A prosthetic hip replacement device made by Stryker Corporation is the center of a new multidistrict litigation (MDL) created by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL). The Stryker-branded LFIT Anatomic CoCR V40 device is allegedly defective in a variety of ways.
A multidistrict litigation is often used where complex cases that are similar are consolidated to streamline the process to take place in one court under one judge. This typically results in lower court costs, a faster outcome, and is generally more efficient.
U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston will preside over a total of 33 cases from 17 district courts involved in the Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation. Initially a subsidiary of Stryker, HowmedicaOsteonics Corporation of Mahway, New Jersey unsuccessfully opposed centralization and preferred the cases heard in New Jersey or New York federal court. The federal motion was filed January 13, 2017 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Defective Hip Replacement Devices Recalled
In August 2016, Howmedica recalled 42,519 defective hips. The manufacturer also issued a letter to orthopedic surgeons alerting them of a “higher than expected” incidence of taper lock failure for certain sizes of its LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads.
Listed in the recall notice were potential hazards that included excessive metal debris, disassociation of the stem/failure, trunnion (pin or pivot) fracture, and corrosion at the femoral head and stem junction.
At the same time, the Canadian public health agency issued a recall involving the Stryker LFIT V40. The Australian Government Department of Health published a Hazard Alert concerning the same hip devices, as well.
Product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman are actively reviewing potential lawsuits regarding medical devices including Stryker hip replacement devices.
The plaintiffs’ allegations focus on the performance of the LFIT V40 cobalt-chromium device, specifically, the alleged tendency of the device to cause corrosion at the taper junction when combined with femoral stems made from different alloys. These alloys are Howmedica’s TMZF, an alloy of titanium, molybdenum, zirconium, and iron. This corrosion allegedly leads to failure of the implant or other severe health consequences which then require additional surgery to remove and replace the implant.
In addition to the particular causes of the failure of each plaintiff’s device, the cases have common problems concerning the development, manufacture, testing, regulatory history, promotion, and labeling of the LFIT V40 cobalt-chromium femoral head. “We note, though, that the transferee judge might find it useful, for example, to establish different tracks for the different femoral stems that can be mated with the LFIT device,” the JPMDL said.
Another group of 25 plaintiffs is requesting that the New Jersey state courts create a multi-county litigation docket for the same hip device.
The New Jersey motion was filed January 26 in New York. It is estimated that more than 85 cases over the LFIT V40 hip have been filed before Judge Rachelle Harz in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Separately, Stryker faces 1,800 lawsuits in MDL, overseen by U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank in New Jersey State Court.
Plaintiffs implanted with the Stryker ABG ll Modular Neck Hip Stem and the Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Neck Hip Stem alleged that the device components could fret or corrode, damage body tissue, and lead to pain or swelling. About 95 percent of eligible patients were enrolled in a 2014 settlement, according to Law360.
With hip implants such as the Stryker’s ABG ll and Rejuvenate, when the hip’s metal components rub together during movements, they create minute metallic debris that may enter the patient’s bloodstream 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. Thousands of patients filed lawsuits over such injuries and complications.
In July 2012, Stryker Orthopedics recalled a hip system that includes both the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG ll modular-neck hip stems. This system, along with other similar metal-on-metal hip replacement systems has been linked to infection, soreness, squeaking joints, and other health issues. The failure of these devices can lead to metallosis (metal poisoning), necrosis of existing tissue, tissue inflammation, and other potential long-term complications.
Have You Been Injured by a Stryker Hip Replacement Device?
If you or someone you know has sustained injury involving a Stryker 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).