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Joseph H. Saunders
Joseph H. Saunders
Attorney • (800) 748-7115

Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Lawsuit Update

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The recalled Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implant lawsuits are moving forward towards mediations and bellwether trials. Most of the pending lawsuits are in the state court in New Jersey and in the federal court in Minneapolis. Almost all of the cases filed in state courts other than New Jersey are removed by Stryker to the federal courts where there is a nationwide order sending them to U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank. The federal rules of procedure allow corporations that are sued in states other than their home state to move the case to federal court. Stryker is based in New Jersey so cases filed there can stay in the state court. Many cases filed in New Jersey are filed by residents of other states but they can file in New Jersey because Stryker is based there.

New Jersey State Court Stryker Lawsuits

The litigation in the New Jersey state courts was initiated shortly after the recall in the summer of 2012. Millions of pages of Stryker company documents have been produced and many of these cases are ready for trial.  Judge Brian Martinotti in Bergen County has been assigned responsibility for overseeing the Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II cases in New Jersey. He has initiated a mediation process where individual cases are negotiated. Some of these cases have been settled through this process.

The settlement amounts are confidential but it is expected that the settlement amounts are significant because the injuries of those who have had a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II removed usually involve complicated surgery to remove the femoral stem. Frequently, this includes an osteotomy which is a splitting of the femur to remove an ingrown femoral stem. After an osteotomy, metal cables are usually required to hold the femur together. This surgery is much more invasive the a replacement of the ball and the cup which is the usual remedy for other failed hip implants such as the recalled DePuy ASR hip implant. The recently announced DePuy ASR settlement sets a base value of $250,000 per hip revision with various reductions and enhancements based upon specific case facts. The recently announce Biomet magnum M2A settlement sets a base value of $200,000 with reductions and enhancements.

Federal Court Stryker Lawsuits in Minneapolis

The federal multidistrict litigation in Minnesota was organized a year after the new Jersey cases began so things there are just beginning. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank is in charge of the lawsuits in federal court. These cases are not in a class action but are grouped together for pretrial management and will be sent back to the states where they were filed if they do not get settled. That will be several years from now at the soonest. The federal coordinated litigation cases are titled: In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation which is docketed in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

Judge Frank issued an Order on March 13, 2014 detailing procedures to set 3-5 cases for bellwether trials in the summer of 2015. Bellwether trials are intended to help each side assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case by preparing for trial and getting some jury verdicts so that settlement values can be established for the other cases. It is highly unlikely that there will be hundreds of jury trials to resolve these cases. This is especially true since we know Stryker is settling these cases in the New Jersey state court litigation. The Judge will have the next status conference on setting these trials on June 14, 2014.

Settlement Summary

Those individuals with Stryker Rejuvenate or Stryker AGB II hip implants that have developed metallosis from the chromium and cobalt generated by the modular necks of these devices and had to have the hip prosthesis surgically removed and replaced have a high likelihood of getting a decent pretrial settlement offer from Stryker over the next few years. Few manufacturers of recalled hip implants have been willing to pay settlement money to those who have not needed a revision or replacement of their recalled device. There are some individuals that need a replacement or revision of their hip implant but cannot get one because of insurance issues or other medical conditions that make the surgery too dangerous. I think those cases could have significant value.

I am happy to answer individual questions for those that do not have an attorney already representing them. My firm is representing individuals in New Jersey state court cases and in federal litigation.

Joseph H. Saunders

800-748-7115

Saunders & Walker, Consumer Justice Attorneys

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. S.H. says:
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    50 yo female – Hip resurfacing Biomet implant in 2011. Constant pain that includes nerve pain, groin and localized pain immediately after surgery. I cannot work, cannot walk without pain, cannot sleep and cannot do the things I love. My life is on hold.

    I have gone through a multitude of procedures (nerve blocks etc…) with no relief and take pain killers daily. Apparently the component looks fine on x-ray and although I’m not confident about the blood tests for metal, I think they are okay.

    I would like to know what is going on with the surrounding tissue, but I can’t get an MRI to find out what is causing pain due to the metal causing artifact on the image. Even the best MRI technology out there renders a useless image of blur when imaging around metal.There is no other test that will reveal the problem in detail.

    It is narrow focused to make the criteria for revision a subject of blood testing for “metal ions”, since there is no proof this test consistently reflects the scope of the damage. Infections, tumors, scar tissue, nerve and muscle damage are common and without the MRI as a diagnostic tool, the only way left to find out where the issues are is another surgery.
    I believe this is why so many bad implants were never “reported”.
    I spoke with several MRI technicians who all told me they could fine tune the machine but still wouldn’t be able to anywhere from 3-7 inches away from the component – it would be a guessing game.

    I had 2 MRIs of my hip and this was indeed the case. I would have never agreed to a metal on metal implant if the above information had been disclosed to me.
    The manufacturers/surgeons are well aware and have profited from this convenient “loophole” at the patients’ expense, opting to suggest and focus on a metal ion test instead.

    If there is no accurate diagnostic tool to check for specific hip implant failure, how can it’s success be measured?