A recent article by Drs. Keith and Thomas Fehring recounts the resurgence of Metal on Metal joint arthroplasties in the early 2000s. The authors describe complications that have been experienced by recipients of those devices resulting from products of metal wear and corrosion (i.e., Aseptic lymphocytic-dominated vasculitis-associated lesion/adverse local tissue reactions (or ALVAL/ALTR)) and propose an algorithm for diagnosing those complications. Unfortunately, the outcomes of revision surgery for Total Hip Arthroplasty resulting from metal related complications remain suboptimal. According to the authors, these individuals often experience instability and aseptic loosening of their replacement acetabular component due to soft tissue and bone destruction. They also experience high rates of infection.

See Fehring, K.A. et al. Modes Of Failure In Metal-On-Metal Total Hip Arthroplasty, Orthopedic Clinics of North America, 46, 185-92 (2015).

Weisman, Kennedy and Berris is currently serving on the leadership of national litigation involving DePuy’s ASR and Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABGII devices. The firm has extensive experience in handling lawsuits against orthopedic device manufacturers and has been extremely successful in obtaining just compensation for clients from across the country for pain, suffering and lost wages resulting from failed implants. Currently, the firm is investigating claims of individuals who experienced complications from the recalled Zimmer Persona knee prosthesis. If you or someone you know has experienced an orthopedic device failure, attorneys at Weisman Kennedy and Berris would be happy to answer any questions you might have about available rights.

09May 2014

Six-billion dollars is about all it would take.

That amount, say state officials, would go far toward fixing about 1,500 bridges in the state that are in need of serious repair.

Here’s a snapshot look at the overall state of Ohio’s 27,000-plus bridges.

For starters, a good number of them have dubiously merited the tag “structurally deficient” that has been applied to them by the United States Department of Transportation in its 2013 report on bridges across the country. That term means that an important element of a bridge — its deck, say, or its substructure — is in poor condition or even worse.

The solace that Ohio residents can take in knowing that they are not alone in dealing with bad bridges is undercut by the sheer problem posed nationally by obsolete and failing infrastructure.

Recent analysis of the information released by the DOT indicates that there are more than 63,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. About 2,240 of them are in Ohio, which places the state as 11th in terms of the overall number of compromised bridges within its borders. Ohio ranks 37th in terms of deficient bridges as a percentage of all bridges within the state.

Car accident risks are obviously heightened in Ohio and nationally by the country’s aging bridges, a point implicitly made by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association in its analysis of government data.

A central point made by an ARTBA economist in commenting on the DOT report is that national legislators will need to make brave and sustained efforts to fix what is called the “bridge problem.”

According to ARTBA, nearly 2,700 bridges have been built in Ohio since 2004. Since that time, 1,343 bridges have reportedly undergone major reconstruction.

Source: ForConstructionPros.com, “More than 63,000 U.S. bridges need structural repair” (source: American Road & Transportation Builders Association), April 24, 2014

09May 2014

A fair number of people in Ohio and across the country might regard media articles this week noting a connection between daylight savings time and heightened danger in certain areas as being a bit tongue-in-cheek.

Indeed, some are intended as nothing more than that, with writers pointing out the collective yawns across the country that are temporarily on display each year following the annual “spring forward” phenomenon associated with daylight savings time.

For many persons, though, the annual rite and attendant lack of sleep suffered this past weekend brings very real effects that can result in truly adverse consequences.

Like car accidents, for example. Some research has shown a correlation between the nation’s disrupted sleep this time each year and a spike in motor vehicle crashes. There is no denying that millions of motorists are more fatigued than usual as they duly slog to work and back home this week.

People inclined to respond to that observation with a “so-what” shrug might want to consider this published finding from the New England Journal of Medicine: According to that esteemed publication, the risk of a heart attack spikes significantly for some people during the first several days this week.

Other somewhat weighty authority also beams in to buttress the notion that one single hour of lost sleep, when applicable to every person in the country, can have adverse safety effects. The American Journal of Cardiology notes, for instance, that daylight savings time shifts can heighten the risk of some cardiac events in certain people.

The one-hour sleep disruption could be “just that little trigger that will precipitate” such an outcome, says one sleep expert.

A good takeaway for many people this week might be to simply recognize that their internal body clock is just a bit off temporarily and that a little extra rest could be the optimal prescription for safety on the road and at the workplace.

Source: In-Forum, “Altered sleep patterns of daylight savings time can bring health risks,” Patrick Springer, March 7, 2014

09May 2014

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

One Ohio village has justified its use of speeding cameras by stating that their installation is driven by a compelling interest for the public’s safety.

The many motorists who have been snapshot targets of the cameras and subsequently been forced to pay fines for speeding — reportedly more than 10,000 drivers — would likely agree in unison that the only interest served is the town’s, specifically its coffers.

It certainly does seem notable that the village of New Miami, abode of only about 2,200 residents, has taken in more than $1 million from ticketed drivers.

Officials in New Miami and many other Ohio locales have consistently argued that the cameras they deploy are deterrents that curb speeding and car accidents. Critics of the cameras say they are intended as nothing more than revenue makers and that they are difficult to challenge.

A state judge weighed in on the cameras with a ruling issued just last week, ordering New Miami to cease using them. In doing so, he openly questioned their fairness, noting that the administrative system for assessing fines and collecting payments circumvents court review and favors the village and police department.

“The court has great concerns about due process in this case,” the judge noted.

Other Ohio courts also have evident concerns, with additional cities and villages in the state coming under judicial fire for their use of cameras. The Ohio Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case and issue a ruling later this year concerning a camera challenge.

As for ticketed New Miami drivers who paid fines, it is conceivable that they could get their money back. The judge in the case has approved class action status, meaning that every affected motorist could become a party in a lawsuit against the village.

Source: Fox News, “Judge deals blow to Ohio village’s use of speeding traffic cameras,” Associated Press, Feb 26, 2014

09May 2014

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

One driver called it “really scary.”

A senior auto industry analyst called it “another example of how potential engineering flaws from the past can come back to bite an automaker.”

General Motors executives might be inclined to simply call it bad luck.

The subject matter: faulty manufacturing that led last week to GM’s recall of approximately 780,000 cars in North America.

Well more than 600,000 of those vehicles — mostly Chevrolet Cobalts made between 2005 and 2007, along with about 33,000 Pontiac G5 2005 models — are driven by motorists in the United States.

The problem is far from trivial and something that owners of affected vehicles in Ohio and nationally will want to take quite seriously.

The specific concern relates to incidents of some Cobalts and G5s stalling out without warning. General Motors officials say that 22 confirmed car accidents have resulted from the problem. Tragically, six people died in five of those crashes.

The recall was arguably a bit slow in coming, given that GM admits to knowing as early as last spring that the problem existed. An ABC News article discussing the recall states that it wasn’t issued earlier “because GM wasn’t able to pinpoint the cause until recently.”

Now it knows, apprising the public last week that heavy key rings can cause the ignition switch in the recalled cars to turn to the “off” position. Reportedly, the same result can happen when the cars are driven over rough terrain.

In turn, all power to the engine and electrical components shuts down. In some instances, front air bags might not deploy.

The fix will entail replacement of the ignition switch in all recalled vehicles. The details of the recall still need to be worked out. Until an owner’s car is fixed, GM suggests that he or she remove nonessential items from the key ring and simply use the key alone to start and turn off the engine.

Source: ABC News, “GM recalling nearly 780,000 older compact cars,” Tom Krisher, Feb. 13, 2014

09May 2014

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.

In terms of its assessed performance in enacting laws that promote road safety, Ohio is kind of like a reasonably bright kid who brings home a “C” score and gets lost in the shuffle of all the other kids doing the same thing.

That is, the state is doing moderately OK, but could be — and ought to be — doing better.

So asserts a highway safety report recently issued by the national group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS).

That coalition of insurance companies and business groups has rated all American states on their adoption of safety laws that significantly curb car accidents and save motorists’ lives. Such laws centrally include things like nighttime driving restrictions on teen drivers; booster seats for kids; comprehensive and stringent graduated licensing laws for novice motorists; and ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers.

All told, the AHAS points to 15 laws that it deems essential in promoting road safety. Illinois and Oregon lead the nation by having adopted 12 of those laws. South Dakota brings up the rear by having passed only two.

Ohio is, as noted above, just about average, with the AHAS assigning it a “yellow” rating. In other words, although it doesn’t merit a “green” for being an exemplary leader of safety-enhancing legislation on its books (only 10 states garnered that rating), it also avoids being tagged as a “red” state, like 11 other states with dismally weak safety regulations.

The AHAS notes that there were 1,123 roadway deaths in Ohio in 2012 and that the annual economic cost of vehicle crashes to the state is more than $11 billion.

Source: The Washington Post, “The 11 most dangerous states for drivers,” Niraj Chokshi, Jan. 22, 2014

09May 2014

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

A good many people in Ohio and nationally complain that drunk driving laws are unfair.

They note specifically that the 0.08 blood-alcohol content level that marks the line for DUI legal liability makes it difficult to even go out on a weekend evening and have a drink or two at a favorite restaurant, bar or club and drive back home. People often remark that they feel perfectly fine about getting behind the wheel when they have carefully limited themselves to no more than a couple alcoholic beverages.

Those people aren’t going to like the findings of a recent DUI-related study and the conclusions of the researchers who conducted it.

The bottom line, according to a University of California, San Diego, research team, is this: Even a single drink is too much and, given that any alcohol in a driver’s system heightens the risk of a car accident, the United States needs to rethink the BAC threshold that applies uniformly across the states.

What should that threshold be?

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the 0.08 percent limit should be dropped appreciably, down to a BAC level of 0.05 everywhere across the country. That would align the United States with the standard already in play in more than 100 other countries.

David Phillips, lead author of the UC-San Diego team, says that the relevant data “provide support for yet greater reductions in the legal BAC” beyond even the 0.05 level.

Phillips and his team based their findings on a study of more than half a million fatal vehicle crashes where alcohol use was noted by investigating authorities.

Source: Claims Journal, “Even very low BAC levels associated with causing car crashes,” Jan. 17, 2014