Jeff Wihtol, a lawyer from Portland, Oregon, has a law practice that focuses on representing individuals who are injured or families of persons killed through no fault of their own. Jeff was the first lawyer in the country to investigate cases on behalf of victims who suffered injuries to their shoulders as a result of the use of a pain pump after surgery which made him a pioneer in that field. If the pain pump device is used in such a manner that the pain medication is released into the shoulder joint, it’s toxic to the cartilage. This can cause a condition known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL). This devastating condition causes severe pain and stiffness in the affected shoulder along with limitations on range of motion, reduced strength and the need for constant pain management. It’s not at all uncommon for a victim of PAGCL to require repeated surgical procedures including a possible shoulder joint replacement.
Jeff recognized that the group of clients he represented were probably not the only ones in the country being injured in this manner. In 2007, he approached our firm and the law firm of Williams, Love, O’Leary & Powers, also of Portland, to see if we had an interest in working together on this litigation. We then started to investigate more claims in an effort to help folks and also to inform the public about these injuries. We soon began to file these cases all over the country.
There was a recent development that is worthy of note relating to this area. A trial was started against Stryker Corporation on February 23rd, in Portland, Oregon. That case involved six Plaintiffs, all alleging injuries caused by the Stryker pain pump. Two of the claims were settled prior to opening statements in the case. The other four Plaintiffs settled their cases after five to six days of testimony in the case. But the trial continues because the surgeon who performed the surgeries on these individuals filed a claim against the manufacturer for his emotional distress for being a party to causing these injuries to his patients. Hopefully, we can report on a favorable verdict in next month’s issue.
Our firm is proud to be a leader in this litigation along with the Wihtol and Williams firms. Jeff Wihtol is to be commended for his fine work on these cases and for his willingness to get involved initially in these cases. His helping educate the public about the serious consequences and injuries that these pain pumps have caused is most important. If you have questions about pain pump cases, you can contact Frank Woodson in our firm at Frank.Woodson@beasleyallen.com or call him at 800-898-2034.
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