Federal MDL Created for Stryker LFIT Anatomic CoCR V40 Prosthetic Hip

LFIT V40 Femoral Head Recall
LFIT V40 Femoral Head

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) created the new MDL No. 2768 to hear products liability litigation involving the Stryker-branded LFIT Anatomic CoCR V40 femoral heads, a prosthetic hip replacement device.

US District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston will oversee a total of 33 cases from 17 district courts, with at least eight groups competing plaintiffs’ counsel involved, in In re: Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation. Defendant HowmedicaOsteonics Corp. of Mahwah, NJ, unsuccessfully opposed centralization and wanted the cases heard in New Jersey or New York federal court.

All the lawsuits involve common factual questions about alleged defects in Howmedica’s Stryker-branded LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral heads. The federal MDL motion was filed Jan. 13 by attorney Walter Kelley of Kelley Bernheim & Dolinsky LLC in Plymouth, MA.

42,519 defective hips

Howmedica recalled 42,519 of the defective hips on August 29, 2016. The company also issued a letter to orthopedic surgeons advising them of a “higher than expected” incidence of taper lock failure for certain sizes of its LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads.

Potential hazards listed in the recall notice included excessive metal debris, disassociation of the head from the stem/failure, trunnion fracture, and corrosion at the femoral head and stem junction.

Simultaneously, the Canadian public health agency issued a recall about the Stryker LFIT V40 and the Australian Government Department of Health published a Hazard Alert about the same devices.

The plaintiffs’ claims focus on the performance of the LFIT V40 cobalt-chromium device, in particular the alleged propensity of the device to cause corrosion at the taper junction when paired with femoral stems made from different alloys (such as Howmedica’s proprietary TMZF, which is an alloy of titanium, molybdenum, zirconium and iron). This corrosion allegedly leads to failure of the implant or other serious health consequences and necessitates surgery to remove and replace the implants.

In addition to the specific causes of the failure of each plaintiff’s device, the cases have common issues about the development, manufacture, testing, regulatory history, promotion, and labeling of the LFIT V40 cobalt-chromium femoral head. “We note, though, that the transferee judge might find it useful, for example, to establish different tracks for the different femoral stems that can be mated with the LFIT device,” the JPMDL said.

New Jersey plaintiffs

A different group of 25 plaintiffs is requesting that the New Jersey state courts create a multi-county litigation docket for the same device.

The New Jersey motion was filed Jan. 26 by attorney Ellen Relkin of Weitz & Luxenberg in New York. She estimates that more than 85 cases over the LFIT V40 Hip have been filed before Judge Rachelle Harz in Bergen County, NJ.

Separately, Stryker is the target 1,800 lawsuits in MDL 2441, supervised by US District Judge Donovan W. Frank in Stryker Rejuvenate in ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation and in Stryker Trident Hip Implants New Jersey State Court.

 

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New Group of Plaintiffs Seek Stryker LFIT Hip MDL in New Jersey State Court

LFIT V40 Femoral Head Recall
LFIT V40 Femoral Head Device

As the federal courts weigh creating an MDL for litigation involving the Stryker LFIT V40 Hip Device, a different group of 25 plaintiffs is requesting that the New Jersey state courts create a multi-county litigation docket for the same device.

  • The New Jersey motion was filed Jan. 26 by attorney Ellen Relkin of Weitz & Luxenberg in New York. She estimates that more than 85 cases over the LFIT V40 Hip have been filed before Judge Rachelle Harz in Bergen County, NJ.
  • The federal MDL motion was filed Jan. 13 by attorney Walter Kelley of Kelley Bernheim & Dolinsky LLC in Plymouth, MA, requesting MDL No. 2768 be created in federal court in Massachusetts. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) will hear this motion on March 30 in Phoenix, AZ.

Separately, Stryker is the target 1,800 lawsuits in MDL 2441, supervised by US District Judge Donovan W. Frank in Stryker Rejuvenate in ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation and in Stryker Trident Hip Implants New Jersy State Court.

Defective hips

Defendant Stryker Howmedica Osteonics Corp. of Mahwah, NJ, recalled 42,519 of the defective hips on August 29, 2016. The company also issued a letter to orthopedic surgeons advising them of a “higher than expected” incidence of taper lock failure for certain sizes of its LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads.

Simultaneously, the Canadian public health agency issued a recall about the Stryker LFIT V40 and the Australian Government Department of Health published a Hazard Alert about the same devices.

The LFIT femoral head has been marketed fo ruse with a variety of femoral stems. Some medical literature says the problem arises when stems made of titanium or TMZF titanium alloy are combined with cobalt-chromium alloy femoral head and taper devices.

The problem involves fretting and corrosion in the junction where the femoral head connects to the femoral stem. Corrosion at this junction has led to the systematic release of metal particles into the surrounding tissue and bone, putting patients are risk of toxic metallosis, tissue death, bone death and elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood.

Adverse events include loss of mobility pain, inflammation, adverse local tissue reaction, disassociation of the femoral head, dislocation, joint instability, broken bones and the need for revision surgery.

Furthermore, excessive corrosion at the head-neck junction causes the femoral head to break off the from neck, become loose in the body, and depart from the acetabular cup where it is supported to move.

Revision surgery

Adverse events include loss of mobility pain, inflammation, adverse local tissue reaction, disassociation of the femoral head, dislocation, joint instability, broken bones and the need for revision surgery. Many of the New Jersey cases involve patients who have needed revision surgery.

All the cases allege design defect, failure to warn, breach of warranty and manufacturing defect.

Judge Harz is presiding over the LFIT litigation, as well as the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II litigation, which involves similar issues.  “It is both logical and fair to the litigants for these cases to remain in Bergen County before Judge Harz,” attorney Relkin argues. She speculates that if a federal MDL were created in New Jersey, then “seamless coordination could occur between the federal MDL and state MCL litigation.”

The New Jersey Multicounty Litigation Center centralizes litigation over Accutane, Benicar, Talcum Powder, Stryker Hip/ABG II, DePuy ASR Hip Implant, Mirena, Pelvic Mesh, Stryker Implant, Yaz/Yasmin/Ocella, Asbestos, AlloDerm, Fosamax, Levaquin, Propecia, Reglan and Risperdal / Seroquel / Zyprexa.

A global settlement was announced December 19, 2015 regarding the Stryker Hip/ABG II litigation.

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Admitting Hip Replacements Cause Metallosis, Smith & Nephew Issues Urgent Recall

Smith & Nephew Modular SMF hip implant
Smith & Nephew Modular SMF hip implant

Admitting for the first time that its Modular SMF and Modular REDAPT femoral replacement hip systems cause toxic metallosis in patients, Smith & Nephew has issued an urgent field safety notice recalling thousands of the defective medical devices.

The recall affects 6,266 SMF and REDAPT hip systems in commerce, plus 13,671 modular neck hip prostheses in commerce — shipped from October 2008 through July 2016.

Based in Memphis, TN, Smith & Nephew has sold the Modular SMF and REDAPT implants for almost a decade. In its letter to doctors, the company admitted that “Smith & Nephew considers that patients implanted with the modular neck hip prostheses may be at greater risk of revision surgery than with comparable monolithic products.”

Metal-Related Adverse Events

The letter states, “We observed a rate of complaints higher than comparable monolithic hip prostheses. Metal-related complaints are trending upward year-on-year with an overall complaint rate (number of complaints/total implantations) of 0.527% for Modular SMF and 0.25% for Modular REDAPT Revision Femoral Hip Systems. Overall, the metal-related Adverse Events accounted for the highest category of complaints in both products.

“For patients that exhibit these symptoms, physicians may consider additional clinical follow-up which includes the following:

  • Cobalt/Chromium metal-ion level measurements in whole blood – metal ion levels in excess of 7ppb may indicate the potential for soft tissue reaction; and
  • Where appropriate and subject to the clinician’s assessment, further active evaluation of the potential soft tissue reactions either through ultrasound or cross-sectional imaging might be indicated.”

Hip litigation

In related litigation, plaintiffs who were injured by Smith & Nephew’s Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (“BHR”) system and R3 metal-on-metal liner (“R3”) have filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to create new MDL No. 2775 in the US District Court for the District of Maryland.

The plaintiffs allege that the BHR and R3 devices have caused toxic levels of cobalt and chromium in the bodies of patients implanted with the devices, and caused other symptoms including metallosis, pain, adverse local tissue reaction, pseudotumor, bone and tissue necrosis, and other symptoms leading to revision surgery.

Modular femoral stems have been a big problem in orthopedics for years. Stryker Orthopedics had to recall two of its modular stems in 2012 because of very high failure rates. A total of 1,807 cases have been filed in MDL 2441 against Stryker before Sr. US District JudgeDonovan W. Frank in Minnesota.

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