On February 8, 2011, the first formal status conference in the federal DePuy ASR Multidistrict Litigation was held in West Palm Beach, Florida. In his opening remarks, the Honorable David A. Katz stated that it is his hope that the MDL “will be as expeditiously handled as anticipated in a spirit of mutual cooperation.”? Several preliminary issues were addressed during the DePuy ASR hearing including: (1) an order permitting original filings in the Northern District of Ohio (where Judge Katz normally sits); (2) cooperation and coordination of federal and state DePuy ASR cases; (3) establishing protocol for the uniform preservation of evidence; (4) the role of Broadspire; and (5) scheduling of Rule 26 conferences to deal with discovery issues.

How Does Broadspire Impact the DePuy ASR MDL?

During the DePuy ASR proceedings, defense counsel addressed the role of Broadspire, which is a third party insurance adjuster that was hired by DePuy to handle claims made by individuals who received the defective hip prosthesis. Counsel represented that “DePuy is committed to seeing that patients who need medical care as a result of the recall get that care and treatment.”? Additionally, counsel stated that Broadspire will deal directly with plaintiffs’ attorneys once a letter of representation is sent to Broadspire and individuals who receive medical benefits do not relinquish any of their rights. Judge Katz then requested clarification regarding the extent of the medical information patients need to provide in order to receive medical care related to the defective hip prosthesis. Defense counsel stated in open court that “people participating in the Broadspire Program are asked to sign medical record releases, not for their whole medical history going back in time, but for the records related to implant and explant surgeries.”? The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP still feel this is more information than is necessary in order to simply confirm that the patient has the recalled hip. Moreover, hip prosthesis patients must be cognizant of the fact that signing a medical release form waives federally protected rights to medical privacy. With unfettered access to a plaintiff’s medical history, the company can use anything it deems to be related to the hip prosthesis as evidence in court. A subgroup consisting of both defense and plaintiffs’ counsel has been established to deal with process issues related to Broadspire.

In order to ensure that victims are compensated appropriately for not only their foreseeable treatments, but also pain and suffering, lost wages and future uncertainties, it is of the utmost importance that those contacted by Broadspire seek legal advice prior to signing any Broadspire documents. Although defense counsel promised that DePuy is committed to caring and treating victims, this does not mean that Broadspire will pay any or all of an individual’s claims once they receive access to medical records.

DePuy ASR Hip Prosthesis Replacement Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has experienced any problems as a result of a DePuy ASR hip prosthesis, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Contact one of our lawyers today for a free and confidential DePuy ASR hip prosthesis lawsuit evaluation. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have extensive litigation experience, and have recovered billions of dollars for their clients. In addition to being staunch advocators for your claim, our DePuy ASR hip prosthesis injury lawyers also provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.

Published November 17, 2011 by