Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Twenty 2/26/13

The Kransky trial continued on February 26, 2013 with the resumed testimony of the Defendants’ infectious disease expert, Dr. Ballon-Landa.  Mr. Calfo continued the direct examination and Mr. Kelly cross-examined the doctor.

On cross-examination, Mr. Kelly dissected Dr. Ballon-Landa’s testimony that Mr. Kransky’s hip was infected, which caused the pain and was the reason why it was ultimately removed.  Mr. Kelly asked the doctor if the statement “A hematoma can be infected when the hip itself is not,” was a true and accurate statement.  Dr. Ballon-Landa agreed it was.  He also admitted that Dr. Hansen in fact believed Mr. Kransky’s hematoma, not hip, was infected.

Dr. Ballon-Landa then admitted that while its extremely important to note any significant findings in medical records, none of Mr. Kransky’s medical records ever stated he had an infected prosthesis.  None of Mr. Kransky’s doctors noted that they believed his hip was infected.

Mr. Kelly then walked Dr. Ballon-Landa through the testimony of Dr. Hansen.  Dr. Hansen performed the process of differential diagnosis where the doctor looks at the patient and essentially goes through a mental checklist based on education, skill, and experience to form a medical opinion.  Dr. Ballon-Landa admitted that he believed Dr. Hansen to be both caring and competent, and that Dr. Ballon-Landa himself was never called into an operating room to assist in diagnosing an infection in hips.

Dr. Ballon-Landa also  conceded that Mr. Kransky’s portacath was more likely to become infected than his artificial hip, and that the portacath in fact never became infected.

Mr. Kelly discussed the fact that in November of 2012 there were case studies of individuals with metal hip implants and these findings stated “the clinical picture seen with metal hypersensitivity is not dissimilar to that of a hip infection.”  This means that in some patients who have had a reaction to the metals in the hip implant, such as cobalt and chromium, their reactions can mimic that of an infected hip.

Defendants next called to the stand Dr. John Cuckler, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip and knee replacement. Dr. Cuckler was involved in the design of another large head metal-on-metal device and testified that all metal devices release metal ions.  He further testified that at this time there is no data indicating adverse systemic effects from exposure to metal ions.

Dr. Cuckler also testified regarding the wear testing DePuy performed with respect to the ASR.  He believed it was reasonable and that the device itself is not defective.

Cross-examination of Dr. Cuckler by Plaintiff’s attorney is to take place tomorrow.  Closing arguments by both sides are expected to begin on Thursday.

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Nineteen 2/25/13

The Kransky v. DePuy trial continued on Monday, February 25, 2013 with the Defendants calling to the stand Dr. Av Edidin.  Mr. Zellers conducted the direct examination and Mr. Kelly cross-examined Dr. Edidin.

Dr. Edidin testified as an expert in the science and engineering of orthopedic medical devices, specifically the kinds of devices that help people get motion back when there has been an injury in the joints. Dr. Edidin essentially opined that the way in which Mr. Kransky’s implant was positioned, the implant’s particular conditions, and the way Mr. Kransky walked, caused  a certain degree of wear to occur.  He further testified that this degree of wear was in keeping with what he would expect to see on an implant that was put in and was used in such a manner.  Finally, he testified that he believed the research, investigation, testing, and manufacturing of the ASR device was to a very high standard.

On cross-examination Mr. Kelly questioned Dr. Edidin’s testimony that he believed the ASR was not defective.  Mr. Kelly asked about Plaintiff’s own expert, Dr. Bobyn, who Dr. Edidin agreed was an expert in his field and highly regarded.  Mr. Kelly then asked Dr. Edidin whether the people likely most qualified to know about the design and efficacy of an implant were those people who actually designed the product, those people within DePuy.  Dr. Edidin agreed.  Mr. Kelly then pointed out that DePuy themselves admitted the product was defective, that those within the highest management level signed off on the fact that the ASR was defective.  It was also clarified that Dr. Edidin had spent a great deal of his career on spines, not hips.  Ultimately, Dr. Edidin would not answer whether he could explain why a device he deemed not defective had caused roughly 8,000 premature revisions.  Revisions are considered “injuries” by the very company selling the product.

Following the lunch recess, Mr. Calfo conducted the direct examination of Dr. Gonzalo Ballon-Landa for the Defendants.  Dr. Ballon-Landa is an infectious diseases doctor.  As a defense expert, he testified that he believed Mr. Kransky had an infection of his ASR hip, that his hip caused him pain, that the pain he had was stemming from the infection and that the infection was the reason why he had to have it taken out.  Defendants have claimed infection as a defense to their liability.

The day concluded with Dr. Ballon-Landa, to be resumed tomorrow.

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Eighteen 2/22/13

The Kransky v. DePuy trial continued wit the testimony of Dr. Thomas Schmalzried.  Dr. Schmalzried was a key designer of the ASR and a member of the surgeon design committee.  He also received royalties through the sale of the device.  Mr. Zellers for the defendants conducted the direct examination and Mike Kelly for the Plaintiff cross-examined Dr. Schmalzried.

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Seventeen 2/21/13

Day Seventeen of the Kransky trial against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy over their defective hip implant, the ASR, began with Defendants bringing to the stand expert Cyrus Rangan, M.D..

Dr. Rangan is a pediatrician, medical toxicologist, and director of the Bureau of Toxicology and Environmental Assessment in Los Angeles.  Mr. Calfo conducted the direct examination.  Dr. Rangan testified that Plaintiff’s expert Dr. Harrison was incorrect in his assessment of what levels of cobalt/chromium would be considered toxic.

Mr. Kelly for Plaintiff conducted the cross-examination of Dr. Rangan.  Dr. Rangan admitted that he had learned through an email provided by defense counsel that Dr. Harrison and Dr. Durrani had actually been working on developing guidelines to assist patients who would call the Poison Control Center with questions about their cobalt and chromium levels.

Next, Mr. Calfo for the defense called to the stand Dr. Dennis Paustenbach  Dr. Paustenbach is a toxicologist who was brought in to testify regarding chromium and cobalt.  Dr. Paustenbach testified that he absolutely believed Mr. Kransky was not poisoned by the ASR.

Mr. Panish for the Plaintiff then questioned Dr. Paustenbach on his history as an expert for large corporate defendants.  Dr. Paustenbach is considered the “go-to guy for industry defendants” and has been paid up to $5 million dollars, possibly more, for the 18 months he’s spent working with DePuy.  Dr. Paustenbach has also “saved” hundreds of millions of dollars in clean-up costs for chromium pollution in New Jersey.

Next Defendants played the excerpts of the video deposition of Dr. Thomas Vail, a surgeon who designed the ASR.  Dr. Vail was part of the surgeon design team of the ASR resurfacing and the ASR XL.  Dr. Vail received royalties from the sale of the ASR and he routinely implanted the devices in his own patients.

Defendants ended by playing the videotaped deposition of Pam Plouhar.  Ms. Plouhar is worldwide vice president for clinical research and was vice president for worldwide clinical affairs at DePuy Orthopaedics.

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Sixteen 2/20/13

Following Plaintiff Bill Kransky’s testimony yesterday, day sixteen of the trial continued with an entire day of video deposition testimony.

Excerpts of the following individuals’ videotaped testimony were played:

  • Paul Berman, Marketing Director J&J
  • Christopher Hunt
  • James Anderson
  • Thomas Trotsky, M.D., Mr. Kransky’s Primary Care Physician
  • Troy Fiddler, M.D., Mr. Kransky’s Treating Doctor
  • Jeffrey Hansen, M.D., Mr. Kransky’s Revision Surgeon
  • Daniel Harrington, sales representative for DePuy
  • Paul Berman, resumed
  • David Floyd
  • Raphael Pascaud
  • Andrew Ekdahl, World Wide President of DePuy
  • Magnus Flett
  • Paul Arnott, Complaint and Vigilance Manager at DePuy
  • Paul Voorhorst
  • Michael Rhee

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Fifteen 2/19/13

The Kransky trial continued on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.  Plaintiff’s counsel Brian Panish continued with the direct examination of Fabrizio Billi, Ph.D..  Dr. Billi testified as to the wear and tear of the ASR’s he had examined.   Next, Mr. Zellers for the Defendants cross-examined Dr.  Billi.

John Gomez from Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys then asked Plaintiff Loren “Bill” Kransky to take the stand.  To begin, Mr. Gomez asked how Mr. Kransky felt testifying today:

BY MR. GOMEZ:

Q. Mr. Kransky, if you could lean forward so we can hear you real well, that would be helpful. How did it feel to walk up there and walk up those steps to take your seat here today?

A. Very good.

Q. Was there a long period of time where you couldn’t do that?

A. A very long period of time. About five years.

Q. And what about in terms of being able to walk into the door of the courthouse and sit down every day, was there a period of time when you had that ASR in that you couldn’t do that?

THE WITNESS: Yes.

BY MR. GOMEZ: Q. Does it feel good to be able to do that again?

A. Yes. Absolutely.

Q. Thank you.

– Mr. Kransky testified about his background, his work experience, the pain he has experienced as a result of the ASR hip implanted in his body and how that has affected him.  Mr. Zellers for Defendants then cross-examined Mr. Kransky regarding his health conditions.

Following Mr. Kransky’s testimony, counsel introduced excerpts of the video deposition of Paul Arnott.  Mr. Arnott is a complaint and vigilance manager for DePuy.

Next, Plaintiff’s counsel called to the stand Peter Forumuzis, Ph.D..  Peter Formuzis is not a medical doctor, he has a Ph.D. in economics.  Dr. Formuzi has testified as an expert in various states and gives his opinions about economics and the financial condition of large corporations.  Dr. Formuzi testified on  behalf of the Plaintiff Loren Kransky and has testified almost exclusively for plaintiffs, one reason being defendants don’t typically bring in an expert to discuss their own financial condition.

Click on the article below to hear more about Loren “Bill” Kransky’s testimony and the trial:

J&J Hip Recipient Says He Feared Surgery Would Kill Him

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Fourteen 2/14/13

Day Fourteen of the Kransky trial continued on with the testimony of Randy Kilburn, the worldwide vice president of marketing for DePuy.  Defense counsel Mr. Zellers finished his cross-examination of Mr. Kilburn and Plaintiff’s counsel Mr. Panish conducted a short re-direct.

Plaintiff’s counsel next called to the stand Fabrizio Billi, a Ph.D. from the Orthopedic Hospital at the UCLA Department of Orthopedic surgery.

 

Please click on the links below to read articles related to this litigation:

What a Company Knew About Metal-on-Metal Hips

 

J&J Feared Metal Backlash Would Hurt Hip Sales, Jury Told

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Thirteen 2/13/13

Day Thirteen of the Kransky trial included excerpts of the videotape deposition of Randy Kilburn.  Mr. Kilburn is the worldwide vice president of marketing for DePuy.  Following the video excerpt, Mr. Kilburn himself took the stand.  Plaintiff’s counsel Mr. Panish conducted the direct examination of Mr. Kilburn and Defense counsel Mr. Zellers cross-examined him.

Kransky v. DePuy Trial – Day Twelve 2/11/13

On Monday, February 11th, Plaintiff’s counsel continued their case by playing excerpts of the videotaped deposition of Michael Rhee, a DePuy employee.  Next, excerpts from the deposition of Dr. Thomas Trotsky were played.  Dr. Trotsky was Bill Kransky’s primary care physician for years and is intimately knowledgeable about his health and complications.

Following Dr. Trotsky, Jennifer “Jenny” Flynn took the stand.  Jenny is Bill Kransky’s daughter.  She is a registered nurse and took care of her father over the years.  John Gomez conducted the direct examination of Jenny.  Following the direct examination, Mr. Zellers conducted her cross-examination.

Finally, Plaintiff’s counsel played excerpts from the video deposition of Dr. Thomas Schmalzried.  Dr. Schmalzried is a surgeon and was a key designer of the ASR.  He also received royalties from the sale of the device.

Kranksy v. DePuy Trial – Day Eleven 2/8/13

On the eleventh day of the Kransky v. DePuy trial, Plaintiff’s counsel resumed playing videotape deposition excerpts of Dr. Jeffrey Hansen.  Dr. Hansen performed Bill Kransky’s revision surgery.  Following Dr.  Hansen, Plaintiff’s counsel resumed the direct examination of Dr. Craig Swenson, an orthopaedic surgeon who has dealt extensively with the ASR device and experienced its problems.  John Gomez conducted the direct examination.  Mr. Zellers for the Defendants conducted the cross examination.