With the aging of the United States “baby boomer” population has come an increased demand for medical procedures, health services, and devices capable of treating various health conditions typically associated with growing older.
One million hip and knee replacement surgeries are estimated to occur in the U.S. each year to meet this demand for the benefits that can come from these types of surgeries—namely, better mobility and increased quality of life.
Unfortunately, there has been a rising concern in the past two decades regarding these common surgical implants, with nearly 600 defective hip implant recalls reported between the years of 2002 and 2013 by six major manufacturers.
Increased awareness about the risks and potential serious complications of total hip replacement and hip implant procedures have come largely out of these many recalls, as well as the discovery of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) strikingly poor vetting process for hip implants being introduced to the market by major manufacturers.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective hip replacement system, you may be eligible for compensation. At Florin|Roebig, we make it our priority to help individuals seek justice for defective products that have caused them or their loved ones harm.
Common Causes Of Hip Implant Recalls
Defective hip implant products have become the subject of thousands of lawsuits in state and federal courts nationwide, with many filed either individually, as multidistrict litigation (MDL), or as part of a class action. Although one of the most injurious defects named in these claims is a defect that can become apparent once the implant is already in a person’s body (e.g. a metal-on-metal implant leading to metal toxicity), there are also several other reasons a recall may be issued.
Other common causes of hip implant recalls include:
- missing components
- misleading or incomplete instructions
- fractured implants or surgery tools
- migration issues
- design flaws
- early implant failure rate
- labeling issues
- packaging issues
- manufacturing issues
- corrosion of metal parts
Your eligibility to join a class action lawsuit or file a claim of your own against a hip implant manufacturer might depend on whether you can submit evidence that an implant was defective and that it resulted in injury to yourself or a loved one.
Therefore, the type of product defect for which you are planning to take legal action, as well as the details surrounding your injury may affect the type of claim you can file against the party responsible.
What Are The Dangers Of Defective Hip Implants?
Although hip replacement devices are intended to improve the well-being of individuals who receive them, it is also important for people to be aware of their associated risks and dangers.
The FDA reports a number of risks associated with the surgical procedure, as well as potential health risks of receiving a metal-on-metal hip implant.
The risks of hip surgery include:
- excessive bleeding
- heart attack
- wound infection
- blood clots
- negative reaction to anesthesia
However, these risks are not themselves indicative of a defective implant or metal poisoning—a term that is sometimes referred to as metallosis, a condition of having toxic (poisonous) levels of metal ions in the body, such as chromium or cobalt.
According to the FDA, potential signs and dangers of defective artificial hip products include:
- severe pain
- bone fracture
- impaired kidney function
- device loosening or breakage
- joint infection
- organ damage
- local nerve damage (resulting in numbness or weakness)
- psychological issues
- hearing and visual impairment
- cognitive issues
- hip dislocation
- bone loss
In some cases, revision surgery may be required to address the negative symptoms and conditions resulting from a toxic or otherwise defective hip product.
Signs Of A Defective Hip Implant
In addition to the potential outcomes of a defective hip implant, the FDA has shared some of the most common signs of metallosis in the body and other effects of a defective hip implant.
If you or a loved one is experiencing the following symptoms three or more months after a hip implant surgery, the device may be defective:
- swelling at or near the hip joint
- excessive numbness or weakness
- a limp or change in ability to walk
- pain in the hip, groin, or leg
- popping, grinding, squeaking, or clicking noises from the hip joint
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Types Of Recalled Hip Implants
According to the Consumer’s Union, nearly 600 recalls were issued for defective implants manufactured by the following six major companies:
- Stryker Orthopedics – LFIT V40 Femoral Head, ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem
- Biomet – M2a Magnum
- DePuy Orthopaedics – ASR Hip Resurfacing System, Pinnacle Hip, ASR XL Acetabular
- Smith & Nephew
- Zimmer – Durom Cup
Additional hip product manufacturers that have issued voluntary recalls include Centerpulse, Encore Orthopedics, and Exatech. In 2011, the FDA ordered a total of 21 manufacturers, including those listed, to participate in a post-market surveillance study by the FDA to collect and report information regarding defective hip implant products.
Not every defective hip implant may be named in a recall. If you or a loved one is experiencing signs and symptoms of a defective hip implant, it’s important to contact your surgeon immediately to assess for potential dangers and get in touch with a defective hip implant attorney.
Defective Hip Implant Product Laws
If you’ve been injured as a result of a defective hip implant, your case will likely be treated as a product liability case. Product liability is an area of personal injury law that deals with cases where some form of product defect has resulted in injury to the consumer—or in this case, the patient.
The primary elements of a hip implant product liability claim include evidence that:
- the hip implant is defective
- you were injured or suffered losses as a result of the defective hip implant
- you were using the implant as intended (i.e. it was properly implanted and you followed your surgeon’s aftercare instructions to avoid potential injury)
The premise of a product liability case is that you are filing a claim with an allegation of negligence on the part of the hip implant manufacturer. That is, you are submitting a claim that it was the failure of the manufacturer to protect the safety of their consumers that resulted in your injury—thereby making them liable.
Product liability laws and protections can vary by state, with different deadlines for how long you have to file a product liability claim and seek compensation for your losses.
To learn more about your state’s product liability laws, it may be best to speak to a defective products attorney who can give you detailed guidance on your state’s laws and your legal options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Defective Hip Implant Claims
Discovering that you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective hip implant can be an emotional, even traumatic experience. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about hip implant recalls and options for legal recourse to help you seek compensation for the wrongs you have suffered:
Who Is Held Liable For A Defective Hip Implant?
Several companies involved in the manufacturing of defective hip implant products have been sued in recent years. Allegations held that the companies knew of their products’ health risks prior to bringing them onto the market and that they failed to disclose these risks to the government, medical providers, and the broader public.
One of the most prominent examples of hip implant lawsuits are those against the manufacturer, Stryker, a company that had to pay nearly $1 billion for a defective product settlement in 2014 after receiving thousands of patient lawsuits.
Thus, it is typically the manufacturer of the defective hip implant that can be held liable for injuries resulting from the product defect, if there is sufficient evidence to prove that they knowingly marketed a dangerous product.
In addition, if your surgeon knew of your hip implant’s defect before performing your surgery, it’s possible you may be able to file a claim against your surgeon for medical malpractice. However, if your doctor was unaware of the product’s defect, they are not likely to be held liable for the resulting injury.
Do I Need To Get My Hip Implant Removed If It’s Been Recalled?
Not every hip implant recall is issued due to a defect in the actual product. Some hip implant products may be recalled due to issues such as a defective warning label, which may not pose immediate risk for harm as it concerns the implant in your body.
The best way to identify your risk for health effects as a result of a hip implant recall is to speak to your doctor and surgeon, who can advise you on whether the product should be removed.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Defective Product Claims?
The statute of limitations for defective product claims can vary by state. This refers to the amount of time you have to file a defective product claim or join a class action after discovering your hip implant defect.
In Florida, for instance, individuals are typically required to begin legal action within four years of discovering a product defect. However, not every state follows this timeline and may provide more or less time for individuals to file for legal action depending on the nature of the case and other factors.
You can learn more about your state’s statute of limitations for defective product claims by speaking to a local attorney who has specialized knowledge in handling these types of claims.
What Can I Get Out Of Pursuing Legal Action?
Pursuing legal action against a manufacturer for a defective product is not a simple process. It’s common for individuals to want to know what they can expect to get out of filing a claim or joining a class action.
The types of damages typically awarded to plaintiffs in defective product cases are monetary, or compensatory damages. This comes in the form of a monetary settlement amount, determined based on the type of defect, the extent of the impact of the defective product (e.g. severe or permanent injury, wrongful death), and other factors.
Depending on the details of your case, the types of losses that may be recoverable in a defective hip implant case include:
- current and projected medical treatment expenses
- surgical costs
- lost wages
- pain and suffering costs
In some cases, manufacturers may also face punitive damages (awarded to discourage similar conduct in the future) for their defective product. One settlement against the manufacturer, Wright, for example, required the manufacturer to pay $1.1 million in punitive damages in addition to $1 million compensatory damages.
Should I File An Individual Claim Or Join A Class Action Lawsuit?
Thousands of individuals across the nation have joined together to file class action lawsuits against major manufacturers responsible for producing and selling defective hip implant products.
However, it’s also important to recognize that, for some, it can often be more beneficial to file an individual claim or lawsuit. There are many benefits to joining a class action, including the sense of power that can come from joining in solidarity with others who have been hurt by a product, as well as requiring little action on your part unless you are named the lead plaintiff for the case.
On the other hand, one of the main elements of a class action is the presumption that all plaintiffs within the class have suffered equal harm, as the compensation eventually awarded in a favorable outcome will be divided equally among plaintiffs. In general, this can be considered a benefit.
However, if you’ve suffered a greater degree of harm as a result of the product defect—and thereby suffered more greatly in financial losses—you might be able to get more compensation by filing an individual action.
An attorney can provide you with greater insight into the potential benefits and drawbacks of joining a defective hip implant class action based on the details of your case.
What Is The Average Settlement For A Product Liability Claim?
There is no true average settlement amount when it comes to the damages you can expect to be awarded in a product liability claim. Settlements are determined based on a number of factors, including the scope of the harm and the severity of the resulting injury.
Examples of settlement amounts awarded in high-profile defective hip implant cases include:
- Johnson & Johnson (DuPuy) Hip Lawsuits: $4 billion (in a round of 10,750 lawsuits)
- BioMet M2A System Litigation: $56 million
- Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Lawsuits: $2 billion
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Do I Need To Hire An Attorney To File A Claim?
Having an attorney is not a requirement for filing a claim. However, it is highly recommended. Large manufacturers do not find pleasure in paying out money to consumers who have suffered as a result of their own negligence, and will use every advantage they have to dispute your claim, leaving you with greater heartache, pain, and lost time.
Hiring an attorney can offer you several benefits, with an effective ally on your side to expertly navigate your case, fight for your interests, and keep you fully informed throughout the legal process.
Your best option in finding the right attorney to represent your case is to look for an attorney with specific expertise in handling defective hip implant claims.
Different subsets of personal injury law require different skill-sets, so it’s in your greatest interest to find an attorney who has the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to help you file a strong defective hip implant claim.
Defective Hip Implant Attorneys Serving The U.S.
If you’ve been injured due to a defective hip implant, or wish to pursue legal action for wrongful death of a loved one, the seasoned attorneys of Florin|Roebig can help.
Our product liability attorneys are dedicated to helping individuals seek justice for injuries sustained due to the failure of the hip product manufacturer to:
- ensure the safety of their product before selling it on the market for use
- inform the government, medical professionals, and patients of the potential dangers and risks of their product
Our attorneys are capable of serving clients across the United States out of our offices in Florida, Texas, Minnesota, and Colorado.
Our team of highly experienced defective hip implant attorneys include:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Chase P. Florin, B.C.S.
- Shaun M. Cummings
- Luca G. Esposito
- Chad K. Florin, M.B.A., LL.M.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- Michael A. Ossi, O.C.
- Lawrence J. Najem, O.C.
- Andrew M. Leone, O.C.
- Nollys R. Solarte, O.C.
- Brian R. Dettman, O.C.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Find Help With Filing A Defective Hip Implant Personal Injury Claim
No individual who has undergone hip replacement surgery to improve their mobility and seek greater enjoyment in life deserves to be harmed due to a defect in their hip implant product.
If you’ve suffered negative health effects or required additional surgery to fix problems caused by a defective hip implant product, you may be entitled to compensation.
At Florin|Roebig, our attorneys can offer you a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your case and begin helping you file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer responsible.
Don’t wait to join others who are taking action against manufacturers for defective hip replacement products. Our attorneys have secured over $1 billion in results for clients nationwide, and we can help you, too.
Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation and get started on filing your defective hip implant personal injury claim.