According to Bloomberg, the device maker faces more than 4,000 suits** consolidated in New Jersey state court and federal court in Minnesota. The New Jersey case is In Re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular Hip Implant Litigation, 296 BER-L-936-13, Bergen County Superior Court. The federal case is In Re Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 13-mdl-2441, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.
The deadline to submit an application is December 14th†. “We know there are people out there that should be benefiting from the settlement fund and have not yet come forward,” says Tampa-based attorney Ben Stewart of the Stewart Law Group in an interview with LawyersandSettlements.com. “It is only fair that they receive what is owed to them.”
Thousands** of hip replacement patients have been plagued with problems in recent years from the advent of new-age devices based upon, or containing various metal alloys initially thought to promote longevity of the replacement hip. However, according to the study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, ("Adverse Local Tissue Reaction Arising from Corrosion at the Femoral Neck-Body Junction in a Dual-Taper Stem with a Cobalt-Chromium Modular Neck", May 2013) problems have been encountered with minute particles of metal entering the bloodstream and fostering a condition known as metallosis, which is toxic. Additionally, minute metal particles have been found to inflame surrounding soft tissue. In serious cases, the metal particles attack the cell walls, effectively breaking down and destroying soft tissue surrounding the joint.
The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG systems contained a combination of a titanium-molybdenum-zirconium-iron alloy body paired with a modular cobalt-chromium alloy neck. The http://jbjs.org/content/95/10/865 [Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery __title__ ] (May 15, 2013) looked at 11 patients implanted with Stryker Rejuvenate/ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems and found that in every single case there was evidence of damage to the soft tissue.***
Stryker recalled the problematic implants in July, 2012**.
According to Bloomberg, the Qualified Settlement Fund provides a base payment of $300,000 per failed implant, with additional compensation available for patients who may have encountered complications during revision surgery**. Attorney Stewart's office is currently handling claims for many of those affected. “You don’t have to make a claim or sue,” Stewart says. “You just have to contact us and make an application; but be quick because there is a deadline coming.”
An article from the New Jersey Law Review states the requirements necessary for claimants to qualify for compensation.† Qualifying patients must possess the product label from their Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG implant. Such labels are available and retained as a permanent record at the facility where the implant surgery was initially performed. “There is a sticker that comes hermetically sealed in a little bag,” says Stewart. “That sticker is peeled off and attached to the surgical records. Just tell us which hospital did the implant and we can get the labels. You need the label off the implant to prove you have one of the [implants] covered by the settlement. That is available from the surgical center where you had the implant. They are required by law to keep these forever. We are very accustomed to obtaining these labels for people and filing the paperwork.”
The Stewart Law group is based in Tampa, Florida. The settlement is dated November 3rd of this year, which means only patients who underwent surgery prior to November 3rd qualify for the funding.
The deadline is December 14, 2014†.
"Stryker Settles Suits by Hip Implant Patients for $1 Billion", The New York Times, Nov. 3, 2014, nytimes.com/2014/11/04/business/stryker-settles-suits-by-hip-implant-patients-for-dollar1-billion.html?_r=0
**"Stryker to Pay More Than $1 Billion for Recalled Devices", Bloomberg, Nov. 4, 2014, bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-03/stryker-to-pay-more-than-1-billion-for-recalled-devices.html
*** Adverse Local Tissue Reaction Arising from Corrosion at the Femoral Neck-Body Junction in a Dual-Taper Stem with a Cobalt-Chromium Modular Neck - H. John Cooper, MD; Robert M. Urban, PhD; Richard L. Wixson, MD; R. Michael Meneghini, MD; Joshua J. Jacobs, MD The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 May 15;95(10):865-872. dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.L.01042
†"$1B Settlement Reached in Stryker Hip-Implant Mass Tort", New Jersey Law Review, Nov. 10, 2014, rkmc.com/~/media/PDFs/NJLJ%20Stryker%20Settlement.pdf
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