Manufacturers of Hip Implant Devices Face Mounting Lawsuits

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Public Health Watchdog Breaking News
Public Health Watchdog Breaking News

Recipients of hip implants are currently concerned about the countless recalls due to the allegedly defective devices and are likely to wonder not if, but when, their device will fail. The manufacturers recently having problems with their hip devices are Smith and Nephew, Accolade, DePuy, Zimmer Biomet, and Stryker. Stryker’s LFIT Anatomic Cobalt-Chromium V40 Femoral Head was recalled in October 2016 for the third time in five years.

The most recent Stryker lawsuit was filed in April 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A couple alleged they were injured due to failure of the implant when the head of the stem was displaced and started to corrode. Stryker Orthopaedics was held responsible by the plaintiffs for neglecting to warn of the implant’s potential corrosion.

Hip Implant Complications

Stryker is not the only manufacturer with problems. Zimmer Biomet was involved in a lawsuit in spring 2016. The Zimmer plaintiff alleges her Trilogy hip implant device was implanted four years earlier, is defective and incapable of bonding with her hip bone, due to “improper pore size and/or porosity,” according to her lawsuit. The plaintiff had the surgery shortly before the devices were recalled in June 2012. A federal jury in Texas in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, disagreed with the defendant and said Zimmer was not liable for a manufacturing defect, reports Massdevice.com.

National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive experience and success in medical device litigation, including allegedly defective hip implants. The firm’s attorneys are available to answer legal questions from individuals seeking information for a potential lawsuit.

In another case, Judge Wendy Beetlestone, a federal judge in Pennsylvania is siding with a plaintiff in a defective hip implant lawsuit against Stryker. Judge Beetlestone granted one strict liability claim and dismissed another of the plaintiff’s claims. The judge allowed the plaintiff’s strict liability manufacturing defect, breach of warranty, and loss of consortium claims to move forward after Stryker’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s strict liability design-defect and negligence claims.

Judge Beetlestone ruled that the plaintiff’s allegations were sufficient to argue that the Stryker Gamma3 Nail System was defectively manufactured. In March 2015, the plaintiff had been implanted with the device and X-rays later showed a broken nail in the implant. The plaintiff had to undergo a total hip replacement and subsequently suffered an infection, according to The Legal Intelligencer.

Five hip recipients who had won a $502 million verdict against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., and parent company Johnson & Johnson had their award lowered to about $150 million, due to a cap on punitive damages. The plaintiffs have complained to the Fifth Circuit that the cap is unconstitutional, reports Law360.

DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Lawsuit

A new DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuit has been filed by a Connecticut woman and her husband alleging major hip implant complications. The plaintiff experienced serious implant complications that made additional procedures necessary. According to the DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit, the plaintiff had undergone total right hip replacement on December 9, 2005, receiving a Pinnacle Device with an Ultamet liner. Shortly after the procedure, the woman allegedly began experiencing severe pain, inflammation, and discomfort in the area around the implant.

Diagnostic testing showed that the Pinnacle Device was having wear and friction. When the hip’s metal components rub together during normal movements, they create minute metallic debris that may enter the patient’s bloodstream causing metallosis (metal poisoning) and severely damage muscle and tissue. In addition to metallic debris in the bloodstream, recipients of the metal-on-metal hips have reported a variety of complication that include pain, loosening of the joint, hip dislocation, difficulty walking, and cysts around the joint.

As a result of these complications, the plaintiff had to undergo revision surgery on June 7, 2016, to remove and replace the Pinnacle Device. The plaintiff made the decision to file her DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuit after learning the manufacturing company may have had knowledge of potential complications linked to the metal-on-metal hip implants and failed to disclose these risks.

Dangers of Metallosis

Metal-on-metal hip implants are promoted to be superior to ceramic and plastic models, due to their durability and customizable features. They are particularly popular with younger orthopedic patients who have a typically more active lifestyle.

The metal-on-metal hip implants are made of all metal components, with no ceramic or plastic parts to prevent fretting. This means that when the ball and socket joint of the device work together, there is nothing stopping metal ions from entering the bloodstream. This may lead to metallosis, which is detrimental to the patient’s condition by potentially causing infection, fretting, corrosion, tissue death, and formation of pseudotumors (an abnormality that resembles a tumor but is usually benign).

Have You Been Injured by a Hip Replacement Device?

If you or someone you know has sustained injury involving a metal-on-metal hip implant, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman personal injury law firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).