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.
Compensation for Stryker Hip Injuries
Injured patients filed thousands of Stryker hip cases in U.S. federal court and designated as multidistrict litigation. Many more lawsuits have been filed in state courts, including more than 2,000 cases that have been designated as multicounty litigation in New Jersey.
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, 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. The parties were also ordered to begin selecting cases for another phase of mediation.
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. Although the state and federal Stryker cases follow separate court rules, procedures and case schedules, any awards or settlements reached in one system can be expected to influence what happens in the other system.
Experts said with its $1.43 billion settlement in 2014, 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.
The company based its total cost on “the number of and actual costs of patients seeking testing and treatment services, the number of and actual costs of patients requiring revision surgeries, the number of and actual costs to settle lawsuits filed against us, and the amount of third-party insurance recoveries,” it said in its October 2013 quarterly filing.
If you were injured by a Stryker hip device, there is no guarantee that you will receive compensation. But it is a good idea to contact a qualified hip device attorney to help you understand your legal options.
These attorneys are familiar with defective device cases and developments in the pending hip device litigation. They can also help you file a claim, which is the first step in receiving any compensation for your injuries.