In the interest of expedience, dozens of Stryker hip implant lawsuits will be consolidated as agreed upon by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). The transfer of nearly three dozen pending cases involve alleged defects in a prosthetic hip replacement device, Stryker LFIT Anatomic CoCR V40 femoral heads. The presiding judge will be U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in the District of Massachusetts.
A multidistrict litigation (MDL) is frequently used where complex cases that are similar are consolidated to streamline the process to take place in one court under one judge. This typically results in lower court costs, the elimination of duplicate discovery, and a faster outcome.
Stryker was against the consolidation citing that there are not that many actions regarding the device. However, the JPML did not agree, and brought up the 33 Stryker hip replacement cases in 17 different districts that are awaiting trial.
Product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are actively reviewing potential lawsuits regarding medical devices including Stryker hip implant devices.
Stryker Hip Implant Complaints
The LFIT V40 was designed to replace the upper end of the thigh bone, or femur, specifically, the top ball-like protrusion that fits into the socket of the hip (acetabular cup). The defect was identified as being in the taper lock, which is what connects the product to the stem of the femur. These taper locks have been allegedly failing at a dramatic rate.
The primary problem is that the LFIT V40 becomes separated from the femoral stem. One of the effects is the release of minute bits of toxic metals into the surrounding tissue and bloodstream. This causes metallosis (metal poisoning), which results in severe inflammation and necrosis (cell death) of bone and muscle tissue.
In some cases, the LFIT 40 may fail completely, fracturing and causing the patient’s own femur bone to break. The problem allegedly lies in the connection between the head of the device and the stem that is inserted into the femur. The metal corrosion that is similar to iron rust leads to degradation of the head and stem.
Numerous patients experienced symptoms warning of product failure including pain, swelling and inability to move. Dislocation and breakage of the device has been reported to happen suddenly, leading to severe pain and incapacitation.
The majority of Stryker hip implant lawsuits are based on corrosion of the LFIT V40, which may cause serious health problems and could require surgery to remove and replace the allegedly defective hip implant, according to the transfer order.
Hip Implant Device Voluntary Recall
HowmedicaOsteonics Corporation, a subsidiary of Stryker, issued a voluntary recall in August 2016 of 42,519 defective hip implant devices after the company received “higher than expected complaints of taper lock failure” for specific lots of certain sizes of LFIT Anatomic CoCR V40TM Femoral Heads made before 2011.
Stryker has requested in the current MDL that the Boston MDL be renamed from “In re: Stryker Orthopaedics LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation” to “In re: HOC LFIT V40 Taper Lock Litigation” and also wanted to limit the MDL lawsuits to recalled hip implant devices with taper lock failure. But, the JPML, once again, did not agree.
The JPML declined to change “Stryker” to “HOC” as Stryker marketed the device to doctors under the Stryker brand name. They also declined to change the title to add “taper lock” to the litigation caption or to limit the scope of the MDL only to recalled devices.
Not many plaintiffs in the pending lawsuits particularly cited “taper lock” as an issue, wrote the panel in its order. Instead, the complaints involved alleged corrosion and metal debris, which will allow non-recalled hip implant devices to be included in the MDL.
New Jersey Lawsuits
A group of 25 plaintiffs is requesting that the New Jersey state courts have a multi-county litigation docket for the same Stryker hip implant device. The New Jersey motion was filed January 26 in New York. It is estimated that more than 85 cases over the LFIT V40 hip have been filed before Judge Rachelle Harz in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Stryker is also the focus of 1,800 lawsuits in an MDL with U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank presiding in New Jersey.
Have You Been Injured by a Stryker Hip Implant Device?
If you or someone you know has sustained injury involving a Stryker hip implant, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman personal injury law firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).