Biomet Hip Replacement Lawsuit Filed Over Metal-on-Metal Problems

A Pennsylvania couple has filed a product liability lawsuit against the makers of the Biomet Magnum Hip Replacement System, alleging that the implant is defectively designed and that the metal-on-metal hip failed within the first year.

The complaint (PDF) was brought against Biomet, Inc., and some of its subsidiaries, by Samuel Selby and his wife, Edith, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 13.

According to allegations raised in the lawsuit, Samuel Selby experienced problems with a Biomet metal-on-metal hip replacement, which resulted in the need for revision surgery to have it removed after just one year.

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Selby received a Biomet Magnum implant in his right hip in January 2011. The complaint indicates that he subsequently developed problems with the hip replacement, resulting in debilitating pain, discomfort, soreness, dysfunction, loss of range of motion and a fluid build-up around the hip joint. The Biomet hip was removed in January 2012.

The lawsuit claims that Biomet knew that there were problems with metal-on-metal hip replacement systems, but falsely advertised the Magnum as a safe and effective product.

“Indeed, since the start of 2006, the FDA has received an increasing number of complaints involving patients in the United States that received Magnum Devices, with a number of these patients requiring complicated, expensive and painful revision surgeries with a prolonged recovery time,” the lawsuit states. “Notwithstanding these complaints, Defendants neither halted sales of the Magnum Device nor warned the public. Instead, they continue to aggressively market the Magnum Device as safe and effective, even though they were on notice of the large number of complaints received by the FDA.”

The Biomet M2a Magnum Hip is a metal-on-metal artificial hip replacement system, which has been the subject of a number of similar lawsuits brought by individuals who experienced problems within a few years, often resulting in the need for revision surgery.

In recent years, concerns have emerged about the safety of all metal-on-metal hip replacement systems. The metal-on-metal design causes excessive amounts of cobalt and chromium to corrode and wear from the surfaces of the acetabular cup, femoral head and taper sleeve as the metal parts rub against each other. According to allegations raised in the complaint, this excessive wear makes the Biomet M2a Magnum Hip system prone to fail.

Selby indicates that he has been permanently injured by severe metal poisoning, known as metallosis, from metal debris from the Biomet Magnum metal hip implant. He is seeking compensatory damages for permanent injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and future loss of earning capacity. The lawsuit also seeks damages for loss of consortium brought by his wife, as well as punitive damages as a result of the manufacturers actions

In addition to the Biomet Magnum hip, a number of similar hip replacement lawsuits have been brought over other metal-on-metal systems, including the recalled DePuy ASR hip, DePuy Pinnacle hip and Wright Medical Conserve hip.


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