When hip implants fail prematurely or malfunction, they can cause pain so intense that calling it a symptom is an understatement. Thought to be safe and extremely reliable at one point, newer hip implant models have shown recently to pose great risk and increased pain for patients who simply want to improve their quality of life.
Over the past five years, several hip implant manufacturers have issued recalls for their once highly praised devices, while others who have not recalled their products simply decided to stop selling their devices due to similar associated problems.
Metal-on-metal hip implants and modular-neck stems have proven to damage surrounding tissue, muscle, and bone as well as cause patients to develop metallosis – a toxic buildup of metal debris in the tissue and poisoning of the blood stream – which requires a revision or corrective surgery. Metal ions released from these devices can cause a plethora of problems which include elevated cobalt and chromium metal ion levels in the blood stream, severe pain in the hip/groin/thigh, swelling in the hip, difficultly standing or walking, loss of muscle mass, adverse local tissue reactions (such as pseudotumors), and fluid build-up.
Several hip implant system manufacturers face lawsuits over personal injuries caused by their defective products. Some, including Stryker and DePuy, have already agreed to billion-dollar settlements.
If you have experienced the pain and complications associated with your hip replacement surgery, the attorneys of Pittman, Dutton & Hellums want to help you seek justice. Victims just like you are now standing up for themselves by pursuing legal action to get compensated for the trauma they’ve experienced and get their lives back on track.
Hip Implant Systems
Six manufacturers have been the subject of lawsuits for defective hip implants. They include:
DePuy – Johnson & Johnson’s artificial joint replacement company DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.manufactured two metal-on-metal hip implants which are involved in litigation: the ASR and the Pinnacle. In August of 2010, DePuy issued a voluntary recall of the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System after data showed that one in eight patients (12%-13%) needed revision surgery within five years of the original procedure.
The ASR hip implant was sold from July 2003 to August 2010. DePuy has paid over $2.5 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits pertaining to the recalled ASR metal-on-metal hip implant. However, patients are continuing to require revision surgery due to metallosis related injuries and are continuing to file lawsuits.
In addition to facing litigation surrounding the recalled ASR implants, DePuy is also facing thousands of lawsuits pertaining to its Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. DePuy sold the Pinnacle implant with the Ultamet metal liner beginning in 2000 and stopped selling it in 2013; after the FDA required manufacturers to either discontinue selling metal-on-metal hip implants or provide clinical studies which adequately addressed the risks and benefits of implanting metal-on-metal hip implants.
DePuy is facing over 8,000 lawsuits pertaining to the metal-on-metal Pinnacle device. There has not been any global settlement related to the Pinnacle implants. However, in March 2016 a Texas federal jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay about $500 million to five plaintiffs who said they were injured by the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant.
Biomet – Despite mass promotion of improved stability and resistance to wear, Biomet’s M2a Magnum Hip System implant friction causes metallosis and damage to surrounding tissues. In February 2014, Biomet agreed to an MDL settlement of $56 million.
Smith & Nephew – The cobalt-chromium liner of the R3 Acetabular System was found to cause deterioration of the bone and muscle around the implant, as well as increased exposure to metallosis. Additionally, studies found a high number of premature failure of the device, requiring revision surgery. On June 1, 2012, Smith & Nephew issued a recall for the R3 metal liner of the R3 Acetabular System.
Stryker – On July 6, 2012, Stryker voluntarily recalled the Rejuvenate and ABG-II modular-neck femoral stems due to excessive metal debris and/or ion generation caused by fretting and/or corrosion at or about the modular neck junction. By this time, the FDA received more than 45 adverse event reports of metal toxicity requiring revision surgery.
After thousands of lawsuits were filed, on November 3, 2014, Stryker Corp. agreed to a global settlement of $1.4 billion to help the thousands of individuals harmed by the defective Rejuvenate and ABG-II modular-neck stem implants.
Stryker’s Accolade hip implants are also facing recall due to corrosion from cobalt head and metal stem.
Zimmer – After merging with Biomet in 2015, Zimmer is now the No. 2 producer of orthopaedics in the US. Their most problematic products are the Durom Acetabular Cup (recalled on July 22, 2008) and MMC cup, another metal-on-metal design. Nearly 13,00 patients received the Durom Cup, whose chromium cobalt alloy has been found to cause metallosis.
Wright Medical – In 2012, a judicial panel centralized all product liability lawsuits for the Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant systems, into MDL No. 2329 in the Northern District of Georgia. In November 2015, a Georgia jury returned an $11 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff following a two week trial. Wright Medical’s Dynasty cup hip implant is also facing hundreds of lawsuits in California for problems associated with loosening and metallosis.
If you or a loved one has had hip implant surgery using the devices listed above, please contact attorneys Chris Hellums or Jon Mann of Pittman, Dutton & Hellums,P.C. for a free consultation to determine if you qualify for compensation.
Our attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of hip implant clients across the United States over the past six years against numerous manufacturers and attorneys across the country choose to associate our lawyers due to their experience and expertise with these claims.
Hip Replacement Complications
Reports by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicate that parts of newer models, often made from metal, begin to grind together after a period of time and release shards of metal. These shards travel into and through the bloodstream, raising toxicity to a highly dangerous level. Other issues involved with defective hip replacements include:
- Joint failure
- Joint pain
- Skin rash and itching sensations
- Loss of muscle mass
- Adverse tissue reactions such as pseudo tumors
- Difficulty walking
Sometimes reactions from a failing hip implant occur in places in the body other than the original surgery site. Any new symptom should be reported to your primary physician or orthopedic surgeon immediately, as it could indicate further decay from the implant.
Typically, new symptoms will alert the physician that revision surgery is required to prevent the body’s exposure and adverse reaction to metal toxicity.
Hip Replacement Lawsuits
For many people, dealing with these painful issues has meant suffering through multiple corrective surgeries. Filing a hip replacement lawsuit can help alleviate some of the cumulative stress of having your implant fail, facing revision surgery and the time necessary for recovery.
The list of expenses you may be compensated for is extensive, and includes:
- Hospital stays, ambulance rides and surgeries
- Physical rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages (including future wages)
- Follow-up visits to the doctor
Keep in mind that each situation is unique and dependent on circumstances particular to you. Only a knowledgeable hip implant attorney will be able to thoroughly review your case, and offer counsel on your best options.
Speak with an Attorney
In order to determine if filing a lawsuit is your best option, you should contact a hip replacement lawyer to discuss a potential lawsuit.
Pittman, Dutton & Hellums has decades of experience representing clients against large-scale manufacturers like DePuy and Stryker, and we know how to build a strong case seeking the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of hip implant clients across the United States over the past six years against numerous manufacturers and attorneys across the country choose to associate our attorneys due to their experience and expertise with these claims.
If you or a loved one has suffered because of a faulty hip replacement, contact our office today at (205) 322-8880 to discuss your options. Our attorneys are always here to listen, and always willing to help.
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