimant

Has taken any of the following Testosterone brands: AndroGel®, Androderm®, Android 10®, Android 25®, Axiron®, Fortesta®, Bio-T-Gel®, Delatestryl®, Depo-Testosterone®, Methyltestosterone®, Striant®, Testim®, Testopel®, Testosterone Cypionate®, Enanthate®, Testred® and and suffered any of the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attacks
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Death

MDL Status
Consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois before Judge Kennelly. MDL No. 2545.

Michael L. McGlamry

Michael L. McGlamry is and has been actively representing plaintiffs in personal injury, wrongful death, products and pharmaceutical liability, class actions and mass torts actions that have resulted in verdicts or settlements approaching a billion dollars. Many of these cases were the first such cases in the nation and many involved innovative, ground-breaking legal strategies. He […] Full Bio