What Type of Legal Actions are Available to Recover Funds From Stryker?
It is unfortunate that many medical device manufacturers, including Stryker Orthopedics, have manufactured poorly designed products that have failed and caused long-term health issues. The device manufacturer initiated a voluntary recall on some of their hip replacement products including the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stem. If your surgical procedure involved a Stryker Orthopedic device, you might want to speak with your surgeon or an attorney to determine if your implant is on the recall list.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of medical malpractice, product liability, and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who were injured by the negligent actions of a medical device manufacturer. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of someone else's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
What is Important to Know Concerning Stryker Recalls
As early as 2012, thousands of individuals were already filing lawsuits against Stryker Orthopedics after experiencing health problems associated with the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement device. By 2014, the company began settling claims. In 2016, Stryker recalled more than 40,000 other implant devices that triggered another rush of lawsuits to be filed in court against the company.
Stryker Orthopedics is a major medical device manufacturer that makes billions of dollars in profits every year. Since the company's fouding in 1998, it has sold millions of devices on the medical marketplace. While many of its implants have been beneficial to consumers, others have proved to be dangerous which has led to medical device multidistrict litigation (MDL) and class action suits.
In 2009, the company began marketing their popular Rejuvenate Hip Implant System, which was filed the next year (2010) with their ABG II Modular Hip Stem System that almost immediately proved to be defective. Early lawsuit documentation revealed that there was a lack of clinical testing before both products were released for sale to consumers. The company's lack of quality device testing has created catastrophic injuries resulting in pain, suffering, and discomfort in thousands of patients. The severity of injuries many patients endured resulted in huge medical bills, lost wages, and the inability to continue working.
Is There a Class Action Suit Against Stryker?
Consumers are bombarded with lawsuit ads involving cases filed against device manufacturers. However, participating in a class action suit is not always beneficial to an injured patient as it might not offer the ideal opportunity to receive adequate compensation.
Many of the cases already filed against Stryker have been consolidated in MDL court, where hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs' cases will likely be resolved. Initially, the court judge will order that a few cases be heard in “bellwether” trials to determine how juries will respond to evidence shared by most of the plaintiffs in all of the cases against the device manufacturer.
However, multidistrict litigation is used to speed up the process of determining how Stryker might be legally liable and responsible for paying damages. This information is accumulated through the discovery process and shared with all other remaining plaintiffs in their individual cases that will be heard separately in thousands of different trials or, more likely, settled through negotiation meetings. This process will compensate each plaintiff individually based on the uniqueness of their evidence and the severity of their injuries. Some injured victims are choosing to file individual cases against Stryker to be held in their local county courthouse.
What are the Symptoms of the Defective Device?
Stryker designed their femoral head implant using a metal ball and other metal components that rub together. The constant movement can degrade the device and because metal shavings to release into the surrounding tissue and eventually into the bloodstream. The side effects of the defective device tend to produce common symptoms that include:
- Loss of mobility or restricted movement
- Hip dislocation
- Inflammation of the affected site
- Intense pain and discomfort
- Bone fractures
- Thyroid problems
- Neurological dysfunction
- Cardiac problems
- Failing renal function
- Cardiomyopathy (enlarging heart muscle)
- Tissue, muscle, or bone death (necrosis)
- One leg shorter than the other
- Mental confusion
- Hearing loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Intense headaches
- Depression and other psychological problems
- The need for revision surgery
Metallosis and Other Dangers
For years, doctors and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have warned Stryker Orthopedics that the medical components in the hip devices were dangerous and could cause metallosis (metal poisoning). The federal agency stated that movement of the device could cause microbe metallic particles from the device to release into tissue surrounding the artificial hip joint and bloodstream.
The titanium coated stem is an essential component to the device. However, some studies have shown that cobalt and chromium materials used to fabricate the devices are extremely harmful when rubbing together. In addition to causing metal poisoning, the medical device has also caused:
- Pseudo-tumors where the body creates a tumor-like growth filled with metal flakes and accumulated fluid.
- Osteolysis where the bones begin to break down.
- Bone Fractures caused by poor implant fixation that occurs at the implant site.
- Hip Dislocation where the device begins to fail in the months or years after the surgery.
- Necrosis where the tissue surrounding the implant dies due to inflammation.
- Metal Ions Accumulation where metal substance-associated toxins attack the patient's liver, lymph nodes, muscles, kidney, nervous system, heart, and thyroid.
Often, the patient will experience serious, life-threatening complications that require one or more revision surgical procedures. Many patients experienced pain and discomfort in just a few months after undergoing the first hip replacement surgical procedure and have since coped with ongoing medical issues. The revision surgeries have been expensive, but necessary to ensure the patient's survival.
Do I Have a Defective Device?
If you been having problems with your Rejuvenate or ABG II hip implant device, it is essential to contact your surgeon to discuss which model you received and if the product has been recalled.
In addition to the two models listed above, Stryker has also had problems with their V40 metal head and taper components that are used in combination with devices including the Accolade, ABG II, Rejuvenate, Citation, Exeter, Restoration System, Reliance Definition System, and the Meridian.
Stryker's First Urgent Safety Alert
In 2012, Stryker orthopedics corporation issued an initial “Urgent Safety Alert” warning hospitals and surgeons that performed hip implant procedures that the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement systems had problems. The warning stated that “excessive metal debris and or ion generation” was a major contributing factor to the injuries many patients were suffering from after undergoing hip replacement surgery. The warning listed some of the potential side effects that include:
- The hip device generates metal ions that can affect hard and soft tissue surrounding the implant before entering the bloodstream.
- Many patients with a Stryker hip implant suffer from necrosis, which is the early or premature death of muscle tissue and skin at the affected site.
- Some patients have experienced severe, debilitating pain surrounding their artificial hip that has loosened since the surgery.
- Some patients experienced bone degradation caused by osteolysis and bone dissolution.
Sadly, the urgent warning by Stryker was released too late to save some from serious injuries, severe damage, and the development of other medical conditions. As a result, many injured victims began filing lawsuits that were subsequently consolidated in to MDL (multidistrict litigation) cases in New Jersey and Minnesota. At that time, there were over 1700 filed lawsuits with many more expected to be submitted in the future.
A Billion-Dollar Stryker Settlement
Soon afterward, the Stryker Corporation agreed to settle thousands of claims and put up $1.4 billion in monetary recovery to ensure those harmed by their defective product were compensated. At that time, the settlement agreement was one of the largest that it ever been resolved with plaintiffs that represented 39 different states in America.
The agreement was unique and provided unlimited funding to ensure that every client was individually compensated based on their unique injuries. The funds paid for existing health problems up to 2014 and future medical expenses in the years ahead. The resolution of the case created warning signs to other device makers that they will be held legally responsible and financially accountable for any patient that suffers from a defective product.
Building a Case for Compensation
If your injuries are the result of a defective product, like the Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II implant device, you might have grounds to file a lawsuit. An attorney working on your behalf can build a case for compensation by alleging that the device manufacturer:
- Failed to test the device adequately before releasing it on the medical marketplace.
- Used deceptive marketing to promote the device as being superior to competing hip implant makers.
- Never adequately warned patients and doctors that there were serious known dangers concerning the device that would eventually cause life-threatening conditions.
- Was aware, or should have been aware, that the Stryker hip implant devices were significantly more dangerous to its competitors' products because it can produce metal poisoning (metallosis) that requires revision surgery.
When you call our law office, we will discuss certain aspects of your case to determine if an investigation is necessary. We will want to know certain facts that include:
- Where were you legally residing when you underwent the initial implant surgical procedure?
- How long ago did you receive your hip implant device?
- Do you know the Stryker, implant model? Do you believe the surgeon implanted and Accolade, Citation, Meridian, ABG II, Rejuvenate, or another Stryker device? Other manufacturers have had recalled hip implant devices.
- Did the surgeon ever send you a recall notice?
- Have you ever had a serum blood test to identify traces of titanium, chromium, or cobalt (a Co/Cr/Ti test)?
- Did you undergo a MARS (Metal Artifact Reduction Sequence) MRI to identify pseudo-tumors (accumulated fluid)?
- Have you experienced any of the symptoms associated with metallosis or other problems with hip implant devices?
- Have you undergone revision surgery to remove the defective device?
- Are you experiencing any other severe complication associated with your revision surgery?
Pursuing Legal Action
If you want to pursue legal action against the Stryker Corporation, then there are a few options available to you including filing an independent lawsuit against the device maker to recover your damages. A lawsuit is governed by procedural rules and requires the filing of specific legal documents before the state statute of limitations expires.
You may also be joined as a plaintiff in existing multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings or class action lawsuits. Our law firm has experience litigating metal-on-metal hip cases and can help you weigh the pros and cons of each legal option available to choose the one that is best for you.
Call an Attorney – Receive Compensation
The defective device injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand that the pain and discomfort you feel in your hip is the fault of the device manufacturer. We have successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too.
Our legal team encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim at no charge to you. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and product liability injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.
For additional information see the following pages:
- What Stryker hips have been impacted by the FDA recall, and how do I know if I have one?
- Have all Stryker hip implants been recalled, or just specific designs?
- Why have the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular Hip Neck systems been recalled?
- What are signs that my Stryker hip implant has failed or is defective?
- Should I hire a lawyer for a case involving my Stryker hip implant?
- Will I be able to afford hiring a lawyer to represent me in a Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant case?
- Why should I consider hiring a lawyer as opposed to entering the Broadspire program to have my expenses paid?
- What are injuries associated with defective Stryker hip implants such as the Rejuvenate and ABG II?
- If I require a revision surgery due to my defective Stryker hip implant, may I still collect damages?
- What are the risks associated with a hip revision surgery?
- What are the design flaws in Stryker hip systems?
- Is it true that Stryker hip systems can cause metal poisoning, and if so, what types of metals are contained in the Stryker hip implants?
- What types of compensation may be available in my Stryker hip implant case?
- Does your law firm have any relationship with the Stryker Corporation?
- How can I find a lawyer to represent me in my Stryker hip implant case?