Lawsuits

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

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 Law Suits 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.

References:

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.

References:

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.

References:

Will Stryker Follow Johnson & Johnson’s Lead When It Comes to Settling Metal Hip Lawsuits?

What will Happen with Stryker Metal HipsJohnson & Johnson have recently entered into an agreement with the patients who suffered from the faulty all-metal implants made by the company after a protracted court battle. This will cost the company around $3 billion.

Another company, which is going through similar court battles, is the Stryker Corporation. Prior to the recall of their failed Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implant models in July 2012, the company had sold more than 20,000 implant units. So far, more than 600 patients have filed lawsuits against the company, as they have developed problems after getting the implants fixed. These lawsuits are expected to grow in number, as more and more individuals find fault with their metal on metal hip implants.

Claims of the plaintiffs impacted by defective Stryker hips

Plaintiffs against the Stryker Corporation are looking for compensation covering the medical treatment expenditures and other financial losses incurred, as a result of the pain and suffering caused by the implants. The plaintiffs have claimed that the manufacturer of these metal on metal implants, the Stryker Corporation, misled them through false claims of durability and stability of the product.

Hundreds of patients have developed complications such as pain, swelling and disability after implant surgery with Rejuvenate or ABG II implants. Detailed medical investigations revealed that the fretting and corrosion of the prematurely failing implants was producing microscopic metal particles. These particles were then absorbed in the blood. Similarly, fretting and corrosion in these implants led to the loosening of the implants, necessitating replacement surgery.

These problems are taking place far earlier than the manufacturer claims they should. Stryker Corporation’s metal on metal implants have a failure rate higher than 13% after only five years of use, when they should be lasting around 10-15 years.

Progress in Lawsuits against Stryker

There is an option to settle a large number of lawsuits of similar nature against a single defendant by a process of unification. Keeping in mind the ever-rising number of cases against Stryker Corporation, there are some courts utilizing this option.

At the federal level, the cases have been consolidated for Multi-District Litigation in the district court of Minnesota. There are currently 395 cases on the list of the Multidistrict Litigation against Stryker Corporation, MDL 2441. Similarly, in New Jersey the cases at the state level have been consolidated for pretrial under a Multicounty Litigation process.

This consolidation process is a fast-track and efficient method of resolving such cases. The first step after consolidation is pretrial proceedings, which are underway in both the federal and the state level courts right now. The next step will be the trial of the bellwether cases. These will be selected representative trendsetting cases, chosen from the consolidated list. After the decision of these cases, the remaining plaintiffs may decide to proceed further with the case or agree to a settlement, as per their own choice.

The Precedence of Johnson & Johnson

Stryker Corporation’s product Rejuvenate and ABG II are similar to the Johnson & Johnson DePuy products. Both companies created metal hip implants, which ultimately failed terribly. Stryker has attempted to follow suit Johnson & Johnson’s approach in their numerous litigations. Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR metal hip implants have also faced hundreds of complaints. The company has been compensating and continues to compensate the many victims of their hip implants.

The Stryker Corporation is looking to settle a similar deal. Both companies have agreed to cover the medical costs incurred to correct the hip implants and any further medical treatment required as a result. The federal courts and state courts have consolidated many lawsuits against both companies. However, Johnson & Johnson have settled some lawsuits individually.

The landmark case in this battle involved a retired prison guard who was awarded $8.3 million in compensation. This was one of the first of many lawsuits the company would be filing. Not all patients have been so lucky. A registered nurse lost her lawsuit against the company. Although many of the recipients of the DePuy model have or will most likely win their case against the company, the battle is far from over.

Turning a Blind Eye

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a very lenient law regarding the approval of any new transplant devices. This law has come under fire since the increasing failure rates of metal hip implants of various companies. The law states that any new hip implant device can be approved if it is similar to an already approved device currently available on the market. As the metal on metal devices made by various manufacturers are inherently similar, companies get the approval without any stringent checks.

In the USA, no record of the implants is maintained, unlike other countries like the UK and Australia. In these countries, health care organizations can monitor the efficacy of the implants over time. As per their records, every eighth DePuy metal on metal implant has failed. In the last decade, around 750,000 people have had metal on metal hip implants installed in the USA alone. Due to the lack of monitoring of these products, before and after they were sold, thousands of those recipients are experiencing phenomenal pains, which should not have occurred.

The Consumer Union of the USA has demanded much stricter approval process for all implant devices. They have also demanded the manufacturers provide the patients a guaranteed warranty. If these products are failing prematurely, it is the company’s duty to cover all medical costs and any other patient related costs. This has been decided in the hopes that this deters companies from releasing products, which they have not fully tested themselves or that may have possible side effects they do not mention.

Actions taken by Stryker

In July 2013, the Stryker Corporation recalled the metal on metal hip implant models Rejuvenate and ABG II. The FDA, Food and Drugs Administration USA forced the decision on Stryker, when they received a large number of complaints against the product. The company has stopped manufacturing and distributing these products worldwide. For patients who are currently using the products, Stryker urges them to seek medical attention right away and have a checkup performed to revalue their health.

The company has proposed a reimbursement procedure similar to the one undertaken by Johnson & Johnson. It seems the company will be following in the steps of the medical product giant, if they want to preserve an iota of their accountability and reputation.

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Chicago Man Files Lawsuit Against Stryker For Defective Hip In Illinois Court

Lawsuit Against Stryker For Hip FailureChicago Resident Claims Stryker Hip Implant Is Defective

Throughout the United States, there have been thousands of individuals like Mark Stephan who have had their lives drastically altered due to Stryker hip implants. From athletes to elderly people, Stryker hip implants have impeded on the well-being of individuals due to their defective nature. In August of 2007, Mark Stephan required a hip implant after being involved in a serious bicycling accident. His bicycle broke down, and his entire body was thrown over the handlebars. His vertebrae were fractured as a result, and it was expected that he would never be able to walk again.

The Stryker hip implant that he received was supposed to help him, but rather it has only added to his suffering and pain. Mr. Stephan is only 55 years old, but he will likely need to undergo a hip revision surgery due to his defective Stryker hip implant. He is also afraid that the faulty device may kill him or release poisonous ions into his bloodstream. As a result, Mark Stephan is now pursuing a Chicago Stryker lawsuit against the manufacturer to assert his legal rights and reclaim compensation.

The Voluntary Recall of Stryker Rejuvenate & ABG II Hip Implants

In June of 2012, Stryker Orthopedics initiated a voluntary recall of its own products. This was only after the FDA released numerous safety notices that warned consumers about the potential danger behind Stryker hip implants. Stryker Orthopedics also only initiated this voluntary recall due to the numerous complaints that it received as to the hip revision surgeries that were often required by patients with the Stryker hip implants. The problem was that the ABG II hip implants would typically fall apart and cause tremendous pain for patients. The ABG II hip implants did not undergo rigorous testing by the FDA, so patients were typically unaware that these hip implants had a propensity to deconstruct.

Mark Stephan is an example of one plaintiff who was completely unaware that Stryker hip implants were defective in nature. Stryker Orthopedics went ahead and made representations about its products that it knew were untrue. Many patients believed the advertisements and claims made by Stryker Orthopedics that these hip implants were intended to offer them support and to help them.

How Invasive Revision Surgeries Are Harming Patients

The invasive revision surgeries that patients like Mark Stephan now require are very painful and expensive. It is also likely that a patient may require even additional revision surgeries after having one. Revision surgeries often cause swelling, blood clotting and bruising in patients. Research studies have shown that patients frequently experience these side effects for at least six months after a revision surgery. It may be impossible for people like Mark Stephan to return to work or enjoy the activities that they once did as a result of Stryker hip implants.

Mark Stephan is now pursuing a lawsuit against Stryker for creating a defective hip implant and marketing it based on untrue representations. He seeks damages for the invasive revision surgery that he will likely require. He is unsure of whether he should get the revision surgery, because he is afraid of the negative impact that it will have on his life. His lawyer is also suing Stryker for misrepresentations that have mislead doctors and patients into believing that hip implants were quality products. Even doctors were unaware that Stryker hip implants were extremely defective in nature.

Asserting Your Rights with Stryker Hip Recall Lawyers

If you have suffered as Mark Stephan has, then you may have a claim against Stryker Orthopedics. Stryker Orthopedics must be held accountable for mass-producing defective hip implants that have caused individuals throughout the United States to suffer. A lawyer can help you to initiate a Chicago Stryker lawsuit today. Get in touch with Stryker hip recall lawyers for your free initial consultation and to receive an assessment of the damages that you may receive.

Stryker Rejuvenate Lawsuits Consolidated Into Multi-District Litigation

Stryker Lawsuits in litigationThe U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has approved the consolidation of Stryker hip recall lawsuits that are currently in federal court. The consolidation of the Stryker lawsuits will enable the cases to be handled more efficiently and may allow parties to receive damages in a more timely fashion. There are currently over 40 major lawsuits that have been filed against the manufacturer of the Stryker Rejuvenate device, and these lawsuits will now all take place in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota.

The Stryker Rejuvenate Multi-District Proceedings

Judge Donavan F. Frank will be presiding over the multi-district litigation proceedings involving the consolidated Stryker lawsuits. Any future lawsuits that involve the Stryker Rejuvenate or the ABG II Hip Stem device will also be joined to these consolidated proceedings.

This will be the second approved MDL consolidation for the Stryker lawsuits. Early in January of 2013, there was a prior consolidation of lawsuits involving defective Stryker medical devices. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits had their cases consolidated to be heard before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Differences Between Class Action Lawsuits and MDL litigation

There have also been some Stryker hip lawsuits that have been brought as a class action. In February of 2013, a district court in the Southern District of Florida granted class-action status to a plaintiff suffering from injuries as a result of using the Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement. In a class-action lawsuit, all plaintiffs are required to split the damages that are ultimately awarded to them. Multi-district litigation proceedings provide more flexibility to plaintiffs, because they can individually receive damages for their injuries. Each plaintiff also has the freedom to choose whether to move forward with a trial or pursue a settlement with a manufacturer.

The multi-district litigation proceedings are expected to be less time-consuming than the class-action lawsuits concerning Stryker hip replacement devices. In a multi-district litigation proceeding, all discovery procedures will be consolidated to be heard before one judge. These discovery procedures include the presentation of expert witnesses and oral arguments. In addition, other procedures such as depositions and document review only need to be conducted once by the attorneys involved in an MDL case.

Get in Touch with a Stryker Hip Recall Law Firm

Those who have suffered from injuries as a result of a Stryker hip replacement system can get in touch with experienced hip recall attorneys who are on the front lines of these cases to learn more about these cases today. It may not be too late to be joined as a plaintiff in the MDL proceedings concerning Stryker hip recall lawsuits.

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