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Biomet Hip Lawsuits

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Many filed lawsuits after Biomet's M2a Magnum Hip System caused tremendous pain and additional surgeries. If you received this device, you may have a legal claim.

Device maker Biomet promoted the metal-on-metal components of its M2a Magnum Hip System as having better durability, “greater resistance to wear” and “improved implant stability” over other types of implant components. But according to researchers and a growing number of injured consumers, metal devices like the M2a Magnum did not live up to the marketing hype and actually carry an alarming risk of failure. In early 2014, Biomet agreed to pay $56 million to settle hundreds of lawsuits over these hip implants. As of January 2016, there are still about 1,200 cases pending in federal court.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana where Biomet Cases will be heard
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Despite concerns that that friction between metal components produces metal shards that damage surrounding tissues, devices like the M2a Magnum remain on the market. Injured consumers endure tremendous pain and additional painful, costly surgery that doesn’t necessarily eliminate their suffering. Hundreds of them have filed lawsuits to hold Biomet accountable.

Lawsuits and Settlements in Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) No. 2391

In October 2012, a federal judicial panel centralized federal Biomet M2a Magnum hip implant lawsuits. The panel centralized the cases in the Northern District of Indiana in order to process the cases more efficiently. Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. presided over the litigation, known as Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) No. 2391.

The defendants in the lawsuits include Biomet, Inc. and various Biomet business units, including Biomet Orthopedics, LLC; Biomet Fair Lawn, LLC; Biomet Manufacturing Corp.; and Biomet U.S. Reconstruction, LLC (collectively “Biomet”).

In February 2014, Biomet agreed to settle all of the consolidated federal lawsuits for a combined $56 million. That means the base award for each plaintiff is $200,000.

Several Biomet cases also have been filed in New Jersey state court. In the past, the New Jersey Supreme Court has centralized litigation involving other hip implants.

For instance, the Bergen County Superior Court is currently managing cases involving Depuy’s ASR hip implant. The same court is managing cases involving Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems. The New Jersey Supreme Court may likewise order centralization of Biomet cases as case filings increase.

Terms of Biomet Hip Settlement

The Biomet hip settlement is available for cases in the federal MDL as well as various state courts. In order to participate, injured consumers must file their claims in state or federal court by April 15, 2014.

Under the terms of the agreement, people “who have received a Biomet M2a 38 or M2a Magnum hip replacement system as part of an initial hip replacement that was revised more than 180 days after it was implanted” may be eligible for a base award of $200,000. However, that award may be subject to the following discounts:

  • $10,000, if the Biomet M2a38 or M2a Magnum hip replacement system was revised more than five years, but less than eight years, after initial implantation;
  • $37,500, if the Biomet M2a38 or M2a Magnum hip replacement system was revised more than eight years, but less than ten years after initial implantation;
  • $10,000, if the Biomet M2a38 or M2a Magnum hip replacement system was initially implanted after August 1, 2010, but before July 1, 2011; or
  • $37,500, if the Biomet M2a38 or M2a Magnum hip replacement system was initially implanted after July 1, 2011, but before January 27, 2012.

In addition, the following types of cases will receive reduced awards, “without regard to any qualifying or discounting criteria”:

  • Cases that were revised more than 10 years after initial implantation, will receive $20,000;
  • Cases involving a Biomet M2a38 or M2a Magnum hip replacement system  initially implanted after January 27, 2012 will receive $20,000;
  • Cases that Biomet believes are barred by statutes of limitation will receive $20,000;
  • Claimants who received Biomet metal-on-polyethylene (“MoP”) devices or metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacements other than the M2a 38 and the M2a Magnum (e.g.,  M2a Taper, RingLoc, or ReCap) will receive $20,000;
  • Claimants who first received any type of Biomet MoM Hip as part of a revision procedure or who had their Biomet MoM Hip revised within six months of initial implantation, will receive a payment of $20,000; and
  • A plaintiff who received a Biomet MoM Hip, and who underwent revision, but who died and who died for reasons unrelated to alleged complications from a revision surgery before an agreement was reached regarding the resolution of his or her case will receive $20,000.

Biomet will only fund the settlement if 90 percent of the qualifying cases accept the settlement. To participate, plaintiffs must submit certain information required by the court by June 13, 2014. If you have already filed a Biomet hip lawsuit, talk to your attorney as soon as possible about whether the settlement is a good offer for you. Your attorney can help you determine who much compensation you may be eligible to receive under the settlement.

How We Can Help

Drugwatch’s mission is to inform and support people whose lives have been harmed by dangerous devices like Biomet hip implants. Hip implant injuries cause severe pain and financial hardship. We offer information and resources to help cope with these problems.

Our Patient Advocates are also available seven days a week to offer free advice and support for people who have been injured by Biomet hip implants. If you or a loved has been injured, contact a Patient Advocate to talk one-on-one about your concerns and to receive more information about our resources.

We can also provide information on pursuing a legal claim like the many injured people who have already filed Biomet hip implant lawsuits. If you’d like more information on legal options for yourself or your loved one, a Patient Advocate can help you find an experienced Biomet hip implant lawyer to explain the legal process and also help you decide whether to file a claim.

Why Should You File A Biomet Hip Lawsuit?

Device makers are under a legal duty to adequately design and test their products and to ensure their safety. Yet device makers usually aren’t quick to take responsibility for injuries caused by their products. Hip implant manufacturers may instead attribute any problems to infections and surgical errors, rather than their product design. And manufacturers who issue voluntarily recall their defective products do not necessarily compensate injured people for all of their medical expenses.

For these reasons, many people who have been injured themselves or have loved ones who have been injured by metal-on-metal hip implants have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for their injuries.

If you or your loved one has been injured, you may be eligible to receive an award for:
Compensatory damages (e.g., hospitalization costs, medication, revision surgery and other medical expenses; caregiving services; lost income from diminished ability to work)
Pain and suffering
Loss of consortium (e.g., damages to spousal relationship)
Punitive damages (e.g., awards to discourage future misconduct)

People Who Filed Biomet Hip Lawsuits

Hundreds of people filed Biomet M2a Magnum implant lawsuits. Plaintiffs include people like Leon Vincent, a North Carolina man who received an M2a Magnum implant to replace his left hip in August 2008.

According to Vincent’s complaint, Biomet assured the surgeons repeatedly that the device was “the best on the market, had an excellent track record, would last longer than traditional hip implants, and had a low and acceptable failure rate.” He also said that Biomet continued to maintain and “defend” the safety of the device to surgeons although it was aware of “numerous and serious complications” with the device.

Vincent also claimed that he will likely have to receive more surgeries, incur additional medical expenses and that he has suffered permanent harm because of the defendants’ negligence.

Other people who filed lawsuits include:

Patricia Gill

Patricia Gill, from New York, received an M2a Magnum implant in 2005 in her right hip. She said that friction and wear between the metal components released chromium particles into her blood and tissues, causing severe pain and inflammation. She received revision surgery to replace the implant, but continues to suffer permanent damage and will likely require additional surgery. She said that revision surgery would not be necessary if the Biomet device had performed satisfactorily. She seeks compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and punitive damages. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in May 2013 and includes her husband’s loss of consortium claim.

Christina Kirk

Christina Kirk, an Ohio woman, received an M2a Magnum hip implant when she underwent a total right hip replacement in 2007. Like other plaintiffs, she has suffered severe physical injuries caused by the release of metal ions into her body. Her injuries will likely worsen and require revision surgery to remove and replace the device. She filed a lawsuit in federal court in May 2013.

All plaintiffs allege that Biomet knew about the risks prior to their surgeries, but concealed the information.

People injured claim Biomet:
Failed to exercise reasonable care in the design, manufacture and testing of the M2a Magnum Hip System.
Misrepresented that the M2a Magnum Hip System was safer and more reliable than other hip replacements despite knowing about the dangers.
Failed to adequately warn or disclose information regarding the risks of severe and permanent injury.
Did not provide health care professionals with sufficient information to avoid or mitigate injuries caused by the product.

Plaintiffs claim that, had they or their health care providers been warned about risks associated with the M2a Magnum Hip System, they would not have been implanted with the device and subsequently injured.

Questions to Ask Your Biomet Hip Lawyer

A Biomet hip implant attorney can help you determine whether you are eligible to file a legal claim for compensation for your injuries. In addition to answering questions about whether you have a valid claim, your attorney can explain the case process, in general, and what you can expect. Your attorney can also tell you how much time you have to file a complaint, since each state limits the amount of time available to file a claim.

Be sure to ask your attorney about taking the proper steps to protect your evidence if you receive revision surgery. Ask your attorney what you should do if the manufacturer recalls the implant in the future. Sometimes manufacturers use information obtained during the recall process to prevent you from filing a lawsuit. In particular, the manufacturer may try to get you to sign a release or waiver in order to get a new device or compensation for medical expenses.

If you sign a waiver or release, you may not be able to file a lawsuit. Always talk to your attorney before signing any documents or providing any medical information as part of a recall. If you have questions about filing a lawsuit, recalls or finding an attorney, our Patient Advocates are available to help.

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