The plaintiffs injured by a Smith and Nephew Birmingham hip (BHR) and R3 hip premature failure have filed a petition with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on February 1, 2017 to consolidate all pending federal BHR and R3 cases in a single venue or courthouse.
There are more than thirty Smith & Nephew Birmingham product liability lawsuits filed nationwide over its line of defective hips. The plaintiffs have requested a Maryland federal court as the court to consolidate and centralize the litigation under one judge.
Smith & Nephew Birmingham and R3 hips under the gun
The Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip was one of the first metal-on-metal hip replacement systems on the market, and immediately serious safety issues were raised concerning the premature hip implant failure of its devices.
The hip manufacturer is facing hundreds of lawsuits over its allegedly dangerous and defective R3 and BHR line of hip devices.
Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Failure Lawsuits
As many as 25 percent of women with BHR hips will experience premature failure due to metallosis, toxic levels of cobalt and chromium, and other serious symptoms related to the design of the device.
Many metal on metal hip implants have a high failure rates including those manufactured by Biomet, DePuy, Encore, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Wright and Zimmer.
Texas Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip failure
Linda Taylor, from Texas recently filed a product liability lawsuit, against the Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System claiming that it was defectively designed and caused premature implant failure.
Taylor filed her personal injury lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. According to Taylor, she has experienced severe pain and complications with the Smith & Nephew hip resurfacing implant, requiring the device to be removed after just eight years.
Taylor received a Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip in 2007, which included a 46mm Birmingham Resurfacing Femoral Head, and a 56mm Birmingham hip Resurfacing Acetabular Cup.
But, by 2015, she had to undergo revision surgery to have it removed due to pain in her right hip and premature hip failure.
What is Hip Resurfacing?
In a traditional total hip replacement the femoral head and acetabular hip socket are both removed and replaced. The femoral implant is placed down the shaft of the femur and a metallic head is connected to the metal femur, which then moves against the acetabular hip implant.
In hip resurfacing the femoral head is not removed but is instead trimmed and capped (resurfaced) with a smooth metal covering.
The damaged bone and cartilage within the acetabular hip socket is removed and replaced with a one piece metal shell which moves against the resurfaced head.
Who is Smith and Nephew?
Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology company based in England, that markets, manufactures, and sells prosthetic hip devices for use in total hip arthroplasty and resurfacing arthroplasty.
These hip replacement products include the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System, the devices are made of cobalt and chromium metal alloys, and are considered “metal-on-metal” hip implants.
Smith & Nephew failed to do adequate studies
The lawsuits note that the FDA approved the Birmingham hip in May 2006, requiring Smith & Nephew to meet several post-marketing surveillance and reporting requirements that were designed to ensure that in real-world use, the hip replacement system was safe and effective.
According to Taylor, the manufacturer has failed to do so, claiming that Smith & Nephew knew for years about reports of complications with Birmingham hip resurfacing, including revision surgeries and failures, yet failed to adequately inform the doctors or patients.
Smith & Nephew Birmingham & R3 hip implant recalls
The BHR may be used as part of a hip resurfacing, or it may be combined with a femoral stem in a total hip arthroplasty. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved the BHR for sale in the U.S. on May 9, 2006, through the Premarket Approval (“PMA”) process for Class III medical devices.
The R3 system consists of a femoral head and cup, with a metal acetabular liner separating the two components. These two devices share a similar mechanism of failure, and the FDA initially approved the R3 to be used as part of the BHR system. Smith & Nephew recalled the R3 in June 2012 due to high failure rates.
The company later withdrew the BHR device from the U.S. market in June 2015 due to similar high failure rates, particularly in women and in patients with smaller hip joints.
If you think you may have Smith & Nephew Birmingham Resurfacing devices and are experiencing pain caused by metal corrosion or have suffered premature hip failure requiring full revision and emergency care, please call us.