In July 2012, Stryker recalled its hip implant models Rejuvenate and ABG II. They have now advised all recipients of these models to consult a medical professional and be checked regularly, irrespective of whether they have experienced any problems with the implant or not. This announcement comes after hundreds of users of the implants complained that they were suffering from complications such as severe and consistent pain, swelling, and failure of the implants. The FDA, after being bombarded with such allegations, instructed the Stryker Corporation to halt production and distribution of their metal on metal hip implants.
Estimate of Damage
The company has sold around 20,000 pieces of these products. Since the filing of the first case against the company, the numbers of cases are increasing daily. It is the opinion of various physicians and lawyers that these cases will continue to grow as more and more recipients find fault with their implants. The Stryker corporation themselves has estimated that they will have to pay an approximated amount between $700 million and $1.13 billion in compensation to the plaintiffs seeking settlements.
Problems with the Product
The Rejuvenate and ABG II were designed to give flexibility to the surgeons and provide custom made fittings for the patients. The company claimed that the innovative design of these products, together with the company’s patent material technology would result in a stronger and longer lasting implant. Conversely, the products proved to be a failure in all departments.
These metals on metal hip implants have been linked with producing dangerous debris as a result of fretting, which leads to dangerously high concentrations of metal ions in the blood. This metal poisoning can be life threatening as it leads to dangerous side effects on various organs of the body, particularly the nervous system. In various instances, the recipients of these models after developing problems were forced to undergo replacement surgeries.
Consolidation of lawsuits into Federal Court MDL
Since the product recall in 2012, there have been over 600 lawsuits, which have been filed in federal and state courts across the country. In order to proceed with the cases in a quick and efficient manner, many of the cases have been consolidated. As of November 2013, 395 Stryker hip cases are pending to be consolidated in a Minnesota court alone.
Similarly, in New Jersey all the cases have been consolidated at the state level. There are around 382 cases which have been consolidated into multi-county litigation and are under trial in Bergen County Superior court in New Jersey.
In total there are more than 600 plaintiffs who have filed their lawsuit so far. These plaintiffs claim that they suffered because of the faulty design of the implant and the failure of the Stryker Corporation to inform its customers of the varying side effects that may occur. They are demanding compensation for their past, present and future medical care expenditure, financial losses due to disability, and other miscellaneous losses. With these lawsuits and possible settlements, the plaintiffs hope to find some solace after suffering excruciating pain and ailments.