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Stryker Hip Settlements Subject of New Mediation Order

A mediation order has been given in regard to Stryker hip lawsuits pending in New Jersey consolidation. The judge overseeing the coordination has issued the mediation order to see whether Stryker hip settlements are possible, even while the litigation process continues. The parties involved in the litigation have agreed to mediation and have already identified four third-party mediators to oversee the process.

More than 80 Stryker lawsuits have been coordinated in New Jersey court thus far, with hundreds more expected to be added to the docket. Judge Brian R. Martinotti is presiding over the coordination in Bergen County court. A request has also been made to coordinate federal lawsuits against Stryker into multidistrict litigation in a single U.S. district court. That request is currently under consideration by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

Stryker Rejuvenate recall leads to growing litigation

In July, 2012, Stryker announced a recall of its Rejuvenate hip replacement components, citing a potential for corrosion and fretting of the joints that could lead to damage of the surrounding tissue and other complications. In addition to reports of joint corrosion, complaints made in regard to the Rejuvenate include persistent pain, squeaky joints, and bone fractures associated with the replacement devices. Some patients have also developed metal poisoning, caused by the friction of the metal components that releases small metal particles into the surrounding tissue and bloodstream.

Some patients have been required to undergo risky revision surgery to replace the faulty implant just a few short years after the initial procedure. Revision surgery tends to carry more risk due to potential bone damage and other complications from the first procedure. The cost of revision surgery may be higher and many patients take longer to recover the second time around.

Lawsuit coordination increases chances for Stryker hip settlements

In January, amid growing litigation, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to coordinate Stryker hip lawsuits into a single court in Bergen County. At the time, around 50 complaints were pending in the state, with approximately 80 complaints now on the docket. Coordination of lawsuits often increases the possibility for a Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit settlement, since multiple plaintiffs may yield more influence with the defendant.

Judge Martinotti gave plaintiffs in the first 25 lawsuits filed until April 22 to let the court know of their intentions to participate in mediation efforts. Plaintiffs in the remaining cases will need to make their intentions known by May 15. Each plaintiff that chooses to participate in the mediation process will be required to provide additional paperwork to proceed.

The parties will work with the four third-party mediators during this process, which have been identified as Judge C. Judson Hamlin, Judge James D. Clyne, Judge Diane M. Welsh and The Pilgrim Mediation Group. Two additional mediators may be chosen by the parties during the process if it becomes necessary. The panel could also be expanded if the motion is approved by the Court.

Both parties have been instructed to provide the Court with regular updates on the mediation process, and whether any Stryker hip settlements will be awarded during this time. The parties will also split the cost of mediation. The Court reserves the right to modify or terminate the mediation proceedings at any time, whether by request of Counsel or a decision by the Court. Mediation proceedings will not interfere with the litigation that is already underway in the New Jersey court.