Kelly Hyman, Cal Warriner, and Brenda Fulmer recently attended the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Summer Convention in Montreal. AAJ is the largest national plaintiffs’ trial lawyer organization and includes more than 20,000 members from the United States, Canada, and foreign countries. The American Association for Justice provides education and networking opportunities for lawyers as well as advocacy and lobbying on a number of issues relating to access to courts and protection of the civil justice system. Ms. Hyman, Ms. Fulmer, and Mr. Warriner attended a number of educational programs and strategy sessions with regard to various drug and medical device projects, including Yaz/Yasmin/Ocella, Zofran, Actos, Fosamax, Pradaxa, Invokana, Zimmer NexGen Knee Implants, Medtronic Synchromed Pain Pumps, Biomet, DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, Wright Medical metal-on-metal hip implants, transvaginal mesh, Xarelto, Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII modular hip implants, and Zimmer Persona Knee Implants.
During the convention, Kelly Hyman attended two days of leadership training as a part of an elite, six-day professional leadership training program for AAJ, which was first implemented in 2013. There are only 16 slots available in each leadership class, and the application and acceptance process is quite rigorous. Brenda Fulmer is a graduate of the inaugural class of the AAJ Leadership Academy.
Cal Warriner serves as Co-Lead of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII Hip Implant Litigation Group. Mr. Warriner led a meeting at the Summer Convention that focused on issues relating to the continued litigation of opt out cases against Stryker as well as providing further details about the claims administration, lien resolution, and release of settlement funds to thousands of Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implant plaintiffs in the near future. Mr. Warriner was part of a small team of lawyers who have led the national litigation efforts against Stryker since the recall of the hip implants in July of 2012 and was appointed by the court to serve on the plaintiffs’ negotiating team, who were successful in reaching a $1.4 billion settlement with Stryker in late 2014.
Brenda Fulmer finished her service as Co-Lead of the Pradaxa Litigation Group and conducted an educational meeting for lawyers from the United States and Canada who are continuing to prosecute products liability claims against the manufacturers of Pradaxa, a novel blood thinner that was introduced to the market in 2010. In 2014, a large settlement was reached on behalf of a number of plaintiffs who suffered blood clot-related injuries after taking the drug.
Brenda Fulmer was elected as a new Co-Lead of the Biomet Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Litigation and met with a number of lawyers from around the country who are involved in litigating defective hip implant claims against Biomet (which is now part of Zimmer) in state and federal court. These claims involve plaintiffs who were forced to undergo revision surgeries due to premature failure of their Biomet hip implants and development of tissue damage, elevated metal ions, and other injuries due to metallosis. Ms. Fulmer was recently appointed to the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee by Judge Robert Miller in South Bend, Indiana for MDL No. 2391.
Brenda Fulmer is currently serving her second term on the AAJ Board of Governors as a representative for the State of Florida. She was also appointed by the President of AAJ as Vice Chair of the Membership Oversight Committee and was elected by the Board to serve on the organization’s Compliance Committee.
The law firm of Searcy Denney is a strong supporter of the American Association for Justice as well as the Florida Justice Association and the Palm Beach County Justice Association. Membership in these organizations is limited to plaintiffs’ lawyers. These organizations are focused on ensuring access to courts and fighting legislative efforts that are detrimental to the rights of our clients and other victims. This task is quite significant, especially in light of the tremendous resources that are being directed by tobacco companies, drug and medical device manufacturers, insurance companies, and other corporate giants towards lobbying, political contributions, and PR campaigns that spread misinformation about jury verdicts, insurance premiums, health care costs, etc. in an effort to pass more tort reform and prevent injured plaintiffs from seeking compensation from our court system.