Month: February 2011

Tire Troubles

It’s happened to most of us– we are driving along when we feel unexpected thumping, signaling a flat tire. It may be frightening at first, but often we maintain control of the car and pull safely onto the shoulder. Upon changing the tire, we find the usual culprits-a nail or other shard of debris wedged in the tread or wall.

There are times when a flat is caused by a defect: A delaminated tire, in which the tread flies off the tire. It is very difficult to maintain control when a tire delaminates. Often the vehicle swerves and then rolls over. One precaution you can take is to visually inspect your tires often and maintain proper air pressure in your tires. If you observe something about a tire that appears abnormal, such as uneven tread wear or lifting of tread, have all tires immediately inspected by a qualified tire professional and do not drive on them for an extended period of time and, especially, do not drive on them at highway speeds.

Also, please note that it is very dangerous to change a tire on the shoulder of a road or highway. Call an emergency roadside service if possible to change the tire. If you are unable to call a service, drive off of the road or highway where you are out of danger of other approaching motorists. It is better to drive on the shoulder to get off the road, and ruin the flattened tire, than to expose yourself to the dangers of other motorists passing by.

Berglund & Johnson is currently handling tire delamination cases that include very serious injuries and fatalities. If this has happened to you or someone you know, call us at 1-800-4-IF-HURT ; 1-800-443-4878. We can help.

DePuy ASR Hip System Recall

DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. voluntarily recalled their ASRTM XL Acetabular System and DePuy ASR TM Hip Resurfacing System. These systems are used for hip replacement surgeries and for those who need secondary hip replacements, called “revision surgery.” Yearly monitoring is recommended for the system to ensure that it functions properly, even if there aren’t any symptoms. A five-year data test conducted by the National Joint Registry showed that the ASR TM Hip Resurfacing System had a five-year revision rate of 12% while the revision rate for the ASR TM XL Acetabular System was 13%.

DePuy is responsible for manufacturing thousands of defective implants, and Johnson & Johnson had to recall hundreds of thousands of defective hip implant devices since the defect was discovered in August 2010. To encourage physicians to buy this equipment from DePuy, DePuy compensated these doctors with nearly $50 million in 2009. Although DePuy discloses these payments and categorizes them as “compensation for research,” “airfare,” “meals,” and other expenses, some doctors were paid $1 million from the company.

According to expert, Gregory E. Demske, an assistant inspector general, testified that “…[I]n an environment where physicians routinely receive substantial compensation from medical device companies through stock options, royalty agreements, consulting agreements, research grants and fellowships, evidence suggests that there is a significant risk that such payments will improperly influence medical decision-making.”

Although some of the compensation is legitimate, the total amount that is paid to physicians during the year is troubling to hear, especially for those affected by these defective hip replacement surgeries. Call Berglund & Johnson at 1-800-4-IF-HURT ; 1-800-443-4878 if you have been affected by DePuy’s recalled devices. If you are unsure if it was a DePuy device, call us and we will do the research for you.