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Hip implant litigation

On Behalf of | May 4, 2017 | Dangerous & Defective Devices, hip implant |

Stryker Hip Implant Litigation Transferred to Venue in Massachusetts

Lawsuits stemming from a major recall of a hip implant device have been consolidated into one action. Six lawsuits involving the devices were pending in three different jurisdictions across the country. All plaintiffs were in favor of consolidating the claims into a single multidistrict litigation.

The lawsuits specifically involve defects in Stryker LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral heads, a hip implant device that has been used in thousands of surgeries. Due to a defect in the device, the metal implants rub together and leave bits of metal in the body. This metal may cause tissue death and chronic pain, in addition to a variety of other ailments. Injured patients complained of excessive metal debris, trunnion fracture, corrosion, and other complications. Some patients may require revision surgeries.

The defendant, Howmedica Osteonics Corp., opposed centralization. If the cases were to be consolidated and transferred, it argued, the appropriate venue was the Southern District of New York.

The Panel on Multidistrict Litigation considered the arguments of the plaintiffs and the defendants. Ultimately, it ordered that the cases would be consolidated and transferred to the District of Massachusetts, where the Honorable Indira Talwani will preside over pretrial proceedings. Since all of the claims involved common questions of fact, it would make sense to group them together into one large action.

In its order, the Panel explained that Boston is accessible for the parties and their witnesses and that it is relatively close to Howmedica Osteonics Corp.’s Mahwah, New Jersey headquarters. It will be easier for the parties to obtain evidence and witness testimony from the defendant by being in close proximity to the company’s headquarters.

The benefits of multidistrict litigation

Patients who have the affected devices implanted should not stress about the lawsuit. In a class action lawsuit, injured victims must use the attorneys assigned to the claim. However, in multidistrict litigation, injured victims may use their own attorneys. These victims will be able to consult their attorneys on settlement decisions and other actions in the case. Instead of one large award to the class action, claimants will receive damages based upon their individual experiences. Often, those in multidistrict litigation receive higher awards than those in class action lawsuits.

Stryker’s recall of the defective hip implant

In August of 2016, Stryker sent a letter to all surgeons that had potentially used the device in their patients’ surgeries. Stryker noted that it had received higher than the expected number of complaints about the LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral heads that were manufactured before 2011. It listed a number of potential hazards, including insufficient soft tissue tension, excessive metallic debris, noise, pain, dislocation, joint instability, and a number of other conditions.

Stryker has already paid more than $1 billion in compensation to victims injured by previously recalled devices.

The need for a defective medical device attorney

To date, approximately 40,000 hip implant devices have been recalled by Stryker. Therefore, it is very likely that thousands of claims will be added to the multidistrict litigation in Boston. However, there are deadlines in place that limit how long victims have to file a claim, and certain evidence is required from each victim before the claim may move forward. The assistance of an experienced defective medical device attorney is essential to supporting a claim against the hip implant manufacturer.

Simply because the claims have been consolidated in Boston does not mean that all claimants must hire attorneys who are licensed in Massachusetts. Consolidating the claims in Massachusetts streamlines the claim process so that victims obtain the compensation they deserve in a more expeditious manner. If you live in New Jersey, you may hire a New Jersey attorney to handle the claim on your behalf.

Were you injured by a Stryker device? If so, contact our leading injury attorneys today

If you think your hip implant is affected, contact our offices as soon as possible for a free consultation. Your ability to recover compensation and protect your legal rights depends on having experienced attorneys on your side. To schedule your consultation, call Lomurro Call or contact us online. We work with clients in New Jersey and throughout the U.S.