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Mediation Ordered for Possible Stryker Hip Lawsuit Settlements

Stryker hip lawsuit settlements may be reached by plaintiffs and defendants during mediation that was recently mandated by New Jersey Judge Brian R. Martinotti for a group of 10 Rejuvenate cases currently pending in the multi-county litigation. The MCL was created on January 15, 2013 to more efficiently handle the growing number of ABG II and Rejuvenate hip replacement lawsuits filed in the state court since Stryker recalled its problematic metal-on-metal hip system. Established in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court, the coordinated proceedings known as RE: Stryker Rejuvenate & ABG II Modular Hip Implant Litigation has amassed more than 300 cases in which plaintiffs allege severe complications including metal contamination caused by design defects in the system.

Mediation to discuss possible Stryker hip lawsuit settlements

Designed to encourage settlement negotiations, early mediation is often used in mass legal proceedings as a means of saving both sides considerable expenses that are involved with protracted litigation. If settlements are reached before bellwether hearings for select Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits, this may bode well for remaining plaintiffs in the MCL.  Reuters reported in January that Stryker Orthopaedics, which issued a voluntary recall on its ABG II and Rejuvenate implants in 2012, has set aside at least $390 million to account for revision surgeries, patient testing and future litigation costs. Pretrial mediation sessions were ordered on August 13 by Judge Martinotti for the small pool of cases, and should finish no later than December 15, 2013.  Included in the ten cases for mediation talks are two lawsuits selected by both the plaintiffs and defendants and six cases identified by the court. A Phase II mediation update will be addressed at the next MCL case management conference, scheduled for September 24, 2013. Associated costs for the mediation will be divided evenly between both sides.

Rejuvenate hip replacement prone to early failure

Similar to other all-metal hip replacements, the Rejuvenate and ABG II components were associated with a range of serious problems as the parts were shown to fret and corrode, shedding tiny metal ions into the surrounding tissue. Though artificial hips are meant to last more than a decade, Stryker hip replacements were failing within the first few years, and patients complained of excruciating complications, which often entailed at least one hip replacement revision surgery. In their 2012 Rejuvenate hip recall, Stryker admitted its device suffered design defects and could cause adverse local tissue reactions, inflammation and the formation of pseudotumors. The majority of plaintiffs who took Stryker to court alleged injuries and medical expenses related to metallosis, bone death, tissue damage and corrective surgery.  While Stryker hip lawsuit settlements may not be reached in all of the claims, those damages will likely account for a plaintiff’s economic and non-economic losses such as pain, suffering, loss of consortium and emotional trauma.

MDL consolidates federal Stryker Rejuvenate cases

While MCL centralizes complaints filed in the state court system, those actions brought in district courts over alleged Rejuvenate hip problems have also been merged before a single judge for pretrial proceedings. The multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2441) was established in the District of Minnesota, and the docket is being presided over by Judge Donovan W. Frank. At this time, approximately 200 lawsuits have been transferred to the Rejuvenate/ABG II products liability MDL. Every month, new plaintiffs come forward demanding compensation from Stryker for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other claims.