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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- UK hospital recalls all Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Patients… (earlsview.com)
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