On November 3, 2014, Howmedica Osteonics Corp., a/k/a Stryker Orthopaedics (“Stryker”), entered into a settlement agreement that resolves federal claims filed in multi-district litigation venued in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota that covers 2,375 plaintiffs in 39 states, and resolves approximately 2,000 cases involving plaintiffs from many U.S. states that had been filed in New Jersey state multi-county litigation venued in Bergen County, New Jersey.
The settlement agreement covers patients who had revision surgery involving Stryker hip replacements and will pay $300,000 to each such patient who is represented by an attorney ($213,000 to those who are not represented by an attorney), subject to other conditions affecting the amount paid (such as the patient’s age at the time the patient received the hip implant), which amounts to more than $1 billion in total. Some patients will receive an “enhancement benefit” based on specified circumstances, which may result in a payment not to exceed $550,000. A current spouse of a patient with an active, filed lawsuit as of November 3, 2014 may receive a maximum one-time payment of $1,500. Eligible claimants who need revision surgery but are too infirmed in undergo revision surgery will receive $75,000.
The settlement covers only those who had revision surgery prior to November 3, 2014 or who require revision surgery but are too infirm to undergo the procedure, whether filed or unfiled, but does not cover others who received Stryker hip implants but have not yet had revision surgery. It has been reported that approximately 20,000 patients in the United States had received the Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Stem and ABG II Modular Hip Stem products before they were voluntarily pulled from the U.S. market on June 28, 2012.
One of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs stated with regard to the Stryker settlement, which does not affect litigation involving other brands of hip replacement devices, “The difference between the Styker hip and other hip failures is that the Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II hips were placed on the market at a time when fretting and corrosion problems with metal-on-metal prosthetic hips were becoming known in the orthopedic community. Stryker actively marketed the Rejuvenate and AGB II to orthopedic surgeons – affirmatively stating that laboratory testing by Stryker showed no concern for fretting and corrosion of these hips. My experience with clients having Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II hips is that the hips fret, corrode and fail significantly faster than other metal-on-metal hips.”
Large (and small) medical device manufacturers develop and market many products that help to relieve pain and improve the quality of life for patients. Without their medical products, many people would needlessly suffer debility. However, because a successfully marketed medical device can result in enormous profits for its promoter, patients who receive defective medical devices supplied by unscrupulous medical device manufacturers may suffer needless harm that may result in being worse off than before receiving the defective medical device.
If you or a loved one received a hip replacement that may be defective, or was negligently implanted, you should promptly consult with a defective medical device lawyer who may investigate your medical device claim for you and represent you in a claim against a medical device manufacturer, if appropriate.
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