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Stryker Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Medical device maker Stryker paid $2 billion to settle lawsuits over two models of its hip implants in 2014. In November 2014, the company agreed to yet another settlement over its LFIT V40 Femoral Head component.

Court documents show that people from across the country experienced similar complications from several types of Stryker hip replacements.

At least six models of Stryker hip implants or their components have been named in lawsuits. Three brands — Rejuvenate, ABG II, and LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral heads — have been included in multidistrict litigations (MDLs).

People who sued Stryker claimed faulty hip implants caused severe pain and other complications that required additional surgery to repair. The lawsuits claimed metal parts in the implants released toxic metal ions into the body.

One man filed a lawsuit after he required revision surgery less than two years after receiving a Stryker hip replacement. Branko Obradovic told the Palm Beach Post that he couldn’t sit for long periods of time and getting out of a car was an ordeal.

“I’m very angry about the whole thing,” Obradovic said in 2013. “They should know what they are putting in someone’s body.”

LFIT V40 Femoral Head Lawsuits

Mern Direnzo received the Accolade TMZF and LFIT Anatomic V40 Femoral Head in October 2009. Following the hip replacement, blood tests showed high levels of metal ions in her blood and urine. She underwent a revision surgery to remove the device. Direnzo filed a lawsuit in 2014.

“[Stryker] failed to adequately design and manufacture the device to insure that it would not fret, corrode, erode, deteriorate and induce severe metal toxicity in patients,” Direnzo’s attorneys wrote in her complaint.

Hundreds of others have filed lawsuits over Stryker’s LFIT V40 femoral head hip components. Stryker recalled 42,519 LFIT V40 components in 2016, citing “higher than expected” complication rates.

Both sides announced an initial settlement agreement on November 2, 2018. At the time, there were about 457 lawsuits pending in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Minnesota federal court. The first trial was not expected until late 2019. Federal court documents showed the agreement would also include another 100 lawsuits combined in a New Jersey state court. Those cases were part of a multicounty litigation (MCL).

Terms of the settlement were confidential as both sides finalized an agreement.

Injured by a Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant? Get a Free Case Review

$2 Billion Rejuvenate and ABG II Settlement

In April 2012, Stryker recalled nearly 44,000 Rejuvenate and 9,000 ABG II implants. The company sent out an Urgent Field Safety Notice that warned “fretting and/or corrosion” could lead to “metallosis, necrosis, and/or pain” for people implanted with the devices.

That same year patients, such as Tracy Sponer of North Little Rock, Arkansas, began suing Stryker.

Sponer had a Rejuvenate hip implanted on Sept. 6, 2011. A year later, she was forced to have revision surgery after the hip failed. In her lawsuit, Sponer claimed the failure and revision surgery caused her ongoing mental and physical pain.

Her complaint accused Stryker of “flagrant disregard for human life” and asked the court to award punitive damages to punish the company.

In 2014, Stryker agreed to pay $1.43 billion to settle thousands of cases. It extended the settlement to more patients in 2016, raising the total settlement amount to somewhere between $2 billion and $2.2 billion. The average amount paid for each problematic hip implant was $600,000.

Under the settlement, the deadline to file a lawsuit over those hip replacements was March 2017. Stryker expected all settlement payments to be delivered by the end of 2017.

As of September 2018, there were still 1,255 lawsuits pending in a Minnesota federal court as part of the Rejuvenate and ABG II multidistrict litigation. Almost 800 cases over ABG II hip replacements were also still pending in a New Jersey multicounty litigation in May 2018.

Timeline of Rejuvenate & ABG II Litigation
  • July 2012
    Stryker issued a market withdrawal of all Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants worldwide after the company alerted doctors to potential health complications of the hips.
  • August 2012
    The first lawsuit was filed in New Jersey state courts.
  • June 2013
    U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation combined federal lawsuits into Minnesota federal court.
  • December 2013
    The first trial was canceled as Stryker offered to settle.
  • November 2014
    The company offered a $1.4 billion settlement.
  • December 2016
    Stryker extended the settlement.
  • March 2017:
    The time period to apply for the settlement ended; Stryker promised to have all settlement payments sent out by end of year.
  • September 2018
    Roughly 1,255 lawsuits remained pending in federal court in Minnesota.

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
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16 Cited Research Articles

  1. Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County. (2014, May 5). Mern Direnzo and Robert Direnzo v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.; Complaint. Retrieved from https://45ijagbx6du4albwj3e23cj1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014_05_23_14_06_55.pdf
  2. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. (2012, November 7). Tracy Sponer v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.; Complaint and Jury Demand. Retrieved from https://www.aboutlawsuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2012-11-07-Sponer-Complaint.pdf
  3. Stryker. (2016, August 29). Urgent Field Safety Notice: RA 2016-028; LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads. Retrieved from https://www.hpra.ie/docs/default-source/field-safety-notices/october-2016/v29355_fsn.pdf?sfvrsn=2
  4. Stryker. (2017, March 13). Urgent Field Safety Notice: RA 2016-028 – Update; LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads. Retrieved from https://www.hpra.ie/docs/default-source/field-safety-notices/april-2017/v29355_fsn2.pdf?sfvrsn=2
  5. 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/
  6. 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/
  7. Stryker. (2016, December 19). Settlement Agreement Between Howmedica Osteonics Corp. and the Counsel Listed on the Signature Pages Hereto Dated as of December 19, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.strykermodularhipsettlement.com/docs/master_settlement_agreement12.19.16.pdf
  8. Stryker. (2016, December 19). Stryker Orthopaedics To Compensate Additional Eligible U.S. Patients Who Had Surgery To Replace Their Rejuvenate Modular-Neck And/Or Abg Ii Modular-Neck Hip Stems. Retrieved from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=118965&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=2230617
  9. Voreacos, D. & Feeley, J. (2014, November 4). Stryker to Pay More Than $1 Billion for Recalled Devices. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-11-03/stryker-to-pay-more-than-1-billion-for-recalled-devices
  10. U.S. District Court District of Minnesota. (n.d.). Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2441. Retrieved from http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/MDL-Stryker/introduction.shtml
  11. U.S. District Court District of Minnesota. (n.d.). Stryker Rejuvenate - MDL 13-2441. Retrieved from http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/MDL-Stryker/index.shtml
  12. New Jersey Courts. (2017, November 21) Stryker LFIT Caselist. Retrieved from https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/attorneys/assets/mcl/strykerlfit/caselist.pdf
  13. New Jersey Courts. (2017, December 18). ABG Stryker Caselist. Retrieved from https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/attorneys/assets/mcl/abgstryker/caselist.pdf
  14. Stryker. (2018, May 22). Product Safety Notification. Ministry of Health (Italy) - Ministero della Salute. Retrieved from http://www.salute.gov.it/imgs/C_17_AvvisiSicurezza_8117_azione_itemAzione0_files_itemFiles0_fileAzione.pdf
  15. 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
  16. 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
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