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More than 150 Lawsuits Target Pain Pumps

Posted Jan 27, 2010 7:54 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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An Oregon jury awarded nearly $5.5 million on Friday to a plaintiff who contended a pain pump caused a relatively rare cartilage problem.

More than 150 lawsuits making similar claims are in the pipeline, the New York Times reports. The plaintiffs contend the pain pumps, inserted after surgery, cause chondrolysis, “a relatively rare ailment in which joint cartilage dies, leaving bone to grind on bone,” the Times says.

Lawyer Jeff Gibson, whose Indianapolis law firm is handling about 50 pain pump cases, says the makers of pain pumps were slow to react to evidence of the dangers. “It’s a failure-to-warn case,” Gibson told the Times. “Instead of warning the public, they hid the information.”

Not all of the plaintiffs are meeting with success. In one of the suits, a Florida federal judge in June dismissed the complaint, saying the scientific proof was lacking, the story says.

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