Medical device maker Stryker has agreed to pay $1.43 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits from patients who have had to undergo unnecessary surgery to remove the faulty hip implants.
According to a CBS news report, a New Jersey Superior Court judge brokered the deal that was reached this week. The accord resolves state and federal lawsuits against Stryker.
The lawsuits stem from two hip implants Stryker recalled due to corrosion and other issues in 2012.
One year ago, Johnson & Johnson paid $2.5 billion to settle 8,000 lawsuits filed by patients who had to have the company’s metal-on-metal hip implants removed or replaced.
Plaintiffs in 39 states alleged in the complaints that Michigan-based Stryker sold faulty hip implants that corroded while in patients’ bodies and caused illness including pain and swelling in the tissue around the implant.
The Problem with Metal Hips
There has been significant research about metal-on-metal hip implants, which shows that they tend to degenerate a lot faster than other types of hips.
Two years ago, British researchers, who analyzed data from the world’s largest artificial joint registry, concluded that doctors should stop using metal-on-metal hip replacements.
They also found that about 6 percent of patients who received the implants needed surgery within five years to remove or replace them.
Only between 1.7 and 2.3 percent of patients who had ceramic or plastic hip implants had to undergo surgery within five years as a result of a problem with the implant.
Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement that there are few reasons to continue using metal-on-metal implants.
Why Stryker Recalled Its Metal Hip Implants
The company decided to remove its Rejuvenate and ABG II metal hip implants from the market on July 6, 2012 by issuing a safety recall.
The neck components of these implants were made with chromium and cobalt and the stems were coated with titanium. When these parts wore against each other where the neck meets the stem, they can cause metallic debris to mix in with the bloodstream.
Potential side effects include metal poisoning, tissue and bone damage and severe pain requiring revision surgery. Patients with metal sensitivity may also have a severe allergic reaction that requires revision surgery.
Some studies have also linked metal implants to liver, kidney and spleen damage.
Our defective medical device attorneys have represented injured clients who have suffered severe side effects and complications as a result of defective implants and devices.
If you or a loved one has suffered adverse effects as the result of a defective medical device, please contact an experienced product liability lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.