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Plaintiff Seeks $20 Million in Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Lawsuit

A plaintiff demanding a sizable sum in damages has filed a Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York. The plaintiff in this complaint, who is seeking $20 million in damages from Howmedica (doing business as Stryker Orthopedics), alleges that the company knew of the problems associated with the Rejuvenate hip implant when she underwent hip replacement surgery in 2011. However, the company failed to share that knowledge with the medical community or general public, resulting in serious injury to the plaintiff after her initial implant procedure.

This Stryker hip lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York on June 17, 2013, has been designated for inclusion in the pilot program in this U.S. District Court for the purpose of improving the efficiency of legal proceedings in complex civil cases. This complaint qualified because it is considered a complex civil case and because it is a product liability lawsuit. The case has been assigned to the Honorable Judge Analisa Torres in the Southern New York District.

Hip surgery occurred less than one year before Stryker hip recall

In this complaint, the plaintiff, Marie Pennings, stated she underwent hip replacement surgery in August, 2011, when she received the Stryker Rejuvenate modular hip system. Less than one year later, in June, 2012, the company issued a Stryker hip recall of the defective device, due to mounting reports of problems from patients and medical providers. In the recall, the company stated that the metal-on-metal device had been associated with metallosis, a condition in which tiny metal particles enter the bloodstream and surrounding tissue. The company cited potential complications of the condition, including “adverse local tissue reactions” and “possible pain or swelling around the hip.”

After her hip replacement surgery, Pennings alleged she also suffered from pain and swelling around the hip, and continues to do so today. Pennings has also experienced “related pain throughout her body” and decreased mobility that has directly impacted her quality of life. Pennings claims she will have to undergo risky revision surgery to correct the problems, which will cause Pennings to require additional medical treatment and physical therapy. In addition, Pennings will have to worry about the continuous danger of metal poisoning associated with the metal-on-metal hip implant well into the future.

Metal poisoning, early failure plague Stryker Rejuvenate

Approximately 20,000 Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II hip replacements were implanted between 2009 and the time they were recalled in 2012. Common complaints associated with the implants are corrosion and fretting, referring to the wear that occurs to components as they continuously rub together through the movement of the hip joint. This action results in cracking or flaking of the metal, allowing tiny particles to enter surrounding tissue and the bloodstream. This may lead to serious complications, including tissue and bone damage, and early failure of the hip implant.

Patients who experience implant failure may require hip revision surgery to correct the problem. Revision surgery is considered riskier than the initial procedure, because it requires the removal of the defective device before a new product can be implanted. Bone or tissue damage from the defective implant may further complicate the procedure. After surgery, patients may require lengthier rehabilitation times and additional medical bills that pose significant challenges to some hip implant recipients.

Marie Pennings alleges that since her initial hip implant procedure she has suffered severe personal injuries that have prevented her from performing daily functions. Pennings also claims she will continue to incur medical and hospital expenses at the same time she expects her loss of wages to compound, due to her injury and need for further medical treatment. Therefore, Pennings is seeking punitive and monetary damages totaling $20 million in her Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuit – one of the largest damages sought against Stryker Orthopedics to date.