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Process Streamlined for Filing Federal Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Lawsuits

Plaintiffs now have a simpler and more efficient way to file a federal Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuit.

A judge recently approved a master complaint, which outlines all of the common allegations made by plaintiffs in Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip product liability cases. The order recently issued by U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank, who is overseeing all federal Stryker hip cases, also approved the use of a short form complaint. The new procedures are expected to make filing new claims in the federal multi-district litigation (MDL) more efficient.

Plaintiffs now can use the short form to file new cases by taking on the claims noted in the master complaint. The short form is used to address an individual’s specific claims, the implants that were used, their side effects, recovery treatments and follow-up procedures.

Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits in federal court

More than 500 product liability lawsuits related to Stryker hip replacement implants are pending in federal court as part of MDL 2441, which was created for all similar federal cases. The MDL was established in June 2013, approximately one year after the Stryker Rejuvenate hip recall. MDL is used to coordinate litigation, such as product liability cases, that involve similar claims and issues of fact. MDL aims to conserve resources and encourage pretrial negotiations and settlements.

If the parties fail to reach a resolution in a majority of these cases, they likely will proceed with bellwether trials, or test trials. This is when a few cases are selected and tried, so attorneys can predict how jurors will react to evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated by numerous plaintiffs. The outcomes of these select cases may trigger Stryker to negotiate with plaintiffs. Pretrial settlements can help defendants avoid excessive payouts, which can result from jury verdicts.

According to the judge’s order, plaintiffs chosen for bellwether trials must file an amended complaint within 30 days of their selection. The complaint must identify the actual claims the plaintiffs expect to pursue at trial.

The federal cases are not the only suits pending against Stryker. More than 640 lawsuits have been filed in a state court in New Jersey, where Stryker’s parent company Howmedica is located. The coordination of the New Jersey lawsuits are part of a multi-county litigation (MCL); an MCL is established for similar reasons to an MDL, but it is used for state cases. So far, settlements have been reached in four state cases. Court-ordered mediation between Stryker and the plaintiffs in the other state cases is ongoing.

Background on the Stryker hip recall

In July 2012, Stryker voluntarily recalled its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems due to the risk of fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction. The implant failure often results in revision surgery. Approximately 20,000 of the implants were sold before the recall.

Individuals who have sued Stryker claim that they have suffered pain, swelling, hip failure and other side effected related to the company’s products.

  1. U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, Applicability of Order (Pretrial Order No. 10),

  2. FDA, Stryker Initiates Voluntary Product Recall of Modular-Neck Stems Action Specific to Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Stems,