If you experienced complications, like severe pain, swelling, or infection after receiving a metal on metal hip implant, or if your hip implant has dislocated since the surgery, you may be experiencing serious complications that could require revision surgery.
These side effects are nothing new. The devices are also associated with high short-term failure rates, according to the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Metal implants have been the subject of thousands of lawsuits from people like you who have suffered from these and other complications.
FDA Concerns About Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expressed its concerns about metal hip implants. While acknowledging that the material that makes up any artificial hip implant bears the risk of degrading over time, the FDA reports that metal-on-metal implants carry additional risks not present in other types of hip implants.
As the implant's metal ball and cup begin to wear, they release metal particles and ions (chromium and cobalt) into the bloodstream. Reactions to the metal vary from one person to the next.
Bone and Tissue Damage
Gradually, bone and tissue around the hip implant can become damaged by the metal particles. Damage to the soft tissue can result in the following effects:
- Loosening of the implant
- Tissue deterioration
- Failure of the implant
- Need to remove and replace the implant
Additional Adverse Reactions from Metal Debris
The FDA also shares reported cases where patients' adverse reactions to metal ions resulted in the following effects:
- Skin rash
- Renal function impairment
- Sensory and other neurological changes
- Cognitive impairment, depression, and other psychological changes
- Discomfort in the neck, fatigue, weight gain, and other signs of thyroid dysfunction
According to the BMJ, soft-tissue destruction is often irreparable, and it is not uncommon for patients to do poorly even after revision surgeries.
Risk Factors for Hip Implant Wear and Adverse Reactions
Part of the puzzle when considering metal-on-metal hip implants is the fact that patients react differently to the metal particles that enter the bloodstream. Patients also experience different levels of device wear, depending on various factors.
The FDA shares that some patient groups, however, may be more likely to experience adverse reactions and/or increased hip implant wear. Patient risk factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Suppressed immune systems
- Severe obesity
- Bilateral implants
- High corticosteroid doses
- Implant components are not ideally positioned
- Greater physical activity
- Suspected sensitivity to metal
- Small device heads on resurfacing systems
- Kidney problems
Devices Named in Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Lawsuits
Several metal-on-metal hip implant manufacturers are fighting or have fought lawsuits from patients who have suffered injuries from these defective medical devices. These hip implants include:
- DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR and Pinnacle Systems
- Stryker LFIT V40 & Tritanium Systems
- Biomet M2z Magnum and M2a38 Systems
- Smith & Nephew BHR, BHMH, and R3 Acetabular System Products
- Wright Medical ConSERVE and Profemur Systems
Lawsuit Settlement Results At-a-Glance
Several metal-on-metal hip replacement manufacturers have agreed to significant settlements in an attempt to compensate patients who suffered complications resulting from their devices. For example:
- Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay about $1 billion to resolve the bulk of its lawsuits centered on the Pinnacle hip implants. Included in the amount is $400 million from an earlier settlement.
- A Los Angeles judge awarded $7.68 million to a man who was injured by Zimmer's Durom Cup hip implant. The award marks $400 million that the medical device manufacturer has paid in hip implant settlements.
- Johnson and Johnson agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement for complications resulting from its ASR metal-on-metal implant
- Stryker Corp. and subsidiary Howmedica Osteonics Corp. agreed to a $1 billion settlement for thousands of claims related to the Rejuvenate and ABG II devices.
- Johnson & Johnson settled claims for $120 million to be paid to 46 states to compensate for the company's alleged false marketing about their implants' longevity.
Product Liability Lawsuits
A company can be named in a product liability lawsuit when a product they manufacture, sell, or distribute is defective. There are two types of product defects: design and manufacturing.
Manufacturing defects stem from mistakes made during the actual assembly of the product. The rules of strict liability dictate that manufacturers must be held liable for such defects. In these cases, the plaintiff need not prove negligence, only that the defect caused the plaintiff's injury and that the defect originated at the time of manufacture.
Design defects originate at the “blueprint” stage of a product. These flaws create a hazard for the user, and they will exist in all the products, as opposed to manufacturing defects, which will appear in only those products where errors were made. The hip implant lawsuits discussed here would fall under the category of design defects.
Failure to Warn
When the manufacturer is aware of the risk their product presents and fails to warn of these risks, they can be held liable for injuries caused by the product.
How a Hip Implant Lawsuit Lawyer Can Help You
A hip implant lawsuit lawyer will prove the essential elements to establish negligence so that you can receive compensation from the manufacturer of your defective hip implant. Your attorney will do this by applying the Duty of Care Doctrine to your case, proving that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care to design its hip implant in a way that kept you safe from harm.
- The defendant breached this duty of care.
- The defendant's breach of duty caused your injury.
- You have suffered actual damages as the result of your injury.
Call Tosi Law LLP for Help with Your Hip Implant Lawsuit
Our team can determine whether your legal action would best serve you as an independently filed claim or as part of a class action product liability lawsuit. The circumstances of your injury would dictate the better fit for your situation.
The sooner you hire a hip implant lawsuit lawyer, the more time you give your legal counsel to review your case, gather evidence, and devise a strategy that will result in the best compensation.
Call Tosi Law LLP today at (888) 312-2518 for a free case review.
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