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Stryker Hip Settlements Reached in Four Cases

At least four Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits have been settled as a result of early mediation efforts. Stryker’s parent company, Howmedica Osteonics Corp., currently faces around 1,000 complaints regarding issues with their Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants, but that number is expected to grow.

While typical hip replacements last approximately 15 to 20 years, the a Stryker Rejuvenate recall was issued in July 2012, less than two years after the product was placed on the market. Before the recall, an estimated 20,000 patients received the implant. The first lawsuit regarding the system was filed one month after the recall was issued.

Approximately half of all lawsuits are pending in New Jersey state court, where the headquarters of Howmedica is located, representing one of the largest mass tort cases in the country. The lawsuits have been consolidated into multi-county litigation, an MCL, for coordinated pretrial proceedings before Judge Brian R. Martinotti.

Stryker hip settlements

A group of 10 cases were selected during the early stages of litigation, to assist Stryker in reaching settlements with plaintiffs. An order issued on December 16, stated that the first six cases were mediated during the past few weeks, with at least four reaching settlements with the company. Negotiations failed in the final two Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits, but the mediation is expected to begin on the other four cases in January 2014.

While details of the four Stryker hip settlements have not been made public, in the company’s third-quarter earnings report, Howmedica estimated total costs of the recall and subsequent settlements may be greater than $1 billion.

Stryker recalls Rejuvenate system

On July 6, 2012, Stryker issued a voluntary recall of its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems. The FDA issued a press release containing commentary from the company, stating:

“While modular-neck stems provide surgeons with an option to correct certain aspects of a patient’s anatomy and hip biomechanics, given the potential risks associated with fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction, Stryker Orthopaedics decided to take this voluntary action,” said Stuart Simpson, Vice President and General Manager, Hip Reconstruction.

After conducting post-market surveillance, the company decided that issuing the recall was necessary, as the data collected may indicate a pattern of high failure rates.

More Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits

All Stryker Rejuvenate cases filed in federal courts across the country have been centralized in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the District of Minnesota. More than 450 cases are currently pending under MDL 2441. Plaintiffs allege claims similar to those filed in state courts, including the fretting and corrosion of the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stems causing serious issues, such as metallosis, adverse local tissue reactions, necrosis, and hip failure, often leading to a need for premature revision surgery.

Other manufacturers with similar metal-on-metal products have also faced similar lawsuits. DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, issued a recall of the ASR hip implant in 2010. Settlements began recently, when the company announced with would pay $2.5 billion to compensate the approximately 8,000 patients who received the defective implant.

  1. Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division: Bergen County, Civil Action Case Management Order 12

  2., Stryker Corp. settles first batch of hip-implant lawsuits

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Stryker Initiates Voluntary Product Recall of Modular-Neck Stems Action Specific to Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Stems