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Defective Hip Implant Products


A number of hip implant devices have prematurely failed or caused serious patient complications. Products implicated in the hip replacement lawsuit have subjected patients to multiple, invasive revision surgeries. Many patients have also suffered from metallosis, a form of metal poisoning.

Many plaintiffs have already received significant settlements and jury awards in these cases, with many more anticipated. If you or a loved one underwent hip replacement surgery and have suffered an adverse outcome, please contact our legal team. Our experienced defective medical device attorneys are offering free consultations to evaluate your claim and explain your legal options.

About Hip Replacement and Resurfacing

A large number of hip replacement systems are on the market, and many yield highly satisfactory results for patients. This increasingly common surgery is performed on more than 380,000 Americans each year, replacing hips that have been damaged by injury or disease.

A total hip replacement system is made up of three components: the cup, head, and stem, which are made of ceramic, metal, or polyethylene (plastic). The components combine to create an artificial ball and socket joint that is designed to move in the same manner as the natural hip. Partial hip replacements are also performed, along with hip resurfacing. Partial procedures address only the femur or the acetabulum, while resurfacing reshapes the femoral head and caps it with a new plate.

Many of these manufacturers have been implicated in patient lawsuits, and several have faced criminal charges related to illegal marketing tactics.

Implants that have failed or caused complications are primarily made of metal-on-metal components. Manufacturers of metal-on-metal products have promoted these devices as longer-lasting and more durable than other products, which can be ideal for younger, active patients. However, in some cases, these devices have proven defective, and patients have experienced pain, immobility, even metal poisoning.

Metallosis is a form of metal poisoning that can occur when toxic levels of metal build up in the body. The repetitive movements of metal-on-metal components can produce friction, causing microscopic flakes of chromium and cobalt to break away from the implant and enter the bloodstream and surrounding tissue. This can lead to other severe complications, including heart problems, cognitive impairment, and bone deterioration.

Products Implicated in Lawsuits

Litigation has focused on multiple companies that produce metal-on-metal hip replacement and resurfacing products. Many of these manufacturers have been implicated in patient lawsuits, and several have faced criminal charges related to illegal marketing tactics.

  • DePuy PINNACLE® ULTAMET Acetabular Cup System
  • DePuy ASR™ XL Acetabular System
  • DePuy ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System
  • Biomet® M2a Magnum and M2a-38 Hip Implants
  • Biomet® Stanmore
  • Biomet® Exceed ABT
  • Stryker® Rejuvenate Hip System
  • Stryker® ABG II Modular Neck Hip Stems
  • Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System
  • Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System
  • Smith & Nephew Empirion Modular Hip System
  • Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Devices
  • Wright™ Medical CONSERVE® Plus Hip Devices
  • Wright™ Medical PROFEMUR® Z Stem
  • OMNI Apex K-2 Modular Hip System

DePuy Orthopaedics

A division of Johnson & Johnson, DePuy has been a major supplier of hip replacement systems and components. The company voluntarily recalled their ASR™ systems in August 2010, and began offering ceramic and polyethylene component options for the PINNACLE® ULTAMET.

There have been thousands of lawsuits filed against DePuy concerning high failure rates and metal poisoning. In March 2016, a Texas jury awarded $502 million to five plaintiffs who suffered injuries from the PINNACLE® system. The judge later reduced the amount to $151 million, citing Texas law that limits punitive damages. There have been other significant court awards, but the majority of DePuy cases are still awaiting resolution.

Stryker® Orthopaedics

In response to numerous reports of device corrosion and patients diagnosed with bone death and metallosis, Stryker® issued recalls of its hip replacement systems in 2012. The Stryker® Rejuvenate and ABG II systems both contained metal-on-metal components.

If you have been injured by a defective medical device, Speak with an Attorney

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed, with many plaintiffs citing multiple revision surgeries in addition to adverse health complications. A $1.43 billion settlement was reached in 2014 to resolve about 3,000 claims.

Zimmer Holdings

Reports of numerous patient complications caused a temporary recall of the Durom Acetabular Component, commonly referred to as the Durom Cup, in 2008. The device was soon back on the market, and high failure rates continue to be reported, including cases of metal poisoning.

In February 2016, Zimmer announced a settlement agreement to compensate hundreds of Durom Cup claimants for an undisclosed amount. However, Zimmer has continued to face problems concerning their product line. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a March 2015, recall of the company’s Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate knee implant.

Biomet® Inc.

Biomet® has faced criminal and civil allegations of bribing government-employed doctors for a number of years, seeking to influence hospitals in several countries to use their products. In 2012, the company agreed to pay $22.7 million to settle these claims and avoid criminal prosecution.

Biomet® claimed the “durable” M2a Magnum would last for over 15 years, but many patients experienced device failures two years of their surgery. By 2014, Biomet® was facing over 1,600 civil lawsuits in multidistrict litigation (MDL). The company agreed to pay $56 million to settle hundreds of these cases. Over 1,000 cases are still pending in federal court, including complaints about the Stanmore and Exceed ABT systems. Biomet® was sold to Zimmer in 2014.

Smith & Nephew

Following a high number of revision surgeries, the metal liner component of Smith & Nephew’s R3 Acetabular Hip Replacement System was recalled in June 2012. The U.K.-based company had previously been found guilty of bribing surgeons to use their devices, paying $28.9 million to settle these claims with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2007.

In 2007, Wright™ paid $7.9 million to settle allegations that company officials had bribed doctors to choose their products for hip implant procedures.

Smith & Nephew continues to face problems with its metal hip implants. In England and Australia, medical safety alerts were recently issued pertaining to the Birmingham resurfacing device, which has been associated with an increased incidence of revision patients. Officials have specifically recommended against the use of this device in female patients and smaller males. The Empirion hip system has also been under scrutiny for higher rates of corrosion, premature fracture, and implant failure when compared to other products.

Wright™ Medical Technology Inc.

In November 2015, an $11 million jury verdict (reduced to $2.1 million) was awarded to a female plaintiff who had suffered metallosis after having a Wright™ CONSERVE® hip replacement system implanted. This ruling followed a $4.5 million PROFEMUR® Z award in California, and more than 1,000 similar cases are still pending. More than 8 percent of Wright™ hip implant patients have required a revision surgery within five years of initial placement.

In 2007, Wright™ paid $7.9 million to settle allegations that company officials had bribed doctors to choose their products for hip implant procedures.

OMNI

Clinical studies have shown an “unfavorably high” early revision rate for OMNI’s Apex K-2. Three years after surgery, as many as 9.3 percent of patients are experiencing device failures that require a revision procedure. The increased failure rates of this device may be caused by corrosion of the neck-stem interface.

Pursuing Litigation

Hip replacement patients who experience early device failure, metallosis, pain, and immobility, are continuing to pursue claims against manufacturers. If you believe you may have a defective hip implant claim, you can learn your legal options by speaking to an experienced attorney. Please contact our legal team today to schedule a free consultation.

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