STRYKER HIP RECALL LAWSUITS

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LAWSUITS AGAINST STRYKER HIP REPLACEMENT

On July 6, 2012, STRYKER announced a “voluntary recall” of their modular-neck stems, or REJUVENATE and ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems. At the time, the announcement vaguely alluded to “the potential risks associated with fretting and corrosion of the modular neck junction”. However, ongoing investigations, and emerging lawsuits across the United States have raised significant concerns over the failure rate of these products, their design, complications in the removal (explantation surgery) and recovery of patients that received the product.
Unfortunately, it appears that patients who received either the REJUVENATE or ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems, are suffering from fretting and corrosion which may manifest itself in localized tissue reactions. As recently as January 2013, the company has written to surgeons and provided “Dear Surgeon Letters” providing some guidance to providers on how to manage patients with now recalled REJUVENATE and ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems. This recent “guidance” from STRYKER appears to foretell that many patients have significant problems ahead of them and that the recalled products are most likely to blame. Whether a patient is presently symptomatic, or not, they should consider exploring their legal remedies now given what little is publicly known about the “voluntary recall”.

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WHAT IS A STRYKER HIP RECALL LAWSUIT?

For purposes of our conversation, a STRYKER HIP RECALL LAWSUIT simply refers to a personal injury lawsuit, or claim for personal injuries, from complications following the implantation, or explantation of either a STRYKER REJUVENATE or ABG II modular-neck femoral hip system. Legal theories directed to the manufacture, design and claims made in conjunction with the sale of the product remain under investigation and will be the subject of the formal discovery process as lawsuits seek answers and monetary damages.

WHEN DID STRYKER KNOW THAT THE REJUVENATE & ABG II WERE FAILING?

The answer to that question is not presently known. Safety signals and reports of failures were presumably directed to the manufacturer as patients began coming forward with physical complaints, illnesses and complications reminiscent of the tell tale signs that prompted the DePuy ASR Recall discussed here. However, what was known, by who and whether it was timely addressed will be a central issue in pending STRYKER HIP RECALL LAWSUITS. Whether the failures should have been anticipated or prevented before they became widespread is one of many questions that will only be discovered by the civil lawsuit process. It will take a considerable effort by Trial Lawyers from across the United States to discover answers to these questions. They have not been “voluntarily” forthcoming with the announced recall.

HOW DO I INITIATE A STRYKER HIP RECALL LAWSUIT?

To initiate a claim, or investigation, you should contact a STRYKER HIP RECALL LAWSUIT LAWYER. The decision to hire an attorney is a personal one. However, only an attorney can help initiate a legal claim, or civil lawsuit, to seek fully available legal compensation in the form of monetary damages awardable under state law. These are damages above and beyond simple reimbursement or out of pocket expenses. Contracting a lawyer to represent your interests and initiate an investigation is in your interests under the circumstances.

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WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A STRYKER REJUVENATE OR ABG II?

Anyone that believes they received either a STRYKER REJUVENATE or ABG II should seek medical attention and independent legal counsel. Following the July 2013 recall STRYKER announced that “post market surveillance may be predictive of a trend”. These statements have proven ominous as patients continue coming forward complaining of complications and STRYKER has now provided more “voluntary” guidance to patients and medical providers.

As recently as January 3, 2013, STRYKER has been telling surgeons the following, through a “Dear Surgeon Letter“:

  • Surgeons should consider performing clinical examinations, such as blood work, including infection screening, checking of metal ion levels and cross sectional imaging on all patients who received a REJUVENATE or ABG II modular-neck hip stem regardless of whether the patient is experiencing pain or swelling.
  • Repeat of follow up exams, including blood work, cross sectional imaging, and checking of metal ions, even if the initial findings are reported as normal.
  • Stryker has “partnered” with Broadspire Services, Inc., a third party claims administrator to manage requests for reimbursement and manage requests “for reimbursement of costs relating to the voluntary recall”.

STRYKER’sDear Surgeon Letter” confirms what many already knew and feared regarding their recalled modular-neck femoral hip systems and the need for medical care and treatment moving forward.

STRYKER SETTLEMENTS ANNOUNCED:

On December 18, 2013, in “Stryker Agrees to Settle Four Metal Hip Lawsuits as Hundreds More Loom”, by Mark Hollmer, it was announced that STRYKER had confidentially entered into settlement agreements, following weeks of Mediation conferences. At the time, there were only four (4) reported settlements agreed upon. These STRYKER SETTLEMENTSwere months in the making and only reflect a very small population of the pending lawsuits or claims against the company following the July 2012 recall. At this time, it is difficult to estimate how many lawsuits will utlimately be filed against the Kalamazoo, MI, based company. Mediation is routinely ordered in civil cases and presents an opportunity for both sides of a case to attempt to resolve their legal dispute with the assistance of a neutral third party.

SHOULD I CONTACT BROADSPIRE?

If you have received a letter from STRYKER, or one provided by your treating physician, encouraging you to submit any information regarding your current health condition or plans following the STRYKER RECALL of the REJUVENATE andABG II, you most likely received one of the recalled products. We are encouraging our clients to contact an attorney of their choosing before dealing with, or contacting BROADSPIRE, the third party administrator contracted by STRYKER to handle claims by patients arising out of the STRYKER RECALL of the REJUVENATE and ABG II.

Contact our office for a copy of this correspondence or to discuss the “Dear Surgeon Letter” quoted above.

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