Get Compensation With a Defective Hip Replacement Lawsuit
The experienced product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are skilled at litigating cases involving defective hip implants. Several brands of metal-on-metal hip implants have been linked to serious medical complications, and some have been recalled because of the danger they present to patients. Patients with these defective devices have lived for years in pain, and their pain has been exacerbated by the implants that were supposed to help them. Our national personal injury law firm is ready to work with you to hold manufacturers accountable and seek the compensation you deserve through a hip replacement lawsuit.
The Basics of Hip Surgery and Hip Joint Ball-and-Socket Implant Systems
The hip joint consists of a ball-and-socket system. The ball is located on the top of the femur bone, and the socket is located in the pelvic bone. Ordinarily, the joint is cushioned by tissue and cartilage. But as a person ages, especially if a person has arthritis, the tissue and cartilage wear down. This can lead to painful bone-on-bone rubbing, which usually results in decreased mobility and chronic discomfort.
When the condition becomes advanced enough, many patients opt to undergo a total hip arthroplasty, which is a complete hip replacement using a man-made implant. During the procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged portions of the hip and places a ball-and-cup implant to give the patient a completely new hip joint. For many years, surgeons turned to popular metal implants, which we now understand can lead to severe injuries.
What Is the Problem With Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants?
Numerous metal-on-metal hip implants have been on the market at one time or another, and they have long been associated with dangerous side effects. Metal-on-metal means each component of the implant is made of metal, which can lead to a potentially very serious condition known as metallosis. Parker Waichman has been helping victims of hip replacement injuries for years, and we have the knowledge and experience to win these cases.
Types of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
Parker Waichman’s hip replacement injury lawyers have filed suit against numerous hip implant manufacturers, alleging that their implants were defective, unreasonably dangerous, and sold without adequate warnings. Our firm’s hip replacement lawsuits have focused mainly on metal implants, which include the following manufacturers and brand-name devices:
- Exactech Knee, Hip, and Ankle Liners & Inserts
- Exactech Hip Joint Implants (Connexion GXL, AcuMatch, MCS and Novation)
- Exactech Hip Polyethylene Liners
- M2a, manufactured by Biomet Inc.
- M2a-Magnum, manufactured by Biomet Inc.
- ASR Hip Resurfacing System, manufactured by DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson
- ASR Acetabular System, manufactured by DePuy/Johnson & Johnson
- Pinnacle, manufactured by DePuy/Johnson & Johnson
- Apex K2, manufactured by OMNI (formerly OMNIlife)
- Emperion Hip System, manufactured by Smith & Nephew Inc.
- Birmingham, manufactured by Smith & Nephew Inc.
- Modular SMF Hip System, manufactured by Smith & Nephew Inc.
- Modular Redapt Revision Femoral Hip System, manufactured by Smith & Nephew Inc.
- ABG II Modular Hip Stems, manufactured by Stryker Corporation
- Rejuvenate, manufactured by Stryker Corporation
- Converse Plus, manufactured by Wright Medical Technology Inc.
- Profemur Z Hip Stem, manufactured by Wright Medical Technology Inc.
- Durom Cup, manufactured by Zimmer
While each of these implants has its own unique issues, much of the litigation has been related to the metal makeup of the devices. Research has shown that the metal components can cause serious injury when implanted in patients. Thus, hip implant class-action and individual lawsuits have focused on compensation claims related to these implant components.
Hip Implant Complications and Injuries
Studies have shown that as the metal components of these implants rub together and wear down, they can release metal ions into the body, including the bloodstream. Deposits of metal can then build up over time and lead to a condition known as metallosis or metal poisoning. The symptoms of this condition include:
- Severe pain, both when moving and at rest
- Chronic, recurring infections
- Chronic inflammation and swelling
- Fluid accumulation around the implant
- Bone deterioration
- Metal toxicity or chromium poisoning
- Failure of or dislocation of the hip implant
- Feelings of confusion or dizziness
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- Skin rashes
- Visual or hearing disturbances
Treatment for metallosis will usually involve surgery, and the condition can sometimes be fatal. Almost all patients who experience these complications will need to undergo a procedure to replace the defective hip implant and repair damaged bone and tissue. Often, patients’ problems cannot be addressed in just one procedure and must be corrected with several surgeries.
In addition, even if patients do not develop metallosis, these metal implants are significantly more prone to failure than other implants. Hip implants should usually last up to 15 years, but patients with metal-on-metal implants have found that well before this time, the components become loose, the joint dislocates or the joint begins to squeak. Any weakness in the joint can cause pain, instability, and dangerous falls. A large number of patients require repeat surgeries, known as revision surgeries, to remove or repair the metal implant.
If your surgeon used a metal-on-metal implant during your total hip replacement procedure, you could be entitled to seek compensation from the manufacturer of the implant. The attorneys at Parker Waichman know that your defective implant has greatly affected your life, and we can help you file a claim to recover compensation for your injuries. Hip replacement lawsuit settlement amounts are often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and at Parker Waichman, we’ll fight for every penny you deserve.
Hip Implant Recalls
Throughout the history of hip replacement litigation, several product recalls have been issued. Some have been only temporary, but others have been permanent. Among them have been these products:
- Durom Cup: Zimmer recalled its Durom Cup in 2008 based on the number of reports it had received of device failure. While Zimmer tried to place blame on surgeon error while implanting the cup, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that the recall was due to false labeling. Zimmer ended the recall after it printed new surgical instructions but then permanently withdrew the Durom Cup from the market in 2010.
- ASR Implants: DePuy (and Johnson & Johnson) recalled its ASR line, including the Acetabular Hip System and Hip Resurfacing System, in 2010 after receiving study information indicating that the products had extremely high failure rates. According to one study, the failure rate was 29 percent after only six years, and all of these patients required surgery to remove and replace the products.
- R3 Acetabular System: In 2012, just three years after its United States launch, Smith & Nephew recalled its R3 Acetabular System, stating that the product had not performed as well as expected. The device was prone to dislocating, loosening, causing pain, and causing metal sensitivities.
- Rejuvenate: Stryker recalled its Rejuvenate implant in 2012 upon discovering that the neck and stem of the implant were susceptible to corrosion and flaking that could result in metal deposits inside the body and metal poisoning.
- ABG II: Stryker also recalled the AGB II at the same time as the Rejuvenate, finding that this implant was also prone to releasing metal debris into the body. In the recall, Stryker sent communication to surgeons and medical facilities warning that the implants had high rates of adverse local tissue reactions.
- Modular SMF Hip System: Due to a significant number of adverse event reports, Smith & Nephew recalled its Modular SMF Hip System in 2016. Smith & Nephew found that the implants released high levels of metal ions into patients’ bodies, causing blood poisoning and metallosis.
- Modular Redapt Femoral System: At the same time as the Modular SMF Hip System, Smith & Nephew also recalled the Modular Redapt Femoral System, finding that this implant, too, exposed patients to the potential for dangerous metal deposits. Smith & Nephew sent a warning to doctors and medical facilities alerting them to the recall and possible side effects.
FDA Studies of Hip Implant Failure Warn Against Their Use
As you can see, all of these recalls were initiated by the manufacturers, not the FDA. While the FDA has the authority to demand product recalls, it rarely does. The FDA did, however, order additional studies of several metal-on-metal implants because of the prevalence of adverse event reports and called a panel in 2012 to discuss hip implant issues. The panel and studies did not result in any device recalls, but the panel chairman did remark that he saw no reason for doctors to continue using metal-on-metal hip implants in their patients.
We agree that metal-on-metal implants should not be used during hip replacement surgeries, and we are fighting for firm action. Fighting the manufacturers of defective hip implants by filing hip implant lawsuits nationwide helps prompt manufacturers to pull their dangerous products. At Parker Waichman, we will keep battling for patients’ rights as long as dangerous implants are still on the market. Your defective hip replacement lawsuit can help call attention to the need for reform and prevent injury to other people.
If you have had a metal hip implant and experienced problems, including metal poisoning, contact Parker Waichman to find out how you can hold the manufacturer responsible through the legal system.
Standards of Liability in Medical Device Cases
In a product liability action, such as for a defective hip implant, we generally need to prove that a manufacturer defectively designed a product, defectively manufactured a product or failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about the risks associated with its product.
In a design defect lawsuit, we need to show that the product was not reasonably safe because of the substantial likelihood of harm to patients and that it was possible for the manufacturer to design a safer product than it did. In addition, we have to prove that the defective design was the cause of a person’s injury.
In a manufacturing defect case, we need to prove that the product did not perform as intended and that this defect caused someone to be injured. We do not need to look at the entire manufacturing process, only the finished product as it left the manufacturer’s hands.
In a failure to warn case, we have to prove that the manufacturer did not provide adequate warnings about its product. Patients can access only as much information as the manufacturers provide, and doctors act as intermediaries between patients and manufacturers. Manufacturers therefore have a significant advantage when it comes to product information, and they have an ongoing legal obligation to warn both doctors and patients about the risks of using their products.
Manufacturers must provide warnings about:
- Latent dangers resulting from foreseeable uses of their products, including both dangers they know about and dangers they should know about
- Dangers arising out of reasonably foreseeable unintended uses of their products. Manufacturers have a duty to anticipate ways their products might be used and warn about the dangers of those uses.
All of the above claims must be made within the time limits imposed by state statutes of limitations. Otherwise, you may not be entitled to compensation in a hip replacement or hip surgery infection lawsuit.
Hip Replacement Case Statutes of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a time limit for filing a lawsuit that is set by state law. If you do not file a claim for injuries within the appropriate amount of time and in the appropriate court, your claim can be forever barred, regardless of how strong your case might be. In many states, the statute of limitations for hip replacement cases is two years; in New York, it’s three years.
States create statutes of limitations to encourage plaintiffs to act quickly in order to preserve the integrity of evidence. For instance, your memory of a specific event will be much more vivid one year later versus five years later. There is also a lower likelihood that records and business documents will have been misplaced or destroyed if someone must file a claim sooner. Moreover, the state has a policy interest in protecting potential defendants from having to prepare forever for anticipated litigation.
Discovery Rules: Pausing the Clock in Hip Implant Lawsuits
Discovery rules allow plaintiffs a little more time to file a lawsuit by pausing the running of the clock until they discover or have reason to discover that they have been injured. This might sound obvious, but many injuries are latent and do not manifest symptoms until well after the negligent act occurred. Some states even leave plaintiffs room to file lawsuits after they discover why or by whom they have been injured. Generally, New York does not recognize such a discovery rule, but states such as New Jersey and Florida do recognize a discovery rule.
The only way to determine the accurate statute of limitations governing your hip implant claim is to work with an experienced hip replacement attorney. Parker Waichman’s attorneys precisely calculate the statute of limitations on every claim that comes through our doors to make sure we have enough time to gather all of the evidence we need to make the strongest possible case. If you believe you have a defective hip implant claim, don’t waste any time in contacting us. Call Parker Waichman to get a free consultation and find out more about your options today.
How Can a Products Liability Lawyer Help Me?
The attorneys at Parker Waichman know your hip implant injuries have changed your life, and we are committed to helping you receive just compensation. When you file a claim for damages against the implant manufacturer, you can recover damages for every way you have been harmed by its device. This includes claims for the following types of compensation:
- The cost of medical bills from your surgeries or other treatment related to your hip implant injuries
- The cost of future medical bills if you will require additional treatment or surgeries
- Damages from the time and wages you have missed at work if you have not been able to work because of your injuries. This can include compensation for missed future time and wages if you cannot return to work.
- Recovery for your physical and mental pain and suffering as the result of your hip implant injuries
- Punitive damages, should the judge or jury find that the defendant has engaged in conduct extreme enough that it must be assessed an additional monetary punishment
When you hire our national product liability law firm, our attorneys will help you calculate the full extent of your economic and noneconomic damages to make sure you and your family receive the best outcome possible. We know that you need to be compensated appropriately, and we will work hard to make that happen.
Hip Replacement Injury Lawsuit Jury Awards, Verdicts, and Settlements
Through diligent civil advocacy, firms including Parker Waichman have been able to secure impressive results from metal-on-metal hip implant litigation. Here are some of the most significant awards we’ve seen for injured victims:
- 2013: DePuy/J&J settle for $4 billion
- 2014: Stryker agrees to pay $1.4 billion or more
- 2015: DePuy/J&J agree to pay an additional $420 million
- 2015: Biomet settles for $56 million
- 2016: Zimmer agrees to pay $314 million
- 2016: Wright settles for $240 million
- 2017: Wright agrees to pay an additional $90 million
Though we cannot guarantee a particular outcome in any case, we can guarantee that when Parker Waichman is your counsel, your hip implant claim will receive the attention it deserves. Contact us today if you have a potential hip implant case you would like to discuss with one of our experienced medical device attorneys.
How to File a Hip Implant Lawsuit
Our claims process is simple and stress-free because we know you have been through enough. With one call, your case investigation can begin. When you work with Parker Waichman on your hip replacement lawsuit, lawyers from our firm will immediately start reviewing your case to determine whether you can file a lawsuit. The basic case process from intake to filing will include all of the following:
- Gathering a detailed history of all your hip surgeries and injuries
- Obtaining medical records from your original hip replacement surgery as well as any additional surgery or medical treatment records
- Identifying the brand name of your hip implant as well as the name of the implant manufacturer
- Gaining legal support for your claim by consulting with medical experts and industry experts
- Determining where your case should be filed and against whom (in a federal multidistrict litigation or elsewhere)
- Drafting and preparing a petition for filing
Our defective hip implant injury lawyers have decades of experience holding medical device manufacturers responsible for people’s injuries. We have secured settlements and verdicts for our clients to the tune of more than $2 billion. When you hire us, you can rest easy knowing that you have an accomplished team on your side. Your case is important to us, and we are determined to help you move forward.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hip Implant Injuries
In investigating so many hip replacement cases, we have spoken to a lot of people about their potential claims, and we have compiled a list of the questions we hear most often. Below are some of those common questions along with our answers.
What Injuries Are People Reporting From Metal-on-Metal Implants?
Metal-on-metal implants have entirely metal parts, and research shows that metal-on-metal implants rub together and wear down, thereby releasing metal ions into the body. The deposits of metal can build up and lead to a condition known as metallosis. The symptoms of this condition commonly include:
- Severe pain
- Recurrent infection
- Ongoing postoperative inflammation and swelling
- Fluid buildup around the site of implantation
- Bone deterioration
- Metal toxicity or chromium poisoning
- Failure of the hip implant
- Dizziness or disorientation
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities
- Vision or hearing issues
In addition, even if patients do not develop metallosis, the metal implants are significantly more prone to failure than other implants. Hip implants’ components become loose, the joint dislocates or the joint begins to squeak. Any weakness in the joint can cause pain, instability, and dangerous falls. A large number of patients with metal-on-metal implants require repeat surgeries, known as revision surgeries, to remove or repair the metal implant.
How Do I Know What Implant I Have?
When clients tell us they do not know what kind of implant they have, we tell them not to worry; we will track down that information for you. When we sign up your potential claim, we will begin our investigation by ordering medical records from the day of your hip replacement surgery. We will also ask for copies of the intraoperative records and implant reports from your hip surgery. Those records will usually contain a lot number or product sticker that identifies the brand and manufacturer of your hip implant. Once we have identified what kind of hip implant you have, we can discuss how to move forward.
What Are the Alternatives to a Metal-on-Metal Implant?
Surgeons have many options to choose from these days when selecting implants for patients’ total hip replacements. All-metal hip implants are extremely dangerous, but doctors have alternative options that will be safer for their patients. Rather than an all-metal implant, surgeons can choose to use the following kinds of hip devices:
- Metal-on-polyethylene (ball made of metal and socket made of plastic or at least a plastic lining)
- Ceramic-on-polyethylene (ball made of ceramic and socket made of plastic or at least a plastic lining)
- Ceramic-on-ceramic (ball made of ceramic and socket has a ceramic lining)
- Ceramic-on-metal (ball is made of ceramic and socket has a metal lining)
Of course, the decision as to which hip implant, if any, is right for you is one that must be made between you and your hip surgeon. We cannot give you medical advice, but we do recommend that you ask questions about the implant your doctor intends to use and see if we have current litigation on that product. We are happy to answer questions for you about any of our medical device cases.
Are There Hip Replacement Lawyers Near Me?
As a national firm, Parker Waichman can offer help from experienced hip replacement lawyers near you. Call us today to find a skilled personal injury attorney who can help you.
Why Choose Parker Waichman to Represent You Against the Manufacturers of Defective Hip Implants?
When you choose Parker Waichman to represent you, you can be certain your case is in the skilled hands of products liability attorneys who know how to litigate these cases and who care about you and your family. In our decades practicing personal injury and product liability law, we have earned a reputation for getting results while honoring the integrity of the justice system and maintaining excellent client relationships. Fellow plaintiffs’ lawyers, defense lawyers, judges, and current and former clients have bestowed us with numerous honors, including:
- A top peer review rating of “AV Preeminent” from Martindale-Hubbell, a company that has rated attorneys across the United States and the world based on feedback from judges and their peers for more than 100 years
- A near-perfect rating of 9.8 (out of 10) by AVVO, a service that rates every attorney in the United States.
- The highest ranking of “5 Dragons” based on peer review by Lawdragon
- A listing in the Best Lawyers publication, determined by extensive peer review
Contact our law firm today to find out what we can do to help you overcome the burdens placed upon you by a dangerous product.
Pursue Justice for Hip Implant Defects at No Cost to You
We understand that you are likely already struggling to stay afloat amid costly medical bills associated with your hip implant surgeries and subsequent injuries. Product liability litigation, especially against giant medical device manufacturers, can also be extremely expensive, but the last thing we want is for you to forego justice because you are worried that you can’t afford it. That’s why we contract our defective hip implant cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means we take on all of the financial risks of litigation ourselves without ever asking for a penny out of your pocket. Even if we perform a thorough investigation, incur large out-of-pocket expenses, and decide we cannot file your claim, you will never receive a bill from us. We only get paid from a portion of your settlement or jury award: If you don’t get compensation, we don’t, either.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP For Your Free Case Review
At Parker Waichman, we tenaciously fight for the rights of victims and their families, and we have a reputation for achieving top results. If you or a loved one underwent a total hip replacement procedure using a metal-on-metal implant and developed subsequent complications, contact our firm today for your free consultation by filling out our online form or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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