Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Jersey Assistant Principal Facing Charges He Videotaped Boys Showering

Patrick Lott, Bernardsville Middle School’s Assistant Principal, faces multiple criminal charges concerning his conduct while a volunteer at the nearby Roman Catholic high School Immaculata in Somerset New Jersey. Lott is facing criminal charges for allegedly videotaping young boys, 9 of whom are under the age of 16, while they were showering in Immaculata’s communal boys locker room. Until his arrest, Lott was a volunteer at Immaculata High School, a diocesan Catholic high school run by the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey.
According to one local media report, “According to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano, search warrants were executed at Lott’s house on Dec. 13 and Dec. 16 through the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit. Detectives with the Computer Crimes Unit, Soriano said, also searched Lott’s computer files and digital recordings.
In the search, Soriano said, detectives found videos of nude boys showering in Immaculata High School’s communal shower area. A total of nine of the teenagers identified in the video are under the age of 16, Soriano said.
Detectives, Soriano said, also found the spot in the school area where a camera had been installed for video recording. Soriano said Lott is affiliated with the high school as a volunteer.
Lott was lodged in the Somerset County Jail, with bail set at $500,000 cash or bond. Soriano said that as a condition of Lott’s bail, he is not to have any contact with any child under age 16, and cannot have contact either with any victims or the staff and faculty at Immaculata High School.”

Newer Artificial Hip Device Failures Causing Financial Harships

In a front page New York Times article today, a middle-aged man was featured in a story about the problem with artificial hip failures. The 55-year-old man had nearly $500,000 worth of medical expenses related to revision surgery for his failed artificial hip, a Johnson & Johnson DePuy hip that was recalled earlier in the year. The man has been unable to work while his medical expenses related to the failed hip continue to mount. His attempted revision surgery didn’t work and so he is left helpless and unable to work.
Unfortunately, the plight of this man is not an uncommon story. As a hip implant recall lawyer, I’ve represented hundreds of people whose lives have been unnecessarily worsened by such artificial hip devices as Stryker hips, DePuy Pinnacle hips, Zimmer Durom Cup hips, and DePuy ASR XL hips.
Making matters worse, a recent study by the FDA has shown that these new hip devices aren’t as effective as the older hip devices. Their failure rates are alarmingly high and some result in a dangerous condition known as metallosis wherein the metal fragments from the metal-on-metal hips fall into the bloodstream and poison the blood.
The artificial hip situation in this country is tragic and appalling given the numbers of people affected by it. At some point, the federal government needs to step in and fix it before more are injured.

St. Jude Riata Defibrillator Leads Recalled Due to Malfunction

The FDA has categorized the Riata Defibrillator leads recall a Class I recall due to the potential for severe injuries related to the malfunction of the defibrillator leads. According to the FDA, the defibrillator may malfunction because the leads may penetrate the insulation leading to mechanical failure.
While the St. Jude Riata defibrillators were removed from the market last year, those who’ve had the implanted defibrillators may be at a greater risk of defibrillator malfunction and the FDA is urging consumers who have these defibrillators implanted to check with their physicians about monitoring and follow-up.

If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It: Older Hip and Knee Devices Are Just As Good As The New Ones

It’s what we’ve been saying for years now. The old artificial hip and knee devices were just as reliable and effective (perhaps more so) than the new ones. While slick PR and marketing campaigns employed by medical device companies tried to convince consumers and healthcare professionals otherwise, a new study has found that the older versions were indeed just as reliable, if not more so than the new devices.
According to the NY Times, “The study, which draws on data from Australia’s orthopedic registry, covered implants introduced from 2003 to 2007 and was published this week. The findings are significant for patients in the United States because many of the new designs, like so-called metal-on-metal hips, are widely used here. Those implants, which have both a ball and cup made of metal, are expected to fail prematurely in tens of thousands of patients rather than lasting 15 years or more as artificial joints are supposed to do.
The Australian study showed that not a single new artificial hip or knee introduced over a recent five-year period was any more durable than older ones. In fact, 30 percent of them fared worse.”
Unfortunately, the new hip and artificial hip devices such as the Stryker hips, NexGen knee devices, Zimmer Durom Cup hips, and the DePuy ASR XL and DePuy Pinnacle hips may all be the result of marketing initiatives whose main purpose is profit. In these cases, I suspect good science and quality patient care have been sacrificed in favor of company profits. Medical device companies make higher profits when they are regularly adding new products to the market.

Canadian Bishop Criminal Sentencing Continues Today

Former Roman Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey’s criminal sentencing for his conviction regarding possession of computer child pornography resumes today.
Lahey, who has been incarcerated since pleading guilty to the charges in May, resigned as bishop of Antigonish following his computer pornography arrest in 2009. The sentencing phase has been going on since August.
Today’s testimony is scheduled to be filled by psychiatrists. Lahey’s defense lawyers are recommending leniency based upon the belief that the type of pornography Lahey possessed was less graphic than that of others convicted on similar charges.

Joint Commission Recommends Surgeons Find Alternatives to Vaginal Mesh

A joint study authored by the American College of Obstetricians and the American Urogynecologic Society is now recommending that surgeons limit the use of the vaginal mesh medical device in high-risk patients who aren’t candidates for other types of medical interventions to remedy pelvic organ prolapse or female urinary incontinence.
The report was issued in the wake of months of news that the transvaginal or vaginal mesh medical device may cause serious health consequences and side effects for women who have the mesh implanted in order to treat these two medical conditions. In addition to findings that the mesh has a higher than acceptable failure rate which may require further surgeries, the vaginal mesh has not proven effective in treating either condition.
As a result of the negative findings, vaginal mesh lawsuits are mounting across the country as women are experiencing pain, discomfort and the prospect of future surgeries in order to repair the problems caused by the vaginal mesh.

In Light of Penn State and Syracuse University Sex Abuse Scandal, Pennsylvania and NY SOL Reform Overdue

It’s ironic that the two most recent and egregious cases of school sex abuse have occurred in states (New York and Pennsylvania) where reform of the civil statutes of limitations is sorely needed. In both states, sex abuse survivors are often barred from bringing legitimate sex abuse lawsuits because the cases are time barred by arbitrary and ineffective (at least in sex abuse cases) statutes of limitations. Originally, such statutes were rightly enacted in order to protect potential defendants from lawsuits arising out of claims that happened in the long ago past. However, in light of what we know about sex abuse cases as well as the psychological process most survivors endure after being abused, such statutes aren’t appropriate or just.
In light of the Penn State sex abuse scandal and the same saga being played out at Syracuse University it’s time both state legislators consider serious statute of limitations reform.

The Real History of Catholic Priest Sex Abuse

In the Netherlands, two boarding school teachers were convicted of molesting children. The following day, the presiding judge sent a letter to a Catholic member of Parliament urging more stringent hiring practices and thorough background checks. The judge’s communication with that member of Parliament resulted in 112 Catholic schools receiving a letter of appeal to take action to prevent the sexual abuse of schoolchildren. That was 1958.
Too often, we hear from Catholic bishops that “we didn’t know” or “how could we have known”. Yet, as is often the case, there were clear signs dating back decades that should have been impetus for change. Only years later does the public find out that people inside these institutions knew about warnings, signs, indications that something is amiss. Undoubtedly, the same will occur with the Penn State sex debacle. One could surmise it’s easier to feign ignorance than admit signs and warnings were ignored. That would make those who ignored such things complicit in the abuse of children.