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Stryker Orthopaedics has reached a settlement with plaintiffs in both federal multidistrict litigation and New Jersey multicounty litigation over injury claims relating to its defective Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants. The settlement will compensate eligible patients in the United States who had revision surgery to replace their Rejuvenate Modular Neck Hip Stem or ABG II Modular Neck Hip Stem prior to December 19, 2016, regardless of whether they filed a case in state or federal court or have not yet filed a case. Stryker’s shares rose 0.3% to close at $118.81 following the settlement announcement.
This settlement follows an initial 2014 settlement program constituting an unlimited compensation fund that covered patients who had revision surgery prior to November 3, 2014. Over 95% of eligible patients enrolled. Pursuant to this settlement, additional patients may participate and apply for compensation out of the unlimited fund. Enrollment in the 2016 settlement program will commence on January 17, 2017 and end on March 1, 2017.
Key differences between the 2014 round of Stryker settlements and the recent settlement include the requirement that a qualified revision surgery be sought at the same time the base award claim is submitted, a change in the appeals process whereby any appeal regarding enhancements will result in the whole award being delayed, claimants not being able to get their base awards until all appeals are resolved, and the non-prevailing party paying all costs of the appeal.
Plaintiffs’ lead counsel responded to the settlement: “This settlement is the latest chapter in the ongoing litigation against Stryker and Howmedica for the extensive, at-times crippling injuries of our clients, many of whom have experienced life-altering pain and disabilities due to these hip devices. The ripple effect that has been seen year after year from these defective hip replacement devices is truly outrageous. When medical device makers put profit before patient safety, we all suffer. There are devastating consequences to the victim, their family, and community as well as the overall economy and the government, which is why protecting these injured parties is so essential.”
Other plaintiffs’ counsel also noted, “Following the initial settlement in 2014, we have streamlined the settlement program to provide payment as quickly as possible. We look forward to continue working with victims of these faulty devices to help them receive the compensation they deserve in the timeliest manner possible.”
Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Stryker Orthopaedics is one of the world’s largest medical device companies operating in the global orthopedic market. Stryker and its New Jersey-based subsidiary, Howmedica Osteonics, recalled its Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck hip stem implants in July 2012 due to fretting and/or corrosion of the modular neck junction and cobalt and chromium debris, which resulted in premature implant failure, metal poisoning (metallosis) adverse tissue reactions, bone death (necrosis), osteolysis and other painful medical conditions.
The metal-on-metal hip implant failures required many hip implant patients to undergo painful and costly revision surgery to remove and replace the defective implants. Thousands of Stryker hip implant patients sued the company for damages alleging defects and failures of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants. The lawsuits were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Minnesota federal court in 2013 to resolve common issues among the cases (In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2441).
While the settlement will resolve numerous Rejuvenate and ABG II injury cases across the United States, Stryker will continue to defend against many remaining claims. As Stryker sold an estimated 30,000 Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants, many individuals still have a defective Stryker hip implant that may cause serious medical complications and require revision surgery. This will lead to additional lawsuits against Stryker.
If you or a family member have a hip implant, or have had revision surgery to remove and replace a hip implant, you and/or your family member may be entitled to money damages.