What if I am a Stryker Hip Implant Recipient who has NOT undergone Revision Surgery?
You may be one of the thousands of consumers affected by the Stryker hip recall for the ABGII and the Rejuvenate metal hip implants in July, 2012. The recall came after hundreds of patients and surgeons sent adverse event reports to the FDA, noting symptoms of metallosis and metal toxicity. Many of those patients were forced to undergo Stryker revision surgery in order to have the recalled implant removed, and a safer device implanted. Stryker revision surgery is considered to be riskier as well as more expensive than the original implant surgery. Typically, revision surgery can take from 4-6 hours, leaving the patient open to infection, excess blood loss and nerve damage. Almost 4,000 lawsuits have been filed against Stryker in relation to the ABGII and the Rejuvenate. While approximately seventeen Stryker cases have been settled, the remainder were pending.
The Stryker Settlement Agreement
Stryker recently offered a Master Settlement Agreement to all claimants who have undergone a qualified Stryker revision surgery. Added to the Stryker hip settlement monetary compensation of a $300,000 base amount, claimants who suffered further complications as a result of the revision surgery may qualify for additional compensation. Claimants must meet specific criteria to qualify for the settlement amount, and at least 95% of all eligible plaintiffs must enroll, or Stryker has the option of walking away from the settlement terms.
Potential Reductions in Base Award Under the Stryker Master Settlement Agreement
Some of the potential reductions in the base award for qualified claimants include reductions for those over the age of 70, 75, 80 and 85 as well as a 15% reduction for claimants who had a pre-existing hip implant which was replaced by a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII. Patients who pass away from unrelated causes prior to the enrollment date of January 16, 2015, will be entitled to only $210,000. There are a number of additional compensations beyond the base award that certain claimants may be entitled to. Stryker has additionally made the unusual stipulation they will continue to pay for any complications occurring in qualified patients for the next two years. In other words, if you have undergone revision surgery, received compensation under the Stryker Master Settlement Agreement, but later have complications related to the revision surgery, Stryker will pay for those complications for a period of two years.
Stryker Hip Settlement Information for Unrevised Claimants
This proposed Stryker hip settlement does not include patients who may have been injured or suffered serious harm as a result of a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII, but have not undergone revision surgery to have the implant removed—except in the case of patients whose doctor recommended revision surgery but the patient was medically unable to undergo the procedure. Stryker hip settlement information for unrevised claimants is as follows:
· Patients who have not yet had revision surgery but who have upcoming revision surgery scheduled after November 2, 2014, may be able to participate in the settlement if Stryker extends the deadline to include your case. There is no guarantee Stryker will do so, but the possibility exists.
· Patients who have a medical condition which makes their surgeon unwilling to perform the necessary revision surgery are entitled to a one-time payment in the amount of $75,000, with no possible enhancements or reductions attached to the amount. If the patient undergoes hip revision surgery later on, they will not be entitled to additional settlement amounts.
· Cases for patients who: have not undergone revision surgery, whose doctor has not indicated revision surgery is necessary and who have a current lawsuit filed against Stryker will have their case remain pending until November 3, 2015, at which time the court will dismiss these non-revised cases without prejudice. Applicable statutes of limitations will be tolled until five years from the date of the original Stryker implant surgery or until June 30, 2017, whichever comes first.
· Unrevised patients with cases which have not been filed may not be able to have a case against Stryker filed on their behalf until injuries related to the failed hip are apparent.
· Unrevised patients should continue to have blood work done which tests levels of cobalt and chromium every three months as well as an MRI or aspiration as recommended by their physician.
Unrevised Stryker patients may still have their interests represented, and may still have a valid claim against Stryker. It is recommended that unrevised patients speak to an experienced Stryker lawyer who can assess their potential case and help determine whether a lawsuit is applicable.