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Metal Contamination Cited in Stryker Rejuvenate Lawsuit

Another plaintiff is demanding compensation for a Stryker hip recall injury that left him with permanent disabilities, weakness, limping and chronic pain as a consequence of the widespread soft tissue damage resulting from metal contamination. Darriel Howard claims the Rejuvanate hip implant is a defective medical device that has caused him to suffer severe injuries after implantation. He and his wife Debra filed their Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit in Illinois district court (Peoria), and seek both compensatory and punitive damages.

Stryker hip recall injuries cited by hundreds of patients

At the center of allegations is Stryker’s Rejuvenate modular hip system, which was recalled by the defendant on July 6, 2012.  The hip replacement recall was issued voluntarily after Stryker determined the chromium and cobalt components were prone to fretting and corrosion, putting patients at high risk for early hip failure and the need for revision surgery.

In a statement to both consumers and physicians, Stryker said: “This voluntary recall was initiated due to the potential risks associated with modular neck stems. These risks include the potential for fretting and/or corrosion at or about the modular-neck junction, which may result in adverse local tissue reactions manifesting with pain and/or swelling.”

Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the Rejuvenate recall was just two months too late, as he received several Stryker hip implant components in April, 2012. His total hip arthroplasty was performed at the Methodist Medical Center in Illinois, where he was implanted with the following:

  • Rejuvenate modular #8 30 mm neck
  • Alumina head -4
  • Titanium 54 mm acetabular with MDM liner

Adverse soft tissue reaction caused by metal contamination

According to Howard’s Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit, not long after his initial hip replacement surgery, he began to experience persistent pain in his left hip, irritability around the surgery site and decreased mobility, along with a significant limp. His physician ran multiple tests that revealed he had slightly elevated levels of cobalt in his blood. On October 20, 2012, an MRI of the Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant demonstrated small areas of metallic debris within the soft tissues. Howard has since undergone hip revision surgery to remove the implant.

The revision surgery has purportedly caused additional pain and suffering, forcing Howard to undergo physical therapy, and to limit his range of motion. Like hundreds of others who filed lawsuits against Stryker Orthopedics, he claims that his permanent injuries and disabilities are due to the company’s negligent actions and failure to adequately test the Rejuvenate modular system before launching the product.

The majority of hip replacements are designed to last upwards of 10 to 15 years, yet Darriel Howard suffered hip replacement failure within one year of implantation. He is suing on counts of negligence-product liability, strict products liability and breach of implied warranty. Darriel’s wife is requesting damages for loss of spousal consortium, saying she has been deprived of her husband’s services, society, companionship, and conjugal relationship.

Punitive damages sought to punish Stryker

The Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit is also seeking punitive damages based on allegations that the defendants knew of the Rejuvenate system’s defective and dangerous nature, yet continued to manufacture and sell the implants in order to maximize profits at the expense of the health and safety of the public. Darriel Howard contends that these actions showed conscious and negligent disregard for patients like him, who would have chosen an alternative product had he known of the Rejuvenate system’s risks.