Stryker recently agreed to a $1.4 billion settlement for claims from people injured by a Stryker hip device. You must file a claim to receive a potential jury award or settlement. The deadline to file is March 2, 2015.
Researchers link metal hip implant components to widespread, debilitating injuries around the globe. People who filed lawsuits claim they suffered injuries such as tissue and organ damage, inflammation and metal poisoning as a result of several devices from leading manufacturers, including Stryker Corporation. In 2012, the company recalled its popular Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. But thousands of people who received the devices had already suffered severe injuries, which led to thousands of lawsuits.
In November 2014, Stryker agreed to settle several thousand claims related to both devices for $1.43 billion. But the amount is not capped, and attorneys expect the final payout to exceed this amount. New Jersey State Superior Court Judge Brian Martinotti and Stryker attorney Kim Catullo announced the settlement. This settlement encompasses cases in the New Jersey MCL and the Minnesota MDL. Depending on the nature of the injuries, plaintiffs could receive as much as $600,000 each.
Some plaintiffs will receive less if the claimant is deceased and some plaintiffs will receive more money if they required extraordinary medical help, such as multiple surgeries or infections. Complications suffered from revision surgeries also will be considered.
This settlement encompasses all claimants who had revision surgery before Nov. 3, 2014. Additional settlement terms may be negotiated for additional claims after this date, and Stryker did not report on how many claims will fall under the 2014 settlement. The first payouts should roll out in the summer of 2015 and continue through 2016. Claimants had until March 2, 2015, to be eligible.
The 2014 agreement does not cover any patients who have revision surgery after Nov. 3, 2014, and more hip recipients are filing claims. To settle additional claims, Stryker may need to make additional settlement arrangements or face more trials.
More people who suffered injuries linked to the devices may still be eligible to file legal claims. An experienced attorney can explain the process and help determine if you’re eligible to file a claim.
Terms of Stryker 2014 Settlement Agreement
The settlement agreement is for claimants who had the Rejuvenate or ABG II implants and had revision surgery before November 2, 2014. According to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee documents from the New Jersey Multi-County Litigation, only people who had implantation and revision in the U.S. or a U.S. military hospital qualify. Patients who had a revision after the November 2014 deadline may still proceed with a lawsuit against Stryker.
The revision surgery must be for one of the following reasons:
- High cobalt blood test
- Abnormal diagnostic scan
- Findings of tissue damage
Revision surgeries caused by trauma like a fall or broken implant are not eligible.
Base Settlement Awards
Each claimant is entitled to a $300,000 base award. Claimants with two hip implants get a base award of $600,000. These base awards may decrease or increase depending on the circumstances of the revision surgery.
Items that decrease award include:
- Age: Claimants that are 70 years old have a 5 percent reduction. The reduction goes up 5 percent for each 5-year increment in age until 85. For example, claimants older than or equal to 85 years of age have a 20 percent reduction in base settlement.
- Claimants who died before November 4, 2014 get a 30 percent reduction to the base award and will receive $210,000.
- Claimants who were advised to get revision surgery but could not because of health reasons receive $75,000.
Items that increase award include:
- Femur fracture with cabling or prosthetics: $100,000
- Hairline fracture: $40,000
- Muscle repair: $75,000
- Dislocations: $25,000 to $75,000
- Heart attack during hospitalization: $66,000 to $360,000
- Stroke during hospitalization: $85,000 to $516,000
- Death during hospitalization: $100,000 to $600,000.
If claimants had infections and required surgery and care, they may also get additional award amounts from $30,000 to $175,000. Maximum award for lost wages is $200,000.
Compensation for Stryker Hip Injuries
Injured patients filed thousands of Stryker hip cases in U.S. federal court and designated as multidistrict litigation. The 2014 settlement for $1.4 billion only applies to patients who had revision surgery before November 2014. But, attorneys are still taking cases for additional Stryker claims.
Although each case is unique, the plaintiffs share similar claims. They allege, among other claims, that Stryker was negligent in designing the devices and testing their safety. They also claim that Stryker failed to warn about the devices’ dangers and even concealed information about the risks of serious injury and death.
The law allows people who have been harmed because of a manufacturer’s negligence to recover a wide range of damages. Plaintiffs in Stryker hip lawsuits seek compensatory damages such as reimbursement of lost wages and the costs of revision surgery and other medical expenses. Where available, some plaintiffs also seek punitive damages to punish Stryker’s conduct. Plaintiffs who still have the devices implanted in their bodies have also requested medical monitoring so they can detect any adverse effects early.
Verdicts and Settlements History
In late 2013, Judge Martinotti ordered the first phase of mediation for multicounty litigation in Bergen County, N.J. Ten cases were scheduled to undergo mediation in December 2013 and January 2014. The court selected six of the cases, while counsel for the plaintiffs and defendants selected two cases each. According to news reports, Stryker settled with eight of these plaintiffs for an undisclosed amount.
Meanwhile, discovery began in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2441) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Judge Donovan W. Frank ordered the federal MDL plaintiffs to coordinate with the lead counsel in the New Jersey litigation to avoid duplicating discovery. Stryker negotiated a settlement in 2014 for $1.4 billion to settle these claims.
Experts said Stryker hoped to avoid the fate of Johnson & Johnson. The Big Pharma giant agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement of thousands of DePuy metal-on-metal hip lawsuits in November 2013. In the months leading up to the settlement, Johnson & Johnson experienced mixed results in its first DePuy hip trials and settled three cases in Nevada.
A regulatory filing by Stryker in October 2013 suggests the company originally expected to resolve a substantial amount of claims. The company estimated spending between $700 million and $1.13 billion, excluding third-party insurance, on litigation and other costs associated with the recalled Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. With this first settlement offer of $1.43 billion, the company already exceeded its estimate.
Because there are additional lawsuits not included in the 2014 settlement, attorneys say Stryker will either negotiate another settlement or settle individually with claimants.