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Weitz & Luxenberg Attorney Ellen Relkin To Co-Chair Major DePuy Litigation

NEW YORK - Weitz & Luxenberg has announced that Ellen Relkin, one of the leading attorneys in its Defective Medicines and Medical Devices Litigation Unit, has been selected to co-chair the Plaintiff's Executive Committee acting on behalf of the claimants in the DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation.

Certain DePuy Hip Implants were recalled in August 2010, owing to an exceptionally high failure rate among those who implanted with the ASR XL Acetabular Hip System or the ASR Hip Resurfacing System. More than 90,000 patients worldwide were implanted with one of these devices, with more than 30,000 in the United States alone. Currently, thousands of individuals have come forward reporting device failure and alarmingly high levels of the heavy metals chromium and cobalt in their blood stream. Many will require a second hip replacement surgery to repair the damage.

"Unfortunately, hip implant surgeries are almost guaranteed to be more difficult the second time around," Relkin explained, "the problems of metallosis and inflammation caused by the metal on metal implants result in loosening and failure and these complications diminish the chance of a successful second implant."

Of her appointment to the DePuy litigation panel, Relkin issued the following statement:

"I'm truly honored to be appointed co-chair with the other excellent attorneys selected to lead such an important litigation. I look forward to working with my fellow attorneys to achieve justice for all of those who have suffered from the DePuy hip devices."

Relkin, whose practice for 25 years has focused on pharmaceutical and medical device product liability and toxic tort matters, is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney. She represents plaintiffs injured by the acne drug Accutane, the oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin the dietary supplement Hydroxycut and the Zimmer Durom Cup hip implants, among other products. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, is a former chair of the Section of Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Litigation of the American Association for Justice and is a frequent speaker and author on mass tort and pharmaceutical liability issues. She has been named to the New Jersey and New York list of Super Lawyers for 2010 and 2011 and is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell.

Weitz & Luxenberg has spearheaded numerous lawsuits on behalf of clients who have endured emotional, physical and financial trauma after using a defective medication or medical device. One of the firm's most successful suits was brought against Merck and Co., the manufacturers of Vioxx, a pain medication with dangerous side effects. Relkin was a member of the trial team that secured the landmark verdict, and she successfully defended the compensatory damage verdict on appeal.

Weitz & Luxenberg was founded by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg in 1986, and is one of the leading firms in the United States.