Lawsuits

Lawsuits specific to the defective medical devices of metal hip implants and recalls.

Stryker Rejuvenate Failures: It’s Not “If”, It’s “When”

When is the Stryker Hip going to failStryker’s Rejuvenate hip replacement system— like the other defective hip replacement products on the market— was marketed as an innovated and advanced product but studies are showing that older products are much more durable than metal on metal devices.

The Stryker product was actually several steps backward rather than the leap forward in technology that the company claimed it to be and patients receiving the Rejuvenate hip replacement system are four times as likely to require revision surgery as patients who received older models. The main problem is that the metallic parts that touch each other can grind and cause metal fragments to enter the joint or the blood stream.

Lack of Long-Term Testing Linked to Stryker Rejuvenate Failure Rate

Studies have proven that many of the medical device failures during recent years have been the result of poor oversight and inadequate product testing. Hip replacement manufacturers have been able to push their products to market quickly using regulatory loopholes that allow them to market a product with minimal testing or research so long as it is similar to a product that has been approved in the past. The result is a drastic increase in the number of medical devices the FDA has needed to pull off of the market due to health concerns.

Not “If” but “When” Your Hip Will Likely Give Way

The data that has been received regarding metal on metal implants is very bleak and the onslaught of lawsuits brought against the device manufacturers suggests to us that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Due to the fact that Rejuvenate hip replacements are four times as likely to fail and are less durable than plastic or ceramic counterparts tells us patients who have received these devices are facing inevitability rather than possibility. The only question is how long the device will last before complications arise and whether those complications will be severe enough to warrant a revision surgery.

The metal contained in the defective devices is also highly toxic and patients must undergo regular blood testing to detect metalosis— which occurs when toxic levels of metals are present. Inflammation and scar tissue can also result from slivers of metal that are formed when the metal parts grind against one another.

If you received a hip replacement product recently and think it may be defective, contact us today for a free consultation with a Stryker Rejuvenate defect lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other financial hardship that has resulted from your defective device. During your consultation, we will be happy to answer your questions about the current mass torts against the hip replacement manufacturers and let you know more about how those cases will affect any potential settlement or judgment on your behalf. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you will never be required to remit payment upfront and we will only be compensated once we have been able to secure compensation on your behalf.

How Much Is My Stryker Rejuvenate Case Worth?

Amount Stryker Hip Cases Could be WorthThe news that Stryker has settled some of the lawsuits filed against it by patients affected by its Rejuvenate Modular Hip Stem and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem systems has many people pondering the value of the cases settled and how much their own cases are worth. Many of the details required to make that assessment remain shrouded in mystery due to the secrecy maintained by both Stryker and those who agreed to settlements about the terms agreed upon and the compensation provided. Even in the event of a mass settlement, what each individual can expect will depend solely upon his or her own circumstances and experiences while experiencing complications related to either of these products.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

There are two primary forms of damages considered in any personal injury lawsuit which make up what is referred to as compensatory damages. Economic damages are those which can be physically proven in the form of medical bills, lost wages or earning potential and the cost of ongoing treatment. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because they involve pain and suffering, a reduced quality of life and damaged relationships with others due to the injuries and complications endured. It is far easier to tailor expectations on economic damages because of the greater ease in proving their worth.

Expectations Based on Similar Metal-On-Metal Hip Cases

Several manufacturers of similar products have reached settlement agreements that we can refer to when seeking compensation for your injuries. Some of the lawsuits involving DePuy products ended in multimillion dollar judgments for the plaintiffs before DePuy’s parent— Johnson and Johnson— agreed to a $4 billion settlement which provides a base compensation of roughly $250,000 to each plaintiff (look here for more information). Each claimant could receive more or less than this amount, depending on the unique circumstances involved in each case. Biomet agreed to a similar settlement which offers a base settlement of $200,000 for each individual (look here) affected by its defective hip replacement products.

These settlements do not guarantee the same results for those seeking damages due to complications resulting from a Stryker device, however. Some of the plaintiffs in a similar case heard in 2002 were only awarded $1,000 if they did not undergo revision surgery, for example. It is always best to seek the advice of an attorney who has experience with these types of cases and can assess the value of your case after gathering all of the relevant information.

Our Approach To Metal-Hip Cases

Our attorneys have assisted clients with various types of defective hip devices across the county. While many of these cases have been consolidated into judicial classes, we recognize the individual impact of these cases. Consequently, in addition to complying with court-ordered discovery, we regularly go beyond what is requested by the court to provide defendant-manufacturers with additional documentation and evidence (such as photos, videos and employment information) so that we may present your case in the most favorable way possible. In some instances, these extra efforts have resulted in our clients receiving compensation above what was prescribed by the court-ordered settlement.

If you have been injured or suffered severe complications after receiving a defective Stryker hip replacement, contact us today to arrange a free consultation with a lawyer. Our lawyers will be able to answer any questions that you may have about your rights, the legal process and what you can expect in the form of compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. Our work is guaranteed and we will never require payment for our services or advice unless we are able to successfully recover money on your behalf.

Are Stryker Rejuvenate Lawsuits Close to Settlement?

Stryker Hip Cases May be Settled SoonPatients affected due to complications related to Stryker’s Rejuvenate Modular Hip Stem and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem may now be able to receive out of court settlements. After numerous lawsuits were filed in 2012 following Stryker’s recall of the device, several bellwether cases would provide the framework for how additional cases would be handled. In 2013 it was announced that several other manufacturers of defective hip replacements had begun to settle out of court with those affected by their products and Stryker has followed suit by settling its first round of cases by August of 2014.

Court Ordered Mediation

In December of 2013, the New Jersey Superior Court in Bergen County ordered Stryker to undergo mediation with the plaintiffs involved in the MCL (multi-county litigation) it is presiding over. Of the twenty-one cases that have entered mediation, nineteen were settled, giving hope to future patients that Stryker may be willing to settle in order to avoid the drawn out process of taking the cases to trial. The information available about the terms agreed to by Stryker and the plaintiffs who settled is limited and the amount of compensation provided has not been disclosed.

Impact on Future Stryker Rejuvenate Cases

The news of Stryker’s out of court settlements to date is encouraging but it is not clear yet how these settlements will impact future cases or their value. The plaintiffs who agreed to settlements did not claim additional injuries, lost wages or pain and suffering, which makes it impossible to establish a precedent based on these settlements for cases that involved more severe complications and damages. Most of the other lawsuits being grouped together as a federal MDL (multi-district litigation) that is being heard by the US District Court of Minnesota. Multi-county and multi-district litigation allows similar cases to be heard in one court and for judgments and settlements to be determined for multiple cases simultaneously.

How to Approach a Settlement Offer

It is strongly advised that anyone who has a claim against Stryker first seek the representation of an experienced hip replacement lawyer before entertaining any settlement offers. Initial offers may not be in the best interest of the victim and a qualified attorney will be able to review and counter any offers that fail to provide you with the compensation you are entitled to. Stryker’s recent settlements are a sign that the company may be willing to settle out of court to avoid a drawn out legal battle that it will lose, but it will seek ways to reduce its financial loss in the process.

If you have been the recipient of a defective hip replacement and suffered injuries or complications that required additional medical care or resulted in undue pain and suffering, contact us today to speak with an attorney for free about your case. During our free consultations, we will take the time to review every detail of your case and answer any questions or concerns that you may have about the process of litigation and what you can expect from a trial or settlement. Our services are guaranteed, so we will never require payment unless we are able to collect damages on your behalf.

Judge Sets Stage for Stryker Rejuvenate Trials

Stryker Rejuvenate Trials BeginA federal judge overseeing Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant liability claims has set the stage with the pretrial order. The Stryker Corporation, manufacturers of the Rejuvenate implant, is involved in five new lawsuits in New Jersey, with an additional 2000 + lawsuits pending in other federal courts including in Minnesota and Florida. The hip replacement corporation estimates the cost of resolution through litigation concerning lawsuits on the Rejuvenate device could cost more than $1.1 billion.

All cases have been consolidated as a part of the pretrial proceedings under Multi-District litigation (MDL), overseen by Judge Frank (see here for discussion of the MDL process and certification). The court issued a joint report and agenda indicating the status of more than 1040 open Minnesota cases under the MDL, with another 1180 pending cases in New Jersey courts and more than 60 Florida cases and 23 additional cases spread across Oregon, Michigan, Indiana and California.

Judge Donovan W. Frank issued an order designating how each lead case will be tried out of each of the five specific case categories. The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota will conduct each Stryker Rejuvenate trial involving a lead case, based on specific categories. These categories include the type of product implanted and the date of surgery along with any revision surgery outcome.

Bellwether Cases: Setting the Tone for Other Stryker Lawsuits

Each lead case Stryker rejuvenate trial is considered a bellwether event, which will assist all parties when determining how different juries might respond to testimony and evidence. The modular hip replacement units from Stryker were recalled in 2012. The corporation’s recall efforts were a response to adverse complaints of corrosion and fretting of the implant causing premature failure of the device.

The Stryker rejuvenate hip device is manufactured with the modular dual section neck-stem, which allows surgeons the ability to customize the femoral component’s length to adjust to the leg size of the patient. Unfortunately, due to a lack of testing in clinical trials, the design has resulted in a failure of the cobalt and chromium hip replacement. The failure is caused by corrosive metal debris generated by the grinding of the titanium femoral stem against the chromium cobalt neck.

The Stryker rejuvenate modular hip replacement system was designed as an alternative to the harmful metal on metal hip systems. The company marketed the hip replacement device to younger individuals because the unit could be customized for a better fit, which was thought to result as a near permanent solution while offering a larger range of motion. However, due to the high rate of early failure, many patients have required early revision surgery as a way to have the hip device replaced.

Settlements and Trials of Stryker Hip Defect Cases

The high number of cases filed against the manufacturer is raising similar allegations that the company sold an unreasonably dangerous, defective hip replacement implant. As the number of suits continues to escalate, there are more Stryker lawsuit mediations as an attempt to settle many of the cases instead of going to trial.

To date, there are approximately two dozen successful Stryker lawsuit mediations. Nearly every case has been resolved after an extensive medical records review that clearly outlines the major problems with the Rejuvenate product. Aside from the ongoing mediation program, a small number of cases are in the preparation stage for an early trial date in both New Jersey and Minnesota courts. If there is no progress in resolving most of the cases within the next 12 months, the five stated bellwether trials will likely start next summer.

All active parties in the upcoming Stryker rejuvenate trials recognize that the outcomes will have no direct association with all lawsuits to be litigated or settled at a later date. Their only purpose in consideration of all outstanding lawsuits is to gauge the response of juries, where the same testimony and evidence will likely be repeated in ongoing litigation.

There are approximately 20,000 patients that have had the device implanted before the product was recalled in the first 24 months since it was introduced in the medical marketplace. If more hip implants fail, there will likely be more lawsuits.

Hiring an Attorney to Protect Your Interests in the Stryker MDL

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent injured patients with failed orthopedic devices, including the Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement implant. If you received the faulty Stryker Rejuvenate implant, and experienced pain in or around the hip, elevated levels of blood ions, developed metallosis, needed revision surgery, or suffered any type of hip replacement device failure, it is essential to contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 to obtain a free initial evaluation. Our team of expert personal injury lawyers specializes in product liability and can provide a consultation to assess your claim.

Is the Clock About to Hit Midnight For Filing Stryker Lawsuits?

 Time may be ticking away when it comes to your opportunity to pursue a claim for your Styker Rejuvenate case

Pursuing Stryker LawsuitsIn July 2012, Stryker Orthopedics announced it would be recalling their AVG II and Rejuvenate Modular hip implants. This is after it was determined that the metal hip implants were defective, and causing serious harm to hundreds of patients. The modular neck hip stems caused corrosion and fretting, leading to an adverse reaction of local tissue along with swelling and pain around the hip.

To date, the Stryker Corporation is not accepting full legal responsibility for its failure in designing and manufacturing ineffective hip replacements and bringing them to market. As a result, lawsuits have been filed all across America by patients experiencing hip replacement problems. The lawsuit seeks recovery from the failure of Stryker hip implants to compensate damages, medical expenses, lost wages, lost future potential earnings, pain and suffering.

No Clinical Testing Performed Prior To Widespread Marketing of Device

When Stryker first announced they were marketing the AVG II and Rejuvenate systems, the products were hailed as the “latest evolution” and “next generation” of high quality effective hip replacement parts. The AVG II system was designed to provide greater stability while minimizing stress on bones. The Rejuvenate hip replacement system was designed, manufactured and marketed to appeal to younger patients. The product was offering them a better range of motion from a longer-lasting device.

Unfortunately, the corporation avoided conducting clinical testing on the effectiveness and safety of both hip replacement devices before introducing the products to the medical marketplace. Their lack of concern for patient safety makes them liable in a court of law.

Stryker Hip Replacement Safety Alert

Medical device failures are nothing new in the health industry. In fact, health regulators, doctors and other health care providers have long focused an exorbitant amount of attention on the harm caused to patients from hip replacements. The harm is typically the result of tiny metallic particles being released from the product and causing widespread failure of the hip implant.

Most of these problems have occurred in metal on metal (all metal) hip implants. Both hip stem replacement units are not considered all metal devices because they do not have a metal socket rubbing against a metal ball. However, both are manufactured from cobalt and chromium with titanium coated stems. In fact, the ball and socket junction is known to release metallic debris into the bloodstream and nearby tissue causing problems.

The rising amounts of hip replacement failures caused the Stryker Corporation to issue an urgent safety alert in April of 2012. Surgeons were warned a significant problems when implanting both hip replacement systems. The alert detailed safety risks to patients including exposure to ion generation and excessive metal debris. The Stryker safety alert listed significant problems that can occur, including metallosis (see here), necrosis (see here), osteolysis, along with significant pain and implant loosening requiring the patient to undergo hip revision surgery (look here for extensive discussion on hip revision surgery).

Stryker Hip Replacement Lawsuits

By June 2012, Stryker recalled 20,000+ AVG II and Rejuvenate hip implants already implanted in patients in every state including Illinois due to a high failure rate. Even so, just a small fraction of those recalled replacements have involved lawsuits. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations for a Stryker lawsuit is about to expire in 2014. In many cases, it may not be possible to extend the time limit to obtain financial compensation for the damages, losses, pain and suffering involved in a failed hip replacement manufactured by Stryker.

Some attorneys argue that the statute of limitations for Stryker lawsuits might not have started on the day the corporation announced the recall. This is because many potential plaintiffs might not have been aware that their device was recalled. Others can argue against the strict statute of limitations because their hip was not hurting at the time, or their surgeon was not recommending revision surgery because the hip failure had not yet been recognized.

Hiring The Right Attorney To Represent Your Best Interests

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can provide detailed information to individuals affected by the recalled Stryker hip replacement products on the recall statute of limitations and extensions to file a lawsuit. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is a Chicago-based law firm that represents individuals across the country affected by a defective medical device– including an extensive list of clients with metal-on-metal hip implants. As patient advocates, our attorneys can provide information concerning hip complications, treatment options and all available legal options.

The law firm offers advice, counsel and services with no upfront fees. Working on contingency, the team of skilled attorneys can evaluate the claim, develop a case and file a lawsuit to seek adequate compensation for medical bills, lost wages, damages, pain and suffering. Call (888) 424-5757 to speak with an attorney today, before the statute of limitations on filing a Stryker lawsuit expires.

Why Aren’t There More Stryker Rejuvenate Lawsuits?

Stryker Hip Failure LawsuitDespite the voluntary recall of Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II systems, numerous lawsuits against Stryker Orthopaedics and ongoing Multi-District Litigation efforts, the fact remains that thousands of people have yet to file their rightful claim for compensation. Do a quick Google search, and you will find hundreds of websites dedicated to the discussion of Stryker hip lawsuits. Even though the voluntary Stryker hip recall may be widely publicized, it does not mean that every patient is aware of his or her legal rights or has the technological means to learn about the Stryker hip recall.

The reality is that vulnerable patients with Stryker hip devices may be unable to physically move or conduct research on the recall. Family members of elderly patients with Stryker hip implants may need to investigate their loved one’s conditions and assist them in filing a legal claim. Stryker hip implant attorneys are compassionate and attuned to the needs of affected patients.

How Many People Have Stryker Hip Devices?

The exact number of patients with Stryker hip implants remains unknown, however, research does indicate that about 20,000 defective Stryker hip devices had already been sold at the time of the recall. Stryker Orthopaedics recalled its Rejuvenate and ABG II systems in 2012. The voluntary recall cited the corrosion of the modular-neck junction, pain and adverse local tissue reactions suffered by patients as the reasons for the recall.

Number of Stryker Rejuvenate Lawsuits in the U.S.

Approximately 1,500 Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuits have been filed throughout the U.S. The majority of lawsuits have been consolidated in New Jersey and Minnesota. Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuits have also impacted patients in:

  • Illinois: 67 cases
  • Florida: 13 cases
  • Arkansas: 33 cases
  • Louisiana: 17 cases
  • California: 24 cases
  • Alaska: 4 cases
  • Nevada: 1 case
  • Arizona: 3 cases
  • Utah: 4 cases
  • New Mexico: 2 cases
  • Colorado 3 cases
  • Texas: 2 cases
  • Oklahoma: 4 cases
  • Nebraska: 1 case
  • Mississippi: 3 cases
  • Alabama: 9 cases
  • Georgia: 7 cases
  • Missouri: 3 cases
  • Tennessee: 10 cases
  • Wisconsin: 1 case
  • Kentucky: 7 cases
  • Virginia: 2 cases
  • Indiana: 1 case
  • West Virginia: 1 case
  • Ohio: 5 cases
  • Michigan: 2 cases
  • Pennsylvania: 1 case
  • Connecticut: 1 case
  • New York: 9 cases
  • Massachusetts: 3 cases

Pending Stryker Rejuvenate Multi-District Litigation Efforts

Multi-District Litigation is a system that has been used to manage the hundreds of Stryker hip cases filed in New Jersey and Minnesota. Federal District Court Judge Donavan Frank has consolidated over 600 Stryker cases in the District of Minnesota. New Jersey Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti has proceeded to manage over 900 cases in Bergan County. Judge Martinotti has ordered mediation in an effort to reach an agreement for the ongoing Stryker hip recall cases in New Jersey. The judges will proceed to appoint “exemplar” cases that will serve as representative samples of the injuries that Stryker patients have suffered as a result of their hip devices.

The Disparity Between Lawsuits Filed and Number of Individuals with Recalled Stryker Hip Devices

Even though 20,000 or more people could potentially have Stryker hip implants at this moment, approximately 1,500 lawsuits have been filed against Stryker Orthopaedics in court. Even if we can expect forthcoming claims in the future, the number of lawsuits still seems relatively small in relation to the number of people who may have a Stryker hip implant.

Various entities including Stryker Orthopaedics, the FDA and legal profession may need to do a better job in educating Stryker hip patients about their legal rights. These entities may need to consider that elderly patients may not have access to a computer to learn about the ongoing litigation efforts. Instead, these patients may require a mailed notice or phone call to learn how they may have been impacted by Stryker hip devices.

Do You Have A Recalled Stryker Hip Prosthetic? Know Your Legal Options

If you suspect that you may have received a Stryker hip implant, it is not too late to learn about your legal rights. Our legal teamare here to help all victims who have been impacted by the Stryker hip recall. We are legal advocates who understand that you may just now be learning about the Stryker hip recall and can provide you with guidance in filing a claim.

Note: This entry was prepared 5/9/14 and compiled according to data at the time.

New Jersey Court Pushes Stryker Rejuvenate Cases Towards Resolution

New Jersey and the Resolution of a Stryker Hip CasesThe Stryker hip implant recall has spurred litigation in New Jersey, Minnesota and Florida. Because there are so many similar Stryker hip implant claims, the cases have been consolidated into Multi-District litigation proceedings (learn more about the Stryker MDL here) and have utilized bellwether trials to manage the discovery process for the claims.

On April 1, 2014 (Stryker.Pretrial.Order12), Judge Martinotti entered a case management order for the Stryker Rejuvenate & ABG II Modular Hip Implant Litigation in Bergen County, New Jersey. The order aims to resolve the Stryker Rejuvenate cases in a timely manner. In the order, Judge Martinotti stated that “parties will continue to confer in an attempt to resolve the remaining issues” in the case and seems to urge a resolution to these cases. Judge Martinotti also wrote that if parties do not reach a compromise by April 15, 2014, the parties will then need to advise the Court. The Court will hold a conference call to discuss the next steps in handling the case.

Multi-District Litigation and Mediation Used in Bergen County Stryker Hip Cases

The order also lists matters that will be handled by Phase II Mediation. These cases include Betty White v. HOC, Docket No. BER-L-2501-13, and Doris Smith v. HOC, Docket No. BER-L-3488-13. Mediation may promote judicial economy in resolving these exemplar cases and avoid clogging the courts with Stryker hip implant cases. In the order, the Court requests that counsel collaborate to submit a proposed agenda on May 22, 2014.

In general, it seems that the Bergen County Stryker hip cases are setting the stage and leading the way for how other Stryker hip implant cases in other jurisdictions should be handled. Other jurisdictions, such as Florida, may take a cue from Judge Martinotti’s Order and move forward to try to resolve the cases with mediation and bellwether trials if necessary.

Impact of the Recent Decision on Pending Florida Cases

Currently, thirteen Stryker hip implant cases have been consolidated into MDL proceedings. The MDL consolidation in Florida seems to follow the consolidation being used in New Jersey and Minnesota. In fact, Judge Donovan W. Frank has issued orders creating a Steering Committee for handling the plaintiffs’ claims. A Florida attorney, Joseph A. Osborne, has been appointed to serve in a leadership position on the committee.

Could Florida Stryker Cases Go to Trial Soon?

Judge Garcia-Wood of Florida’s 17th Circuit is in charge of overseeing the Stryker hip implant cases in the state. She will be using pretrial centralization to handle the hundreds of Stryker hip implant claims. If the Florida cases mirror those of Minnesota or New Jersey, then several claims may be used to exemplify the typical injuries of plaintiffs. In Minnesota, bellwether trials are being used to arrive at decisions that impact those who received Stryker hip implants and have experienced pain, metallosis and additional complications resulting in hip revision surgery. The outcome of these trials will determine how other cases are handled. If you have suffered from severe pain, metal poisoning or have required a hip revision surgery, you should realize that you may have a legal claim that can be joined with the current MDL proceedings in New Jersey or Florida.

Can You Still Take Legal Action If You Have a Recalled Stryker Hip?

There is still time for New Jersey plaintiffs to file claims alleging a strict products liability action against Stryker. In Judge Martinotti’s recent order, he is allowing new complaints to be served within 30 days of receipt of a filed copy from the court. Plaintiffs who have been harmed by defective Stryker hip implants can still become part of the Multi-District Litigation proceedings. Now may be the time for plaintiffs to become part of this litigation so that they do not miss the opportunity to receive compensation for their claims. It may be nearly impossible or difficult for plaintiffs to assert their Stryker hip implant claims in the future and after the conclusion of the MDL proceedings.

The Bergen County bellwether trials are scheduled to take place between June 15, 2015 and July 13, 2015. Plaintiffs should get in touch with a Stryker hip implant lawyer if they are interested in becoming part of the MDL proceedings.

The Florida Stryker hip implant cases will likely conclude in a similar manner as other MDL proceedings throughout the country. Those who have suffered as a result of defective Stryker hip implants should not wait any longer to speak with a lawyer to become part of MDL proceedings in Florida or New Jersey.

For news about the status of Stryker cases in the Minnesota MDL look here.

Judge Pushes Stryker Hip MDL ‘Bellwether’ Cases To Trial In 2015

When it comes to ‘lawsuits’ stemming from design and manufacturing defects related to the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hips, the majority of them are consolidated into a Multi District Litigation format (MDL) in the United States District Court of Minnesota. Per MDL rules, the cases are filed and tried individually, but are consolidated for purposes of discovery and case management as there are similarities between the underlying cases. The Stryker MDL (No.: 13-2441) was established last year and the cases are set before Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel and District Judge Donovan W. Frank.

Distinction of Bellwether Trials For Stryker Cases

On March 12, 2014, the Court met with Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Committee and Defense  Counsel to prepare a schedule for the Court to hear between three and five ‘bellwether’ cases in the Summer of 2015. These bellwether trials will typically involve a representative sampling of plaintiff’s from the MDL so the parties involved can gauge the values of cases similar to them. While the individual plaintiff’s to be involved in the Stryker bellwether trials, have yet to be determined, a bellwether group may include:

  • A personal who received a Stryker hip and has some pain, but no surgical intervention
  • A personal with elevated metal levels in their blood
  • A personal who suffered from complications and required a hip revision surgery to remove and replace the hip
  • An individual have two Stryker hips that failed and required revision

The March 14th Pretrial Order No. 12 also sets the following:

  1. Before the May 1, 2014 status conference counsel shall agree on 3-5 bellwether categories
  2. If a reasonable number of bellwether cases can not be agreed upon by April 1, 2014, parties are to submit a proposal as to how many categories they believe are necessary
  3. If there is disagreement as to the number of bellwether cases necessary, the Court shall make a determination
  4. In advance of the May 1, 2014 conference, counsel shall meet and determine three cases that shall be designated ‘lead’ cases within each category
  5. If unable to agree as to which cases should be part of the specifically devised bellwether groups, the Court will make a determination as to three cases within each bellwether category
  6. A scheduling order will be set for each lead bellwether cases prior to the June 12th status conference
  7. At an ‘appropriate time’, Magistrate Judge Noel will reach out to the judges overseeing pending Stryker lawsuits in New Jersey and Florida to “explore ways in which the three courts might facilitate a coordinated settlement of all the state and federal cases in which the plaintiffs allege they suffered injury from dual modular hip replacement prostheses sold under the names Rejuvenate and ABG II.”

Read the full Order here. Stryker.Pretrial.Order12

What is the impact of the latest Stryker MDL Scheduling Order?

Admittedly, at first blush a series of deadlines may seem like little to get excited about. However, from the perspective of a law firm with pending Stryker cases, this most recent MDL order is indeed encouraging as this demonstrates that the Court is willing to push these cases forward. While a series of bellwether cases set for trial more than a year out, seems like a long time away, setting these trial dates is crucial towards moving the litigation forward and ultimately towards resolution.

Further, the Court’s outward statement that they will actively facilitate the coordinated settlement of these cases is encouraging as the settlement of any complex piece of litigation very much relies on an active and hands-on judge.

Is it too late to take legal action if you have a recalled Stryker hip?

No. If you’ve been hesitant to get an attorney or get involved with the pending Stryker MDL, you can still join the pending MDL without any prejudice to you. After confirming that you indeed have a recalled Rejuvenate or ABG II device, we can get your case added to the pending litigation. Since we have all of the forms and discovery in these cases, our office can get your case up to speed.  Even if you expect to undergo additional procedures or a hip revision surgery, we can get your case prepared so you can focus on your medical needs.

If you have additional questions about the Stryker or other types of hip litigation, we welcome you to call or contact our office where you can speak to an attorney who has direct knowledge of this litigation.

Settlement Reached In Biomet Hip Litigation

Answers in Cases for the Biomet HipThere was a minor victory for patients that received faulty Biomet hip implants that have prematurely begun to fail. Biomet Inc. has agreed to pay a settlement of $56 million to cover injuries that were purportedly caused by their M2a Magnum and M2a 38 metal hip systems. The multi-district lawsuit that started in 2012 is compromised of hundreds of patients that have received these implants and have filed lawsuits claiming the devices caused pain, injuries and needed to be replaced.

Problems With Multiple Metal Hip Implants

This newest settlement is just one of many lawsuits that have surrounded the metal hip implant industry. The common problem with many of these metal-on-metal hip implants is the premature failure and corrosion of the metal components. This has caused pain, muscle lesions, metal poisoning and many other injuries to patients all over the world. Many patients are suffering a second surgery to have these implants removed, implants that were touted to last up to 20 years that are failing in the first few years.

Biomet, Inc. is just one of the companies that have been subject to thousands of lawsuits for these faulty metal hip implants. Other companies such as Stryker, DePuy and Zimmer all have had similar lawsuits filed against them. DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced in November, 2013 that they would be paying in excess of $4 billion to settle their over 7,500 lawsuits for their defective ASR hip implant. Stryker came to their first settlements of four of their lawsuits for their Rejuvenate hip implant in December, 2013, with hundreds, possibly thousands, of additional lawsuits pending.

Biomet Settlement Details

Although the settlement was agreed upon by Biomet, the company still denies any wrong doing. The company insists that the injuries detailed in the lawsuits were not caused by their hip implant device. As part of the settlement, plaintiffs that had implants removed after 180 days after implant will receive a base award of $200,000 and the settlement will extend to other plaintiffs that have pending lawsuits that are filed before April 15, 2014.

The monetary award will help many patients that have suffered due to these defective implants. However, there are many people who may have these implants and may have problems in the future. Time will tell what other injuries and medical problems will plague the unfortunate people that have the Biomet or one of the many others brands of these dangerous metal hips.

Stryker Hip Lawsuits Consolidated in Florida Court

Florida Courts and Stryker LawsuitsRejuvenate and ABG II hip implants were called off the market by Stryker Corporation in July 2012. The move came after the receipt of various complaints by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration USA) regarding these two models. The patients who received these implants have developed various ailments including severe pain, swelling and disability.

False claims alleged in the marketing of Stryker hips

The company claimed to be providing stable and durable products. On the contrary, these products caused various dangerous side effects and serious defects to the patient. The metal on metal implants caused an increase in the concentration of dangerous metal ions in the blood stream, which occurs because of the fretting of the metal in the joints. The microscopic metal debris and metal ions are then sucked into the bloodstream.

Corrosion at the joints and loosening of the joints also occurred early with the use of these products. The loosening of the implant caused the metal components to dig into the tissue surrounding the implant. The implant would not work properly and failed to give support to the patient. This caused a lack of mobility and in some cases, severe pain. In most of these instances, patients had to undergo additional surgeries and medical treatment.

Increase in Litigation Cases

As cases of failures increase in number, lawsuits against the Stryker Corporation continue to increase as well. Federal Multidistrict Litigation has centralized these cases in order to give them a speedy trial. Presently, these are at the pretrial stage in the court of Judge Donovan Frank of District Minnesota.

What is Multidistrict litigation?

Multidistrict litigation is a procedure normally adopted in cases that are of the same nature. In such cases, various individual plaintiffs file their complaints of a similar nature against one defendant. Therefore, to avoid repetitive work and reduce the load on the courts, such cases are combined in one court, where a group of cases is first put to the pretrial.

Pretrial is a procedure in which the case is heard by the judge before the start of the formal proceedings, in order to give the defendant and the plaintiffs a chance to reach a settlement and conclude whether the case is suitable for trial or not.

The court, after finalizing all the pretrial matters, will choose a few bellwether cases for trial.  A bellwether is a term used for forecasting a trend. This approach in such cases is very useful in saving courts precious time. Consolidation of cases results in progress of the numerous cases at one pace. After the decision has been made regarding these cases, settlements of the remaining cases are done much more efficiently. Most of the cases are settled outside the courts. However, there is no bar on individual trial. It depends on the plaintiff if they want to agree to a settlement or go to trial after the bellwether decision.

Proceedings in Florida

Thirteen cases were filed in Florida regarding the premature failure and misleading advertisement of the Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABG II products. These have been consolidated on the same lines as the cases involved with the federal MDL. The lawsuits against the Stryker Corporation claim that the products caused severe pain and suffering to those who had it implanted. Judge Marina Garcia-Wood has approved the consolidation of these cases on 3 October 2013. This is an important step towards achieving justice for those affected by the Stryker hip implants.

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Metal Hip Cases Settle for Approximately $250K per Person

Settlement for Metal Hips are a Quarter of a Million DollarsA large medical company has offered a multibillion-dollar deal to patients who have suffered pain and distress due to the malfunctioning of one of their devices. The metal hip implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson is claimed to be one of the most faulted implants to be sold in the past few decades.

Johnson & Johnson was Aware of the Issues

The company was aware of the faults of the Articular Surface Replacement. The Depuy Orthopaedics is the sector of Johnson & Johnson responsible for the development of the device. An internal document that was retrieved from the company acknowledged an estimate that the device would fail within five years for about 40% of the patients who used it.

Perhaps this is the reason the company is being unusually giving in its settlement deal. Johnson & Johnson have agreed to pay approximately $2.5 billion to 8,000 patients who have had to undergo extra medical treatment to have the hip implant removed. The company has also agreed to cover all medical costs accrued by the patients for the operations or treatment related to the faulty hip implant. This is an unusual settlement to be announced by a company. Usually, companies award settlements and then the plaintiff is left with the responsibility to pay off their medical bills.

The Settlement Plan

It is not yet certain if all of the patients will agree to this settlement. Each patient would be awarded $250,000. However, the plan needs a 94% agreement from the plaintiffs before it can be agreed upon. Some people may choose to pursue their own individual lawsuit in hopes to gain more monetary rewards. Others may not receive the full $250,000 settlement, as the plan will reduce the amount based on how long the patient was using the implant.

The plan will pay out $250,000 to patients who qualify. For those who smoke, are overweight or who are older, the payment will be reduced. For those patients who used the implant for an extended period, the payment will also be reduced. For patients who suffered severe injuries, and for those who had both hips replaced, the payment will be increased.

Patients are not the only ones who will be benefitting from this deal. Lawyers who have agreed to a plan with their clients will be receiving more than $800 million of the settlement. The settlements will be awarded from two main pools. From one pool, consisting of $2 billion, basic awards will be settled. The other, a $475 million pool, will be used to pay additional settlements for those patients who were severely injured or debilitated due to the implant.

Causes of Injury and Pain in Hip Implant Patients

Many patients have suffered severe pain due to the debris from the metallic components of the implant. This debris can either enter the bloodstream or damage surrounding tissue. When patients brought up this issue initially, Johnson & Johnson denied any fault of their own. In 2010, however, the product was finally recalled as its failure rate continued to increase. In totally, the A.S.R. has been implanted in around 93,000 patients.

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Court Encourages Resolution of Pending Stryker Hip Lawsuits through Mediation

Encouragement of to Mediate Stryker CasesIndividuals seek treatment through hip implants for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons people install hip implants is due to severe arthritis that leads to transplant surgery. Hip implants are not a completely new development. However, issues have recently begun to arise concerning the metal hip replacements, which thousands of people are using to this day.

There are a number of different techniques of surgery and different types of implants available in the market that can be used for the purpose. One such design for hip implants is metal on metal. These are supposed to be more durable, stable and trouble-free than the other types of implants, such as the ceramic on ceramic or metal on plastic types. However, metal on metal implants have caused a tidal wave of lawsuits for the various companies that provide them.

Notable companies involved in current lawsuits include Johnson & Johnson and Stryker.  Johnson & Johnson have been estimated to be paying around $3 billion in damages procured by the plaintiffs, as they have almost 8,000 individuals to compensate. Stryker is still evaluating costs. Resolving the hundreds of lawsuits will cost them a substantial amount of money.

Rejuvenate and ABG II Recall

Stryker’s lawsuits have been ongoing for quite some time. Almost 20,000 Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems had been sold before Stryker finally decided to announce a recall. The FDA had received numerous complaints from patients regarding the premature failure of the hip implants. In July 2012, the company officially halted production worldwide and recalled all Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems. There are currently 350 lawsuits which have been filed against Stryker in the USA alone. These cases have been centralized as part of a Stryker MDL (Multidistrict Litigation).

The problem with the two metal on metal systems, Rejuvenate and ABG II, is that they experience early failure due to fretting and corrosion. The products manufactured by Stryker also have side effect of excessive ion concentration in blood and tissues around the implant, otherwise known as “metallosis”. Metal poisoning can cause various other issues within the body and can even be life-threatening for some. The reason the Stryker Corporation is being held accountable is because they provided the public with faulty implants and failed to inform patients about these side effects. This was both their medical and ethical responsibility.

Resolution through Mediation

A New Jersey state court has recommended a mediation program to reach an outside court settlement. What this means is that the first ten cases will be negotiated and the remaining cases will follow the settlements agreed to in by the initial cases.  Mediation is beneficial to both parties as a settlement can be reached without cumbersome trials and legal proceedings. However, with mediation outside court, the plaintiffs may not be offered the same compensation they may have been given if the case was dealt with by a judge.

The Stryker Company’s settlement has been expected to be around $1.13 billion. However, the company is still calculating costs and hopes to find an easier route through mediation.

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