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Stryker Trident Hip Lawsuit Alleges Permanent Disability

A Stryker Trident hip lawsuit that was originally filed in California Superior Court has been moved to U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, according to recent court documents. The plaintiff claims in her products liability suit that she was harmed by a defective Stryker hip replacement system, known as the Trident. Plaintiff Mary Hazelwood alleges that the device prematurely failed, and components of the system loosened and are now “free in her body causing great pain.”

Hazelwood is suing Stryker Orthopedics for over $75,000 based on allegations that the defendants failed to warn consumers about the potential for early hip failure, even when used for its intended purposes. The claimant argues that her injuries are so serious that they will render her permanently disabled and that Stryker is liable for designing, manufacturing and selling a defective hip replacement.

Damages sought in Stryker Trident hip lawsuit

In August of 2009, Hazelwood underwent total hip replacement surgery in Sacramento, California. Her surgeons implanted various Stryker components including the Trident PSL Cluster acetabular shell, a Trident polyethylene insert and a Stryker Impl stem. According to the complaint, Hazelwood suffered pain in her right hip area, but had no reason to suspect the source of her pain was from defective Trident hip components. It wasn’t until August 2012 when a visit to Kaiser Permanente Medical Group confirmed that pieces of the hip implant had loosened and were now free in the plaintiff’s body.

For her alleged injuries and complications, Mary Hazelwood is demanding compensation including:

  • General damages according to proof at trial
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future loss of income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Costs of the lawsuit and attorney fees
  • Prejudgment interest
  • Other damages that the court deems just

While Hazelwood’s claim will be litigated in California federal court, other Stryker hip lawsuits involving the Trident system have been centralized before a single judge in New Jersey Supreme Court. Known as multi-county litigation (MCL), the consolidated litigation was formed in 2009 and is being overseen by Judge Carol E. Higbee.

Stryker voluntarily recalls Trident components in 2008

Since its approval in 2003, the Trident hip implant  has been the subject of complaints from both patients and orthopedists claiming fractures or shattered devices, abnormal bone growth, infection, hardware loosening, device failure, uneven wear, pain, loss of function, squeaking and popping noises, bone loss and difficulty walking.

The ceramic components were purported to be more durable, and come with fewer risks of complications associated with metal-on-metal hip implants. On February 22, 2008, the manufacturer initiated a voluntary Stryker Trident hip recall of two components in the line, including the Trident Hemispherical Cups and the Trident Acetabular PSL cup, like the one received by plaintiff. In her Stryker Trident hip lawsuit, Hazelwood brings counts of manufacturing and design defect, breach of implied and express warranty, negligence and failure to warn.

Other litigation against Stryker

The Trident implant is just one of several Stryker hip replacements cited in recent litigation. Stryker recalled its problematic metal-on-metal Rejuvenate and ABG II implants in 2012 due to high rates of fretting and corrosion, leading to inflammation, pseudo-tumors and metal contamination. A separate MCL was established on January 15, 2013 in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court to better handle the growing number of ABG II and Rejuvenate claims.

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