Hip Replacement Recalls

Hip Replacement Recalls

Have you or a loved one suffered due to the failure of a hip replacement or problems with a hip implant? These failures can cost thousands of dollars in treatment and corrective surgery, not to mention the high cost of suffering, lost mobility, and emotional turmoil.

But there’s good news: You are not alone in the problems you have suffered, and there is a method of collection compensation for the damage and pain suffered. Hip replacement surgery is designed to restore functionality. When hip implants fail because of defects, manufacturers may be at fault for recommending certain products without warning others about the risk of failure or long-term problems. This allows for successful claims against these manufacturers and ultimately remuneration.

Hip Replacement and Receiving Compensation

A number of hip replacement issues, including negligence and defects, have already formed the basis for tens of thousands of lawsuits against hip implant manufacturers in the United States. If you or a loved one has encountered problems related to the failure of a hip replacement, you may also be able to pursue a lawsuit.

Lawsuits frequently seek compensation from manufacturers, claiming that they failed to provide enough information about the dangers and possible defects of their hip implant products. DePuy, for example, has dealt with more than 20,000 lawsuits concerning two faulty devices. Such lawsuits can help patients receive settlements that can cover:

  • Medical Bills: These include the costs of future treatments and surgeries, as well as any associated medical bills for past treatments related to the hip implant failure.
  • Pain and Suffering: Settlements can also help cover the high cost of emotional burdens, discomfort, poor quality of life, and similar difficulties resulting from failed implants.
  • Associated Costs: From lost wages due to new injuries and disabilities to money spent on caregiving, settlements can provide money to a variety of expenses associated with failed hip replacement products.

Professional Counsel: The Options for You and Your Loved Ones

Seeking professional counsel is a vital step on your path toward recovery and appropriate compensation for a failed implant. An attorney with experience in hip replacement litigation and settlements can examine the details of your case and give you advice on what options to pursue.

Settlement: A settlement from a lawsuit with a single claimant is a possibility in hip implant failure cases, especially when someone has a very strong case. A settlement resolves the lawsuit when both all parties agree to a specific form and amount of compensation for damages, emotional burdens, etc. In this case the settlement can be molded specifically to answer the costs and pain that a faulty hip implant has incurred.

A settlement can be a very effective method of providing significant compensation in cases where hip implant defects are clear, and claimants around the United States have seen success in seeking settlements through lawsuits. For example, in November 2014, Stryker Orthopaedics reached settlement terms for 2,000 separate cases regarding two of its recalled hip implants. These cases stretched across 39 states and are expected to reach $1.43 billion or more as the terms are finalized: These results in a individual compensation of around $300,000.

However, the details of the case are particularly important when seeking a settlement for one claimant. Carefully discuss the case with an experienced attorney before deciding whether or not to seek an individual settlement. Factors such as age, health conditions, deadlines and overall eligibility to file a claim are key to the success of a hip replacement lawsuit. In the Stryker example, past incidents must be filed prior to March 2, 2015, so immediate action is important.

Other options include:

Recall: A recall occurs when a manufacturer officially warns all patients about a common problem in a device and creates a process for replacing that device. A hip replacement recall necessitates certain payments, such as the cost of medical treatments, new products, and the surgery necessary to replace the component in issue. A recall offers these options to patients without the need for complex legal responses, which makes the process very easy for patients and their families. However, a recall will not offer any payment beyond the replacement, and will not cover lost wages or common issues like pain and suffering.

Lawsuit: A mass tort lawsuit occurs when a group of people jointly file a lawsuit over a specific issue and related claims (similar to a class-action lawsuit). There are several advantages to this approach: A hip replacement mass tort is relatively simple to join and splits the cost of the lawsuit, while putting much more pressure on hip replacement companies than a single claimant could. However, this choice will split settlement among many claimants – sometimes thousands, lessening individual settlement amounts. These torts also give individual claimants less control over how the case progresses. Discuss such settlements with attorney to weigh the unique pros and cons of a case before deciding.

Remember to ask your attorney any questions you have about the lawsuit process and what to expect. Any documentation of the hip replacement and related problems will also be very valuable. The more information the attorney has, the easier it will be to provide accurate counsel.

Growing Incidence of Hip Implant Settlements

A hip replacement occurs when hip joint is replaced with an implant, frequently due to injury or advanced conditions such as osteoporosis. Hip replacements are typically associated with older patients, but as replacements have grown more common, they have been used more frequently on a variety of patients as young as 35.

Hip implant models have also grown more complex, using materials ranging from metal and ceramics to plastics and polymers. Unfortunately, the swift proliferation of new products has also led to a higher instance of problems associated with hip replacement products, which can fail, leading to injury, pain, infection, metal poisoning, and other issues.

Many problems center on the troublesome metal-on-metal (MoM) design, a common source of trouble in the industry which has been augmented in newer products with a combination of ceramics and polyethylenes. Companies that have been associated with hip replacement problems and resulting lawsuits or recalls include:

  • DePuy: DePuy has more than 200 products, but several of its hip implants have been tied to failure and health problems, specifically metal-on-metal hip replacements designed for younger patients. Lawsuits focus primarily on ASR and Pinnacle brand hip implants developed by Johnson & Johnson for DePuy. ASR implant lawsuits have led to settlements as high as $200,000 for individual patients.
  • Stryker: Stryker, like DePuy, is a major international product of hip replacement products. Two of these products, notably Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems, have been found faulty and were recalled in 2012 following thousands of complaints. Since these are newer products Stryker has faced fewer lawsuits than DePuy, but more are expected, especially from those who have suffered injuries due to their implants.
  • Zimmer: Several Zimmer hip products have been associated with problems. Its Durom Acetabular Component (a.k.a., the Durom Cup) in particular has been noted to occasionally slip out of place. This led to a variety of lawsuits in the late 2000s and caused Zimmer to focus more on other products.
  • Biomet: Biomet is the creator of M2a Magnum Hip System, designed for greater durability. The Magnum ended up have a high risk of failure in the early 2010s, and Biomet has already paid out $56 million to settle associated lawsuits from the product.
  • Wright Medical: Wright Medical creates hip and knee replacement products. A couple Wright products are being investigated for problems, including the CONSERVE line of metal-on-metal hip replacement implants and the Profemur Z Stem product. Lawsuits have been filed regarding both devices.
  • Smith & Nephew: Smith & Nephew has had problems with its R3 Acetabular Hip System, and has recalled metal liner in this product because of its association with dislocation, infection, and bone fractures.

Common Signs of a Faulty Hip Replacement

  • Unexpected, Repeated Joint Dislocation: Joint dislocation that comes on suddenly after recovery from surgery can be a sign that components in the hip implant are starting to slip. This can occur years after the surgery and typically increases in severity.
  • Sudden Increase in Pain: Sudden hip joint pain, especially in a particular position, can indicate that something is wrong with your hip implant. X-rays may be able to show if something is wrong.
  • Swelling, Fever and Other Signs of Infection: Hip joint swelling and symptoms of infection could indicate a serious failure of the implant. These are also common signs of other very serious conditions, such as metallosis, that need immediate treatment.
  • Implant Loosening and Movement Problems: Loose implants and resulting movement problems could indicate a failure in key components.
  • Bone Deterioration: Unexpected bone deterioration could also be a symptom of metallosis or other issues with how the hip implant is functioning.

If you or a loved one is showing signs like these, immediately contact your doctor for a professional examination and opinion. If the problem is connected to a hip implant or related product, do not hesitate to contact an attorney. The sooner you receive expert legal advice and make a decision, the better your chances of a successful settlement.

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