Ever since the voluntary Stryker hip recall initiated in 2012, thousands of patients have been negatively impacted. These patients have suffered from revision hip surgeries, development of pseudotumors, extensive pain, swelling, metallosis and even nerve damage. The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II systems were recalled after numerous medical research studies indicated that they were prone to corrosion and fretting. Metal-on-metal hip implants, such as the ones produced by Stryker, have a tendency to wear over time. As the hip implant becomes worn, it releases metal ions into the bloodstream.
Until now, the media has rarely addressed the impact of the Stryker hip recall litigation efforts on the actual profitability of the business. For the first time, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently reported that Stryker suffered a tremendous 77 percent drop in profits for the first quarter of 2014 (for additional information about the corporate history look here). From this figure, one can predict that investors will likely continue to lose faith in Stryker Orthopaedics. Investing in Stryker is becoming unattractive as the company has now developed a reputation for producing defective and high-risk hip implants.
The Steep 77 Percent Decline in Profits at Stryker Orthopedics
A 77 percent decline in profits is revealing in regards to the decreased confidence that individuals have in Stryker Orthopaedics. Last year, the company enjoyed profits of $304 million during its first quarter. This year, the company has only made $70 million in profits for the first quarter. Prior to the recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II systems, Stryker Orthopaedics recalled the Trident hip systems in 2008. The company just can’t seem to produce hip systems that produce reliable and safe results for the public.
Bypassing the clinical trials that are typically required by the FDA may have also burned Stryker Orthopaedics in the long run. The company may have thought that it was saving thousands of dollars by choosing to use the FDA’s 510(k) program to bypass the rigorous clinical trials that typically must be completed before the release of a product. By foregoing this rigorous process, Stryker Orthopaedics sacrificed the safety of its own products for immediate profitability. The 510(k) program is designed to expose any potential defects in a medical device before it is made available to the general public.
Consumer Perceptions After the Stryker Hip Recall
After the Stryker hip recall, numerous plaintiffs stepped forward to assert lawsuits against Stryker Orthopaedics. These lawsuits have been widely publicized, and they have taken place in Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota and other states. Currently, the parties are involved in mediation for these lawsuits. Depending on the outcome of the mediation, the courts may decide to proceed with bellwether trials. Discussions of the bellwether trials have already brought to light the serious injuries that plaintiffs have suffered as a result of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II systems. Bellwether trials entail selecting a few plaintiffs that have factual circumstances and injuries that are representative of the broader sample of plaintiffs.
Are the Stryker Lawsuits Causing Distrust with the Public?
In addition to the MDL proceedings (view page here), hundreds of other lawsuits have also been filed throughout the country. Many of the lawsuits feature elderly plaintiffs who have required revision surgery as a result of Stryker hip implants. The lawsuits have had a negative impact on Stryker’s reputation in the medical community.
Many research studies also indicate the dangers of Stryker hip implants. These studies have displayed the corrosive effects of the hip implants. Even the FDA has begun to publish research studies indicating these effects and making the studies available to the public. The most problematic aspect of these research studies is that they are typically lead by former Stryker consultants. Stryker consultants are increasingly coming forward to address the dangers of the hip implants.
The Future of Stryker Orthopaedics
As Stryker continues to settle lawsuits and make payouts to injured victims, it is likely that its profitability will continue to diminish. The multi-million dollar lawsuits are being carried out throughout the globe. Stryker standards to lose hundreds of millions of dollars through settlements or court awards.
If you have been injured by a Stryker hip implant, you may be eligible to becoming part of the growing plaintiff base involved in MDL efforts. You may wish to consult with a Stryker Rejuvenate hip recall lawyer to learn about your legal options in becoming part of the existing litigation.