The Stryker Hip Master Settlement Agreement: Enhancements & Caps

What Monies can be added to or subtracted from the Settlement's Base Award?

Patients who are eligible to participate in the Stryker Master Settlement Agreement are those who were implanted with a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII and were forced to undergo revision surgery due to complications associated with the Stryker recall in July, 2012. Plaintiffs can either opt in or opt out of the Stryker settlement agreement, however if fewer than 95% of those eligible for settlement opt in, Stryker has reserved the right to withdraw the settlement offer.

 

Every patient with a recalled Stryker implant who had the device removed is eligible for a base payment as well as additional payments for those who suffered specific complications due to the device failure. The allocation of the enhancements is controlled by the terms of the Stryker Master Settlement Agreement as well as the medical outcome of the individual claimant. Patients who have not undergone revision surgery—even if they have suffered significant injury from a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII—are not eligible for a settlement under this agreement.

 

Stryker Hip Settlement Enhancements

Qualified plaintiffs are entitled to $300,000; the patient’s individual medical circumstances will determine which enhancements are applicable. The enhancements and their value are:

 

·         If foot drop is diagnosed after the revision or re-revision surgery (not pre-existing) which lasts longer than 90 days but less than a year, the patient is eligible for an enhancement payment of $20,000. Foot drop which lasts longer than 365 days entitles the patient to enhancement payments ranging from $34,000 to $288,000, based on age and severity.

·         Patients who suffer death during hospitalization for a surgery related to the failure of the device are eligible for enhancements from $100,000 to $600,000, depending on the age of the patient and the number of dependents.

·         Patients who suffer a stroke during hospitalization for revision or re-revision surgery may be eligible for enhancements of $85,000 to $516,000, depending on the severity of the stroke and the age of the patient.

·         Patients who suffer a heart attack during hospitalization for revision or re-revision surgery may be eligible for enhancements of $66,000-$360,000, depending on the severity of the heart attack and the age of the patient.

·         When the stem which was put in place of the Stryker implant must be removed due to such things as infection or loosening of the component, patients may be eligible for enhancements of $175,000 for the first re-revision surgery and $100,000 for subsequent re-revision surgeries with a maximum of three re-revision surgeries.

·         When the surgeon slices the femur in order to remove the Stryker stem, adding wire to clamp the femur in place (Osteotomy) during revision surgery, the patient may be eligible for $75,000 in enhancements, limited to a maximum of two per hip.

·         IV antibiotic treatment which lasts six weeks or longer is eligible for $10,000 in enhancements as is placement/continuous use of a wound vacuum.

·         When a femur fracture which demands cables to fasten the bone together occurs during revision surgery is undergone, the patient may be eligible for $100,000, with a maximum of two per hip.

·         A hairline femur fracture requiring cabling but no cutting of the bone makes the patient eligible for $40,000, limited to a maximum of two per hip.

·         Patients who experience a pulmonary embolism during hospitalization or within 72 hours of hospitalization for revision or re-revision surgery (or during an open surgical procedure when the patient suffers a blood clot in the lung, leg or veins) are eligible for an enhancement of $35,000 for a lung embolism and $20,000 for a leg or pelvis embolism.

·         When metallosis causes enough destruction to the abductors to necessitate mending or reattachment, the patient is eligible for $75,000, limited to a maximum of two per hip.

·         Patients who are confined to a skilled nursing facility as a result of infection for more than 15 days are eligible for $15,000, greater than 30 days, $30,000, greater than 45 days, $45,000, and greater than 60 days, $60,000.

·         Those who undergo a hip dislocation after having revision surgery may be eligible for $25,000 per dislocation if the dislocation is considered a closed reduction in which sedation is given in a hospital and the hip is returned to its normal position. When the patient is opened up in OR and the hip returned to its normal position (open reduction) the patient is eligible for $60,000 per dislocation; When a medical device is used to keep the hip where it belongs, the patient is eligible for $75,00 per dislocation, with a maximum of three dislocations per revised or re-revised hip.  (There are additional specifications related to dislocations detailed in the Stryker Master Settlement Agreement)

·         When a patient requires additional surgeries (aside from the revision surgery following revision or re-revision surgery, the following enhancements may be applicable: When hardware implanted during Osteotomy is removed--$35,000, when pseudo-tumors are either removed or debrided--$75,000, when abductor muscles which have been damaged are repaired or reattached--$100,000, when a constrained device is placed during a surgical procedure which is separate from open reduction--$50,000, and when a fracture of the femur bone occurs following revision surgery (within 90 days)--$100,000.

·         Patients undergoing medical care related to infection (debridement or irrigation) when no hardware is removed, occurring within 90 days of when the infection is first diagnosed,  may be eligible for $30,000 in enhancement. When the surgeon removes a portion of the implant, other than the neck or the stem, and an antibiotic spacer is placed, then followed with weeks of IV antibiotics, then the surgeon replaces that spacer with a permanent implant, the patient may be eligible for $75,000 in enhancements. 

 

Stryker Hip Settlement Lost Wages

Patients who incurred lost wages exceeding 20% of their total annual income for the two years prior to the initial implant (less any amount received from a Broadspire payment for lost wages) are entitled to a maximum compensation of $200,000

 

Stryker Hip Settlement Caps/Limitations

Patients who have not undergone infection-related treatment are under a cap of $450,000 in addition to the base payment, or a total of $750,000 for each hip, when the patient has bilateral qualifying revisions. A patient who does undergo infection related treatment is subject to a cap of $550,000 enhancement, or a total of $850,000 for each hip if the patient has bilateral qualifying revisions.

 

Future Stryker Master Settlement Agreement Enhancements

In addition to the above complication enhancement payments, patients who suffer specific complications after enrolling in the Stryker Master Settlement Agreement are entitled to additional compensation for a period of two years (subject to certain limitations).   Two notable limitations exist regarding future Stryker Master Settlement enhancement awards:

 

·         The plaintiff must experience the new complications within two years of a surgery performed under general anesthesia;

·         Qualified enhancements occurring in 2015 will undergo no reductions however qualified enhancements occurring during 2016 will experience a 30% reduction.   

·         Qualified future enhancements have a cap of $450,000 plus the base award (lost wages, heart attack, death and stroke are included in this cap).

 

Plaintiffs who may be eligible for enhanced awards are encouraged to speak to an experienced Stryker hip attorney who can thoroughly explain the Stryker Master Settlement Agreement and offer knowledgeable information to those who are unsure of whether it is in their best interests to accept the Stryker hip settlement.
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