Millions of Americans live with a hip replacement. In fact, hip replacement surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the country. Experts predict that the number of hip replacement procedures performed annually will continue to rise as Baby Boomers age. For many hip replacement patients, a hip replacement device lasts for 10 to 15 years and improves mobility and quality of life. Unfortunately, this is not true for everyone. A patient who receives a defective device can experience a variety of painful and debilitating symptoms. Some patients must even undergo hip replacement revision surgery, an expensive procedure to remove the defective device and replace it with a new one. Revision surgery requires a long recovery time. Biomet Orthopedics manufactured several metal-on-metal (MoM) implants that did not perform as expected or required, and which may have injured or have the potential to injure patients who received them. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, represent victims of defective medical devices in legal actions seeking compensation for their injuries and losses. Contact our Biomet Hip Replacement Lawyers today for a free case evaluation.
Defective Biomet Hip Replacement Litigation
Biomet was a large medical device company that was bought by Zimmer, another medical device company, in 2014 for $13.4 billion. The resulting merger was called Zimmer Biomet. The primary Biomet product that has been subject to litigation is the M2a Magnum. The M2a device was an MoM design released in 1996. From 1999 through 2009, there were more than 110,000 M2a devices implanted in patients. The device was intended for active patients because the larger head was intended to provide a wider range of motion than a traditional hip replacement device. Lawsuits allege that the metal parts of the device wear against each other and release metal ions. The release of these metal ions causes inflammation of surrounding tissue, loosening of the implant, and blood poisoning called metallosis. The FDA received hundreds of reports regarding complications associated with the Magnum device, but Biomet never issued a recall. As the number of lawsuits increased, they were consolidated in October 2012. In January 2014, Biomet agreed to a $56 million settlement for all cases. This averaged out to approximately $200,000 for each plaintiff. Not all plaintiffs agreed to the settlement. As of July 2019, 190 cases were still pending as part of multidistrict litigation against Biomet, but the multidistrict case is now closed to new plaintiffs. Suffering patients have continued to pursue individual lawsuits against Biomet.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Devices Create Unique Risks
As the name implies, MoM devices are made with metal components including a metal ball and socket. When the M2a Magnum device was introduced, it was advertised as providing greater stability and range of motion for patients because metal allowed for a larger joint component. These claims made the devices more desirable to active patients. But as patients began to suffer negative symptoms and early failure of the devices, it became clear that increased risks from the M2a Magnum and other MoM devices were not worth the benefits. All hip implants come with some risks. Primary risks after hip replacement surgery are infection, loosening of the device, bone loss, fracture, and dislocation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified additional risks associated with MoM devices, primarily due to a condition called metallosis. Metallosis occurs when metal particles enter the tissue surrounding the joint or get into the bloodstream, as a result of friction between the metal ball and cup in the device. Every patient's reaction to the release of these metal particles is unique. Problems can arise in any patient, but some people face a heightened risk of an adverse reaction to the MoM device:
- Bilateral implant patients;
- Patients with small femoral heads or resurfacing systems;
- Female patients;
- Patients receiving corticosteroids;
- Patients suffering from kidney problems;
- Patients whose immune systems are compromised or suppressed;
- Patients in whom device components are not well-aligned;
- Patients sensitive to metal;
- Patients who are severely overweight; and
- Highly physically active patients.
If you suspect you are having adverse reactions to your MoM device, talk to your doctor about reporting them to the FDA's MedWatch website, which alerts regulators to potential issues with the class of device you received.
What Are Common Symptoms of Negative Reactions to Biomet MoM Devices?
The metal particles worn off from a defective MoM hip replacement device can damage bone and tissue near the implant and joint in some patients. If the joint loosens or malfunctions, then the patient may need to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the defective hip. Revision surgery can take longer, can cost more, and can require greater recovery time, when compared to a patient's initial hip replacement surgery. Common symptoms that may indicate a dangerous reaction to a defective Biomet MoM hip replacement device include:
- Swelling and inflammation near the hip;
- Pain in the groin, leg, or hip;
- Skin rash;
- Noises, such as popping or grinding, emanating from the hip joint;
- Cardiomyopathy (a disease that weakens or enlarges the heart muscle);
- Change in mobility;
- Neurological impairments;
- Psychological disturbances;
- Impaired kidney function;
- Thyroid trouble; and
- Difficulty or pain when walking or standing.
Alert your doctor immediately to any of the symptoms above, especially if you recently received a Biomet MoM device, as they may indicate a potentially serious, dangerous complication related to a device malfunction.
Do You Think Your Biomet Hip Device Is Defective?
Regardless of whether you experience the symptoms listed above, you may have the right to receive significant financial compensation if you received a defective Biomet hip replacement device. An experienced defective medical device injury attorney, such as one from the team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can help you understand your options, which may include:
- Seeking compensation in an individual legal action against a manufacturer, distributor, medical professional, or other party legally responsible for the harm you suffered because of the defective Biomet hip device you received;
- Participating in a class action in which you join together with other patients who received the same defective Biomet implant, and who suffered the same or closely-similar injuries, and collectively assert your rights to compensation and other forms of relief;
- Claiming compensation from an insurance policy, such as workers' compensation or long term disability coverage, to pay for certain aspects of the care and treatment of your defective Biomet hip-related injuries and disabilities flowing from them.
Seeking compensation for a defective medical device, such as a faulty Biomet hip replacement implant, requires considerable legal skill and know-how. Many law firms shy away from these sorts of cases, because of their potential complexity and the powerful companies often on the other side of them. Not Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. We welcome anyone who has received a Biomet hip implant to contact us to learn about your potential legal rights to compensation. We understand how these cases work, and can provide guidance and zealous representation to injured patients no matter how complicated the issues or well-funded the opposition.
What are Potential Damages for a Defective Biomet Hip Replacement Injury?
No matter which option or options an experienced lawyer recommends for your situation, chances are you will have the ability to seek compensation for the harm done to you by your defective hip implant. The types and amounts of damages you may have the ability to seek through legal action can vary depending on your circumstances. However, as a general matter, clients of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA who suffered injuries because of a defective medical device can often seek payment for:
- Medical costs arising from the injuries and health complications they face because of the defective Biomet hip implant they received, including the expenses associated with pain management, physical therapy, medication, and revision surgery.
- Other costs our clients face because of the disruption and difficulty caused in their lives by their defective Biomet hip hardware, such as the expense of paying for in-home care, transportation assistance, or modification to a living space to accommodate our clients' limited mobility.
- Lost wages and future income owing to our clients' inability to work while recuperating from treatment for a defective hip replacement, or to long-term unemployment or early retirement our clients experience because of their hip replacement-related injuries and health troubles.
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life that accompany living with a defective Biomet hip replacement, harm that includes physical pain, emotional trauma, and strain on important personal relationships.
- Punitive damages, which courts may order a defendant to pay in a case in which the defendant engaged in extreme or outrageous actions that contributed to our clients' injuries and losses.
We cannot make promises to our clients that they will recover compensation for their Biomet hip replacement-related injuries, or about how much compensation they might receive. We can, however, guarantee that our firm has the skill, resources, and know-how to go toe-to-toe with the world's biggest insurance companies and most well-paid defense lawyers. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA lawyers fight day-in, day-out, to make sure our clients receive the justice and compensation they deserve for the pain and difficulty imposed on them by a defective hip device.
Do You Have a Claim Even if Your Biomet Hip Device Was Not Recalled?
Biomet did not recall the M2a Magnum hip replacement device at the center of ongoing litigation about its products. Some lawyers might tell you that you do not have a case for compensation unless a defective medical device in your body has been the subject of a recall. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, however, we know better. As the existing Biomet litigation demonstrates, even medical devices that a manufacturer does not recall can cause patients harm, and those patients may well have significant legal rights to compensation for their injuries and losses. Certainly, recalls help to establish the potential dangers of a defective medical device. However, skilled lawyers know that recalls sometimes reflect the mere tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to problems with a particular manufacturer's or class of devices. Sadly, as common and popular as hip replacements are, they have an established track record of causing some patients serious, and potentially life-threatening, harm. That is why, at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we encourage any patient who has received a hip replacement made by any manufacturer—and especially one from Biomet or its successor, Zimmer Biomet—to stay vigilant for symptoms of metallosis, and to report any complications or unusual health issues right away to their doctor, and then to an experienced attorney.
Experienced Lawyers for Recipients of Defective Biomet Hip Implants
Biomet has a long and sad history of complicated litigation over its hip replacement devices. Unfortunately, that means patients with defective devices implanted in their bodies face significant stress and confusion over their medical and legal options. That is not what those innocent patients signed-up for. They deserve skilled, experienced legal guidance to put them on track to regaining their health and recovering compensation for their pain and difficulties. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we make clear, accurate communication the cornerstone of our working relationships with our clients. We aim to cut through the stress and confusion, and to set their minds at ease, by explaining their options and protecting their rights.
Our team prides itself on its consistent and zealous advocacy on behalf of our clients. Our award-winning attorneys have a long and storied track record of fighting for maximum compensation in even the most complicated and difficult-to-win cases. With our deep experience handling complex litigation, we work with clients injured by a defective medical device to develop a case strategy tailored to their unique financial and medical needs. Do not wait to seek sound legal advice and representation. You have potentially valuable legal rights to compensation for the harm done to you by a defective Biomet hip implant, but you can lose those rights if you do not act quickly. To get started, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA online or by phone at 833-552-7274 or through our website for a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation.
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