Archive for August, 2008

Durom Cup Hip Replacement Parts

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

The Durom Cup is manufactured by Zimmer Inc. This medical device was created in 2006 and has been used in more than 12,000 U.S. patients as a part of hip replacement surgeries.

On July 22, 2008, Zimmer Inc. ceased the sales of their Durom Cup hip replacement parts in the United States after doctors reported having to do revisions and further hip surgery after the using the Zimmer products.

However, some experts feel that suspension of sales came far too late for many patients. Dr. Lawrence D. Dorr, an orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the Dorr Institute for Arthritis Research and Education said in April 2008 that the failure rate of the Durom Cup is with the first two years of implant. He noted that after the first year, the x-rays looked perfect, but followed that up with “These early cups fooled us, but the symptoms were so classic for a loose implant that we operated the patients. When we hit on the edge of the cup it would just pop free. As time goes by the cups begin developing radiolucent lines. We now have one cup at two years that has actually migrated a short distance.” He didn’t feel that the fixation surface is good on the Durom cup and that circular cutting surface on the edge of the cup prevented the cup from fully seating. He said he and his staff of doctors stopped using the cup after the first revisions.

Zimmer finally agreed to start an investigation into the allegations of problems with the cup in May 2008 after numerous complaints by surgeons. The company reviewed over 3,100 patient cases before deciding that the technology and design of the Durom cup required additional instructions and training. They plan to develop instructions which will help the surgeon reduce the risk of problems when the implant is performed. Zimmer also stated that it planned to put into practice a surgical training program in the U.S. and only allow surgeons who had completed the training to perform hip replacements using the Durom cup.

Rather than issue a recall, Zimmer merely suspended sales of the product in the United States until the new procedures could be put in place, feeling that it was lack of proper training and not a manufacturing defect that caused all the additional surgeries.

But, is Zimmer at fault for not providing adequate instructions and trainings from the beginning? It appears that perhaps even the shareholders of Zimmer stock believe the product is faulty and was left on the market too long. Shareholders who purchased stock between January 28, 2008 and July 21, 2008 recently filed a class action lawsuit against Zimmer. The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Indiana, says that Zimmer failed to disclose that a disproportionate number of patients receiving the implant then having to undergo corrective surgeries. The day after the suspension of sales was announced, the Zimmer stock declined from $70.88 per share to $66.01.

If you or someone you know has had the Zimmer Durom cup hip replacement and experienced unexplained hip pain three months or more after the original surgery or loosening of the parts which required additional surgeries, you may want to seek legal advice. Many lawyers will offer a free consultation to find out if you have a case against Zimmer or not due to faulty parts.

Cipro And Possible Tendonitis and Tendon Damage Lawsuit

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Cipro (also known as ciprofloxacin, ciproxin, and ciprobay) is a synthetic antibiotic manufactured by Bayer A.G. Like Levaquin, Cipro is in the group of drugs known as fluoroquinolones. Cipro is used to treat lower respirator tract infections (including pneumonia and acute bronchitis), certain STDs, skin infections, soft tissue infections, septicemia, legionellosis, and anthrax. It was approved by the FDA in the fall of 1987. Since then, it has become the best selling antibiotic in the world. The gross sales for Cipro alone in 1999 were $1.04 billion.

There is a list of side effects that could occur as a result of taking Cipro. The most commonly seen side effect of taking Cipro is gastrointestinal irritation, but some users may find themselves sensitive to light (photosensitivity), suffering from constipation, or sensitive to caffeine. However, an alarming number of Cipro users have reported swelling of joints and cartilage, chronic pain, and even tendon rupture in the Achilles tendon, the rotator cuff, the biceps, the hand, and the thumb.

It was the tendon ruptures that caused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change the packaging of Cipro in 2005 to include the possibility of tendon ruptures and permanent neurological conditions. This past July, Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader and Alan Morrison, finally pressured the FDA into adding a “black box” warning to Cipro and other fluoroquinolones labeling, stating that taking Cipro increases the risk of tendonitis and tendon rupture. However, the FDA has not recalled Cipro, due to the fact it feels the advantages of the drug far outweigh the possibility of tendon rupture and most physicians agree. The FDA has said “The risk of developing fluoroquinolone-associated tendinitis and tendon rupture is further increased in people older than 60, in those taking corticosteroid drugs, and in kidney, heart and lung transplant recipients.” Doctors have advised patients to stop taking Cipro at the first sign of any tendon pain or inflammation, avoid exercise, and contact them immediately.

Despite the new label warnings, Public Citizen feels that Cipro has been unsafe for a while now. Between November 1997 and December 2005, the FDA received reports of 262 patients taking fluoroquinolone suffering from tendon ruptures. There were another 258 reported cases of tendonitis and 274 cases of other tendon disorders by Cipro patients during that time frame. Public Citizen feels that there are more cases that have not actually been reported to the FDA. The nonprofit organization filed a petition with the FDA in 1996 to have a warning label addressing the rupture issue. The FDA granted the petition, but the warning was all but hidden in the list of other side effects of Cipro.

Now that the FDA has finally put the “black box” warning on the label, the question is – was it too late for some patients? If you or someone you know suffered tendon problems such as a rupture or tendonitis while taking Cipro before the warning was added, you may want to contact a lawyer to find out more about a lawsuit and see if you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.

Levaquin Lawsuit

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Levaquin, also known as Levofloxacin, is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic made by Orth-McNeil. It is used to treat a multitude of infections including pneumonia, skin infections, and urinary tract infections. In fact, it is the only respiratory fluoroquinolone that the Food and Drug Administration approves for use in cases of nosocomial pneumonia. It was released in 1993 after fifteen years of testing proved it to be safe.

As with most medication, Levaquin has some side effects, although it is believed to be generally well tolerated. Some of the more common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, itching, abdominal pain, dizziness, flatulence, rashes, and vaginitis (in women). Some patients may experience blistering sunburns after being exposed to sunlight or the ultraviolet light from tanning salons. Your doctor will suggest that if you suffer any severe side effects, that you immediately quit taking Levaquin and contact him or her.

Now, some groups think that Levaquin may cause serious tendon damage as one of the side effects. Ortho-McNeil has stated that taking Levaquin may cause ruptures of the shoulder, hand, thumb, or Achilles tendon. They suggest in their literature that if you develop pain, swelling, or rupture of a tendon, that you quit taking Levaquin and immediately contact your doctor. Scientists are not sure why some patients taking this drug suffer ruptures, but believe it may be because the drug is toxic to tendons and decreased the blood supply to areas that are already receiving a limited amount of blood.

On July 8, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Ortho-McNeil to put a “black box” warning on Levaquin warning patients of the potential risks as well as creating literature that stresses the risks associated with taking Levaquin. But, the FDA allowed the drug to remain on the market and did not issue a recall.

But, is the warning too late for some? The Public Citizen and Illinois Attorney General tried to get the FDA to add the “black box” warning on Levaquin in August 2006. An earlier petition had been filed in 1996 by a nonprofit group, asking for the same warnings. While the FDA did grant the 1996 petition, the chance of ruptures was merely added to the list of possible side effects and not emphasized as a serious risk. The FDA has stated that the benefits of the class of fluoroquinolone drugs like Levaquin outweigh any potential risks.

While it is believed that patients and doctors may be able to prevent the tendon ruptures with awareness of early warning signals such as tendon pain, there are still a large number of patients taking Levaquin who are reporting this problem. An FDA database shows reports of 262 cases of tendon ruptures, 259 cases of tendonitis, and 272 cases of additional tendon disorders. Of the cases reported to the FDA, 61% of the patients were taking Levaquin.

If you have been taking Levaquin and feel you have suffered tendon damage due to the drug, you may want to contact a lawyer to see what legal recourse you have.

Commission Junction Settlement

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Commission Junction, which was founded in 1998, is an online advertising company aimed at the affiliate marketing industry. It is the world’s largest affiliate network with over 1,500 customers which include Buy.com, Home Depot, Circuit City, and Yahoo! It was acquired by ValueClick in October 2003.

However there is a class action settlement against ValueClick, Inc. If you were a member of the Commission Junction or Be Free affiliate marketing networks, you may be a class member of this settlement.

The settlement claims that ValueClick, Inc. filed to monitor the use of third party software on Commission Junction that violated their publisher Code of Conduct. The fact that ValueClick allowed adware/theftware provides in their network may have stole commissions from other legitimate network publishers.

There has been $1,000,000 set aside to settle the case out of court. ValueClick is offering to pay eligible publishers a share that would equal their share of revenue generated during the time frame mentioned in the lawsuit. Publishers who do not take action will be automatically assigned a credit. Those wishing to take further legal action will have to opt out of the settlement and pursue their claims through the court on their own.

ValueClick has put aside $1,000,000 as a fund to settle the case out of court and is offering to pay all eligible publishers a share of that fund commensurate with their share of the revenue generated across the network at the time. By not taking action, publishers are automatically going to be assigned a credit. Those who do want to take further action can opt out of the settlement and pursue their claims through the court system individually.

The proposed settlement will resolve claims that Defendants failed to adequately monitor Commission Junction’s Network for the use by third parties of software that does not comply with Commission Junction’s (“CJ”) Publisher Code of Conduct and that is intended to steal or divert commissions from publishers on CJ’s network (“Non-compliant Software”), failed to adequately monitor or prevent third parties from engaging in the theft or “hijacking” of commissions from Advertisers and Publishers on CJ’s Network, and failed to make sufficient disclosures regarding the existence of Non-compliant Software and commission theft, resulting in losses to both advertisers and publishers on the CJ Network.

The proposed settlement will provide a monetary recovery to eligible class members. For class members that currently maintain an account on the CJ Network will receive payment through payments or credits deposited or applied to their CJ accounts; eligible class members that no longer have accounts on the Commission Junction Network will receive a check for an equal amount.
If you are a member of the class, your legal rights are affected by whether you act or do not act. You should review the Settlement Notice as soon as possible as there are several important deadlines that you must meet to take certain actions in connection with this proposed settlement. In particular, the deadline for filing an objection or excluding yourself from the proposed settlement is September 30, 2008. For further information, please refer to the Settlement Notice.