Posted On: May 21, 2011

National Motorcycle Safety Month’s Message to Motorists: ‘Share the Road'

Saturday, May 14, the driver of a pickup truck makes a wide turn, loses control of his vehicle and crashes into a motorcycle, killing the 53-year-old woman driving it. The pickup continues traveling in the wrong direction until it crashes into a second motorcycle, also killing that driver, a 47-year-old woman. (1)

Saturday, May 7, a motorcyclist dies after crashing into the back of a car while traveling on the Atlantic City Expressway. (2)

Sunday, May 1, a 60-year-old Fair Lawn man dies as a result of injuries sustained after crashing his motorcycle into a fence at the Essex County Airport. (3)

Wednesday, April 27, a 38-year-old Vineland woman is injured after her motorcycle crashes into a car pulling out of a driveway on Fenimore Avenue. (4)

Sunday, April 17, two motorcyclists die in two separate accidents, one on the Garden State Parkway and the other on Everett Road in Middletown. (5)

Sunday, April 10, an accident in the eastbound lanes of Route 80 in Paterson claims the life of a 27-year-old motorcyclist. (6)

According to the Federal Highway Authority, about 2,500 motorcyclists a year are involved in accidents in New Jersey alone, resulting in about 70 deaths and 2,000 injuries. Statistics say those involved in motorcycle accidents have a 75% chance of being injured. More than 50% of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections and over two-thirds are the result of other drivers not seeing the motorcycle. (7)

May is National Motorcycle Safety Month and this year’s message is “Share the Road.” In New Jersey, the campaign is co-sponsored by the Motor Vehicle Commission and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. (8)

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), New Jersey is one of the safest places in the country for motorcyclists. Still in 2010, 70 people died here in motorcycle accidents, representing a 56% increase in fatalities since 1992 when Lance Owens, brother of New Jersey’s own Queen Latifah, died in such a crash. Over that same period, total traffic fatalities decreased 23%. (8)

Warmer weather and increased gas prices lead to an increase in popularity of motorcycles. Motorcyclists currently represent 5% of all licensed drivers in New Jersey. This month’s safety campaign urges all motorists to be more aware of motorcycles. (8)

(1) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/post_202.html

(2) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/man_killed_in_motorcycle_accid.html

(3) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/fairlawn_man_dies_in_motorcycl.html

(4) http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2011/04/vineland_woman_recovering_from.html

(5) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/two_die_in_separate_motorcycle.html

(6) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/person_dies_in_motorcylce_acci.html

(7) http://www.state.nj.us/lps/hts/motorcycle/index.html

(8) http://www.northjersey.com/columnists/121617484_For_safety_s_sake__share_the_road_with_a_biker.html?c=y&page=1

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Posted On: May 7, 2011

Johnson & Johnson Subsidiary Sued over Defective Hip Implants

Did DePuy Orthopaedics, subsidiary of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, knowingly sell defective hip implant devices? That’s the basis of a federal class action lawsuit filed in Trenton late last month. (1)

According to the suit, North Jersey Municipal Employee Benefits Fund v. DePuy Orthopaedics, the Warsaw, Ind.,-based unit of J&J knew there were problems with its hip-replacement system but continued to sell the products anyway. (1)

The ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing Platform were intended to correct degenerative conditions of the hip caused by ailments such as osteoarthritis. These devices were marketed as superior, with a longer lifespan and more natural fit. It was stated that patients would require less serious corrective surgery and the devices would wear better. Instead, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of complaints about the products from patients across the country. According to these complaints, the implants came loose, dislocated or misaligned. In addition, the friction of metal rubbing against metal produced metal debris that proved harmful to the patients. Among the symptoms experienced were swelling and inflammation, tissue and bone damage and pain. Corrective surgery, which was both painful and expensive, was required to correct the damage. (1)

The bulk of these complaints hit the FDA in early 2008. Still, DePuy continued to market and sell the implants through 2008 and 2009. It wasn’t until late 2009 that sales stopped, followed by a national recall in August 2010. (1)

In September of 2010, a California construction worker was one of the first to sue J&J over its subsidiary’s hip-implants, claiming the tissue and bone surrounding the implants he received became infected and damaged. In that suit, it was pointed out 93,000 patients who had received the implants required corrective surgery because of product defects. A study conducted in Britain found that recipients of DePuy’s implants required a second surgery after five years. Such devices have an expected lifespan of 15 years. (2)

This past February a teacher in Tasmania filed a lawsuit in Sydney claiming J&J and its subsidiary were negligent and violated Australia’s trade laws by selling the defective products. (3)

The most recent lawsuit is one of several actions being taken across the nation pertaining to the hip implants. According to reports, there were 139 federal lawsuits and 42 state lawsuits pending as of last December. (1)

(1) http://www.law.com/jsp/nj/PubArticleNJ.jsp?id=1202491747352&rss=nj&slreturn=1&hbxlogin=1
(2) http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2010/09/johnson_johnson_sued_over_hip-.html
(3) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-28/johnson-johnson-sued-by-australian-teacher-over-hip-replacement-device.html

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