Stryker is now facing over 4,000 product liability lawsuits in federal and state courts across the nation. The lawsuits allege patients have experienced significant medical issues with the Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement system and other Stryker products including the ABG II. Both replacement systems were voluntarily recalled from the market in 2012, when numerous reports indicated the medical devices were prone to fail, corrode or fret after just a few years.
All plaintiffs who have filed the existing Stryker Rejuvenate liability lawsuits share similar complaints concerning the hip replacement unit, claiming they were injured by the device’s failure to deliver healthy results. As a result of the failure, many patients had no choice but to undergo revision surgery much earlier than expected. This is due to severe complications with the unit including hip failure, metallosis, necrosis and adverse reaction to local tissue.
While the initial “bellwether” trials are expected to start in the summer of 2015, court-ordered mediation to settle many cases continues. The outcomes of the initial lawsuit trials will determine how future juries will gauge certain testimony and evidence concerning the victim’s damages and losses, along with the proper amount of financial recompense for all claims. However, many victims are receiving adequate compensation through mediation.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a legal process involving all parties involved in the suit meeting with a third party who serves as a neutral mediator. The process works to resolve disagreements by finding a legal solution to the complaint. Mediation focuses strictly on resolving the claim, without uncovering facts involved in the case. Mediators are limited in their capacity to resolve the disagreement, and do not have the authority of a judge in a court of law.
The mediation process does not always produce a positive outcome. When mediation does not provide an adequate resolution to the claim, the case moves to trial with evidence to be presented in front of a judge and jury. The first cases heard in the courtroom are considered “bellwether” trials. The evidence, facts and outcome of the cases are often used as litmus tests to determine how jurors in future trials will respond in similar cases.
As a modular hip replacement device, the metal-based Stryker Rejuvenate system is constructed as two adjustable components. Its design allows for adjustments on the length of the femoral stem, based on the size of the patient’s bones. Some assessments indicate that the design increases the potential of developing metallosis when the titanium femoral stem grinds against the chromium-cobalt neck. The grinding has released metal debris causing a catastrophic failure along with associated serious medical conditions including:
- Loosening of the device
- Damage to tissue and bone material surrounding the artificial hip joint
In June 2012, Stryker voluntarily recalled both the ABG II and Rejuvenate hip replacement systems. This was because of corrosion and fretting at the junction where the neck meets the femoral stem. Up until the recall, nearly 20,000 Stryker hip replacement devices had been implanted in patients in the U.S. Since then, more than 3000 patients have sued Stryker over damages they received from the device. Many lawsuits are yet to be filed as more individuals are beginning to suffer serious damage caused by the dangerous product.
Originally, the hip replacement device was marketed and sold as an innovative solution for active patients. Unlike a traditional hip implant, the Rejuvenate system has two femoral components instead of one. Instead of increasing the longevity of use in active individuals, the hip replacement system caused significant damage to thousands of individuals unexpectedly. As a result, many patients are filing a Stryker rejuvenate hip replacement lawsuit seeking compensation to cover medical expenses, lost earnings, and other damages.
Some patients who received the implant are just now beginning to see the first signs of serious injury, pain and damage caused by the Stryker hip replacement device. Many of these individuals are taking product liability action to hold Stryker accountable for their negligence in not labeling the device properly as being harmful and dangerous. Skilled law firms that specialize in product liability lawsuits are assessing claims for financial recompense from individuals seeking legal representation to hold Stryker legally responsible.