Centralization Sought for Lawsuits Over Stryker Rejuvenate Hips in NJ

A request has been filed to centralize all New Jersey state court lawsuits over the recalled Stryker Rejuvenate modular hip system, asking that cases filed throughout the state be centralized before one judge for coordinated handling.

According to a Notice (PDF) provided to members of the New Jersey bar on October 18, an application has been made to designate all Stryker hip replacement lawsuits involving the Rejuvenate or ABG II modular hip stems as a Multicounty Litigation in the state.

The Multicounty Litigation designation, formerly known as a “Mass Tort”, would consolidate all of the cases before one judge. The procedure is commonly used in product liability lawsuits filed in the state where there are a large number of claims with common issues involving problems with a single product.

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Hip Replacements Lawsuits

Lawsuits are being reviewed for several different dangerous and defective hip replacement systems.

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Growing Number of Lawsuits Since Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Recalled

In July 2012, a Stryker recall was issued for the Rejuvenate and ABG II neck stems, due to a risk of fretting or corrosion at the modular-neck junction, which may increase the risk of pain, swelling and failure of the artificial hip replacement.

According to a request submitted last month by a group of plaintiffs who have brought a lawsuit over the Stryker Rejuvenate hips, there are currently at least ten cases pending in New Jersey involving personal injuries among individuals who received the recalled components. However, the number of cases is expected to continue to grow over the coming months and years, as a number of hip replacement lawyers are reviewing and preparing to file cases.

The Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Hip System was first introduced in February 2009. Although the hip replacements were designed to last 15 to 20 years, the manufacturer removed the modular implant system from the market just over three years later amid reports of premature failure, often requiring revision surgery to replace the artificial hip.

Unlike traditional hip replacement systems, which involve a single femoral component, the modular hip systems feature a two-part neck and stem design, which allows surgeon to customize the length to match certain patients.

According to allegations raised in many of the lawsuits, problems with the Stryker Rejuvenate modular neck-stem design causes metal debris to be released into the body as the components rub against each other, potentially causing metallosis, inflammatory reactions and loosening of the components. Plaintiffs also claim to have suffered necrosis of surrounding tissue, and a form of bone cell death known as osteolysis.

A large number of the lawsuits filed throughout the country are expected to be brought in New Jersey state court, as Stryker headquarters are located in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Plaintiffs have requested that all complaints filed throughout the state be centralized in Bergen County, arguing that it is where most of the currently filed cases are pending and that it is the most convenient and appropriate forum.


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