This is the second installment of Berniard Law Firm’s interview with client Eugene O’Neal (name changed to protect attorney-client privilege). In the first installment, it was revealed that Eugene’s DePuy hip implant had failed and he now requires revision surgery to remedy the problem. Below, Eugene shares his thoughts on having to endure hip replacement surgery for a second time as a direct result of DePuy’s faulty manufacturing techniques.
In addition to fear, Eugene possesses frustration at the weeks upon weeks of rehabilitation he will be forced to undertake in order to recover from his upcoming revision surgery. Following the original implantation of his ASR hip implant in 2008, Eugene endured sixteen weeks of physical therapy before he got to the point where he could adequately walk again. “After they saw your femur off, your body takes a lot of pounding,” Eugene explains. “During the first week of rehab, you have to learn to use your leg all over again. You just stare at your leg and tell it to move. But it won’t move. Your toes move, but your leg doesn’t.” When asked for his thoughts at the prospect of enduring a similar round of rigorous rehabilitation within the next few weeks, Eugene puts it tersely: “It will be a major disruption.”
Eugene makes no secret of his antipathy toward DePuy and its faulty manufacturing practices. “I can’t understand how they’d put a medical product on the market that deteriorates or comes apart in such a short amount of time. To have to get a replacement is just crazy.” Because of the company’s mistake, Eugene believes he’s paying the largest price. “I’m putting my life on the line,” he says, referring to the serious risks of revision surgery. When asked what DePuy owes him, Eugene explains that his ability to earn an income for his family is likely ruined. What’s more, the possible consequences of surgery make him worry about his family. He notes “you can’t put a price on my life, but if something happens to my family because of what DePuy did, they are responsible. I want my wife and kids to be taken care of if something happens to me because of this.”
Despite the ongoing struggles produced by DePuy’s suspect manufacturing processes, Eugene manages to maintain his resolve. “My mother told me that God doesn’t give a person more than they can handle.” He mentions that his wife supports him and has helped make efforts to return Eugene to a normal life. When expounding on whether he ever thought he’d be in his current situation following the original implantation of the DePuy unit, Eugene summons a chuckle. “I thought I’d have a pretty nice golf game by now,” he muses.
Stay tuned to this blog for information on how the Berniard Law Firm has assisted Eugene, and those like him, in attempts to reclaim a normal life following the massive August 2010 DePuy ASR hip implant recall.