A "medical disaster" has occurred and a Texas attorney is, in his opinion, working to clean up the mess.
Ed Blizzard is a heavy-hitting, Houston-based pharmaceutical injury lawyer and mass tort litigation expert. As a chief negotiator in a 1990s case against Dow Corning -- which was found to have harmed close to 200,000 women with its silicone breast implants -- Blizzard helped to win a $3.2 billion settlement against the pharmaceutical giant. The attorney has also taken down Merck for $4.5 billion, Glaxo, Pfizer and more.
Now, the plaintiffs lawyer is going head to head with the big boys of Johnson & Johnson over what Dr. Thomas Joyce, a biomedical engineering professor at Newcastle University (United Kingdom), recently called "the biggest disaster in the history of orthopedics."
In 2010, The New York Times exposed Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics for surgically implanting faulty artificial hips that were designed to last 15 years or more, but instead failed after just a few years.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"What has happened is the friction of metal on metal has caused a shedding of metal debris that causes bone erosion and tissue death," says Blizzard. "The longer it goes on, the more likely it is that when it gets removed, the second revision surgery will not be a success." The metallic debris can include cobalt and chromium, which some medical professionals claim are cancer-causing agents.
When words fail him, the attorney points to a Blizzard, McCarthy & Nabers presentation dubbed "DePuy Implant Looks Like a Maserati but Performs Like a Pinto," which includes some absolutely disgusting and graphic photos of hip-replacement surgeries. (Trust us, we're doing you a favor by withholding the images.)
Blizzard explains that there are two separate litigations in the works against DePuy. One involves more than 1,000 nationwide complaints with the brand -- on August 24, 2010, Johnson & Johnson recalled approximately 93,000 of these devices -- while the other is the older hip implant Pinnacle, which, as of the time this post was published, had not been recalled.
Blizzard said that he's currently representing about 50 people, including a few that live in Houston, and that the number continues to increase weekly. He hopes to get his first case to trial in about a year.