After undergoing the stressful, expensive, and painful process of hip replacement surgery, you have every right to expect an improved quality of life. The last thing you want is for that hip replacement to result in more pain and stress in your life. Unfortunately, that is the case for many patients who received hip implant components manufactured by Stryker Orthopedics. Some metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants manufactured by Stryker Orthopedics have been shown to contain defects that can cause serious injuries and health complications in patients. If you are suffering because of a Stryker MoM hip replacement device, or any other hip implant hardware manufactured by Stryker, then contact the Stryker Hip Replacement Lawyers of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today to learn about your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. We have years of experience helping people like you recover damages for harm suffered because of defective medical devices.
Risks of Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Devices
The ball and socket components of many artificial hips are made of metal. Manufacturers use metal in hip replacement components for its supposed durability and stability. These benefits, however, aren't outweighed by the negative side effects of MoM devices. According to the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), MoM hip implants pose unique risks to patients, above-and-beyond the baseline dangers of hip implants. The metal ball and cup in an MoM device can leave metal shavings behind when they grind against each other. Other components can also create these metal particles. Many patients have a reaction to this metal debris, which can build up in a patient's joints or enter the body's tissues around the implant and be absorbed into the patient's bloodstream. Not all patients react to the metal debris released by a defective MoM hip implant, but many do. Others can suffer physical damage to their joints from the metal that a defective hip implant leaves behind. These dangerous complications can lead to severe pain, degradation and malfunction of the device, and the need for invasive revision surgery to remove and replace the defective hardware. Complications from a defective Stryker MoM hip device can include:
- Pain and swelling in the hip, leg, or groin
- Skin irritation;
- A hip joint that makes unusual noise when a patient moves;
- Cardiomyopathy (dangerous weakening or enlargement of the heart muscle);
- Limited mobility;
- Neurological deficits, which may include impaired hearing or vision;
- Depressed or unpredictable mood;
- Cognitive difficulties;
- Impaired kidney function;
- Thyroid problems; and
- Blood toxicity caused by metal in the bloodstream.
By-and-large, doctors cannot predict in advance which specific patients will have an adverse reaction to the metal debris released from a defective MoM hip implant. However, research suggests these general groups of patients can face an elevated risk of complications:
- Bilateral implant patients;
- Patients who have had hip resurfacing;
- Patients who receive corticosteroids;
- Patients suffering from kidney disease;
- Patients with compromised immune responses;
- Patients whose device components are not in proper alignment;
- Patients sensitive to metal;
- Obese patients; and
- Highly-active patients.
The emerging, troubling complications caused by MoM implant devices have prompted regulators and manufacturers to recall devices from the market, and have led to lawsuits over problematic devices. One manufacturer that has faced a string of recalls, regulatory actions, litigation, and settlements is Stryker Orthopedics.
History of Stryker Recalls and Litigation
Stryker Orthopedics is the manufacturer of multiple models of metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacement implants that have failed to function properly and forced patients to suffer through additional symptoms and pain, often requiring a hip replacement revision surgery. As a result, Stryker has faced regulatory actions, recalls, and lawsuits. Two Stryker products, the Rejuvenate and the ABG II hip stems, were both recalled because the MoM construction made the devices susceptible to corrosion and fretting which caused pain, swelling, and inflammation in the surrounding tissue for some patients. In these implants, the neck stems were the problematic component, causing patients problems with premature hip implant failure and metal poisoning. In 2014, Stryker agreed to pay a $1.43 billion settlement to resolve thousands of lawsuits. Each plaintiff was eligible to receive up to $600,000 in damages. Even after the massive 2014 settlement, Stryker continued to manufacture MoM hip implant products rather than converting to a ceramic or plastic model. Stryker's Accolade LFIT V40 implant has also faced consumer harm complaints. The Accolade is a cobalt and chromium alloy femoral head used with a variety of hip implants. Due to higher incidents of taper lock failure in Accolade femoral heads, Stryker recalled approximately 42,000 of these products and later added additional catalog numbers to the list. Attorneys are also investigating the Stryker Tritanium Acetabular Shells because there is evidence that the Tritanium shell components fail to adhere to the acetabular bone, causing looseness or implant migration, requiring revision surgery. Many victims have filed product liability lawsuits against Stryker alleging that these hip implant components are defective and unreasonably dangerous. There is significant ongoing litigation regarding this Stryker product.
If You Have a Stryker Hip Implant
Patients who have received a Stryker hip device should stay vigilant for the typical signs of a harmful defect in the device, especially if they learn that Stryker has recalled the particular hardware that doctors implanted in their bodies. Regardless of the recall status of a particular device, however, all patients should consult with their doctors immediately if they begin to feel pain or any of the other common symptoms associated with a defective Stryker hip replacement device listed above. After seeking and receiving appropriate medical attention, patients should also consult with an experienced defective medical device attorney as soon as possible. Patients diagnosed with complications from a defective Stryker hip implant may have the right to recover substantial compensation through legal action. However, the legal process involved in recovering damages for a defective medical device can differ substantially from run-of-the-mill personal injury matters. Skilled, experienced medical device attorneys, like the team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can advise patients suffering from complications related to a defective Stryker hip implant about the appropriate course of action to take, and can lead that action in the manner best suited to the patient's specific medical and financial needs. The strategy a lawyer develops may involve:
- Reporting the patient's defective hip-related complications to the FDA;
- Participating in a regulatory investigation or enforcement action against the manufacturer or another party;
- Filing suit individually against the manufacturer, a medical provider, or another party involved in making, selecting, transporting, or implanting the device, seeking money damages for the harm done to the patient by the device; and
- Filing or joining a class action litigation that seeks compensation on behalf of a group of similarly-situated patients.
These are just some examples of the potential legal options available to patients suffering from the ill-effects of a defective Stryker hip replacement implant. Consult with a skilled lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today to learn more about your rights.
Potential Compensation for Harm Done by a Stryker Hip Replacement
In a lawsuit, patients who have suffered harm because of a defective Stryker hip implant can typically seek compensation for a variety of injuries and losses, including:
- Medical expenses: Patients who receive defective hip implants often need further medical care to treat harm done to them by the device. This may include revision surgery to replace the defective hardware entirely, physical therapy, pain management, and treatment of blood toxicity. Patients should not have to pay for these treatments. Legal action can seek money damages to pay them instead.
- Non-medical expenses: A defective hip can add all sorts of unplanned-for expenses to a household budget. For example, patients may need to hire help to assist them in getting around or in running errands, or they may need to make temporary or permanent modifications to their living spaces to accommodate their hip-related disabilities. In a lawsuit for damages, patients can seek compensation to pay for these new and unexpected expenses.
- Lost income: The pain, limited mobility, and health complications caused by a defective hip replacement and by any measures necessary to fix it can, and often do, keep patients out of work for months or more. In a legal action for damages, patients can seek compensation for the wages they could not earn while out of work, and for lost future financial opportunities and earning capacity.
- Pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life: Victims of defective hip implants live in severe pain; not just the physical pain caused by the device, but emotional pain from the trauma of having a dangerous foreign object inside their bodies. That pain takes a wide-ranging toll on their ability to enjoy and participate in everyday life. They may struggle to enjoy time with their grandchildren, for instance, or may have to give up favorite activities like hiking or playing golf. A lawsuit for damages can seek compensation for the negative impact a defective hip replacement can have on a patient's life.
- Punitive damages: Sometimes, the decision or actions of the party at fault for allowing a defective medical device to end up in a patient's body are so extreme or outrageous that a court will agree to punish that party by ordering payment of punitive damages.
The skilled, knowledgeable medical device defect lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA work closely with their clients to evaluate the toll caused by a dangerous Stryker hip implant. We take the time to listen to our clients and to understand how receiving a defective hip replacement has damaged their lives and the lives of their loved ones. We cannot promise our clients that they will recover any specific amount of damages. However, we can guarantee that our team will put our clients' interests first, and that we will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for their unique situation.
The Importance of Acting Quickly
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we urge anyone who has received a potentially-dangerous Stryker hip implant to consult with us as soon as possible. You may have valuable legal rights to compensation, but those rights can expire if you do not act on them promptly. Depending upon where you live and who bears the blame for the defects in your hip replacement hardware, you could have as little as just a few months to take preliminary legal action to protect your financial and legal interests. Stryker, in particular, already faces individual and class action lawsuits arising from its defective hip devices. These existing lawsuits may impact your rights. By speaking with an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA right away, you can get up-to-date information about the status of those lawsuits and how they affect your interests. Finally, quick action on your part can promote peace of mind. As lawyers for patients victimized by defective medical implants, we understand the stress and anxiety our clients feel. We cannot take away the potential health risks they face because of a defective Stryker hip product, but we can assure them that they have put their legal interests and financial futures in the hands of capable, skilled attorneys.
Diligent Attorneys for Stryker Hip Implant Recipients
Patients in need of a hip replacement place their trust in the quality of the hardware doctors decide to implant in their bodies. Manufacturers, distributors, and medical providers who breach that trust by surgically installing defective, dangerous devices in a patient's body deserve to pay for the harm the device inflicts. Money cannot erase the trauma of living with a defective Stryker hip implant. It can, however, provide patients with the financial resources they need to regain their mobility, independence, and ability to enjoy a full life. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA lawyers have the skill, resources, experience, and reputation to secure compensation for patients victimized by defective Stryker hip replacement devices. We represent patients nationwide. Contact us online or at 833-552-7274 for a free, confidential case evaluation.
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