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Costs associated with recalled Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacements continue to hit the manufacturer’s profits, as an additional charge of $170 million was reported by Stryker Corp. late last week.
During an quarterly statement on Friday, Stryker reported net earnings of $213 million during the second quarter of 2013, which was down 34.5% from the same period last year.
Much of that drop was attributed to an unexpected charge associated with a recall issued last summer, involving the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip stems. The components were removed from the market only a few years after they were introduced, amid reports of early failure and other complications.
Several hundred Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuits have been filed by individuals throughout the United States who experienced problems after receiving their implant, and a growing number of patients are having their Stryker Rejuvenates fail the longer it remains in place, resulting in medical costs for treatment or revision surgery.
Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Lawsuits
Unlike traditional hip implants, which feature a single femoral component, the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II are modular neck-stems, featuring two pieces that fit inside each other to allow the surgeon to customize the length of the femoral component based on the patient. However, the design has been found to result in the release of microscopic metal debris as the chromium-cobalt neck rubs against the titanium femoral stem, which can cause the implants to corrode or fret at the modular junction, increasing the risk of inflammation and loosening of the hip implant.
Prior to removing the Stryker Rejuvenate from the market, more than 20,000 of the implants were sold and many patients are just now learning about the recall.
In June, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all product liability lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system involving a Stryker Rejuvenate or Stryker ABG II modular implant will be centralized for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
At the time the Stryker Rejuvenate litigation was centralized in the federal court system, there were about 41 complaints filed in 16 different U.S. District Courts. In addition, another 161 lawsuits are centralized in New Jersey state court, where many complaints have been filed since it is where the manufacturer’s head quarters are located.
As product liability lawyers continue to review and file additional cases in the coming months, the size of the litigation is expected to continue to grow.
Earlier this year, the manufacturer estimated that the costs associated with the Stryker Rejuvenate recall could be up to $390 million, including payments to cover medical treatment and personal injury settlements paid to individuals who received the defective hip implant.