BHR, Class action, DePuy, hip, Hip Replacement, Medicine, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Solicitor
Thank you for your e-mail which I read with great interest.
You are right in saying that not many law firms are dealing with the BHR claims at the moment. The simple explanation for that is that the medical community and licensing authorities in the UK are not overly critical of these implants and focus has naturally been on the recalled DePuys.
We currently have a small group of clients who have had the BHR hips and have suffered problems, most commonly associated with metal toxicity. Our approach has been to look at these on an individual basis by examining the circumstances around the implantation so that all clinical causes for failure of the implant can be excluded. If that is possible then it will formulate a basis for pursuing the manufacturers on the grounds that there is no other reason for the impant to fail /require extraction other than a defect in the implant itself.
Any case that tries to establish that the implant is defective as a whole will be rigorously defended, however in our view, claims dealt with on a case by case basis will have more chance of success. Should the advice from the medical community change with regards to the BHR then that will alter the position.
We are willing to consider any case from the UK on it’s own merits and in fact, I spoke only yesterday with a lady that had obtained our details from a discussion on the Earlsview site.
What we can’t commit to at the moment is any declaration that we will run a class action against the manufacturers. We are not ruling the possibility out, but any decision on this will be driven by confirmed medical evidence that the failure rate for the BHR hips is higher than an acceptable level. In my discussions with orthopaedic surgeons in the UK, the view seems to be that whilst some BHR hips do fail catastrophically, the numbers are low enough not to raise general concerns that the device itself is defective.
Under UK law a device would be considered ‘defective’ when it does not provide a level of safety that a patient can reasonably expect. This is quite a broad statement and leaves a lot of scope for argument over what is a reasonable safety level.
These are just a few of the issues that affect the claims and is not exhaustive, but I hope it gives you an idea of where we are coming from. I have a lot of experience with group actions, and have worked in Clinical Negligence for many years. I am not interested in pursuing claims unless i feel strongly that they will be successful and that is an ethos shared by the firm.
As a firm we deal exclusively with Clinical Negligence and personal injury claims. We were the Lead Solicitors in the Alder Hey Organ Retention Litigation and currently represent a group of approximately 400 patients who have received substandard urogynaecological treatment, including problems with mesh repairs (TVTs / TOTs). We are therefore well positioned to deal with a group action relating to the BHR implants should it arise.
I hope this helps set out where we are at the moment, but I would be happy to discuss further.
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- Thousands of Scots set for payouts over faulty hip replacements – The Daily Record (earlsview.com)
- British Patients At Risk after Hip Implant Surgery – Metal on Metal (earlsview.com)
- Kiwis told of implant poison risk – Metal on Metal (earlsview.com)
- UK hospital recalls all Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Patients… (earlsview.com)
- Medical devices and Chinese toys share same level of safety checks | World news | The Guardian (earlsview.com)
- HSE faces probe on faulty implant response – irishhealth.com (earlsview.com)
- New breast implant technology to begin clinical trials (mya.co.uk)
- Buyer Beware when Making Personal Injury Claims Warn Personal Injury Solicitors London (prweb.com)
- Rift grows between Britain and France over breast implant scare (independent.co.uk)
katie kingsley said:
I think he summed up his position best when he said: “I am not interested in pursuing claims unless i feel strongly that they will be successful.”
After all, law firms exist primarily to make their partners money. If you can nail down negligence on the part of the surgeon, you’ll get a settlement. Translation: “Easy Money”. Claims based on manufacturing defects are costly. Smith & Nephew have deep pockets and will attempt to bleed a firm dry before they settle. Therefore, why touch it unless the device had been recalled and the money begins to flow like water? It makes sense.
Nevertheless, its unfortunate that the ample evidence of pain and suffering provided by the BHR victims isn’t sufficient . I want to believe this is just a “big firm” mentality: That laws exists to provide justice for wrongs perpetrated on the few and the poor and that there are counsellors who remember the oath the took when they were sworn in . Obviously an idealist notion.
Praying for a recall,
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I have just been accepted by Goodmans Law to take on my case. After discussion with Christian I believe his and the firms’s approach is correct. Naturally we all know there is extreme evidence on the Du Puy and most lawyers are merely jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak. The fact that Goodmans are prepared to set a precedent based on very similar medical indicators on metal ion reactions is fine by me. Someone has to initiate otherwise we will all be ignored.
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I too am now forced to have a revision of my BHR THA (less than three years on it).
I have spoken with an attorney here in the states and he has said he will take my individual case if the following conditions are met:
1. X-ray and MRI images reveal loosening of components, pseudotumors and/or bone loss.
2. A biopsy that further establishes the surrounding tissue and bone has become abnormal adjacent the implant (metalosis).
3. My explanted BHR (which I should request of the surgeon in writing) shows signs of abrasion indicating the release of metal ions thereby providing causal proof of these conditions.
While I am cautiously optimistic that I do have sufficient evidence to proceed, I too am praying for the impending (it’s only a matter of time) BHR recall. If you are in the US, please go here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9176174.htm
and report on your BHR problems, as the more who do the more likely it becomes there will be a recall.
As I mentioned on this blog previously, it is my opinion that those of us whom S&N like to refer to as ‘hypersensitive’ are the younger, stronger, more active recipients of this MOM Oxinium ‘wonder hip’. My mother, uncle and another family friend have had no problems with their MOM implants….because they are all over 75 years of age and rarely exercise or even ambulate (my hip doesn’t really hurt when I am in bed, for instance). If S&N were to look at this problem from that perspective, I strongly suspect the results would indicate it is the younger more active patient who suffers, and a majority of them.
I forgot to add this site for anyone in the US: http://www.fda.gov/safety/reportaproblem/default.htm I am sure most MOM victims are aware of the FDA complaint process, but if not, lodge your complaint with the FDA and encourage other victims do the same. The more data re: BHR failures and forced revisions submitted to the FDA, the closer we get to a recall. I truly believe such a recall is imminent. I am determined they will not get away with destroying my body and my quality of life. I will keep everyone here advised on my pending surgery and the results, reports, and any evidence of failure I obtain through MRI, biopsy and examination of the explanted BHR.
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