Expanding a $1 billion settlement struck two years ago, Stryker Corp. and Howmedica Osteonics Corp. have agreed to compensate hundreds of additional claimants who had defective metal hips implanted and removed from Nov. 2014 to Dec. 19, 2016.
- Stryker now faces 1,794 product liability cases consolidated into MDL 2441 before US District Judge Donovan W. Frank concerning its Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products.
- Also, a second wave of plaintiffs for hip implant cases is emerging for injuries related to the LVIT v40 Femoral Head component recall. Stryker issued an urgent medical device recall on August 29, 2016 related to the Stryker LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Head commonly used with the Stryker Accolade Hip replacement system as well as other models and brands of hip replacement products.
$300,000 base settlement
Eligible claimants will receive a base award of $300,000 for each revised hip. Unrepresented claimants are eligible for 71% of the base award, or $213,000. Reductions will be made for obesity, smoking and age, according to the settlement. Settlements may be increased up to $550,000 under an enhanced benefit program, for re-revision surgery, related additional surgery, dislocation of the femoral head of the hip, infections, inability to lift the front part of the foot, and pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis during hospitalization,
The MDL Plaintiffs’ committee, chaired by Peter J. Flowers of Meyers & Flowers of Chicago, reached a new settlement agreement in ongoing litigation against Stryker and Howmedica over the defective Stryker Modular Rejuvenate and ABG II Femoral Hip Implants. This new settlement encompasses patients who had the hip replacement system implanted and then removed after November 2014.
About 20,000 people were implanted in the US with the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement. The settlement, much like the historic, unlimited compensation fund of more than $1 billion in restitution established in late 2014, is once again an unlimited fund for this new set of plaintiffs injured by these metal-on-metal hip replacement devices.
The global settlement includes plaintiffs from across the U.S. who underwent painful revision surgeries since the fall of 2014 to remove the defective devices regardless of if they filed a case in state or federal court. Settlement payments are expected to be distributed starting in 2017.
“This settlement is the latest chapter in the ongoing litigation against Stryker and Howmedica for the extensive, at-times crippling injuries of our clients, many of whom have experienced life-altering pain and disabilities due to these hip devices,” said Flowers. “Our continuing and tireless negotiations bring a degree of relief to these clients as well as hope to future victims of defective devices.”
Victims step forward in 2010
Flowers has spent decades litigating cases against Stryker and similar device manufacturers for their defective medical products. In 2010, he began to hear from victims of hip replacement injuries that echoed past metal-on-metal friction cases he dealt with in the Depuy Orthopedics of Johnson & Johnson recall lawsuits.
Stryker issued recalls for its Modular Rejuvenate and ABG II Femoral Hip Implants in July 2012 when he was already representing many clients who had been injured by these devices, even while the company continued to sell them.
The Stryker hip replacement devices had four components: the femoral stem, modular neck, ball and an acetabular cup. Once implanted, the metal components began to wear causing friction and metal shards to release toxins into the bloodstream.
During a hip replacement, the device stem is implanted in the femur bone. When the device fails or needs to be removed, the femur bone often has to be fractured, resulting in mobility issues that can last for six to eight months as well as painful side effects and extensive periods of rehabilitation.
“The ripple effect that has been seen year after year from these defective hip replacement devices is truly outrageous,” said Flowers. “When medical device makers put profit before patient safety, we all suffer. There are devastating consequences to the victim, their family, and community as well as the overall economy and the government, which is why protecting these injured parties is so essential.”