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Biomet Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Hundreds of people filed lawsuits over complications blamed on Biomet’s M2a Magnum hip implants. The company agreed to settle most of the lawsuits for $56 million.

More than 2,700 lawsuits have been filed over Biomet’s M2a Magnum hip implants. The company agreed to settle most of the cases in 2014.

The settlement was available for cases in federal and state courts. People who suffered injuries from their hip implants and wanted part of the settlement had to file claims in court by April 15, 2014.

While the litigation was underway, orthopedic manufacturer Zimmer bought Biomet in 2014 for $13.4 billion. The new company, Zimmer Biomet, became one of the leaders in the hip replacement market in 2016.

Microscopic Metal Particles Led to Complications

The M2a Magnum was a metal-on-metal hip design. According to lawsuits, the metal parts wore against each other and released microscopic metal ions, which caused a wide variety of complications, including metallosis.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration received hundreds of reports of these sorts of complications from doctors and patients who used the implant. However, Biomet never recalled the devices. 

As lawsuits mounted, a federal judicial panel in October 2012 centralized the hip implant lawsuits in the Northern District of Indiana.

Typical complaints:
  • Patricia Gill of New York received an M2a Magnum implant in 2005 in her right hip. In a lawsuit, she claimed 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. She sought compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and punitive damages.
  • Christina Kirk of Ohio received an M2a Magnum hip implant when she underwent a total right hip replacement in 2007. She claimed that she suffered severe physical injuries caused by the release of metal ions into her body. She filed a lawsuit in federal court in May 2013.
Complications from a Biomet Hip Replacement? Free Case Review

Determining Individual Settlement Amounts

In January 2014, Biomet agreed to settle all cases for a combined $56 million. That amounted to a base award of $200,000 for each plaintiff.

Biomet M2a $53 million case settlement stat
Source: Settlement Agreement Between Biomet, Inc. and Plaintiffs Executive Committee For In Re: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2391

But, certain factors could have lowered the amount a person actually received.

Reduced Amounts Under the Settlement:
  • $10,000 if the implant was revised more than five years but less than eight years after initial implantation
  • $37,500 if the hip replacement was revised more than eight years but less than 10 years after initial implantation
  • $10,000 if the implant was initially implanted after August 1, 2010 but before July 1, 2011
  • $37,500 if the hip replacement was initially implanted after July 1, 2011, but before January 27, 2012

The settlement also capped the amount at far below the base amount in specific conditions.

Capped awards under the settlement:
  • Cases that were revised more than 10 years after initial implantation received $20,000
  • Cases involving a hip replacement system implanted after January 27, 2012 received $20,000
  • Cases barred by statutes of limitation received $20,000
  • Claimants who received Biomet metal-on-polyethylene devices or metal-on-metal hip replacements other than the M2a 38 and the M2a Magnum (M2a Taper, RingLoc, or ReCap) received $20,000
  • Claimants who first received any type of hip replacement as part of a revision procedure or who had their implant revised within six months of initial implantation received a payment of $20,000
  • Deceased plaintiffs who received a Biomet metal-on-metal hip and who underwent revision but who died for reasons unrelated to alleged complications received $20,000

Biomet said it would only fund the settlement if 90 percent of the qualifying cases accepted the settlement. Plaintiffs had to submit information to the court by June 13, 2014.

Not everyone who sued agreed to the settlement. Instead, some people continued to pursue their lawsuits. In its 2015 annual report, Zimmer Biomet estimated that it would take $33.4 million to resolve pending claims.

As of September 2018, about 400 cases were still pending in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in an Indiana federal court.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.

Terry Turner
Written By Terry Turner Writer

Terry Turner has been writing articles and producing news broadcasts for more than 25 years. He covers FDA policy, proton pump inhibitors, and medical devices such as hernia mesh, IVC filters, and hip and knee implants. An Emmy-winning journalist, he has reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Some of his qualifications include:

  • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in Washington Examiner, MedPage Today and The New York Times
  • Appeared as an expert panelist on hernia mesh lawsuits on the BBC
Edited By
Kevin Connolly
Kevin Connolly Managing Editor
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Aimee V. Hachigian-Gould
Dr. Aimee V. Hachigian-Gould Orthopedic Surgeon

9 Cited Research Articles

  1. Brennan, Z. (2016, February 16). FDA to Require PMAs for Two Types of Hip Replacement Devices. Retrieved from http://raps.org/Regulatory-Focus/News/2016/02/17/24347/FDA-to-Require-PMAs-for-Two-Types-of-Hip-Replacement-Devices/
  2. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana. (2014, January 31). Settlement Agreement Between Biomet, Inc. and Plaintiffs Executive Committee for In Re: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2391. Retrieved from http://www.innd.uscourts.gov/sites/innd/files/Biomet%20Settlement%20Agreement.pdf
  3. Greene, K. (2014, February 3). Biomet to Pay $56M to Settle Hip Replacement MDL. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/506687/biomet-to-pay-56m-to-settle-hip-replacement-mdl
  4. U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana. (n.d.). MDL 2391. Retrieved from http://www.innd.uscourts.gov/mdl-2391
  5. U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana. (n.d.). Settlement Agreement Between Biomet, Inc. and Plaintiffs Executive Committee for In Re: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2391. Retrieved from http://www.innd.uscourts.gov/sites/innd/files/Biomet%20Settlement%20Agreement.pdf
  6. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2012, October 2). In Re: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation Transfer Order. Retrieved from http://www.innd.uscourts.gov/sites/innd/files/MDL%202391%20transfer%20ord.pdf
  7. Zimmer Biomet. (n.d.). 2015 Annual Report. Retrieved from http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ZMH/4075333924x0x882366/03D970B5-3039-43D3-A2C5-67266EAA19B6/2015_Annual_Report_FINAL.pdf
  8. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2018, September 17). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-September-17-2018.pdf
  9. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2018, September 17). MDL Statistics Report. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-September-17-2018.pdf
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