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February 23, 2011

Medical Malpractice Reform Should Focus On Patient Safety

Medical Malpractice reform has been receiving much attention recently with the introduction of H.R. 5, which seeks to impose national tort reforms measures, including the imposition of caps on non-economic damages as well as potentially taking away the right to trial by jury in some medical malpractice cases.

As New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers, we believe such measures often fail to address the real issue - patients safety. Study after study show that patients suffer significant harm and costs in hospitals due to adverse reactions from dangerous drugs, infections, surgical errors and unnecessary procedures. Rather than limiting victims' access to justice, more focus must be placed on improving patient safety and ensuring that those responsible for causing harm be held accountable.

Recent examples include the DePuy Hip, now shown to leak dangerous chemicals into the bodies of recipients. Often, the only way to get companies to remove dangerous products from the marketplace and be compensated for the harm caused is through litigation. Capping our damages or limiting access to the court room will remove an important incentive to improving the safety of our health care.

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February 15, 2010

Zimmer Durom Cup Lawsuits On The Rise

The Zimmer Durom Cup, also known as the Zimmer Durom Acetabular component, was introduced in the U.S. in 2006 and meant to be an improvement over traditional hip replacement components. Instead of using screws, cement or epoxy to secure the Cup, the Cup was intended to bond to the patient's hip socket as bone grows into the device's shell.

However, almost as soon as the Durom Cup was introduced, problems with the hip replacement components began. Rather than being an improvement over previous hip replacement components, the Cup has been linked to serious problems, including excruciating pain requiring additional hip replacement surgery. Often, the bone doesn't grow into the device correctly and the metal socket loosens and separates, grinding against the bone as it moves.

As a result, lawsuits against Zimmer Holdings Inc. are on the rise. These lawsuits allege both that the hip replacement system is defective and that Zimmer failed to provide adequately warning or instructions about the proper use and the proper techniques for implantation.

Despite a brief suspension of the sale of the Zimmer Durom cup in 2008, Zimmer continues to manufacturer and sell these components and remains a dominant force in the hip replacement market.

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January 24, 2010

New Mexico Defective Products - Crib Recalls Escalate

Less than a month into 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has already recalled dozens of products - including a massive crib recall of 635,000 Dorel Asia Cribs. The recall came after reports of 10 separate injuries and one infant death as a result of being trapped and strangled by a defective crib. The Dorel Asia crib's drop side hardware can fail, causing the drop side to detach and allow a gap between the crib and mattress where an infant or toddler can become trapped, suffocated or strangled.

With 20 different models being sold at stores throughout the United States, including Walmart and Sears, the potential for more serious injuries and deaths is widespread.

The recent recall is but the latest in a long list of crib recalls. In fact, more than 5 million cribs, bassinets and play yards have been recalled since 2007. These include such popular cribs as the Simplicity Drop Side Crib, Babi Italia Pinehurst and Delta Enterprise Drop Side Cribs, Stork Craft Baby Cribs and Convertible Cribs by Playkids, USA.

As a result of the dangers presented by cribs and bassinets, it's crucial to check resources such as the CPSC's crib information center to see if the crib, bassinet or play yard in your nursery is on the recall list.

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