blog home Product Liability

Multimillion Dollar ASR Hip Implant Verdict Upheld by Judge

By Renee Nordstrand on June 10, 2013

If Johnson & Johnson (J&J) attorneys were expecting a Los Angeles judge to overturn a historic $8.3 million jury verdict for the plaintiff in the first DePuy ASR hip case to go to trial, they went home disappointed.

In March, a jury found that J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary had manufactured a defective metal-on-metal hip replacement device and failed to adequately warn patients about the risks of the hip implant. The plaintiff in the trial alleged that defects with the design of DePuy’s ASR hip had caused him to suffer permanent injuries.

The jury agreed and awarded him $8.5 million in damages. Attorneys representing DePuy asked the judge to overturn the verdict and grant a new trial, claiming that there was not enough evidence presented at the trial to justify the verdict.

The judge disagreed with that assessment and let the verdict stand. He said that based on the evidence, it was not unreasonable for a jury to conclude that the ASR hip device was defective and that DePuy had not adequately warned patients about potential complications associated with the implant.

There has only been one other case concerning the DePuy ASR hip that has gone to trial so far. An Illinois jury found for DePuy in that case. Currently, there are more than 10,000 cases pending in federal and state courts alleging similar complications with the metal-on-metal hip implant.

In 2010, DePuy issued a voluntary recall of its ASR product line. At the time, the company said the recall was not an admission that the devices were defective, but reflected a marketing decision. However internal memos made public during the trial indicated that DePuy knew there were problems with the ASR devices before the recall.

Recently, DePuy decided to phase out all of its controversial metal-on-metal hip products.

Do you believe you have suffered an injury due to a defective metal-on-metal hip device? Contact the experienced metal-on-metal hip implant failure attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand. Our dedicated legal team is committed to seeking maximum compensation for our clients.

You can call the Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand at our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530 to discuss your legal rights.

J&J Hip Trial Testimony Alleges Company Knew of Defects Years before Recall

By Renee Nordstrand on February 15, 2013

x-ray of a failed hip replacent device

The J&J ASR hip replacement defect attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand have been following the first Johnson & Johnson hip device trial that is currently being conducted in Los Angeles. We have learned that J&J may have known about the defects for years, but did nothing to address them.

A J&J DePuy unit bioengineer testified via videotape that he spent three years studying a redesign of the ASR hips to address the known high failure rate of the devices. However, the project (dubbed Project Alpha) went nowhere and no changes to the defective device were made. The project was terminated in 2008. J&J recalled the ASR hip implants in 2010.

Bloomberg News reports that the attorney for the plaintiff seeking damages against J&J pointed to an email the engineer sent to his superiors in April, 2008. In it he wrote, “a small improvement to geometry could represent a large improvement for many patients.” He then wrote that by simply removing a groove, wear on the cup of the device “is approximately threefold less than the original design with the groove.”

That same day he wrote an email to his superiors complaining that he was receiving “absolutely no direction” from them concerning his findings.

The plaintiff’s attorney claims his client was sickened by metal ions that had been released into his bloodstream due to the defective design of the ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement. Other patients have complained of pain, joint dislocations, bone fractures, and infections. Currently, there are some 10,000 lawsuits that have been filed concerning the recalled hip implants.

The Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand will be keeping a close eye on the outcome of this bellwether trial. If you believe you’ve suffered an injury due to a defective J&J ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement, call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530. We can also be contacted online. Arrange for your free consultation today.

First J&J Hip Implant Trial Begins in Los Angeles

By Renee Nordstrand on January 31, 2013

black & white scan of faulty hip replacement

Opening arguments have been heard in the first Johnson & Johnson metal-on-metal ASR hip implant case to go to trial. The ASR hips, which were manufactured by J&J’s DePuy unit, were recalled in 2010 when it was found that the devices were failing at higher-than expected rates.

The ASR hip recall attorneys at the Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand have been following the developments in defective metal-on-metal hips and have found that failures have led to loosening of the hip implant, pain, swelling, joint weakness, tumors, heavy metal poisoning and soft tissue damage around the joint in patients who were implanted with the devices.

According to Reuters, the plaintiff’s attorney claims that J&J knew of the product’s defects in 2004 before it started selling the ASR device — but decided to market it anyway. His 66-year-old client contends that the hip implant made him ill when it released metal ions into his blood, which elevated the levels of cobalt and chromium in his system.

The plaintiff’s attorney claimed that DePuy failed to warn patients and doctors about the defects in the all-metal ASR hip implants. “Doctors relied 100 percent on DePuy and patients relied 100 percent on doctors and information was kept from them,” he told the jury.

A J&J attorney countered that the evidence would show that the man had many health issues before the implant; and regardless of that, the level of metal in his blood was not high enough to make him ill. The attorney stated that DePuy is a “good and conscientious company.”

There are currently over 10,000 lawsuits that have been filed against J&J over its metal-on-metal hip replacements.

If you have been injured as a result of DePuy implant failure, you have the right to hold them liable for losses and damages you suffered as a result of their negligence. To learn more about your legal rights and ongoing litigation, contact The Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand. Call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530. We can also be contacted online. Your consultation will be free and confidential.

Toyota Settles Wrongful Death Suit, Still Hundreds More In The Wings

By Renee Nordstrand on January 25, 2013

Toyota has settled with the family members of two people who were killed when the Toyota Camry they driving in inexplicably accelerated and slammed into a wall near Wendover, Utah in 2010. The wrongful death lawsuit was scheduled to go to court next month and was to serve as a bellwether case for similar, consolidated cases that have been brought against Toyota.

The product liability attorneys at the Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand urge those who have been the victims of defective or defectively designed products to seek the help of our experienced and knowledgeable product liability team. Solid legal representation is essential, especially when bringing litigation against large companies and corporations.

Neither a spokeswoman for Toyota, nor the attorney for the plaintiffs, would disclose the amount of the settlement. Last month, Toyota agreed to pay out more than $1 billion to resolve hundreds of lawsuits that claimed Toyota owners suffered economic damages due to Toyota vehicles suddenly accelerating. Toyota had issued a massive recall of vehicles to address the problem.

This settlement does not affect pending cases. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Toyota released a statement that said the company may settle some of the suits, but “will have a number of other opportunities to defend [their] product at trial.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that Toyota recently settled another case brought by a retired Los Angeles police officer. In 2010, the giant automaker settled a wrongful death suit for $10 million before the cases were consolidated.

Have you been injured, or have you lost a loved one due to a defective automotive product? The Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand can explain your legal options and will fight for your rights. Call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530. We can also be contacted online. As always, your consultation will be free.

CPSC Files Complaint to Force Distributor to Cease Selling Magnets

By Renee Nordstrand on December 28, 2012

The product liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Renee J. Nordstrand have been following the ongoing story of dangerous high-powered rare-earth magnet sets that have been the focus of serious injuries to children and teens. If swallowed, these magnets can attract one another and cause the puncture, damage, and obstruction of the digestive system.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received thousands of reports since 2009 involving children and teens swallowing the magnets. Some of these children had to undergo emergency surgery to extract the magnets and repair severe intestinal damage.

After conferring with the various manufacturers and distributors of these dangerous magnet toys, the commission initially got 11 of them to voluntarily agree to stop selling the magnet sets; however, a few holdouts remained, and the CPSC lodged administrative complaints to force them to stop selling these defective products.

The latest complaint was filed against Star Networks USA, LLC, the distributor of Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes. The manufacturer had previously agreed to voluntarily recall the magnets, but later reneged on that agreement, according to the CPSC. This is the third company the commission has lodged an extremely rare administrative complaint against. The two other toy magnet companies targeted by CPSC administrative complaints have agreed to recall the products and to cease selling them.

Manufacturers have a duty to make products that are safe for consumers. Unfortunately, sometimes the bottom-line takes precedence over safety. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a defective or defectively designed product, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Renée J. Nordstrand can explain your legal options and will work tirelessly to see that you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Southern California Offices in Santa Barbara (805) 962-2022 for a free review of your case. We’re here to help.

DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Lawsuits Piling Up

By Renee Nordstrand on December 19, 2012

DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of health care giant Johnson & Johnson, has been facing its fair share of problems over its defective ASR XL Acetabular System total hip replacement and it ASR Hip resurfacing system. Now, Drugwatch .com has revealed that as of November of this year, DePuy is facing nearly 2,700 lawsuits over its Pinnacle Hip Implants.

Unlike the ASR and ASR XL hip implant systems, the Pinnacle implant has yet to be recalled by Johnson & Johnson. DePuy currently is facing some 6,200 hip implant lawsuits for injuries from recalled ASR devices.

The burgeoning number of Pinnacle lawsuits, which have been filed in federal court, may be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). An MDL consolidates cases that are similar in claims and scope to streamline the discovery phase. The first trial in the Pinnacle MDL is scheduled for May 2014.

Many of the lawsuits filed over the Pinnacle hip implants claim that the devices are defective and can cause serious adverse complications. Litigants claim that the metal-on-metal components rub against each other, which make the implants prone to early failure. This can lead to painful and potentially dangerous revision surgeries. There are also concerns about metallosis, a blood poisoning caused by microscopic bits of chromium and cobalt being released into the blood stream.

If you’ve been the victim of a Pinnacle hip implant failure that requires corrective surgery or have suffered adverse effects due to a defective DePuy hip implant device, a California hip implant failure lawyer at the Law Offices of Renée J. Nordstrand can help you hold the company liable for the losses and damages you’ve experienced. We are dedicated to obtaining maximum compensation for our clients

Contact our Southern California Offices in Encino (818) 981-3530 if you have a question about your legal rights. Your consultation is free.

CPSC Files Complaint Against Infant Recliner Manufacturer

By Renee Nordstrand on December 11, 2012

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has filed a complaint against Baby Matters LLC, claiming that the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners the company produces are dangerous and pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants.

The product liability attorneys in California at the Law Offices of Renee J. Nordstrand have learned that the CPSC voted 3-0 to issue the complaint after talks with the company failed to result in an acceptable voluntary recall plan.

The complaint contends that the Nap Nanny Generation One and Two and Chill model infant recliners have defective designs and inadequate instructions and warnings. The complaint seeks to obtain an order that would require Baby Matters to recall those models and offer full refunds to consumers.

The Pennsylvania-based manufacturer and the CPSC issued a joint recall of Nap Nanny recliners in July of 2010 after the Commission received reports that one infant had died and 22 others had either fallen out or were found hanging over the sides of the product — even though most had been strapped in.

Despite a coupon incentive to upgrade to the next generation of recliner and “improved” warnings and instructions for the second generation of recliners the company offered after the 2010 recall, the CPSC continued to receive reports of death and injuries associated with the products. To date, four infant deaths involving Nap Nanny recliners and one involving the Chill model have been reported.

About 155,000 of the affected models were sold between 2009 and 2012.

Product safety, especially when it comes to items marketed for infants and children, should be a manufacturer’s top priority. The Law Offices of Renée J. Nordstrand help our clients by aggressively pursuing their legal rights. If a defective product has injured you or a loved one, call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022. We can also be contacted via our online Contact Form.

Yokohama Tire Corporation Recalls Over 10,000 Tires due to Sidewall Defect

By Renee Nordstrand on October 15, 2012

rows of car tires

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the recall of 10,669 Yokohama AVID Touring S tires, size 215/65R16 as the result of a manufacturing defect that can lead to tire failure and result in an auto accident.

Yokohama AVID Touring S tires of the aforementioned size, which were manufactured from February 2009 to April 2009 and may have been produced with geometric irregularities in the casing turn up area above the bead in the lower sidewall. The irregular geometry of the casing can cause the lower sidewall to crack, resulting in a rapid loss of tire inflation and eventually leading to tire failure. If the tire fails while the vehicle is in motion, the driver may lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of an injury accident.

Yokohama will notify owners of the recall and dealers will replace the tires at no cost to the consumer. This recall is expected to start on or around October 20, 2012. For more information, owners can call Yokohama at (800) 423-4544 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

A vehicle’s tires are the most important piece of equipment on a car as they are the only parts that actually touch the road. If they are defectively manufactured or poorly designed, they can fail and jeopardize the health and safety of the vehicle’s occupants as well as other motorists and road users. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Southern California car accident caused by defective tires or any other auto part, the defective product attorneys in Santa Barbara can help you hold the manufacturer liable for their negligence. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call us for a free consultation at (805) 962-2022.

4 California Medical Facilities Received Potentially Contaminated Steroids Linked to Multistate Meningitis Outbreak

By Renee Nordstrand on October 12, 2012

test tube vials in blue & red holders

Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center (NECC) has recalled three lots of potentially contaminated preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80 mg/ml), which was used in administering spinal steroid injections to treat pain in facilities across the country. The contaminated steroid has caused a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak which has claimed 12 lives in 10 states and infected 127 more as of October 10, 2012. NECC has also recalled every other product and has voluntarily surrendered its license and ceased all operations.

Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are coordinating a multistate investigation into the meningitis outbreak. It has been determined that unopened vials of the NECC steroid contained a fungus. When the fungus-contaminated steroid was injected into the spine, the fungus infected the meninges, or protective membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

While symptoms may not manifest for one to four weeks, it is imperative that any Californian who received an epidural spinal injection since May 21, 2012 at any of the below facilities seek medical attention immediately:

  • Cypress Surgery Center, Visalia, CA – (559) 740-4094
  • Encino Outpatient SurgiCenter, Encino, CA – (818) 986-1037
  • Ukiah Valley Medical Center, Ukiah, CA – (707) 463-7345
  • Universal Pain Management, Palmdale, CA – (661) 267-6876, x166

Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the health and safety of the patients who use their products. If you have suffered or have lost a loved one due to an unsafe drug or other defective product, the experienced Encino product liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Renee J. Nordstrand can help you pursue fair compensation from the at-fault companies. Call us today for a free consultation at (818) 981-3530.

The Lasting Effects of the DePuy Hip Implant Recall

By Renee Nordstrand on November 22, 2011

DePuy recalled a hip replacement system known as the ASR XL Acetabluar System in 2010. Many patients who received this implant have had problems with the implant, which requires replacement or revision surgery. They have suffered pain, lost wages, medical expenses and inconvenience.

The DePuy ASR XL Acetabluar System was marketed in the United States in 2005 and placed in thousands of patients. Since 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of claims of problems about this implant. In March 2010 Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of DePuy, admitted that the ASR XL Acetabluar System had a much higher than expected failure rate and in August 2010, recalled the product. As a result of the defect, many patients must have the ASR XL Acetabluar System removed from their body and replaced. Patients may be left with significant long-term health problems as a result of the defective product.

As consumers, we trust and expect that the products we purchase and use are safe and free of any design flaw or manufacturing defect that could cause injury, illness, or death. This is especially the case with medical devices and implant systems. Unfortunately, due to various forms of negligence and oversight, defective and poorly designed products often make their way onto the market, causing consumers to suffer harm.

At the Law Offices of Renee J. Nordstrand, our Santa Barbara defective product attorneys have the legal skills and resources to hold negligent manufacturers legally responsible for consumer injury or wrongful death. If you or someone you care about has experienced DePuy hip implant failure, our lawyers can help you obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. For a free consultation, call (805) 962-2022.