Accepting Cases

Hip Replacement Lawsuits

People who developed painful complications after hip replacements have filed more than 28,000 lawsuits against hip implant manufacturers. Companies have spent billions of dollars settling more than half of those cases as more people continue to file lawsuits.

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 September 2018.

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. Meanwhile trials over DePuy’s Pinnacle hips are still underway, with some verdicts on appeal.

Most large hip replacement actions involve metal-on-metal designs. They 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.

Complications from a Hip Replacement? Get a Free Case Review

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: 9,903 filed, 9,702 still pending as of September 2018
  • 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: 10,162 filed, 1,727 still pending as of September 2018
  • 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: 466 filed, 442 still pending as of September 2018
  • Litigation Location: District of Maryland
  • Verdicts/Settlements: No verdicts or major settlements yet
  • Status of Lawsuits: Active, pre-trial stages

Stryker

Stryker hip lawsuits targeted three 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.

Stryker logo
Device: LFIT V40 Femoral Head
  • Number of Lawsuits: 443 filed, 435 pending as of September 2018
  • 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: 3,505 filed, 1,255 pending as of September 2018
  • Litigation Location: District of Minnesota
  • Settlement: $1.4 billion between 2014 and 2016
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled but the MDL remains active

Zimmer

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: 737 filed, 135 still pending as of September 2018
  • Litigation Location: District of New Jersey
  • Settlement: $314 million to settle all cases
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled but the multidistrict litigation remains active
Device: Zimmer M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis and Versys Femoral Head
  • Number of Lawsuits: 21 as of October 2018
  • Litigation Location: Southern District, New York
  • Settlement: None yet
  • Status of Lawsuits: Early stages of litigation, MDL created October 2018

Biomet

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: 2,880 filed, 409 still pending as of September 2018
  • Litigation Location: Northern District of Indiana
  • Settlements: Estimated $89.4 million between 2013 and 2015
  • Status of Lawsuits: Settled but the multidistrict litigation remains active

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, 189 still pending as of September 2018
  • 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

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 large recalls of hip implants.
  • 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.

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
Legally Reviewed By

39 Cited Research Articles

  1. Federal Register. (2016, February 18). Effective Date of Requirement for Premarket Approval for Total Metal-on-Metal Semi-Constrained Hip Joint Systems. Retrieved from https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/02/18/2016-03331/effective-date-of-requirement-for-premarket-approval-for-total-metal-on-metal-semi-constrained-hip
  2. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2017, April 5). Transfer Order. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2775-Initial_Transfer-03-17.pdf
  3. Carlson, J. (2014, December 14). $1.4 Billion Settlement Announced in Artificial Hip Litigation. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/nov-3-1-4-billion-settlement-in-artificial-hip-litigation/281375461/
  4. Chang, K. (2001, August 7). When Medical Devices Fail in the Body. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/07/science/when-medical-devices-fail-in-the-body.html
  5. DePuy Synthes. (2010, August 26). DePuy Orthopaedics Voluntarily Recalls ASR™ Hip System – DePuy. Retrieved from https://www.depuysynthes.com/about/news-press/qs/depuy-orthopaedics-voluntarily-recalls-asr-hip-system---depuy
  6. Duroni, L. (2014, December 3). Zimmer Prevails in 1st Durom Hip Implant. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/601187/zimmer-prevails-in-1st-durom-hip-implant-trial
  7. Dye, J. & Garza, L.M. (2014, October 23). Johnson & Johnson DePuy Wins First Trial Over Pinnacle Hips. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-trial-verdict-idUSKCN0IC2GH20141023
  8. Eslinger, B. (2015, September 25). $4.5M Wright Hip Implant Verdict Cut to $1M by Calif. Judge. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/707545/4-5m-wright-hip-implant-verdict-cut-to-1m-by-calif-judge
  9. Fay Cortez, M. (2014, April 24). Zimmer to Buy Biomet for $13.4 Billion Adding Orthopedics. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-04-24/zimmer-agrees-to-buy-biomet-for-13-35-billion-including-debt
  10. Feeley, J. & Voreacos, D. (2013, November 13). J&J Said to Reach $4 Billion Deal to Settle Hip Lawsuits. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/j-j-said-to-reach-4-billion-deal-to-settle-hip-lawsuits.html
  11. 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
  12. Harris, A. (2013, April 17). Johnson & Johnson Wins Hip Implant Jury Trial in Chicago. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-04-16/jury-finds-for-johnson-johnson-in-chicago-hip-implant-trial
  13. Healio. (2016, November 3). Wright Medical Technology Enters Into Settlement Agreement in Metal-on-metal Hip Litigation. Retrieved from http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/hip/news/online/%7Ba4ad9dac-4db9-46b7-a029-7a00ffbb1f55%7D/wright-medical-technology-enters-into-settlement-agreement-in-metal-on-metal-hip-litigation
  14. Johnson & Johnson. (2016, March). Annual Report 2015. Retrieved from http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/JNJ/1709744668x0x881109/474857DD-8E67-43B1-BB38-0A9712D93545/2015_annual_report_.pdf
  15. Lexis Legal News. (2016, April 4). ‘Majority’ of Zimmer Durom Hip MDL Plaintiffs Said to Reject Mandatory Settlement. Retrieved from http://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/7302/majority-of-zimmer-durom-hip-mdl-plaintiffs-said-to-reject-mandatory-settlement
  16. Olson, E. (2002, February 4). Sulzer Offers $1 Billion Settlement for Defective Implants. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/04/business/sulzer-offers-1-billion-settlement-for-defective-implants.html
  17. Possley, M. , Voreacos, D. & Pettersson, E. (2013, March 8). J&J Must Pay $8.3 Million Over Defective Hip, Jury Says. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-03-08/j-j-must-pay-8-3-million-in-suit-over-defective-hip-jury-says
  18. Salvatore, C. (2016, September 1). Metal Hip Patient Asks 11th Circ. To Affirm $2M Defect Win. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/835657/metal-hip-patient-asks-11th-circ-to-affirm-2m-defect-win
  19. Singer, S. (2013, January 27). Artificial Hips Corrode, Poisoning Some Patients, Local Lawsuits Say. Retrieved from http://www.palmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/health/artificial-hips-corrode-poisoning-some-patients-local-lawsuits-say/LzCZuGGbr9j2X1Wo3GdSpJ/
  20. Stride, M. (2013, February 19). Smith & Nephew Sued Over Painful Hip Replacement. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/416588/smith-nephew-sued-over-painful-hip-replacement
  21. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2008, September 26). Class 2 Device Recall Durom Cup. Retrieved from http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfres/res.cfm?id=72744
  22. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2012, July 9). Stryker Initiates Voluntary Product Recall of Modular-Neck Stems. Retrieved from https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170406110624/https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ArchiveRecalls/2012/ucm311043.htm
  23. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, January 4). Class 2 Device Recall Modular Redapt(TM) Hip Systems. Retrieved from http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRes/res.cfm?ID=151502
  24. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Concerns about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Systems. Retrieved August 30, 2012, from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants/ucm241604.htm
  25. Van Acker, J. (2015, October 28). Zimmer Undoes Jury’s ‘Excessive’ $9.2M Hip Implant Verdict. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/classaction/articles/720365/zimmer-undoes-jury-s-excessive-9-2m-hip-implant-verdict
  26. 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
  27. Perriello, B. (2017, September 21). Plaintiff Wins New Trial in DePuy ASR XL Hip Suit. Retrieved from: http://www.massdevice.com/plaintiff-wins-new-trial-depuy-asr-xl-hip-suit/
  28. Perriello, B. (2017, May 8). Stryker Hits Enrollment Milestone in 2nd Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Settlement. Retrieved from: http://www.massdevice.com/stryker-hits-enrollment-milestone-2nd-metal-metal-hip-implant-settlement/
  29. U.S. District Court, District of Maryland. (n.d.). In re Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2775). Retrieved from: http://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/re-smith-nephew-birmingham-hip-resurfacing-bhr-hip-implant-products-liability-litigation-mdl-no2775
  30. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas. (2017, October 10). MDL 2244 (Jury Trial 09/18/17). Retrieved from: http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/mdl-2244-jury-trial-091817#12-4647
  31. Federal Register. (2016, February 18). Effective Date of Requirement for Premarket Approval for Total Metal-on-Metal Semi-Constrained Hip Joint Systems. Retrieved from: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/02/18/2016-03331/effective-date-of-requirement-for-premarket-approval-for-total-metal-on-metal-semi-constrained-hip
  32. FDA. (2016, August 29). Class 2 Device Recall Stryker LFIT Anatomic V40 Femoral Head. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRes/res.cfm?ID=149782
  33. New Jersey Courts. (2017, May 30). Designation of New Jersey State-Court Litigation Involving Stryker LFIT CoCr V40 Femoral Heads as Multicounty Litigation. Retrieved from https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/notices/2017/n170601f.pdf
  34. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2017, April 5). In Re: Stryker Orthopaedics LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2768-Initial_Transfer-03-17.pdf
  35. Bellon, T. (2018, June 25). Federal Judge Closes Wright Medical Hip Implant MDL After Settlement. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/products-wright-medical/federal-judge-closes-wright-medical-hip-implant-mdl-after-settlement-idUSL1N1TR20C
  36. Bayles, C. (2018, August 29). J&J Hip Implant Plaintiffs Get $245M Judgment After Trial. Law360. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/productliability/articles/1078233/j-j-hip-implant-plaintiffs-get-245m-judgment-after-trial
  37. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2018, October 3). Zimmer M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis or M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis with Kinectiv Technology and Versys Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation. Transfer Order. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2859-Transfer-Order-09-18.pdf
  38. U.S. District Court, DIstrict of Massachusetts. (2018, November 2). Order Aiding Private Settlement. Inre: Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation. Retrieved from http://www.mad.uscourts.gov/worcester/MDL2768/2768%20Order%20Aiding%20Private%20Settlement.pdf
  39. 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
View All Sources
Who Am I Calling?

Calling this number connects you with Wilson and Peterson, LLP or one of its trusted legal partners. A law firm representative will review your case for free.

Wilson and Peterson, LLP funds Drugwatch because it supports the organization’s mission to keep people safe from dangerous drugs and medical devices.

(855) 396-3709