Stryker LFIT Hip Implants
We previously represented patients in cases against Stryker who had devastating complications as the result of defective hip implants which were eventually recalled. These hips were the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABGII.
These devices were recalled because of their early failure rates. Many of our clients had to endure one or more painful and debilitating revision surgeries as a result of having a recalled Stryker hip that had to be surgically removed and replaced with another product. After litigation ensued, the lawsuits were settled with Stryker paying over $1 billion to injured patients.
As settlement of the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II cases are winding down, there is now more trouble and additional recalls of Stryker hip implants.
New Trouble with Stryker Hip Implants
The Stryker LFIT™ Anatomic heads manufactured before 2011 are experiencing a high failure rate, and the company has issued a voluntary recall of the products. These V40 metal femoral heads that were used with the Rejuvenate and ABG II, which were part of the prior recall, were also used with additional various Stryker hip implant systems, including:
Stryker LFIT™ Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Head Recall
Stryker Hip Implant Recall History
Howmedica Osteonics Corporation, which operates under the name of Stryker Orthopaedics, recalled the Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Primary Hip System and the Stryker ABG II modular neck hip system in the United States back in June 2012.
Stryker began selling these hip systems in late 2007. These systems contain components made of chromium, cobalt, and titanium. The friction created by the normal movement of the implants can release microscopic shavings and metal debris into the surrounding tissue and blood, leading to a condition called Metallosis.
This condition is characterized by painful, inflammatory reactions in the tissue and high blood-metal content. Unfortunately, many Americans were implanted with this hip replacement system, and many have experienced debilitating pain or forced to undergo a second revision surgery because of design flaws in this defective medical device.
The LFIT™ Anatomic heads manufactured before 2011 are experiencing a high failure rate, and the company has issued a voluntary recall of the products.
Current Status of the Stryker Hip Implants Lawsuits
As patients began to learn of the issues with their Stryker hips, lawsuits began being filed all over the United States. As is customary in cases like this, the cases have been consolidated into one court.
The purpose of this is to streamline the litigation and to avoid conflicting rulings by different courts. This does not mean these cases are class actions. Rather, these types of cases are referred to as “multi-district litigation” or MDL cases.
Currently, there are known to be about 35 cases which have been filed. All of those pending cases have been transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani will preside over the MDL. All of the lawsuits which have been filed thus far similarly allege that the LFIT V40 femoral heads were defectively designed because they tend to corrode when implanted with femoral stems made from alloys other than cobalt chromium.
Patients who have filed these lawsuits have suffered varying degrees of injury due to these defective hip implants. However, based upon my past experience with these cases as well as what is known about these hips, when patients suffer corrosion of hip implant devices or component parts, it frequently leads to complete failure of the implant and the need for removal of the device and replacement with another hip implant system. Sometimes there can be additional complications from the hip revision surgery itself, including infection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be required to file my case in Massachusetts?
Most likely YES. The establishment of an “MDL” means that all lawsuits no matter where they are filed throughout the United States will likely be transferred to the Massachusetts Federal Court. Although at the time this is being written, a Case Management Order has not been issued, it is typical for the MDL court to allow “direct filing” of the cases in the MDL court. If your case is filed in another U.S. District Court, it will likely be transferred to the Massachusetts MDL Court.
Will I have to hire a Massachusetts lawyer?
NO. Again, although a Case Management Order has not yet been entered at this time, it is typical and customary for the MDL Judge to allow lawyers who are licensed in any U.S. District Court to file cases directly in the Massachusetts Federal Court, regardless of whether they are licensed or practice law in Massachusetts.
Should I hire a lawyer in my home town or state?
It is certainly not required that you do so. In this day of technology we have the ability to represent clients from all over the country. We can easily get to know you and represent you via phone, Skype, FaceTime call, etc. The nature of these types of cases is such that we typically represent clients from all over the U.S.
Is this a class action?
NO. A class action is similar in the sense that many people have been adversely affected by one company or product. However, in a class action all people are treated the same. In a “mass tort” or “multi-district litigation” case, each litigant still has their own individual case. The cases are merely consolidated for the purpose of pre-trial discovery. This means that if a settlement is reached, each person will have their case analyzed on its own merits, rather than each person receiving the same award. As well, each litigants retains the right to “opt-out” of the “MDL” and have a jury trial of their case should it be appropriate and advisable by your attorney.
What to Do if You Receive a Letter From Your Surgeon or Stryker
If you had a recalled Stryker LFIT™ Femoral Head implanted during total hip replacement, you should receive a letter from your surgeon and/or Stryker. You may also be getting a letter from Stryker or a company hired by Stryker to handle claims.
Even if Stryker offers to assist you with your medical expenses, you would still be well advised to consult with an attorney.
As well, it is very important that prior to having any type of revision surgery you retain an attorney who can make arrangements to preserve the explanted devices. Failing to preserve the explanted devices and failing to do so correctly could adversely affect your rights!
What are the Common Symptoms of a Failing Hip Implant?
Other Recalled Hip Implants
While the Stryker hip has received the most attention in lawsuits and recall-related press, there are other manufacturers who have also been faced with recalls to their hip replacements. These include:
Smith & Nephew
Although we are not able to accept all hip recall cases, if you believe your hip implant was recalled for safety reasons and you have experienced any of the above symptoms or conditions, give us a call or submit your case for evaluation today and we will further analyze your individual circumstances to see if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
How Can We Help You?
Our experienced attorneys at Van Wey, Metzler & Williams will help you know how you can protect your legal rights and preserve the right to file a lawsuit against the maker of the recalled products, Howmedica Osteonics Corporation, doing business as Stryker Orthopaedics, as well as certain other manufacturers. Your lawsuit should seek full compensation for pain and suffering, surgery and hospital bills, lost wages due to the time you are unable to work, and other damages.
We are here for you. Call us today!