Do you have a Stryker hip replacement system? Contact the experienced hip replacement attorneys at Phelan Petty today to learn your rights.
Certain metal-on-metal hip replacements, including Stryker’s LFIT CoCr V40 femoral head system, Rejuvenate and ABG II systems, are causing dangerous complications including corrosion, metal poisoning, and dislocation.
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Defective Hip Replacement Attorneys
Our seasoned products liability attorneys have been involved in defective hip replacement lawsuits since the 1990s, beginning with the Sulzer hip replacement litigation. Since that time, we have represented people injured by hip replacement devices manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker Orthopedics, Zimmer, Wright, Biomet and others.
Revision surgery for a defective hip implant is physically traumatic, especially for elderly patients who have fragile bones and a more difficult time recovering from major surgery. The surgery involves cutting out the existing stem and cup and pounding a new stem into the femur. Complications can include bone fractures, tissue loss, muscle damage, infections, and loss of mobility. In most instances, hip implant manufacturers market their devices to last 15-30 years. The goal is to limit the number of hip surgeries a patient has in her or his lifetime. When a hip implant fails after only a few years, the patient suffers unnecessary trauma as well as sometimes devastating injuries caused by the defective device.
The increasing number of defective hip replacement recalls in recent years involves primarily metal-on-metal hip implant devices. Hip replacement lawsuits involving metal-on-metal hip implants in which Phelan Petty has been involved include the following devices: DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, Stryker Rejuvenate, Stryker ABG II, and now Stryker EFIT V40.
Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II Litigation
Stryker recalled these metal-on-metal hip replacement devices in July 2012 due to problems with metal fretting, which lead to corrosion around the modular-neck components. Injuries and symptoms caused by the corrosion and device failure included tissue damage, inflammation, swelling, pain, metal poisoning, limited mobility and other problems that required revision surgery to remove and replace the defective hip implants. In 2014, Stryker settled thousands of Rejuvenate and ABG II lawsuits as part of a $1 billion global settlement that covered patients who needed revision surgery before November 3, 2014.
An expanded settlement agreement was announced recently that covers patients who missed the deadlines for the first settlement and who needed revision surgery before December 19, 2016. This is a time-sensitive settlement with deadlines to qualify. The basic payment terms are $300,000 per failed hip implant, with a double payment for bilateral hip failure, plus additional compensation for patients who qualify based on extraordinary injuries outlined in the settlement agreement.
Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Litigation
The latest defective device from Stryker is the LFIT (“Low Friction Ion Treatment”) Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral head. This is the part of the device that replaces the patient’s own natural femoral head, which is the round protrusion that fits into the hip socket. The part that actually connects the femur to the head is the taper lock, and the taper locks have been corroding and fracturing at an alarming rate.
In August – September of 2015, the Stryker LFIT V40 femoral head device was recalled in Canada, the subject of an Urgent Medical Device Recall Notification issued to U.S. surgeons, and the subject of an Australian Hazard Alert because of high failure rates caused by taper lock failures. The taper lock is the part of the metal device that connects the metal femoral head to the metal femoral neck. According to Australian authorities, the high incidence of taper lock failures relates to the interface between dissimilar metals – the taper is made of a form of titanium while the metal head is made of chromium-cobalt. As the dissimilar metal components interface with one another, metal fretting occurs, which leads to metal corrosion. This phenomenon occurs in all metal-on-metal devices, but we are seeing runaway corrosion with the V40, which is presumably due to the interfacing of dissimilar metals. The resulting corrosion with this device is devastating. Revision surgeons are documenting horrific metal poisoning, tissue staining and damage, and hip dissociation (dislocation).
The V40 comes in multiple sizes. The above-mentioned Stryker recalls and hazard alert are incorrectly limited to devices of certain diameters. Studies and data reported by the Mayo Clinic and others show that all diameters of the Stryker V40 are subject to runaway corrosion and that the failure rates are much higher than is currently being reported by Stryker.
V40 femoral heads have been used with the following Stryker hip implants: Accolade, Citation, Meridian, Exeter, Reliance, Definition, and Restoration. The V40 heads have also been used with the Rejuvenate and ABG II Stryker stems.
The problem with galvanizing corrosion is not limited to the Stryker V40. The Zimmer M/L Taper Hip Prothesis also utilizes dissimilar metals and has been found to experience the same fretting/corrosion issues.
DePuy Pinnacle Litigation
Global settlement of the DePuy ASR litigation resulted after the trial of bellwether cases, as ordered by the judge overseeing the MDL covering the consolidation of all ASR cases in federal court. The bellwether trial process in the Pinnacle litigation has resulted in one verdict in favor of DePuy and Johnson & Johnson, and two huge plaintiff verdicts – the most recent being a $1 billion verdict for six consolidated cases tried together in a Dallas federal court. Normally, one would think that these last two verdicts would cause Johnson & Johnson to commence negotiations for a global settlement of the thousands of filed Pinnacle lawsuits. However, J&J has announced its intention to appeal both verdicts and has not yet indicated a willingness to settle the Pinnacle litigation. The bellwether trial process continues. Counsel for injured victims will continue to push these cases to trial and to monitor and oppose any attempt by J&J to lobby Congress for a sweetheart deal that limits J&J’s responsibility to compensate injured victims.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective hip replacement device, act now because there are deadlines affecting your rights. Please contact us at 804-980-7100 or 866-249-3164 (toll free) for a free, confidential consultation. You can also request a free consultation by clicking on our Contact form, which will be reviewed by one of our experienced hip replacement attorneys. Thank you for visiting our site.