Like many other manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants, Biomet has recently come under fire, garnering several lawsuits—some of which have been consolidated before an Indiana judge. The first status conference for these federally-filed Biomet M2A Magnum hip implant lawsuits took place on November 16, 2012. According to the court records there have been eight Biomet M2A Magnum lawsuits filed to date and it is believed there are 57 additional related actions. Each of these lawsuits contains similar complaints regarding the potential of the Biomet M2A Magnum to release metal ions into the surrounding hip tissues and the bloodstream.
Many of the complaints allege the implant failed prematurely and some claimed metal toxicity symptoms as well. There are several pending MDL suits regarding all-metal hip implants throughout the nation including those against manufacturers DePuy, Wright and Stryker with Biomet being the latest manufacturer of all-metal hip implants to be named in multiple lawsuits. One of the Biomet lawsuits was filed by a plaintiff who underwent hip replacement surgery in both hips using a Biomet M2A Magnum implant. This lawsuit alleges the implants were defective, leading to recurrent dislocations and several revision surgeries. This particular plaintiff—as well as other plaintiffs in the MDL—alleged severe pain, instability and recurrent dislocations resulting from the M2A Magnum.
Because the FDA had received numerous adverse event reports regarding the M2A Magnum by the time it was implanted in some of the plaintiffs, the lawsuits allege Biomet was aware their implant was defective yet continued to market the device, allowing it to be implanted in more consumers. Economic damages, severe and potentially permanent injuries, pain, suffering and emotional distress, are all alleged in the lawsuits against Biomet. Unlike other all-metal hip implants, Biomet’s M2A Magnum does not come with a separate acetabular cup liner, and rather is constructed with a one-piece liner, cup and ball.
The absence of a separate liner may allow the metal surfaces to rub together with every movement of the human body, resulting in the release of metal ions. Pain, looseness of the implant, dislocation, squeaking or popping noises and the accumulation of fluids in the soft tissues and bones can all occur as a result of the M2A Magnum metal head rubbing against the metal cup. The M2A incorporates a larger head, ostensibly to provide greater range-of-motion and stability, however the larger head size also offers a greater metal surface to create ion shear.
Like many other metal-on-metal hip implants, the Biomet M2A Magnum has suffered unacceptably high rates of failure. The past two years has seen the annual number of adverse events involving the Biomet M2A Magnum increase by 800%. The 2011 Report from the Australia National Joint Registry showed that the Biomet M2A Magnum had a yearly revision rate of 7.2% which is statistically much higher than some other all-metal hip implants. More importantly, the entire class of all-metal hip replacements have been judged by orthotic professionals to be no better than polyethylene replacements but with greater risks.
In most states the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against a medical device manufacturer is two years; therefore those who neglect to file a case within those time limits could be dismayed down the road to find they are barred from bringing a lawsuit against Biomet. Should these people require a hip revision surgery two, three or four years from now and have failed to protect their legal rights they could find themselves with few options. To learn more about Statutes of Limitations and to receive solid information regarding the Biomet M2A Magnum hip implant, contact the Law Offices of Sullo & Sullo today. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys will offer you a comprehensive evaluation of your potential case against Biomet.