Stryker Corp. agreed recently this month to pay more than $1 billion to settle lawsuits over thousands of hip implants recalled in 2012 after patients complained of early hip implant failure, pain, and metal debris causing metallosis from the devices.
Stryker will pay a base amount of $300,000 per case to patients who had the devices surgically removed. The hip implant device manufacturer is exposed to more than 4,000 suits consolidated in New Jersey state court and federal court in Minnesota.
To qualify for the settlement, Stryker patients must show they had their hip implant removed prior to November 3, according to the terms of the settlement.
Patients who suffered extraordinary injuries associated with the hip’s removal, such as multiple surgeries, may qualify for more than $300,000 in compensation.
Stryker Recall July 2012
Stryker recalled their Rejuvenate and ABG II devices in July 2012 after warning surgeons that the implants could damage tissue around the hip and cause other significant health problems.
Stryker settled before facing multiple trials over allegations that their hips had fundamental design defects and that the company failed to warn patients about the devices’ risks.
What is Stryker Rejuvenate Hip?
The Stryker Rejuvenate is a modular metal based hip replacement, and it is subject to fretting, corroding and finally failing shortly after it is implanted.
The Stryker Rejuvenate has two components that fit inside of each other to allow the surgeon to adjust the length of the femoral component based on the patient’s size. This design has been associated to an increased risk of metallosis that occurs from the release of metal debris as the chromium-cobalt neck grinds against the titanium femoral stem.
Usually metal hip implants consist of one component of the metal head and stem. According to experts, approximately 20,000 patients received the metal hip implants. Unfortunately, according to experts it is expected that the Stryker Rejuvenate side effects are going to cause patients to suffer catastrophic failure of their hip replacements the longer the device remains.
Catastrophic hip failure and the need for early replacement is not a question of if, but a question of when.
Stryker Lawsuit Allegations
The lawsuits in the state and federal court litigation have similar claims, alleging that the Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, causing patients to develop early hip failure, pseudotumors in the hip joint, pain and suffering and metallosis side effects that resulted in the need for risky revision surgery.
Federal Multidistrict Litigation
Almost 2,000 cases are pending in the federal court system, and consolidated as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. The federal case is In Re Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 13-mdl-2441, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (St. Paul).
New Jersey State Multidistrict Litigation
Consolidated pretrial proceedings have been established in New Jersey state court, since is the corporate state for the hip manufacturer, Howmedica Osteonics. The New Jersey litigation has been centralized before Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Bergen County as part of a Multi-County Litigation (MCL). Here also almost 2,000 cases are pending.
The New Jersey case is In Re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular Hip Implant Litigation, 296 BER-L-936-13, Bergen County Superior Court (Hackensack).