Black Friday Safety Tips

The holiday shopping season begins with a bang on Black Friday weekend. While media reports are often filled with accounts of in-store violence, statistically, you’re more likely to be injured in the parking lot. In fact, Progressive Insurance recently revealed their parking-related claims saw 36.5% increase on Black Friday.

Whether you’re driving or walking, there are important steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Drive Safely in the Parking Lot

  • Watch your back. When backing out of a parking spot, be aware of pedestrians, waiting cars, others who are backing out at the same time and motorists who speed through lanes.
  • See clearly. Avoid parking next to vans and large trucks that block your space from general vision of others. If you can’t see well enough to back out safely, get help from one of your passengers.
  • Eliminate distractions. Turn off your cell phone to avoid temptation. Be sure to set up navigation and GPS devices before you take the car out of park.
  • Watch for pedestrians. Remain cautious of pedestrians on crosswalks and moving in-between and behind cars. Be especially alert to children who are not always paying attention.
  • Learn to play the outfield. Outlying areas have more spaces, lighter traffic and a lower risk of collision.
  • Buckle up. Even a low-speed collision can result in serious injuries. Make sure everyone is strapped in a seat belt or child car seat before you put the car in gear—even if it’s just a short trip to another part of the parking lot.

Be a Safe Pedestrian

  • Keep alert at all times. Put away your smartphone and take out those earbuds. We know distracted driving kills, but “distracted walking” is also dangerous proposition.
  • Don’t dillydally. Snap a pic of your parking spot with your cell phone or write down exactly where you parked your car to avoid wandering aimlessly through the parking lot.
  • Be predictable. Use crosswalks whenever possible. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not seeing you). Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.

From all of us at Elk & Elk, have a safe and happy holiday season!

Stryker Agrees to $1.4 Billion Hip Implant Settlement

iStock_000009949501SmallStryker has agreed to compensate thousands of individuals affected by recalled hip implants—setting aside $1.4 billion to cover costs of the settlement. The affected implants are the ABG II Modular Hip System and the Rejuvenate Modular Hip System.

Bloomberg news reports the medical device manufacturer “will pay a base amount of $300,000 per case to patients who had the devices surgically removed.” Stryker currently faces more than 4,000 lawsuits, which have been consolidated in New Jersey Multicounty and Federal Multidistrict litigations.

The base award may be adjusted, depending on certain factors. For example, payments will be increased for extraordinary medical injuries, such as multiple surgeries (re-revisions) or infections and other medical complications suffered as a result of revision surgery.

The deadline for eligible patients to submit their claim for payment under the settlement is March 2, 2015. The first payments under the settlement program are expected to begin in the Summer of 2015 with enhanced payments being projected for disbursement at the end of 2015 and early 2016.

Eligibility Requirements for the Hip Implant Settlement Fund

According to a settlement information website, “The Settlement Program is available to eligible United States patients who had revision surgery for reasons related to the voluntary recall of the modular-neck hip stems prior to November 3, 2014.”

To be eligible for the Settlement Program, you must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the United States;
  2. Have had an ABG II Modular and/or Rejuvenate Modular hip implanted in the United States or at any United States Military Hospital;
  3. Have undergone a surgery to remove the implanted modular hip stem for reasons related to the recall at least 181 days after implantation and prior to November 3, 2014, in the United States (or at any United States Military Hospital);
  4. The surgery to remove the ABG II Modular or Rejuvenate Modular hip involved one or more of the following: (a) an elevated cobalt level; (b) an abnormal diagnostic scan related to the reasons underlying the voluntary recall; or (c) confirmation of ALTR, ALVAL or tissue damage related to the reasons underlying the voluntary recall.
  5. Register your claim with the Claims Processor; and Enroll in the Settlement Program.

The Settlement Program is also available to eligible patients who are unable to undergo a necessary revision surgery as indicated by their surgeon prior to November 3, 2014, because they have been deemed physically unable to have the procedure by their surgeon.

Stryker Modular Hip Systems linked to serious complications

Stryker recalled the products in 2012, after patients began complaining of pain and swelling. Other complications included:

  • Fretting (wear) and/or corrosion, which can lead to osteolysis (bone dissolution)
  • Joint loosening/dislocation
  • Multi-organ injuries from the release of heavy metals into the body
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Necrosis (soft tissue death)
  • Hypersensitivity/allergic response
  • Broken devices
  • General pain and discomfort

Although the settlement agreement will help resolve many lawsuits, other claims remain active. If you have questions about Stryker modular hip implants or other medical devices, contact an experienced products liability attorney today.



Voreacos, David, and Jef Feeley. “Stryker to Pay More Than $1 Billion for Recalled Devices.” Bloomberg, 4 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.