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Hip Replacement Lawsuit Updates

As of February 2024, several industry leaders were involved in multidistrict litigation with 2,219 cases pending. In many of these cases, multiple parties were named defendants, with the plaintiffs naming parent companies or subsidiaries in the suits.

Stryker is the defendant in both MDL 2768 before Judge Indira Talwani of the District of Massachusetts with 264 pending cases and MDL 2441 before Senior Judge Donovan W. Frank of the District of Minnesota with 72 open cases.

Zimmer merged with Biomet during litigation over its M2a Magnum hip implant. That MDL is now closed, but the company is the defendant in MDL 2859 before Senior Judge Paul Austin Crotty of the Southern District of New York with 305 pending cases.

Hip Replacement Lawsuit Updates
  • February 2024: Plaintiffs continued to seek damages with pending and new lawsuits, costing hip replacement companies more than $7 billion in settlements over the years.
  • May 2023: A U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed a False Claims Act suit a whistleblower brought against DePuy.
  • April 2023: A federal judge sanctioned Johnson & Johnson for delaying a Pinnacle hip replacement lawsuit and ordered the company to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees.
  • March 2023: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety warning to consumers in conjunction with product recalls from Exactech for accelerated wear, failure and cracking in joint replacement devices.

The defendant in MDL 2197 before Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio is DePuy (ASR hip implant) with 240 pending cases.

The defendant in MDL 3044 before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New Y0rk is Exactech with 1,169 pending cases as of February 2024.

The defendant in MDL 2775 before Judge Catherine C. Blake of the District of Maryland is Smith & Nephew (BHR hip resurfacing) with 169 pending cases. 

Over the years, there have been millions in hip replacement lawsuits settlements and jury verdicts. Attorneys are still accepting cases.

Companies Involved in Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Companies are liable for any damages or loss caused by their products. There are several industry leaders involved in multiple lawsuits over their products. As of February 2024, some of these include:

  • DePuy: MDL #2197 with 240 open cases
  • Exactech: MDL #3044 with 1,169 open cases
  • Smith & Nephew: MDL #2775 with 169 open cases
  • Stryker: MDL #2768 with 264 open cases and MDL #2441 with 72 open cases
  • Zimmer: MDL #2859 with 305 open cases
three icons representing filing a lawsuit
Experiencing pain, device dislocation or other complications after hip replacement surgery?
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Why Are People Filing Hip Replacement Lawsuits?

Many patients experience serious complications from a faulty hip implant during hip replacement recovery and beyond, leading to lawsuits against device manufacturers.

Some complications include device dislocation, pain, device loosening, infections or metal poisoning, called metallosis. Complications often lead to additional surgeries to replace or repair the defective device.

Metallosis

In recent years, an increasing number of hip replacement lawsuits named metallosis and a metal-on-metal implant in the complaint. Metallosis is a metal poisoning caused when two metal components rub together and release microscopic particles into the body. These particles can lead to tissue damage and loosening of the artificial hip.

In a metal-on-metal implant, the artificial hip relied on a metal ball mounted on the top of the thighbone that rotated in a metal socket mounted in the hip bone. In addition to failing quickly, it also created metallosis.

Companies and products involved in metallosis claims include:
  • Biomet: M2a Magnum Hips
  • DePuy: Pinnacle and Ultima metal liners, as well as Articular Surface Replacement and Pinnacle hip implants
  • Smith & Nephew: Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implants
  • Stryker: LFIT V40 Femoral Head, Rejuvenate and ABG II implants
  • Wright: Conserve, Dynasty and Lineage hip implants
  • Zimmer: M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis implanted with its Versys Femoral Head

In hip replacement lawsuits involving metal-on-metal implants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture received hundreds of complaints over Biomet’s M2a Magnum from both doctors and patients. DePuy stopped the sale of all-metal versions of the Pinnacle system after numerous consumer complaints of metallosis.

Stryker dealt with lawsuits over two different products accused of leaking metal ions into a patient’s body. The medical community is now fully aware of complications with metal-to-metal devices.

Dislocation, Failure, Fracture or Loosening

Severe complications leading to consumer lawsuits over hip replacement products include product dislocation, failure, fracture or loosening. In addition to pain, patients experience joint dislocation or bone fractures from the device moving out of place.

While different products and companies are at the center of these lawsuits, Dupuy agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits over its ASR Systems, totaling more than $2.9 billion in payouts. Companies and products involved in dislocation, fracture or loosening claims include:

  • DePuy: ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Replacement Resurfacing System for implant failure
  • Smith & Nephew: Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System for dislocation or fractures; R3 Acetabular System for loosening and implant failure
  • Stryker: Tritanium Acetabular Shells for loosening
  • Zimmer: Durom cup implant for failing to fuse in some patients

For these companies, the injuries and complications to patients were so severe that many had to issue product recalls. Smith & Nephew recalled more than 6,000 hip replacement implants, while Stryker issued 9,000 ABG II implant recalls and 44,000 Rejuvenate implant recalls.

Stryker ultimately issued a worldwide market withdrawal on all Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants and paid nearly $2.2 billion in settlements. Zimmer faced similar challenges with its Durom Cup product, issuing a temporary recall in 2008 but finally discontinuing it in 2010 after repeated issues.

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Hip Replacement Verdicts and Settlements

Numerous verdicts in hip replacement lawsuits favored the plaintiffs. Those who experienced the pain and trauma of complications and joined the MDLs received compensation.

In many of the MDLs, cases do not end up in court. Companies often choose to settle out of court. Here are some of the settlement agreements:

$4 billion: DePuy settlements over Pinnacle and ASR hip products total over $4 billion across 20,000 separate claims that combined for the mass lawsuit.

$2.9 billion: DePuy paid claimants $2.9 billion for suits directly related to its ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular System.

$1.4 billion: Over two years, Stryker paid $1.4 billion for over 3,500 claims against its Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip products.

$502 million: A Texas jury awarded five plaintiffs $502 million from Johnson & Johnson over defective DePuy Pinnacle hip implant devices.

$330 million: Wright Medical paid $330 million to plaintiffs with complaints against its Conserve, Dynasty and Lineage hip implant products.

$165,000: Zimmer offered a base award of $165,000 per hip for plaintiffs seeking compensation after experiencing complications with its Durom Cup.

There are still pending lawsuits with many of these companies. MDL 2775 alleges product liability against Smith & Nephew for its Birmingham Hip Resurfacing system, though litigation is also pending against the Modular SMF or Modular Redapt hip replacement products.

Several things determine hip replacement lawsuit settlement amounts, such as the injuries, number of plaintiffs and settlement limitations. While specific amounts vary, injured parties can expect to receive several hundred thousand dollars in compensation.

Multistate Deceptive Marketing Settlement

In January 2019, DePuy agreed to pay $120 million to settle claims where plaintiffs alleged unfair and deceptive marketing of both the Pinnacle Ultamet and ASR XL hip implants. The company also agreed to monitor device complications and update complaint tracking.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making decisions about your health or finances.
Last Modified: February 1, 2024

41 Cited Research Articles

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