June 08, 2016 - If you were implanted with a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII metal hip implant after the two devices received FDA approval in 2008 and 2009, you likely heard of the Stryker hip recall in July 2012, just a few short years after Stryker began marketing the two devices in earnest in early 2010. By late 2014, Stryker was facing thousands of lawsuits from plaintiffs who had suffered chromium and cobalt blood poisoning, Stryker hip pseudotumors, Stryker hip infection or Stryker hip metallosis. Many of these patients were forced to undergo Stryker ABGII revision surgery or Stryker Rejuvenate revision surgery in order to have the recalled device removed, replaced with a safer model.
Stryker Follows Johnson & Johnson’s Lead, Offering Hip Settlement to Thousands
Stryker said at the time of the recall that the devices had a higher-than-normal failure rate, and were subject to fretting and corrosion. This corrosion could cause tiny cobalt and chromium ions to shear away from the device, burrowing into surrounding hip tissues or entering the bloodstream. Seventeen of the Stryker lawsuits settled during the last month of 2013 and early 2014. Judges began setting bellwether trials and by November 2014, Stryker decided to offer a settlement to those who had undergone revision surgery. Eligible patients were entitled to a $300,000 base award, subject to enhancements, reductions and caps, depending on the specific circumstances of each plaintiff. Under the Stryker hip settlement, the eligibility requirements are as follows:
First, the Rejuvenate or ABGII hip implant must have been removed prior to November 3, 2014—the implant must also not have been removed within six months of the initial implantation surgery; Second, the revision surgery must have occurred due to tissue damage, abnormal diagnostic scans, or cobalt and chromium levels which were above the acceptable “safe” level. Third, the surgery must have taken place in the U.S., or in a U.S. military hospital; Fourth, the Stryker implant must have been removed for a reason other than implant breakage, and...Fifith, there must have been additional reasons for the Stryker revision surgery aside from recurring dislocations, severe infection or trauma.
Additional Issues Associated with the Stryker Hip Settlement Agreement
Under the MSA, only those plaintiffs who had their Stryker hip implant removed before November 03, 2014 were eligible under the Stryker agreement. Now, for those who had filed a Stryker case but had their revision surgery scheduled after November 03, 2014, and had their implant(s) removed, could POTENTIALLY BE ELIGIBLE UNDER THE STRYKER HIP SETTLEMENT IF STRYKER EXTENDS ITS DEADLINES TO INCLUDE THOSE CASES, OF WHICH THIS IS A POSSIBILITY, BUT THERE IS NO GUARANTEE STRYKER WILL DO SO. Furthermore, Patients who were told by their doctor they should have revision surgery, but who were too medically fragile to do so, are entitled to a one-time flat payment of $75,000, with no potential enhancements or reductions attached to the amount. Moreover, Patients who had a lawsuit filed, but who had not undergone revision surgery and whose doctors had indicated that a revision was not necessary would have had their cases pending until November 03, 2015 and then dismissed without prejudice. SOLs would then be tolled until 5 years from the date of the original Stryker Hip Implantion or until June of 2017, whichever comes first. Finally, Unrevised Stryker Hip Implant Recipients with cases that have not been filed may not be able to make a claim against Stryker.
Speaking to a knowledgeable Stryker hip attorney can help to ensure your rights are fully protected under the Stryker hip settlement, and can also allow you to explore all your options and make the best choices for your future.