Articles Posted in Hip Replacement

stryker hip replacement settlement

Stryker hip settlements are being reached

Settlements are being reached in more Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement cases filed in New Jersey state court.   More resolutions of these cases are likely to be imminent.

The first phase, a group of 10 cases previously selected for early mediation, has resulted in the conclusion of all 10 cases. Additionally, at least two cases from the second phase have resolved.  This is a harbinger of broad agreements on the remaining cases, not only for the 950 cases pending in New Jersey state court but also for the cases pending in the MDL class action.

What are the Stryker Claims About?

Stryker Rejuvenate hip systems were removed from the market less than two years after the design was introduced. While originally designed to last 15 to 20 years, they began to fail immediately.   So that was the first problem.  The second problem is that the Stryker initially did little to try to cure the problem.

What was the complication with this device?  Consisting of modular neck-stems with two pieces that fit inside of each other, they were designed to allow the surgeon to customize the length of the femoral component.  Traditional hip implants consisted of a single femoral component.  So you can see how this was an innovation.  Why did it so epically fail?   What happened was the rubbing of the neck and stem can release microscopic metal debris into the body as the chromium-cobalt neck rubs against the titanium femoral stem.  In simpler terms, the debris is caused by the micromotion of the metal joints rubbing in the artificial hip.  That’s not a good sign – or, a good product.
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stryker hip recall

Cases gear up for Summer 2015 trials

With more than 600 Stryker Rejuvenate hip cases centralized as part of an MDL in the federal court system [more on the MDL process], U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank has indicated that a small group of cases will be ready for trial in Summer of 2015.

This small group of cases, known as “bellwether” cases, are scheduled for early trials designed to get some preliminary data on how juries react to the cases, so that the parties can make informed decisions on settlement.  This is crucial towards moving the litigation forward and ultimately towards resolution.  Cases don’t settle because the parties disagree on the value of the claims.

Trying a few cases helps everyone take an honest look at the merits and the value of the cases.  Practically, many medical device companies have in-house counsel that tries to brainwash the real people making the decisions that plaintiffs’ claims can be defended.  Then you have the defense lawyers who are making plenty of money and have every interest in seeing the cases go on.  I think if the Stryker higher-ups see a few verdicts, they will stop listening to their in-house counsel and their outside lawyers because the juries will be speaking loud and clear.

So the only really bad news for plaintiffs is that the trials don’t begin until 2015.  There is no arguing with the fact that justice is painfully slow in these cases.

In addition to those cases filed in federal court, there are at least 873 cases pending in New Jersey state court, with additional claims filed in Florida state court.  In New Jersey, all of the Stryker hip lawsuits have been centralized before one Superior Court judge as part of a Multi-County Litigation (MCL).  MCLs consolidate the cases for discovery purposes, as there are similarities between the underlying cases such as witnesses and evidence that will be common to all of these Stryker hip lawsuits. 

Last year, a mediation process was established in an attempt to see if the Stryker Rejuvenate cases could be settled.  At least eight of the nine cases that have gone to mediation have agreed to settle. Continue reading

A new process is now in place for the filing of new Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits.  The new procedure will streamline the process of filing a lawsuit utilizing a Master stryker hip lawsuitsComplaint and Short Form Complaint to standardize the process of filing additional lawsuits directly into the current federal MDL.

What does this mean to victims?  Nothing.  This is all logistical stuff for the lawyers to worry about.  But some people like to stay more informed than others about these cases.  If you are one of those “want to be informed” people, this post is for you.

The Master Complaint

The Master Complaint addresses all of the common allegations already raised in the Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits and ABG II hip failures.   You might ask, “What is a Master Complaint?”  A complaint is legal document in which you file a lawsuit.  In mass tort cases like this one, there are some allegations that are common to all of the plaintiffs bring clams against the manufacturer.    Obviously, an individual lawsuit includes other allegations: who they are, the product, and other case specific information. Continue reading

wright profemur lawsuitApproximately five days prior to trial, and one day after a judge denied Defendants’ attempt to dismiss, a settlement was reached in a pending Wright Profemur lawsuit.  This is one of at least two Wright Profemur hip settlements that have been reached just before trial.   The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

I don’t know what they are, either.  But let me tell you how much I think this case settled for: more than the market value for the claim.  Why?  Because the attorneys handling these case for Wright are pretty smart.  They know full well the best way for the settlement value of these cases to get completely out of hand is to let plaintiffs start seeing jury verdicts.  Right now, Wright can pretend that they are someone situated different than DePuy.   Everyone who is in these cases – on both sides – knows the real score.  But the last thing Wright needs at this point is a big verdict to get plaintiffs’ expectations soaring through the roof.
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stryker rejuvinate claims

The number of lawsuits nears 1,000

The numbers continue to grow. The number of complaints filed in state and federal courts by those who have experienced problems with the Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement is nearing 1,000.    With DePuy hip cases reaching a settlement last month, the focus on these claims will intensify.  This post talks about where these cases are going and makes a prediction of how and when these cases will settle.

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The Biomet hip lawsuits involve claims that the Biomet Magnum hip replacement design was fatally flawed.  Why?  Because these metal-on-metal hip replacements – touted as the next big thing – became the next big mass tort litigation.  These devices have failed.  Miserably.

Pressure is on Biomet

hip implant lawsuits

Biomet Hip Implants Get New Attention

With the DePuy cases largely resolved, plaintiffs’ attorneys are focusing with a laser on the other hip manufacturers.  Typically, we know that the key to getting these cases settled is to put pressure on the defendants by getting cases to trial.   Why? Because the hip replacement defendants know that the jury will see these cases for what they are.

But we have it backwards here. The plaintiffs want a trial date in 2016; Biomet is ready to go in 2014.

I can’t tell you why.  But I think the 750 cases is a smaller pool compared to the monster that is DePuy, so it is harder to donate the resources to the litigation.  That is all about to change and soon you might see the world pop back on its axis and the plaintiffs will be pushing for trial dates.
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Breaking news!  Johnson & Johnson is poised to pay over $4 billion to settle their recalled hip implants.  The deal will put an end to the vast majority of the almost 8,000 lawsuits filed around country.

What Does This Settlement Mean to Me

The news just broke, but we are waiting on details.  These numbers compute out to about $300,000 per case, which is about what I have been projecting all along.  ($3 billion was the number tossed about just weeks ago.)

depuy hip settlements

Hip Settlements… Finally!

This does not mean your case will settle for $300,000.   It could be more if your injuries were more serious – or your implant was done relatively late when J&J clearly knew the risks.  It could also be less if your injuries are less serious than most.  These settlements generally have tiers based on a variety of factors, including the two I just mentioned.   It is not likely that your attorney knows at this point exactly what your case will settle for should you choose to accept the offer.

Also, keep in mind you can opt out of the settlement.  No one can make you settle.  You still will have the opportunity to take your case forward to trial.  But the vast majority of these claims will settle for the amounts agreed to in this settlement.
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Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is reportedly considering a  $3 billion dollar settlement of pending DePuy ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) hip implant cases, which could result in an average settlement of $300,000 per case.

johnson johnson settlement

J&J Considers Possible $3 Billion Settlement

After the recall in 2010, DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuits began to grow exponentially.  Following their first trial in March ending with a verdict of $8.3 million, Johnson & Johnson announced their plan to appeal.  Now, it is rumored that they are considering a global settlement that would resolve up to 11,500 U.S. lawsuits.

stryker hip replacement lawsuits

Stryker Hip Settlements Coming?

A New Jersey state court judge has selected a group of 10 Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement lawsuits for early mediation, in order to discuss the potential for reaching settlement agreements during the early stages of litigation.

With over 300 complaints already filed throughout the New Jersey state court system, and even more expected in the coming months, Stryker Rejuvenate cases were centralized earlier this year as part of a Multi-County Litigation or MCL.  An MCL consolidates the cases for discovery purposes as there are some witnesses and evidence that will be common to all of these Stryker hip lawsuits.

Plaintiff got the better end of a split decision ruling by the court last week in a Wright Medical ProFemur hip lawsuit. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment was denied, keeping the case alive.

The plaintiff in this case is a seventy-five year old blueberry farmer who needed a total hip arthroplasty. His right hip joint was replaced with a ProFemur hip implant, which included a ProFemur Plasma-Z Modular Femoral Stem and ProFemur Neck. Three years later, the neck fractured where it entered the stem, requiring the plaintiff to undergo revision surgery.

Wright sought summary judgment on the plaintiff’s key claims: design defect and failure to warn. Plaintiff’s expert report defeated summary judgment because it found that Wright unreasonably dismissed an alternative safer design when creating the ProFemur hip implant. Plaintiff’s expert argued that Wright should have used cobalt-chrome alloys instead of titanium alloys in its hip replacement because it knew (or should have known) that cobalt-chrome alloys have a higher fatigue strength, lower sensitivity to notching, and are not as prone to corrosion fatigue. Plaintiff’s expert also believes that Wright should have used low plasticity burnishing or laser shock peening, to improve the ProFemur hip implant’s fatigue strength and inhibit crack formation and propagation.

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