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Metal Hip Replacement: Devices, Problems and Lawsuits

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Today's Hip Lawsuit News: State Law Claims Against Smith and Nephew Maker Not Barred By Federal Law

Hip replacement is one of the most frequently performed surgeries in the U.S. – nearly 250,000 surgeries every year. Surgeons have gotten so good at this surgery that, for many patients, recovery time is minimal, and full motion returns to the hip in short order. It’s not the surgeons to blame for the thousands upon thousands of health complications that have been linked to hip replacement operation. Faulty devices are the problem.

Types Of Hip Replacements

You might remember from seventh-grade health class that the human hip is a ball-and-socket joint. Such a joint consists of a rounded piece of bone (the ball) that fits inside a cup (the socket) so that the ball may rotate within the socket with a high degree of freedom and flexibility. It’s exactly the kind of joint used in most automotive suspension systems, and it’s one of Mother Nature’s most extraordinary accomplishments.

But, like all bone-on-bone contact points, the hip joint can wear down. Either the rounded top of the femur or the cup inside the pelvis can wear away from years of use. That’s when doctors recommend hip replacement.

Hip replacements come in several varieties:

Hip Replacement Types

• metal ball / polyethylene socket
• ceramic ball / polyethylene socket
• ceramic ball / ceramic socket
• ceramic ball / metal socket

(Polyethylene is a dense, strong, firm, versatile plastic that feels waxy to the touch. It’s the most common type of plastic – you use it every day in the form of garbage bins, bottles, bags, buckets, toys, cables, and many other products.)

All of the hip replacement devices above are generally safe and effective.

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Metal on metal Hip Device

The type of of hip replacement device that has been, for hundreds of thousands of people, the source of pain, suffering, infection, and even additional surgeries: metal-on-metal.

Complications

When hip replacement devices have metal balls and metal sockets, the friction of the metal on metal hip replacement releases metal shavings and dust into nearby tissues and blood. This can cause serious health complications, including but not limited to:

Post Hip Replacement Complications

• severe pain – even when the hip is not moving
• swelling and inflammation
• dislocation of the implant
• bone deterioration
• muscle and tendon breakdown
• a dangerous toxic condition called metallosis
• other forms of poisoning

These and other hip-replacement complications sometimes require further surgery to correct.

Metal-on-metal hip replacements are dangerous. Yet nearly a third of all hip replacement surgeries employ metal-on-metal devices.

Despite warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and thousands of lawsuits, metal-on-metal hip replacements are still on the market, and are still being used in hip replacement surgeries.

Metal Hip Replacement FDA Warnings

Despite warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and thousands of lawsuits, metal-on-metal hip replacements are still on the market, and are still being used in hip replacement surgeries.

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Metal on Metal Hip Litigation

metal hip device

In the early 2000s, several hip implant manufactures, including Depuy, Stryker, Wright Medical, Encore, Biomet and Zimmer, rushed to the market with a new option for those needing hip replacement surgery. These new hips, with metal-on-metal components, were marketed to doctors as the holy grail of hip replacements, particularly for the younger and more active patients. They’ll last twice as long the companies said! And they put these products out as fast as they could trying to get a bigger piece of the money pie.

All of the various metal-on-metal hip replacement systems have been recalled or been withdrawn from the market by the manufacturers amid increasing evidence of metallosis, pseudo tumors, and cobalt/chromium poisoning.

Important Hip Replacement Questions

The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com represent many individuals with defective metal on metal hip implants. In addition, we have reviewed thousands of medical records and have spoken to many prospective clients and orthopedic surgeons. We have learned that some surgeons are aggressive in their treatment and quickly recommend revision surgery. Others are more guarded and rely on blood tests, X-RAYS and physical examinations to monitor the patient. The doctors may be looking for the levels of cobalt and/or chromium, but we are concerned that many doctors do not fully understand the toxicity of these metals.

questions every metal on metal hip patient should ask their doctor.

• What types of tests do you recommend to make sure that metal ions from my metal hip are not causing tissue damage? If you discover tissue damage, what are common complications that can arise?

• Should I be getting blood tests to determine the amount of cobalt and chromium in my blood?  What are the health risks associated with cobalt and chromium?

• How much cobalt and chromium in my blood is too much?  At what point should I be worried about any long term health issues such as cancer, thyroid disorders or heart issues?

• Are there any studies on the health impacts of having high levels of chromium and/or cobalt?

• What do you look for before recommending revision surgery?

• What is the revision rate for my specific metal on metal hip?

• If you think my metal hip is likely to fail in the future, is there any reason to wait until the metal ions have caused damage to my hip before having surgery?

• If you don’t currently recommend revision surgery, how often should I get my blood tested for cobalt and chromium?

• If you don’t currently recommend revision surgery, should I be getting MRIs performed on a regular basis? 

• If you recommend revision surgery, what are the risks of having the surgery?

• What does revision surgery entail?  Will you be removing all of the hardware?

• How many revision surgeries have you personally performed where the stem had to be removed?

• What is your complication rate with these surgeries?

• After the surgery will the physical therapy or rehabilitation differ from my first operation?

• If you put a new hip in me, what is the track record on the new hip?

As we believe to always be the case, education is key. There is no reason to be a guinea pig for Big Pharma. Ask questions! Research the device or drug before you agree to it. Who makes it? How long has it been on the market? What is the reputation of the manufacturer? There are many ways to minimize the risk. If you have found yourself injured by a defective medical device or bad drug, the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com stand ready.

Billion Dollar Metal on Metal Hip Implant Lawsuits & Settlements

Manufacturers of the metal-on-metal hip implants have agreed to pay out billions in settlements on hip recall lawsuits to those who have suffered as a result of defective hip products.   If you had a metal-on-metal hip implant removed, or still have one today, you may qualify for substantial settlement funds.  TheLawFirm.com has clients enrolled in these settlement programs and know how to navigate the complex rules and requirements of qualifying our hip revision recall clients for compensation.

We filed our first hip case in 2012 and have been working on these cases every day. Some of our clients have received settlements in the settlement programs that have been offered by certain manufacturers. Other manufacturers continue to refuse to pay the compensation that our clients deserve. For those clients we continue to fight on. We are confident of a positive outcome and have devoted the enormous resources of our firm behind these cases. Call us today at to find out if you qualify.

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Encore Hip Overview
Cobalt and Chromium Poisoning

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Metal On Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit FAQ's

How much will this cost?
There is no fee unless and until we win for you. Our straightforward fee agreement sets out the simple terms of our fees and costs when we win your case. We will never ask you to send us money. Ever.

Where will my case be filed?
Depending upon the analysis of your medical records and confirmation of the model of your hip implant, your case may be filed in one of the metal hip MDLs or in a State Court coordinated proceeding.

Is this a Class Action?
No. A class action is where one or two people represent everyone and make the decisions for you. With metal hip claims, each case is individual and you, with your attorney, make the decisions about the important events in your case like whether to enroll in a settlement program when it becomes available. In the legal world, this is called a “mass tort”.

Do I have to go to Court?
Probably not. With thousands of similar cases filed before yours, it is very unlikely that you will ever have to go to Court. 99% of cases like this resolve in a settlement program.

Do you sue my doctor?
No. We do not sue or make any claims against your doctors. We believe that the surgeons are the victims of the greedy medical company as well. In fact, many doctors have told us that the company “sold them” on the metal hip design by promising that it was the best choice for younger and more active patients because of the stability of the materials. Unfortunately, those companies lied to the medical community and you suffered because of it.

Will everyone get the same amount in a settlement?
No. When a settlement happens there will likely be a “base value” subject to adjustments depending upon certain criteria. You will decide whether to settle your claim or not (with the advice of your attorney).

Do you guys know what you are doing?
That’s an easy one. Yes. Our metal hip team has been successfully working on metal hip cases for six years. We have represented victims of defective medical products for almost 20 years.

What is the current status?
There have been several metal hip implant cases that have reached trial. Most cases have won and some have lost. While the cases that have gone to trial are not binding upon any other cases, it is encouraging to know that juries have stood up to the greedy corporations and told them to stop hurting people in the name of profit. In addition to the trials, there have been several settlement programs for certain metal hip claims and thousands of families have already been paid compensation.

More trials are scheduled and we will be issuing regular updates to our clients about settlement programs and progress in the litigation.

Metal Hip Device Fact:
75% increase in the number of men under 55 and nearly a 70% rise among women under 55 having hip replacements compared to 10 years ago

Metal Hip Replacement Brands

depuy logo

Depuy Metal On Metal Hips

Depuy Pinnacle and ASR

The Pinnacle hip replacement is a total hip replacement system designed and manufactured by DePuy, the makers of the recalled DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip.  The design of the Pinnacle hip allows different choices of liner to place inside the outer cup (socket). The surgeon can choose between a metal liner, ceramic liner or polyethylene (plastic) liner.

The DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system, when used with a metal liner, becomes a metal-on-metal hip device similar to the DePuy ASR and other metal-on-metal designs.  One of the recognized problems with the metal-on-metal hip design is that it places a metal femoral head (ball) against a metal acetabular cup (socket).  The metal surface of the hip ball grinds on the metal surface of the cup throughout the day when the patient is walking, running, or doing just about anything.  Over time, the friction between the two metal surfaces releases metal ions into the blood, bone, and surrounding tissues.  This can result in metallosis – high levels of the metals cobalt and chromium in the blood.

The company maintains that there is no defect in the design of the Pinnacle hip replacement, though DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits allege that the company is concealing defects and has misrepresented that the hip replacement is a safe and effective medical device.

Visit our Depuy Metal Hip page for more detailed product, lawsuit and settlement information.

Depuy Metal Hip Device Problems

• Pain in the hip and groin

• Pseudotumors

• Pinnacle hip implant failure

• Difficulty walking or standing

• Loosening of the hip device

• Metallosis (metal poisoning)

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Stryker Rejuvante

Stryker metal hip replacement problems

In the Stryker Rejuvenate device, the “necks” are made of cobalt and chromium, and the “stems” are made of titanium-coated metal. When these metals rub against each other, tiny particles of metal can rub or flake off and enter the bloodstream.

In really bad cases, those fragments of metal can cause tissue damage, neurological damage, even blindness. Even worse than these serious health problems is the fact that Stryker knew full well that the metals in the Rejuvenate were potentially toxic – yet they didn’t see fit to tell us about it.

Visit our Stryker Metal Hip page for more detailed product, lawsuit and settlement information.

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Stryker ABG I & II

The metals that can flake off of the Stryker ABG II are cobalt and chromium, which are safe only in the tiniest, tiniest quantities. The particles that the ABG II can release into the bloodstream may be small, but they contain far more of these potentially toxic metals than is considered safe.

Visit our Stryker Metal Hip page for more detailed product, lawsuit and settlement information.

Stryker ABG I & II Problems

• metallosis
• blindness
• hyperthyroidism
• cardiomyopathy
• deafness
• cognitive impairment

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Stryker V40 Femoral Head

The Stryker V40 Femoral Head is a component of a hip-replacement device, not an entire device unto itself. The V40 is a metal piece that replaces the ball joint at the top of the femur, and it’s designed to work with other Stryker hip devices, such as the Accolade.

Visit our Stryker Metal Hip page for more detailed product, lawsuit and settlement information.

Stryker V40 Femoral Head Problems

• bone and tissue damage
• swelling, infection and inflammation
• necrosis (tissue death)
• osteolysis
• pseudotumors
• dizziness
• headaches
• gastrointestinal problems
• nervous system disorders
• emotional disturbance

stryker logo

Stryker Accolade Hip Replacement

In designing the Accolade hip replacement device, the decision-makers at Stryker developed and employed a proprietary titanium alloy that was supposed to reduce the likelihood of fine metal particulates being released into the blood.

It didn’t work.

Like so many other hip replacement devices, the Stryker Accolade can release tiny fragments of metal into the bloodstream. The release of potentially toxic metals into the blood has been associated with a number of significant health risks, including:

Stryker Accolade Health Risks

• bone damage
• metal poisoning
• infection
• Metallosis
• necrosis (tissue death)
• additional surgeries (“revision surgeries”)
• medical expenses
• loss of income
• pain, suffering, and mental anguish
• diminished quality of life

Stryker voluntarily recalled the Accolade hip device in 2009. The official reason was that the device did not adhere to company specifications concerning “tensile bond strength and crystallinity.”

We believe that Stryker recalled the Accolade to avoid the lawsuits that they knew were coming.

We believe that, if your health and your life have been negatively impacted by the Stryker Accolade, your best option may be to file a lawsuit against the company.

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Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System

In the Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system, the top end of the femur is lopped off and replaced with a rounded metal joint; and any damaged bone and cartilage in the pelvis is ground down and replaced with a metal “cup.” Most of the femur and most of the pelvis are left intact.

But even if the femur-top replacement fits perfectly, and even if the partial pelvic replacement goes as smoothly as possible, there’s still a major problem. Both parts of the BHR system are made from potentially toxic metal that, when they rub against each other, can release tiny, toxic particles into your bloodstream.

The Smith & Nephew BHR system’s metal-on-metal design can be, in the worst cases, a death sentence. The microscopic particles of metal that the BHR system release into the bloodstream can, in fact, lead to fatalities. And even if these poisonous metals don’t kill you, they can cause.

Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Problems

• metallosis
• pain
• infection and inflammation
• tissue death

In the most serious cases, the metal fragments can cause a serious disease called metallosis, or metal poisoning, which is exactly what it sounds like. Metallosis can cause tissue damage, nerve damage, blindness, and death. In our opinion, Smith & Nephew made a fatal flaw in making the components of its Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system out of toxic metals like chromium and cobalt. If you have undergone a surgical BHR system procedure, you could be at serious risk. Contact your doctor immediately.

smith and newphew logo

Smith & Nephew R-3 Hip Device

If you’ve ever used a power drill to make a hole in a block of metal, then you know exactly what goes on inside a defective hip replacement device like the Smith & Nephew R-3.

When the metal of the drill bit abrades the metal block, the resulting force produces little coils of twisted metal. That’s exactly what happens inside your body when the two metal components of a defective artificial hip rub against each other. Inside your hip joint, the coils of metal are a lot smaller than those on your workbench, and they are produced much more slowly. But the two processes are identical.

When you’re working in the shop, there’s no reason to pay much attention to those little pieces of metal debris. You brush them off of your workbench, and never think of them again.

But even though those fragments of metal inside your hip joint are small, they can cause serious, serious health problems.

The Smith & Nephew R-3 hip replacement device suffers from the same hazardous design flaw that affects many other hip replacement devices. It contains two metal parts that rub up against each other every time you move your hip. That abrasion creates metal particulate matter that then enters the bloodstream. Once it does that, the metal can cause major health problems:

Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Problems

• serious pain
• infection and inflammation
• bone deterioration
• joint dislocation
• metallosis
• headaches, dizziness, and nausea
• infection
• nervous system disorders
• gastrointestinal disorders
• loss of hearing
• blindness
• hypothyroidism
• cardiomyopathy

Hip replacement devices like the Smith & Nephew R-3 can cause more problems than they solve. And that’s not even mentioning the great expense of the “revision surgery” that’s often needed to remove and replace these faulty devices.

If you’ve been surgically implanted with a Smith & Nephew R-3 hip replacement device, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.

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encore logo

Encore Metal Hip Replacement

Encore Hip Problems and Lawsuit

The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com may be the only California-based defective product law firm handling Encore hip lawsuits. Why is this important? Because the company responsible for the Encore® hip system is a California-based orthopedics company. This enables us, as a California-based defective medical products law firm, to bring claims through the California Court system, against the Encore® company for the damages suffered by its victims.

Lawyers from other states that are not licensed in California may not have the experience or knowledge (or even be allowed) to handle a California lawsuit. Our managing attorney, has almost 20 years experience representing victims of defective medical products.

The safety of metal-on-metal hip devices is seriously in issue because of the tendency for metal components to rub against one another, releasing particles of metal into a patient’s tissues, bones or bloodstream.

The Encore® metal hip recall lawyers at TheLawFirm.com are currently handling claims involving the Encore® hip replacement systems that included metal-on-metal design.

Encore® hip implants included both one-piece neck and stem called a ‘monoblock’ design often coupled with a cup with a metal surface. This creates metal friction every time you move. Encore® also made ‘modular’ hip stems in which the stem and neck are two pieces. Both types of Encore® hips have the potential to fail due to excessive metal debris caused by the metal-on-metal friction. In addition, hazards can be caused by metal corrosion at the modular neck junction (in the modular devices). Metal particles in the tissues is known to lead to high levels of cobalt and/or chromium in the blood, development of tumors, and painful loosening and instability of the hip device.

Visit our Encore Metal Hip page for more detailed product, lawsuit and settlement information.

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zimmer logo

Zimmer Hip

The Zimmer Durom Cup is a partial hip replacement: it replaces only the portion of the pelvis that receives the “ball” joint from the top of the femur.

But even partial hip replacements can be complete and total failures.

The Zimmer Durom Cup was designed for younger, “active” people who happened to require hip replacement. Yet, in many cases, it has rendered those people less active than they were before.

Zimmer Durom Cups are notorious for failing. That’s because their manufacturer gave faulty implantation instructions to orthopedic surgeons.

The maker of the Durom Cup could not adequately convey to doctors how to install the device – but they released it onto the market, anyway.

Around 12,000 people were implanted with Zimmer Durom Cups. A great many of them have suffered from debilitating pain and a loosening of the implant. Some of them have had to undergo “revision surgery” – a corrective operation to undo the damage caused by the device.

At TheLawFirm.com, we believe that negligence like this should not go unpunished, especially when people’s lives and health have been so negatively affected.

Call today for your free consultation.

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wright medical logo

Wright Medical Hips

Wright Dynasty Hip

In November 2016, Wright Medical Technology – a major manufacturer of hip replacement devices – agreed to pay out $240 million to settle nearly 1300 formal lawsuits concerning its Conserve, Lineage, and Dynasty models.

That’s nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. The average settlement amounted to more than $185,000.

That staggering payout covered most of the outstanding claims against Wright Medical Technology for its dangerously defective hip replacement devices.

But it didn’t cover all of the claims. And there’s no statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit against a company for making potentially harmful devices.

If you’ve received a Wright Dynasty hip replacement device, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. The expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are standing by to help you.

The problem with the Wright Dynasty hip replacement is that it is made partly from potentially toxic metals. Having potentially toxic materials inside your body is a dangerous thing.

To make matters worse, the metal components of the Wright Dynasty are constantly rubbing up against one another. When this happens, tiny fragments of those toxic metals get released into the bloodstream, and can then travel throughout the body to cause all kinds of harm.

Wright Dynasty Hip Problems

• metallosis
• debilitating pain
• infection and inflammation
• blindness
• death

The $240 million that Wright Medical Technology was ordered to pay was intended to cover the cost of so-called “revision surgery” – that is, having additional surgery to remove the dangerous device that was implanted in the first surgery.

As is obvious from the $185,000 average price tag, revision surgery is expensive. It is also needless, disruptive, and not without risk. No surgical procedure is without risk.

If you have a metal-on-metal hip replacement device, you may be eligible for a similar settlement. And you owe it to yourself, your health, and your loved ones to address this potential danger right away.

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wright medical logo

Wright Conserve Hip Replacements

In the opinion of the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com, the Wright Conserve hip replacement device has one of the most inaccurate names of all time.

Conserve  \kən-sûrv′\ (n) : to protect from loss or harm; to preserve

For far too many people, the Wright Conserve hip replacement device has done exactly the opposite of what its name implies it will do. Rather than protecting people from further harm, the Wright Conserve has proven to be medically unsafe, and can actually leave hip replacement patients in worse shape than when they started.

What’s so unsafe about the Wright Conserve? Simply put, the components of the device that undergo the greatest movement and stress are made from potentially toxic metals. Whenever you walk, sit, or move your hip in any way, those pieces rub up against each other. That rubbing creates friction, which can dislodge from the pieces tiny fragments of metal that can then enter the bloodstream.

The release of toxic metals into the bloodstream can hardly be called “conservation.”

When released into the bloodstream, those poisonous metals can cause a condition known as metallosis, or metal poisoning. The effects of metallosis can be severe, and even fatal.

The presence of metallosis may be indicated by nothing more than soreness, redness, or fever. Soon, other, more serious symptoms – like nausea and severe pain – can present themselves. In the worst cases, the buildup of toxic metals in the bloodstream can kill.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Metal Hip Replacement Fact:
More than 300,000 hip replacement operations are performed in the United States each year.

Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit News & Trial Updates


• March 29, 2018

State Law Claims Against Hip Implant Maker Not Barred By Federal Law

In a victory for plaintiffs suing medical device maker Smith & Nephew PLC in multidistrict litigation (MDL) over alleged problems with the company’s metal-on-metal hip implants, a Maryland federal judge ruled that most of the plaintiffs’ Maryland state law claims were not preempted by federal law, as attorneys for the defendant device maker had argued. In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake found that the plaintiffs’ state law negligence claims could proceed because they run parallel to—rather than being preempted by—related federal law.

Defendant Smith & Nephew had argued that plaintiffs’ negligence claims—in addition to claims of strict product liability and manufacturing defects—should all be dismissed, largely on the basis that these state law claims were preempted by federal law and regulation, specifically the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. However, Judge Blake found that federal regulation under the Act required the defendant company to provide truthful and accurate information about its product, to report adverse events to the appropriate authorities, and to appropriately educate surgeons on installation of the product, all of which mirror elements of plaintiffs’ state law negligence claims.

In approximately 200 lawsuits emanating from over 40 states, plaintiffs in the MDL allege—among other claims surviving Judge Blake’s ruling—negligence, failure to warn, and negligent misrepresentation on the part of Smith & Nephew with regards to its Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated that Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device as Class III, meaning the agency considers the device to be “high risk”. Additionally, two recalls have been issued for the device. In 2007, a recall was conducted over labeling issues, and a second took place in 2015 as the risks inherent in metal-on-metal hip implants became more apparent, and competitors began to conduct similar recalls.

Research shows that, once implanted, metal-on-metal hip implants are subject to regular friction that, over time, can release metal ions and other metallic debris into the bloodstream, which can result in metal poisoning and other negative health impacts.

According to plaintiffs, Smith & Nephew continued to vouch for the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device’s efficacy and safety even as evidence to contrary continued to mount.

The judge sided with the defendant device maker in tossing out the plaintiffs’ claims of strict product liability—saying that these claims were indeed barred by federal law—and manufacturing defects.

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Source:
Law360

• March 5, 2018

NJ Court Allows Zimmer Hip Suit to Proceed

On February 26, a federal district court in New Jersey delivered a victory to plaintiffs seeking to hold defendant medical-device maker Zimmer Inc. accountable for alleged defects to one of its hip implants, rejecting Zimmer’s bid to have the case dismissed in its entirety. The Court ruled that the majority of the plaintiffs’ claims would be allowed to proceed, dismissing only one claim out of five. The remaining four claims are now expected to proceed to a trial on the merits.

In January 2006, Matthew Cerniglia underwent a procedure to have implanted a Zimmer-made artificial hip device that included a femoral stem. The device was installed in the area of his left hip and femur. Approximately a decade later, Matthew began to feel pain emanating from the area where the Zimmer device had been implanted. The pain was so great that Matthew sought medical attention, and it was revealed that the device had broken within him, and, in doing so, it had leaked the dangerous metals chromium and cobalt into his bloodstream. In order to remedy the situation, Matthew was forced to undergo at least two additional surgeries, including a total hip replacement in 2016.

In allowing the claims of Matthew and his wife Robin Cerniglia to proceed, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton ruled that plaintiffs had demonstrated a sufficient basis to proceed with claims under New Jersey’s Product Liability Act (PLA), claims which include failure to adhere to quality controls, design defect and manufacturing defect, failure to warn and instruct, and a claim for punitive damages. The judge sided with defendant Zimmer in dismissing a fifth claim relating to breach of express warranty, which would require affirmative statements and/or promises made by the defendant, a threshold that was not met by plaintiffs, according to the Court.

The case is just one of many ongoing across the country in which plaintiffs are seeking to hold medical-device makers accountable for their faulty hip implants. If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of an artificial hip implant device, contact the team of expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com now for a free consultation.

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Source:
Law360

• October 4, 2017
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Johnson & Johnson Petitions for Stay in Defective Hip Device lawSuit

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics have petitioned the First Circuit Court to stay its decision in a case involving the companies’ allegedly defective hip replacement devices. The suit has been filed under the False Claims Act, and concerns claims that the metal-on-metal construction of the companies’ hip replacement devices poses serious medical hazards.

The companies seek a 90-day stay as they prepare their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The grounds on which they have requested the delay are that, they allege, circuit courts have varying standards for issuing rulings in False Claims Act cases.

Earlier this week, the First Circuit Court denied the companies’ petition for a rehearing, thereby permitting whistleblowers Antoni Nargol and David Langton to submit, as intended, their claims that the two companies indirectly caused physicians to submit false claims to the government.

The crux of Nargol’s and Langton’s argument is that the metal-on-metal construction of the companies’ various hip replacement devices constitutes a manufacturing defect, yet their manufacturers nevertheless made direct claims for the device to federal and state government agencies, thereby indirectly causing healthcare providers to submit false claims. The suit had been tossed last year, but was revived in July by a panel of the First Circuit Court.

In metal-on-metal hip devices, metal parts can grind against other parts, thereby potentially releasing particles of cobalt and/or chromium – two toxic metals – into the bloodstream. Those fragments of metal can cause a toxic condition called metallosis, which can damage organs and can even cause death.

The case is ongoing; more developments are expected soon.

• September 13, 2017

Trial Could Open Door To Flimsy Hip Implant Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, which manufactures many of the most prominent and allegedly defect-riddled hip replacement devices, have urged a panel of the First Circuit Court to reconsider its partial revival of a suit that alleges that the companies submitted to the government false claims for faulty hip replacement products.

The companies made the request on the grounds that, according to the companies, the plaintiffs who filed the charges of misconduct in the original 2014 suit have not provided evidence of any specific false claims. The companies stated that granting a trial on an allegedly thin basis such as this would open the doors to a host of lawsuits that, in the companies’ opinions, would be flimsy.

The plaintiffs in the original suit alleged that the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement device, which is notable for having the metal-on-metal construction that has been the source of many allegations of health complications, possessed a manufacturing defect, yet, the suit alleges, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy nevertheless submitted direct claims for the device to federal and state government agencies, an action that indirectly encouraged health care providers to submit false claims for the devices.

The suit was dismissed last year, but the First Circuit Court revived the portion of the suit concerning the indirect false claims submitted by health care providers.

DePuy and its parent company continue to insist that the plaintiffs have not submitted evidence of the alleged indirect false claims under current legal precedent.

The complex case is proceeding in New York.

If you’ve been injured by a defective metal-on-metal hip replacement device such as the DePuy Pinnacle, you may wish to file a lawsuit or join an existing suit against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson.

At TheLawFirm.com, we believe that your health is more important than corporate profits. We’d be proud to represent you in court.

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• July 27, 2017

Veteran Sues VA for $11 Million over Botched Hip Replacement Surgery

A Florida veteran has sued a VA hospital in Miami for $11 million over an allegedly botched hip replacement surgery that has left him with a disfigurement that caused him pain.

Rafael Tejeda alleges that surgeons at the Bruce W. Carter Veterans Affairs Medical Center performed a hip replacement surgery that left him with two legs of substantially different lengths. The error, Tejeda alleges, is painful, requires him to walk with crutches, and has cost him his job as a waiter. The complaint states that Tejeda’s ability to walk has been “severely limited.”

The plaintiff alleges that his surgeons failed to properly measure his legs, failed to properly cut and adjust the hip replacement device, and inserted the prosthesis incorrectly. The result, he alleges, is a condition called Trendelenburg gait, which is associated with muscle damage and back pain.

The case is ongoing in a Florida court.

If you’ve been surgically implanted with a defective hip replacement device, or if you believe your doctors have implanted any surgical device improperly, you may have a case. Contact TheLawFirm.com to learn how we can help you.

• July 24, 2017

Hip Replacement Suit Revived in Maryland

An appeals court in Maryland has revived a lawsuit concerning a botched hip replacement surgery, stating that questions remained about the potential negligence of the surgeon who performed the operation.

The suit, filed by Deborah Sigethy, alleges that Dr. Bryan Klepper had misplaced a component of the artificial hip that she received in a surgical operation in 2010. The improperly implanted part resulted, Sigethy alleges, in pain and a need for further surgeries.

Sigethy learned from another doctor that she required additional surgeries, and the appeals court ruled that she may not have been aware that those additional surgeries were required because of the device. It is reasonable, the court opined, that Sigethy believed that the additional pain was due to complications involved her own body, not necessarily to any errors committed by Dr. Klepper.

Sigethy had been subject to a three-year window in which she was entitled to file a lawsuit about the improperly implanted device. She argued that the window should have opened only on January 7, 2011, when her insurer first notified her about the recall of a component of the hip replacement that she had.

The “acetabular cap” on Sigethy’s hip replacement – the piece that replaces the top of the ball joint on the femur – was the part under recall.

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Wright Medical Adds $90 Million to Defective Hip Device Settlement

October 6, 2017
Wright Medical, the Amsterdam-based medical device manufacturer of numerous hip replacement devices alleged to be dangerously defective, has agreed to add a maximum of $89.8 million to the settlement fund from which it plans to settle claims that the hip devices’ metal-on-metal construction has led to serious medical complications.

The funds will be added to Wright’s existing $240 million settlement fund in several chunks, or tranches, over the next several months. The first tranche, of $7.9 million, will be used to settle 49 further claims against the devices. The second tranche, of $5.1 million, will be used to settle 39 further claims. The third and largest tranche, of $76.75 million, will be used to fund any remaining claims and any new claims made about the allegedly defective devices.

According to the company, it currently has about 629 pending claims and 710 eligible claims concerning its hip replacement devices.

The metal-on-metal construction of most hip replacement devices has been linked to their large-scale failure. When metal parts grind against other metal parts, tiny fragments of metal can be released into the bloodstream, where those fragments can travel all around to body to cause inflammation, infection, pain, and organ damage. The most serious consequence of this toxic condition, which is called metallosis, is death.

If you’ve had hip replacement surgery, and have experienced pain, inflammation, and/or other conditions related to your device’s metal-on-metal construction, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about filing a hip replacement lawsuit, contact the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com. The consultation is free.

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