Those patients who suffered injuries as a result of DePuy Orthopaedic’s faulty ASR hip implants, deserve to be compensated. That compensation however, should not come at the expense of their medical privacy. DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recalled two versions of its ASR model artificial hip implant in August 2010, after reports of patients nationwide requiring corrective surgery and suffering from metallosis as a result of the faulty implants. There had also been several years of complaints prior to the recall. Johnson & Johnson has since hired Broadspire, which according to reports, is the nation’s largest insurance and claims adjuster, to handle recall lawsuits and related injury claims. So how does this affect your medical privacy?
An Attempt to Extract Patients’ Medical Records
Broadspire has been trying to gain access to the medical records of patients affected by DePuy’s recent hip implant recall through medical authorizations. Following the ASR recall, DePuy sent out thousands of letters to victims worldwide. The letters requested that patients sign medical authorization forms and provide other personal forms of information. The forms would release detailed information contained in the patients’ medical records to both DePuy and third party contractors. Worse yet, the forms give DePuy unlimited access to patients’ medical records. DePuy would also have the ability to look into unrelated medical conditions and issues.
The implications of signing these release forms are very serious for patients. By signing the release form, a patient waives his or federally protected right to medical privacy. In addition, the patient’s released medical information can be used against the patient as evidence in court. That evidence can negatively impact the outcome of a patient’s hip recall claim, specifically the value he or she should receive from the severe medical errors this product has caused. Not surprisingly, there was no disclaimer provided to patients explaining what exactly they were doing by signing the release forms.
What Should You Do?
Your federally protected right to medical privacy is not something that should be taken for granted. You have a right to medical privacy and that right should not be taken away. The consequences, as mentioned above, are too great to simply sign the form without consultation. Not only is your privacy at stake, but also your ability to receive appropriate compensation. If you have received a release form and have yet to sign and mail it back, then wait. Before signing the form it is imperative that you contact the DePuy ASR attorneys of Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC. The defective hip implants have already caused enough problems. Don’t delay and add another problem to your list.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer again in 2019, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys and a Top 100 Lawyer in Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers in 2019.