On July 18th Stryker held its second quarter earnings call. For all of you that are patients and not analysts that means that Stryker had conference call with a lot of Wall Street types to talk about how much money they are making, or not. For this quarterly report Stryker has very good news. Double digit growth projected in the coming years, year after year.
...The conference call is a lesson in how business, in this case Stryker, views people...
With quarterly earnings in the billions of dollars that’s good news if you own the stock.
What of the Recall?
In fact Katherine Owen, Vice President of Strategy and Investor Relations, dismisses the recall as not significant to Stryker investors. She states that while Stryker did voluntarily and globally recall the Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular hip stem because of the “potential for fretting and corrosion at the modular-neck junction, which may lead to adverse local tissue reactions ... with just 30,000 units implanted globally since the product’s launch” recalling the product doesn’t have a material impact on Stryker’s revenue.
Respect for the Market?
Similarly, Curt Hartman, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, supported that sentiment when he agreed with William Plovanic of Canaccord Genuity, that Stryker sees their recalled hip’s failure rate as a 0.5% problem. That means there should only be 150 victims of Stryker’s recalled hip worldwide (0.5% is 150 out of 30,000).
According to Mr. Hartman, this explains why Stryker hasn’t even “booked any reserves” for those failures at this point. Under Mr. Hartman’s analysis, Stryker has nonetheless taken a “very conservative position” under their quality systems and “out of a long-term respect for the market and our position in the market”.
Respect for People
The conference call is a lesson in how business, in this case Stryker, views people. Even if we can agree that just 150 people are crippled by their bad product why should Stryker address anything other their shareholders’ potential concern? They probably shouldn’t. But we as trial lawyers should. We should because whether it’s ultimately 150 or 5,000 injured patients, each one is human being with a story. Each story now has a chapter that is being authored by Stryker on suffering and betrayal. Hopefully the final chapter will be written by our clients and it will end with Justice.
If you or a loved one has had one of these implants and want to learn more, click here.
Read Stryker's voluntary recall of their Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants.
By: Mark DiCello