Companies recently having “issues” with their hip devices include Accolade, Smith and Nephew, Depuy, Zimmer Biomet and Stryker. Just over the past year, Stryker has been named defendant in another round of hip implant lawsuits; its device (LFIT Anatomic Cobalt-Chromium V40 Femoral Head) was recalled last October for the third time in five years, and its hip settlement expanded.
The latest Stryker lawsuit was filed in April 2017 by Charles Melle & Susan Purtell in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The couple claim they were injured due to failure of the implant: the head of the stem was displaced and began to corrode. The plaintiffs are holding Stryker Orthopaedics responsible for failure to warn of the implant’s possible corrosion. (Case number 2:17-cv-01946-TON)
Stryker’s not alone. Zimmer Biomet was slapped with a lawsuit last spring. Martha Hardy alleges her Trilogy hip implant is defective and unable to bond with her hip bone, due to “improper pore size and/or porosity,” according to her lawsuit, which was filed four years after her implant. But she had the surgery just before the devices were recalled in June 2012. Massdevice.com (May 8) reported that a federal jury in Texas disagreed with Hardy and that Zimmer was not liable for a manufacturing defect. ( Hardy v. Zimmer, case number 2:16-cv-00242, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.)
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According to The Legal Intelligencer, Beetlestone ruled that Smith’s allegations were sufficient enough to argue that the Stryker Gamma3 Nail System was defectively manufactured. Smith was implanted with the device in March 2015 and X-rays later showed a broken nail in the implant. Smith underwent a total hip replacement and suffered an infection afterward.
Lastly, five hip recipients who won a $502 million verdict against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and parent company Johnson & Johnson had their award reduced to about $150 million, due to a cap on punitive damages. Law360 (Apr 3, 2017) reports that the plaintiffs have complained to the Fifth Circuit that the cap is unconstitutional.