Hip Replacement Lawsuits: Understanding Liability & Compensation

by | Nov 19, 2022 | Product Liability, Medical Devices | 0 comments

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Hip manufacturing companies have settled billions of hip replacement cases during the past 20 years. These cases frequently center on metal-on-metal hip replacement implants, widely used in the 2000s before physicians and patients became aware of the risks. If one of these medical devices harmed you and needed revision surgery, you could be entitled to compensation.

What is the Surgery for a Hip Replacement?

Hip replacement surgery becomes an option when a patient has difficulty during everyday activities and while at rest. Doctors have suggested this kind of surgery when extended medicine no longer works.

Implants are now more efficient because of advancements in medical technology and surgery. More than 300,000 hip replacement procedures are carried out in the U.S. annually.

Hip replacement surgery involves installing implants within a patient’s femur and hip joint. The patient needs hip revision surgery to repair or replace the implant when hip replacement goes wrong.

Numerous patients have filed hip replacement lawsuits against the producers and distributors of hip implants due to revision surgeries.

Why were hip replacements performed on patients?

Hip replacement surgery can reduce strain and restore mobility when a hip joint has worn out due to misuse, aging, accidents, or medical conditions by replacing worn-out bone and tissue with artificial replacement parts. A few common reasons for hip surgery include:

  • Accidents
  • Septic arthritis
  • Hip rupture
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Unusual bone expansion

The Risks of Hip Replacements

For patients needing a hip replacement, medical device makers have created various great solutions to restore range of motion and support active lives. However, after having metal-on-metal items implanted, several patients reported a higher failure rate and metallosis, or metal poisoning.

Studies have shown that the metal fragments from this hip replacement can damage the surrounding bone, muscle, and tissue. Even worse, the metal fragments may enter the body and harm internal organs, leading to hearing loss, vision problems, heart troubles, and other serious side effects.

The damaged components of many metal-on-metal hip replacements must be removed during revision surgery to be replaced with a new hip implant. Hip revision surgery includes shattering or dislocating old hip implant devices, which is highly intrusive. Due to these factors, hip revision surgery patients face increased health risks.

Hip replacement surgery is an extensive procedure that comes with certain particularly substantial risks:

  • Hip dislocation
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Ruptured tissues
  • Loosening of implant
  • Femur fracture

Patients regularly file metal hip replacement lawsuits to recover compensation for medical costs, lost income, loss of consortium, pain, and suffering, and hip revision surgery when a hip implant fails, and a hip replacement is required.

Many patients have had various adverse side effects after getting metal-on-metal components in hip replacement systems, prompting them to pursue claims against the manufacturers.

What Companies Make Hip Replacements and Issue Recall?

Many international manufacturers have recalled their hip implant devices due to rising metallosis cases and high rates of hip surgery failure. Numerous hip replacement lawsuits, including individual and class actions, were brought. The firms are:

  • Zimmer Biomet
  • DePuy Orthopedics
  • Stryker Orthopedics
  • Wright Medical Technologies
  • Smith & Nephew
  • Exactech

Sometimes, items reach the market before undergoing the necessary FDA testing. This procedure is called the 510(K) Premarket Notification Process. A company may sell a substantially comparable product that hasn’t yet been evaluated if it has submitted a product to the FDA and gotten clearance to sell it. In one crucial way, defects may be overlooked by the general public until it is too late.

Manufacturers must design products that function safely. They must convey clear instructions and warnings about potential risks to end users. Customers can file hip replacement lawsuits for everything from lost pay to the cost of further procedures if companies fail to do so.

DePuy Hip Replacement Class Action Lawsuit

The metal-on-metal (MoM) design of the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant, first made available in 2002, was designed to reduce “wear and tear” and make it more resilient and long-lasting than previous implants. Unfortunately, many patients who received MoM hip implant devices experienced severe consequences.

DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, is one of the most well-known companies engaged in hip replacement lawsuits. Due to their metal-on-metal structure, DePuy implants have a relatively high failure rate and a rate of adverse effects.

More than 12,000 hip replacement lawsuits against DePuy are pending with its ASR hip implants. Regarding their ASR Hip Replacements, DePuy has resolved hundreds of Johnson & Johnson hip replacement lawsuits. But because of this, the Pinnacle device still faces almost 9,000 additional cases.

Stryker Hip Replacement Lawsuit

Two of the hip replacement items made by Stryker have been recalled. The company started the hip replacement parts recall shortly after alerting medical professionals to an elevated risk of metallosis, tissue death, and other problems that would necessitate revision surgery.

Several of the company’s products have been the subject of Stryker hip replacement lawsuits. The Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement lawsuits were consolidated in one court. The court resolved them in 2014.

The U.S. Judicial Panel Multidistrict Litigation created a single lawsuit for complaints involving Stryker’s LFIT V40 hip component. In November 2018, Stryker consented to a preliminary settlement on those claims. Law firms are now accepting Stryker’s Tritanium Acetabular Shell’s lawsuits.

In July 2019, a Massachusetts federal court had more than 660 cases pending. New Jersey has already merged additional state-filed issues.

Zimmer Biomet Hip Replacement Lawsuit

Zimmer Holdings purchased Biomet Inc. in 2015. The company develops a metal-on-metal component known as the M2a that may be utilized with various products. Biomet and Zimmer joined, creating the third-largest orthopedic device manufacturer worldwide.

The Durom Acetabular Component, a metal hip socket manufactured by Zimmer, is the subject of legal action. Instead of cement, this device uses a plasma coating to assist and encourage bone formation. However, many patients have experienced severe pain when the implant loosens due to the implant not correctly fusing to the bone.

Many surgeons have turned away from Zimmer’s products since they sometimes fail to connect with a patient’s host bone adequately. To change the instructions given to surgeons, Zimmer started a recall of the devices in 2008.

An appeal by Zimmer Biomet to request a new trial following a $3.5 million hip implant lawsuit judgment was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Smith & Nephew Hip Replacement Lawsuit

According to cases previously brought against Smith & Nephew, the device’s flawed design caused significant issues for hip replacement patients. The implants were metal-on-metal, which means that a person’s damaged hip joint is replaced by inserting a metal ball into a metal socket.

Recent studies, however, have shown that they can mitigate the continual wear and system failure brought on by these two metal parts grinding against one another.

In June 2012, Smith & Nephew began to recall the metal liner part of its modular R3 Acetabular Hip Replacement System. Patients with this component implanted might be more likely to need revision surgery. The Smith & Nephew complaints were combined into one case by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in 2017.

Wright Hip Replacement Lawsuit

In 2009, the Wright Profemur System was introduced to the market, and statistics showed that the system had an above-average failure rate only three years after surgery. Many Wright hip replacement patients have had discomfort due to metal-on-metal friction and metal poisoning.

The cases allege injuries and other consequences connected to metallosis. The settlements covered people whose lawsuits were still pending at the time. Additionally, they had to have undergone corrective surgery within eight years of getting the bad hip implant.

Wright Medical resolved hundreds of cases over their hip-replacement implants by agreeing to two settlements totaling $330 million. Following the agreement, a federal judge ended the multidistrict case against Wright in June 2018. The firm no longer produces hip implants.

Multi-District Litigation

Courts are beginning to create multi-district cases even though there aren’t any class-action lawsuits pending for MoM hip replacements. Stryker reached a $1 billion settlement with the victims of two of its recalled devices in 2014.

A court determined that plaintiffs had been harmed by DePuy’s faulty equipment two years later, and DePuy (Johnson & Johnson) made a $1 billion payment to patients and their families. More hip replacement litigation cases are in progress, leading to the hip replacement manufacturers paying substantial compensation settlements.

MDL, or multidistrict litigation, is a procedure that unites at least two manufacturers and enables hundreds or even thousands of comparable plaintiffs from several federal districts to proceed swiftly through the legal system. MDL prevents courts from hearing and rehearing the same case repeatedly when so many plaintiffs whose allegations appear nearly identical. They’re still in the beginning phases.

Why do Individuals File Hip Replacement Lawsuits?

It’s one thing to undergo surgery to treat a problematic ailment and still feel pain afterward, even though the problem has been resolved. Extensive hip replacement procedures frequently use metal-on-metal construction.

Complications with components of hip replacement systems, such as polyethylene hip liners, are the subject of various kinds of hip replacement lawsuits.

The following difficulties, issues, and impacts are the most frequent causes of legal action against these surgeons and medical device manufacturers:

  • Device loosening
  • Metallosis
  • The implant failed sooner than expected
  • The product was advertised as safe even though it wasn’t
  • The patient needed further procedures that may have been avoided
  • The device did not come with sufficient safety or implant instructions
  • Failure to warn

Hip Replacement Lawsuits filed against the manufacturers allege that the businesses produced faulty products, failed to adequately warn patients and the public about the risks of the products, and actively promoted their products, with many of the businesses being accused of paying physicians to use their products. For this kind of situation, there are several class action lawsuits.

Who Can File Hip Replacement lawsuits?

The patient is qualified to request claims and hip replacement recall compensation if the FDA or the maker has issued a recall for the product or implant used in the treatment. It may be possible to receive compensation for people who endured excruciating pain, had hip device failure, needed hip revision surgery, or became ill due to metal ion poisoning from a hip replacement device.

To proceed with a bad hip replacement lawsuit, the claimant must establish that the hip replacement surgery is to blame for any harm, as well as for any side effects and other difficulties. Patients are still eligible to submit a claim even if the adverse effects weren’t immediately noticeable, and the manufacturer or its suppliers will then further investigate it.

Participating in recall campaigns could also make it harder to pursue additional damages. Be aware that specific guidelines exist for seeking and filing claims in each state.

A specific period is also given for bringing a lawsuit hip replacement. The statute of limitations also applies to this. Every patient must understand this provision. Contact a lawyer to assist you with preparing what you need to win the claim so that you may make the most of the time and begin processing claims.

You might be able to determine if you have a strong case by reviewing your medical records. LezDo techmed is equipped to do a medical record review in every state and would be honored to help you find comfort in this stressful undertaking.

To wind up,

The time to file a defective hip replacement lawsuit for harm brought on by a faulty product is limited. Get more information right away because waiting might harm your case. These hip implants have caused issues for several people, who still suffer today. It’s essential to make an effort to hold the manufacturer responsible for their negligence and obtain compensation for the losses you suffered.

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