Law firms representing patients in Stryker modular hip device litigation report that 95 percent of patients eligible for Stryker’s settlement program have enrolled and payments should begin later this summer. This settlement was established to provide compensation for patients injured by the hip replacement devices.
Each injured patient will receive a share of the nearly $1.5 billion Striker has set aside for compensation of injuries and complications associated with the Rejuvenate and ABGII metal-on-metal modular hip implants, according to Florida News Wire. Retired Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh, who served in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was the court-appointed mediator, overseeing settlement negotiations.
With hip implants like the Stryker’s ABGII and Rejuvenate, when the hip’s metal components rub together during movement they create minute metallic debris that can enter the patient’s bloodstream and severely damage tissue and muscle, the New York Times reports. In addition to metallic debris in the bloodstream, recipients of the metal-on-metal hips have reported a variety of complications including pain, loosening of the joint, hip dislocation, difficulty walking, and cysts around the joint. Thousands of patients filed lawsuits over such injuries and complications.
Stryker recalled the ABG II and Rejuvenate Modular Hip Systems in June 2012, because of the high early failure rate of the hips and the risk of metallosis. In November 2014, Stryker announced the settlement program for patients who had received one of the recalled hip devices. Patients who had one hip implanted and removed prior to November 3, 2014 are eligible for $300,000 base compensation. Patients who had both hips implanted and removed will receive $600,000. The base amount can be adjusted for patients who had more serious injuries or required multiple surgeries. Also included in the settlement program are implant patients who were deemed medically unable to undergo further surgery.
Since the Stryker settlement program was announced in November 2014, law firms representing patients have worked to notify patients and ensure that eligible patients enrolled in the program. Several thousand plaintiffs should begin receiving payments later this summer. In addition to adjustments for the severity of injuries and complications, the compensation amount will be adjusted according to the patient’s age. Under the agreed-upon formula, compensation is reduced by five percent for a patient between 70 and 74 years of age, by another five percent if the patient is between 75 and 79, another five percent for patients between 80 and 84, and a final five percent (for a total reduction of 20 percent) if the patient is 85 or older. But patients who suffered complications during revision surgery may receive significant additional compensation. Additional compensation is also available for those requiring future surgeries and treatments necessitated by complications arising from revision surgeries.
Attorneys involved in the litigation and the settlement program say they will seek the same settlement terms for patients who had Stryker hips replaced after the November 3, 2014 deadline.