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Florida Circuit Court Coordinates Stryker Hip Lawsuits for Discovery

Stryker hip lawsuits involving the Rejuvenate implant that were filed in Florida state court will now be coordinated for the sole purpose of discovery, Harris Martin reports. On October 3, 2013, Circuit Judge Marina Garcia-Wood issued the order that will consolidate at least 13 products liability claims – in addition to future actions that qualify – so all parties can share in the discovery process.

The lead Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit was brought by plaintiff Jamie M. Simon, who joins the ranks of hundreds of patients demanding compensatory damages from Stryker for injuries related to the metal-on-metal device.

Discovery process for Stryker hip lawsuits shared in FL court

In civil lawsuits, such as those in Stryker Rejuvenate litigation, the pretrial discovery proceedings enable both the plaintiffs and defendant(s) to gather information in preparation for trial. This process can be lengthy in complex cases regarding pharmaceuticals or defective medical devices such as the Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement system – a modular prosthesis that was pulled off the market in July 2012.

Throughout the process, each party is able to better assess the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent’s case, which may be used to facilitate later settlement negotiations and ensure both sides have adequate facts and evidence ready for trial. Several methods may be employed to glean knowledge during discovery, such as using depositions in which one party is asked a series of questions under oath that are transcribed by a court reporter. Others include interrogatories that must be answered by the other party, as well as requesting documents to generate physical evidence.

13 cases consolidated, more Rejuvenate claims expected

Judge Garcia-Wood determined that pretrial centralization for discovery proceedings was appropriate for the following reasons:

  • There were numerous cases currently pending in the Florida Circuit court system relating to a product commonly referred to as a Rejuvenate Total Hip System
  • The court anticipates additional lawsuits relating to this product will be filed
  • Coordination for discovery pursuant to Rule 1.270(a) and Administrative Order 2011-32-Civ is suitable

Stryker recalls Rejuvenate and ABG II systems in 2012

In 2012, Stryker Orthopedics instituted a global recall on its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems and halted international distribution of the implants due to the products’ risk of injury to the patient. Post-marketing data and hundreds of adverse event reports indicated the modular systems could fret and corrode, shedding toxic metal particles and causing pain, adverse local tissue reaction and other complications, according to Stryker.

Some of the more serious complications associated with the Rejuvenate implant include:

  • Severe inflammation in the joint area
  • Chronic pain
  • Reduced mobility
  • Bone loss or death
  • Metallosis – or blood metal poisoning

Injured patients seek legal recourse, file Rejuvenate hip lawsuit

Unfortunately for many patients who were recipients of the ABG II or Rejuvenate device, such complications required a more invasive hip revision surgery to remove the product and replace it with another artificial hip. As a result of these design defects, hundreds of patients are now suing Stryker based on the following claims, among others:

  • Failure to warn of hip complications
  • Deceptive marketing
  • Insufficient pre-market testing
  • Defects in manufacturing and design

Federal cases centralized as multidistrict litigation

In addition to litigation filed in state courts, thousands of Stryker hip lawsuits have also been brought in the federal court system, prompting the creation of multidistrict litigation (MDL) in June, 2013. Stryker Rejuvenate cases coordinated in the MDL are being presided over by Judge Donovan W. Frank for the District of Minnesota.