Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Hip replacement lawsuits are being filed by people facing serious complications from their hip replacement devices. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against hip manufacturers, including Stryker and Depuy. Companies have paid more than $7 billion in settlements and verdicts. Several metal-on-metal hips have been recalled.

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Last Modified: November 4, 2022
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Types of Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Most large hip replacement actions involve metal-on-metal designs. But other types of hip replacement lawsuits include complications related to parts of hip replacement systems like polyethylene hip liners. 

A type of osteolysis or bone damage can result from joint replacement surgery.  As the Hospital for Special Surgery explains, “Occasionally, polyethylene or other materials in a joint implant can wear down. When this happens, debris can accumulate in the surrounding joint tissue. This, in turn, causes inflammation that can result in degeneration of the bone.”

Lawsuits have recently been filed, for example, as a result of premature wear of Exactech GXL liners, for example. In June 2021, the company notified surgeons that issues had been observed and the GXL liners had been transitioned entirely out of the US market. Impacted patients have begun filing lawsuits to obtain compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering.

Since 2002, hip manufacturers have paid more than $7.5 billion to settle thousands of hip lawsuits. Recent jury verdicts against manufacturers have totaled more than $1.7 billion. But courts have tossed out or reduced many of those.

While most lawsuits involving metal-on-metal hip implants have been resolved, more than 14,000 hip cases were still pending across the country as of July 2019.

Lawsuits over Stryker’s LFIT V40 femoral head and Smith & Nephew’s BHR and R3 hips have only recently been consolidated in federal and state courts. And law firms have just begun evaluating cases involving Stryker’s Tritanium Acetabular Shells, which are prone to loosen and fail. Meanwhile, trials over DePuy’s Pinnacle hips are still underway, with some verdicts on appeal.

Metal-on-metal hip replacement designs were supposed to be more durable, but lawsuits claim the devices shed microscopic amounts of chromium, cobalt or other metals into the body.

According to complaints, the design flaw caused a condition called metallosis, which destroys bone, muscle and other tissue. In addition to creating immediate health problems for the patient, the condition can weaken an implant and cause it to fail.

Lawsuits say several other complications occurred as a result.

Injuries include:

Metal-on-metal implants became popular throughout the 2000s but quickly fell out of favor as reports of complications mounted. This led to hip replacement recalls, lawsuits and FDA actions. In 2016, the FDA strengthened the approval process for metal-on-metal hips.

Not all metal-on-metal hip models with high complication or failure rates were recalled. Manufacturers simply removed some of them from the market. DePuy’s Pinnacle hip was never recalled. But the largest jury verdicts in hip lawsuits have involved Pinnacle hips.

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Manufacturers and Brands Named in Lawsuits

Six companies dominated the metal-on-metal hip implant market and have been involved in the largest lawsuits. Zimmer acquired Biomet for $13.3 billion in 2015. The merger gave Zimmer Biomet a major share of the $45 billion musculoskeletal implant industry. Wright Medical no longer makes hip implants. This leaves four companies with the lion’s share of this market in the U.S.

Depuy Orthopaedics

DePuy has settled thousands of lawsuits over its ASR Hip Replacements. But it faces more than 9,000 more lawsuits over its Pinnacle device. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation combined the federal lawsuits in two separate litigations, known as MDLs. Settlements and jury verdicts in DePuy hip lawsuits total more than $6 billion.

DePuy Pinnacle Logo

Device: DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement

  • Number of Lawsuits: 10,577 filed, 362 still pending as of October 2022
  • Litigation Location: Northern District of Texas
  • Verdicts: March 2016 – $502 million (thrown out on appeal, retrial expected)
    December 2016 – $1 billion (reduced to $543 million)
    November 2017 – $247 million (reduced to $245 million)
  • Status of Lawsuits: Active and on appeal

Device: ASR Hip Replacements

  • Number of Lawsuits: 10,389 filed, 241 still pending as of October 2022
  • Litigation Location: Northern District of Ohio
  • Settlements: 9,800 settled for $4.42 billion between 2013 and 2015
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled but the MDL remains active

Smith & Nephew

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation grouped the first Smith & Nephew lawsuits into a single litigation in 2017. The cases are still in the early stages.

Smith & Nephew Logo

Devices: BHR and R3 Hip Implants

  • Number of Lawsuits: 1,074 filed, 646 still pending as of October 2022
  • Litigation Location: District of Maryland
  • Verdicts/Settlements: No verdicts or major settlements yet
  • Status of Lawsuits: Active, pre-trial stages


Stryker hip lawsuits have targeted several of the company’s products. Lawsuits over the Rejuvenate and ABG II hips were transferred to the same court. Those cases settled in 2014. More recently, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created a single litigation, or MDL, for cases involving Stryker’s LFIT V40 hip component. Stryker agreed to an initial settlement in those cases in November 2018. Law firms have recently begun accepting cases involving Stryker’s Tritanium Acetabular Shells.

Stryker logo

Device: LFIT V40 Femoral Head

  • Number of Lawsuits: 1,154 filed, 581 pending as of April October 2022
  • Litigation Location: District of Massachusetts
  • Verdicts/Settlements: Initial settlement announced Nov. 2, 2018, details remained confidential
  • Status of Lawsuits: Currently in settlement phase

Device: Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Replacements

  • Number of Lawsuits: 3,627 filed, 81 pending as of April 2019
  • Litigation Location: District of Minnesota
  • Settlement: $1.4 billion between 2014 and 2016
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled but the MDL remains active

Tritanium Acetabular Shells

  • Number of Lawsuits: Unknown (firms are evaluating cases)
  • Litigation Location: To be determined
  • Settlement: None
  • Status of Lawsuits: Early phase


In March 2016, Zimmer offered to settle lawsuits over its Durom Cup for $314 million. In May of that year, a court ordered that everyone with a case in the multidistrict litigation had to participate in the settlement process. In November 2018, a federal panel combined 21 new lawsuits over other components into an MDL in New York. The new lawsuits involved models of the company’s M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis used with Zimmer’s Versys Femoral Head.

Zimmer Logo

Device: Durom Cup

  • Number of Lawsuits: 750 filed
  • Litigation Location: District of New Jersey
  • Settlement: $314 million to settle all cases
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled and the multidistrict litigation is closed

Device: Zimmer M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis and Versys Femoral Head

  • Number of Lawsuits: 301, 293 remain as of October 2022
  • Litigation Location: Southern District, New York
  • Settlement: None yet
  • Status of Lawsuits: Early stages of litigation, MDL created October 2018


A settlement in more than 2,800 Biomet hip lawsuits came as the company merged with Zimmer in 2015. Zimmer absorbed some of the costs of settling the lawsuits, which had been combined in a multidistrict litigation.

Biomet Logo

Device: M2a Magnum Hip Replacement

  • Number of Lawsuits: 2,883 filed
  • Litigation Location: Northern District of Indiana
  • Settlements: Estimated $89.4 million between 2013 and 2015
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled and MDL closed in September 2022

Wright Medical

Some of the problems that led to Wright’s hip lawsuits didn’t show up until after the company sold its hip manufacturing division. In addition to metallosis-related complaints, people also sued over the devices loosening.

Wright Logo

Devices: Conserve, Dynasty and Lineage Replacements and Related Components

  • Number of Lawsuits: 640 filed, as of November 2022 MDL is closed
  • Litigation Location: Northern District of Georgia
  • Settlements: $330 million between 2016 and 2017
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled; court ordered no new lawsuits may be filed


Patients impacted are currently exploring their legal options and beginning to file Connexion GXL hip liner lawsuits.  While Exactech established a claims process in 2021 for patients with premature wear and osteolysis as a result of the polyethylene liners in their hip replacement systems, personal injury suits are underway to obtain compensation for impacted patients.

Exatech logo

Devices: MCS, Acumatch & Novation GXL Liners

  • Number of Lawsuits: 47 filed as of October 2022
  • Status of Lawsuits: Individual cases are being investigated and lawsuits are currently being filed.

Timeline of Metal-on-Metal Hip Recalls and Lawsuits

  • 2000
    Sulzer Orthopedics recalls 40,000 hip replacement sockets for dislocation risk.
  • 2001
    More than 2,200 people require revision surgery to replace Sulzer implants.
  • 2001
    Three women win a $15.4 million verdict against Sulzer. The number of lawsuits filed reaches 1,000.
  • 2002
    Sulzer settles 4,000 lawsuits for $1 billion ($200,000 to each plaintiff).
  • 2008
    Zimmer temporarily recalls its Durom Cup hip component.
  • 2010
    The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidates Durom Cup lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation.
  • 2010
    The judicial panel combines DePuy ASR lawsuits into an MDL.
  • 2011
    Lawsuits over DePuy’s Pinnacle hip implants are combined in an MDL.
  • 2012
    Wright Medical, Smith & Nephew and Biomet each issue extensive hip replacement recalls.
  • 2012
    Lawsuits over Wright Medical’s Conserve implants are combined into an MDL.
  • 2012
    Lawsuits over Biomet’s M2a Magnum implants are combined into an MDL.
  • 2013
    The judicial panel combines lawsuits over Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABG II into an MDL.
  • 2016
    FDA strengthens approval process for metal-on-metal hips.
  • 2016
    Stryker recalls more than 42,000 LFIT V40 femoral head components.
  • 2017
    The judicial panel combines lawsuits over Smith & Nephew BHR and R3 implants into an MDL.
  • 2017
    The MDL panel combines the first federal lawsuits over Stryker LFIT V40 femoral heads into an MDL in Massachusetts federal court. New Jersey follows suit a month later, combining state lawsuits over the device into an MCL in state court.
  • 2018
    A federal judge in Atlanta closes the MDL involving Wright Medical hips following a 2017 settlement.
  • 2018
    Federal panel creates MDL for Zimmer’s M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis including versions with Kinectiv Technology and Versys Femoral Head.
  • 2018
    Stryker agrees to an initial settlement in the LFIT V40 MDL, but details are kept confidential.
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Questions Your Attorney May Ask

What complications are you experiencing from your hip implant?

Patients usually experience relief from pain or increased mobility after recovering from their hip replacement surgery, but sometimes, complications may occur. Complications may range from dislocation and change in leg length to bone fractures and metallosis.

When did you first start experiencing hip replacement complications?

Hip replacement complications can occur during surgery, immediately following the procedure or years later. Let your lawyer know when you first noticed complications.

When did you have your hip replaced?

Knowing when you had your hip replacement procedure could help your attorney determine whether you’re within the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit. The time limit for hip replacement cases varies depending on the state in which you live.

What company made your hip replacement device?

Lawsuits have been filed against DePuy, Stryker, Zimmer, Smith & Nephew, Biomet and Wright. You can contact the surgeon who performed your procedure if you don’t know who made your hip implant.

Did you undergo revision surgery to treat your complications?

Revision surgery can be a riskier procedure than the original hip replacement surgery, but it may be needed if the patient’s hip replacement wore out or they experienced complications from it. Complications such as blood clots, dislocations, fractures and device loosening can occur as a result of revision surgery.

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