Biomet Hip Settlement Reached for $56M to Resolve Lawsuits

  • Written by: Austin Kirk

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An agreement has been reached to settle Biomet M2a Magnum hip lawsuits brought in the federal court system, with the manufacturer agreeing to pay $56 million to resolve cases alleging that design problems with the metal-on-metal implant caused them to require hip revision surgery.

There are currently about 1,000 product liability lawsuits pending against Biomet in the federal court system, which all involve similar allegations that individuals experienced problems with Biomet M2a 38 or Biomet M2a Magnum hip replacements, with many of the cases requiring the implant to be removed.

Since October 2012, the federal litigation has been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation, where the cases are being coordinated by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. for pretrial proceedings and a series of “bellwether” trials that were expected to begin next year.

According to an Order (PDF) issued by Judge Miller on February 3, a settlement agreement has been reached to resolve all cases in the MDL where individuals have required revision surgery. Biomet has agreed to pay a base amount of $200,000 to each claimant, with other factors impacting the individual allocation for each case.

The Biomet hip settlement will apply to each case confirmed and filed on or before April 15, 2014. Excluded from the settlement are claims made by plaintiffs who have not undergone revision surgery. However, if those patients do get their implants removed, they may then be eligible to take part in the settlement agreement. There at least 237 non-revision cases currently pending in the MDL, according to a joint agreement (PDF) parties submitted last week asking for a stay to be issued in those cases.

“Biomet is pleased to have reached this settlement and have the MDL resolved,” the company stated in a press release. “Biomet appreciates the guidance provided by Judge Miller to bring this litigation to an expeditions and efficient resolution.”

Biomet Magnum Hip Problems

The Biomet M2a Magnum is a metal-on-metal artificial hip replacement system. According to allegations raised in the complaints, the 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. This excessive wear makes the Biomet M2a Hip system prone to fail, leading to problems walking, pain, and frequently resulted in plaintiffs having to undergo revision surgery to have the device removed or replaced.

The company reportedly received hundreds of reports of failures not long after the implant was launched, and plaintiffs claim that should have resulted in a Biomet Magnum recall. As early as August 2004, Biomet received a complaint involving a patient who required additional surgery to remove and replace a Biomet M2a Magnum Hip that had become loose only three years after it was implanted. However, according to allegations raised in plaintiffs’ complaints, Biomet closed its investigation into the matter.

The Biomet hip lawsuits are similar to product liability litigation filed involving other metal-on-metal hip replacements, such as the DePuy ASRDePuy Pinnacle and Wright Conserve hip.

In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay at least $2.5 billion in Depuy ASR settlements to resolve about 8,000 cases brought against their DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary.

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  1. Patricia Reply

    I am wanting to get an update on the Biomet settlement

  2. Jim Reply

    Why do you think Biomet is excluding the Recap replacement from the $200000 settlement and only offering $20000?

  3. Curtis Reply

    Have had both my hips replaced one in 2004 and one in 2005. Know have metelosis . Have to have both taken out, had one revision already on sept 25th of this yr. It was not good , surgery lasted 8 and a half hours and I lost 5 ltrs of blood and my blood pressure dropped to 60 over 40. Almost bought the farm. My second hip surgery, I was walking in my driveway and felt some thing give. That was 2 months after the surgery and have been in pain and had lose of mobility for all these years. Had my bloodbtestrd for the metelosis and have many symptoms from the high levels. Have been turned down by two lawfirms for a lawsuit. Was told of the glass action lawsuit cut off date. But I have been online and some sites say you can still sue, has anyone found a lawyer to take a case from these dates.

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