Last July, Stryker Orthopedics recalled their ABG II and Rejuvenate metal hip implant components after testing raised concerns that the systems could release toxic metallic shavings into the bloodstream and area tissue.
Now, with more than 20,000 patients affected by the recall, the company is facing growing litigation by those who feel they weren’t properly warned of the dangers of these defective products. And their records show they are expecting high litigation costs*.
Researchers in the U.K. warned as early as 2009 that shavings from the toxic metals used in modern hip implants could cause metallic poisoning. Although the condition shows few early symptoms, it can lead to tissue and bone damage, pain, hearing and vision loss and tumors in the long run.
However, instead of conducting thorough testing of their devices prior to launch, Stryker used the FDA’s abbreviated 510(k) approval process which only required they show similarities to existing products.
Also, records now show Stryker had reason to know their devices were dangerous months before the recall, but didn’t properly warn patients.
Now, as part of the recall, Stryker has retained the claims management company Broadspire in an attempt to resolve as many claims as possible before people file formal lawsuits.
Although the company is offering to reimburse patients for the “reasonable and customary costs of testing and treatment,” including the cost of revision surgery, they have not offered any compensation for the pain, suffering or lost time associated with the ordeal, or the future damages incurred from metallic poisoning.
Lawyers point out that anyone who agrees to a quick settlement with Stryker or Broadspire may be giving up the majority of the compensation available. Juries in California and New Jersey recently awarded two patients $8.3 million and $11.2 million for damages from the similar DePuy hip recall.
While Stryker has informed investors that legal proceedings may cost between $190 and $390 million, experts believe the cost could be much higher if victims are fairly compensated for their damages.
If you or a loved one received a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip implant, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your legal rights under the recall before signing anything or deciding to take action.
DrugRisk only recommends lawyers and law firms who have already handled hip implant or Stryker recall lawsuits.
Contact us today for more information on the Stryker hip recall, research, side effects and litigation news, or to speak with a lawyer.
*Stryker 2012 Annual Report, Other Information, Legal and Regulatory Matters, Pg. 19; http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/114936