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A federal judge overseeing Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant liability claims has set the stage with the pretrial order. The Stryker Corporation, manufacturers of the Rejuvenate implant, is involved in five new lawsuits in New Jersey, with an additional 2000 + lawsuits pending in other federal courts including in Minnesota and Florida. The hip replacement corporation estimates the cost of resolution through litigation concerning lawsuits on the Rejuvenate device could cost more than $1.1 billion.
All cases have been consolidated as a part of the pretrial proceedings under Multi-District litigation (MDL), overseen by Judge Frank (see here for discussion of the MDL process and certification). The court issued a joint report and agenda indicating the status of more than 1040 open Minnesota cases under the MDL, with another 1180 pending cases in New Jersey courts and more than 60 Florida cases and 23 additional cases spread across Oregon, Michigan, Indiana and California.
Judge Donovan W. Frank issued an order designating how each lead case will be tried out of each of the five specific case categories. The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota will conduct each Stryker Rejuvenate trial involving a lead case, based on specific categories. These categories include the type of product implanted and the date of surgery along with any revision surgery outcome.
Bellwether Cases: Setting the Tone for Other Stryker Lawsuits
Each lead case Stryker rejuvenate trial is considered a bellwether event, which will assist all parties when determining how different juries might respond to testimony and evidence. The modular hip replacement units from Stryker were recalled in 2012. The corporation’s recall efforts were a response to adverse complaints of corrosion and fretting of the implant causing premature failure of the device.
The Stryker Rejuvenate hip device is manufactured with the modular dual section neck-stem, which allows surgeons the ability to customize the femoral component’s length to adjust to the leg size of the patient. Unfortunately, due to a lack of testing in clinical trials, the design has resulted in a failure of the cobalt and chromium hip replacement. The failure is caused by corrosive metal debris generated by the grinding of the titanium femoral stem against the chromium-cobalt neck.
The Stryker Rejuvenate modular hip replacement system was designed as an alternative to the harmful metal on metal hip systems. The company marketed the hip replacement device to younger individuals because the unit could be customized for a better fit, which was thought to result as a near-permanent solution while offering a larger range of motion. However, due to the high rate of early failure, many patients have required early revision surgery as a way to have the hip device replaced.
Settlements and Trials of Stryker Hip Defect Cases
The high number of cases filed against the manufacturer is raising similar allegations that the company sold an unreasonably dangerous, defective hip replacement implant. As the number of suits continues to escalate, there are more Stryker lawsuit mediations as an attempt to settle many of the cases instead of going to trial.
To date, there are approximately two dozen successful Stryker lawsuit mediations. Nearly every case has been resolved after an extensive medical records review that clearly outlines the major problems with the Rejuvenate product. Aside from the ongoing mediation program, a small number of cases are in the preparation stage for an early trial date in both New Jersey and Minnesota courts. If there is no progress in resolving most of the cases within the next 12 months, the five stated bellwether trials will likely start next summer.
All active parties in the upcoming Stryker rejuvenate trials recognize that the outcomes will have no direct association with all lawsuits to be litigated or settled at a later date. Their only purpose in consideration of all outstanding lawsuits is to gauge the response of juries, where the same testimony and evidence will likely be repeated in ongoing litigation.
There are approximately 20,000 patients that have had the device implanted before the product was recalled in the first 24 months since it was introduced in the medical marketplace. If more hip implants fail, there will likely be more lawsuits.
Hiring an Attorney to Protect Your Interests in the Stryker MDL
Drug Law Center represent injured patients with failed orthopedic devices, including the Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement implant. If you received the faulty Stryker Rejuvenate implant, and experienced pain in or around the hip, elevated levels of blood ions, developed metallosis, needed revision surgery, or suffered any type of hip replacement device failure, it is essential to contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 to obtain a free initial evaluation. Our team of expert personal injury lawyers specializes in product liability and can provide a consultation to assess your claim.