Lawsuit Filed Over Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Failure
An Illinois couple has filed a product liability lawsuit after the wife’s Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip failed, alleging that the metal-on-metal hip resurfacing system was defectively designed.
The complaint (PDF) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on October 17, by Cheryl and Ken Elmore.
According to the lawsuit, Cheryl Elmore received a Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip on her right side on October 17, 2008, and alleges that she has suffered severe pain and permanent injuries that ultimately led to the need for hip revision surgery.
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Elmore indicates that she felt pain and a grinding sensation in her right hip where the Smith & Nephew Birmingham was used. She went to have it investigated by her doctors, who found that she had elevated levels of chromium and cobalt in her blood. An MRI found that there was a collection of fluid in and around the Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip and it was determined that the component had failed, particularly the acetabular cup and femoral head.
The Smith & Nephew Birmingham was the first metal-on-metal artificial hip system approved in the United States, with other manufacturers soon following to introduce similar models, which have now been linked to an increased risk of failure and complications.
Similar product liability lawsuits have also been brought over other metal-on-metal hip systems sold in the United States, including the DePuy ASR Hip, DePuy Pinnacle hip, Wright Conserve hip and Biomet M2A-Magnum hip.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Failures Have Impacted Thousands
Manufacturers have promoted metal-on-metal hip systems as a stronger and more durable alternative, but there have been increasing concerns in recent years about problems with metal-on-metal hip failures.
The devices have been found to be prone to loosen and fail prematurely due to the release of metal debris as the metal parts rub against each other. Thousands of individuals who received metal-on-metal hip systems have required revision surgery to have them replaced after developing metal blood poisoning, also known as metallosis.
In June 2012, the FDA convened a panel of independent experts to review the risk of failure associated with metal-on-metal hips. The panel determined there is little, if any, benefit provided by using metal-on-metal hips, and indicated that individuals who previously received one of the systems to obtain regular examinations to check on the condition of the hip, even if they are not experiencing problems. Those who develop symptoms of pain or other complications have been urged to obtain annual blood tests for signs of metal blood poisoning.
In Elmore’s lawsuit over her Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip failure, she indicates that the problems have left her suffering chronic, repeating fractures in her right acetabulum, and constant severe pain that requires her to use a cane or wheelchair. She also indicates that narcotic medications are necessary to deal with the pain caused by her failed hip surgery.
Cheryl Elmore charges Smith & Nephew of strict liability and negligence, while her husband Ken is charging the company with loss of consortium for the impact the problems have had on his relationship with his wife.
KathyJune 19, 2015 at 2:37 am
I also had the Birmingham hip with MANY issues. I'm now on anticonvulsants Topomax at 400mgs daily & narcotics for pain not to mention the permanent sciatic nerve damage after the revision in November 2013. I was told the Birmingham hip has some sort of protection from the FDA ???
StephanieMay 13, 2015 at 4:53 pm
I have had BHR implants in both hips. Left in 12/07 right in 9/08. On 4/20/15 I had my right revised due to severe metallosis, chromium and cobalt poisoning. Later this year I have the left revised as well. The degree of damage to my pelvic bone required bone grafting in order for the new socket to even be placed. To date, I have had numerous lawyers tell me they cannot represent me for at the ve[Show More]I have had BHR implants in both hips. Left in 12/07 right in 9/08. On 4/20/15 I had my right revised due to severe metallosis, chromium and cobalt poisoning. Later this year I have the left revised as well. The degree of damage to my pelvic bone required bone grafting in order for the new socket to even be placed. To date, I have had numerous lawyers tell me they cannot represent me for at the very least the cost of revision. Anyone else found any help?
NancyFebruary 24, 2015 at 7:36 pm
I have a smith and nephew Birmingham hip that has been revised 4 times. I had a pseodotumer that was removed and returned and a broken femur. I'm have been in constant pain since 2009 when I had the original replacement. I have to use a cane or wheelchair. I have been told that there is no legal help. Is there anything that can be done?
jillNovember 27, 2012 at 4:18 am
how can i find a law firm that will help me look into my claim against smith and Nephew? I thought that they were immune to lawsuits for the Birmingham impant?
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