Medical device manufacturer Biomet Inc. will pay out at least $56 million to settle a multi-district product liability lawsuit relating to faulty hip implants.
According to a Reuters news report, the settlement marks the end of a protracted legal battle involving Biomet’s metal-on-metal hip replacement device known as M2a Magnum.
Hundreds of plaintiffs claimed in various courts nationwide that the faulty hip devices led to injuries. The lawsuits were all combined and jointly heard in the federal court of Indiana where Biomet is headquartered.
In accordance with the settlement, Biomet will deposit $50 million into an escrow account and another $6 million into an attorney fee fund. The agreement with the plaintiffs will extend to all pending cases and any future lawsuit filed in federal court on or before April 15. Despite the settlement, Biomet still maintains that the injuries, damages and losses were not due to its hip implants.
Metal Hip Complications
Metal-on-metal hip implants have come under scrutiny for their high failure rates and risks of serious side effects. Friction from chromium and cobalt components in these hips may release metal debris into the patient’s bloodstream and tissue causing blood toxicity. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Biomet M2a-Magnum hip replacement in 2004.
Patients reported serious side effects including unexplained hip pain, inflammation, soft tissue damage, difficulty walking, loosening of the hip implant and chronic pain. Many patients also reported needing hip revision surgery. They also reported that the implants failed much sooner than expected expediting the need for painful and expensive revision surgery.
Compensation for Victims
If you have been injured as the result of a defective hip implant, please remember that you have legal rights. Victims in such cases can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of revision surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced product liability lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases against product manufacturers.
Companies that make medical devices have a duty and responsibility to their consumers to make products that are safe. They also have a responsibility to present accurate information about the risks presented by the devices to consumers so patients can make informed decisions about the course of their treatment.