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According to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed against Stryker’s Howmedica Osteonics Corp., the Secur-Fit femoral stem and C-Taper LFit femoral head hip components are defectively designed, increasing the risk of fretting and corrosion, which may lead to illness and failure of the hip replacement system.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Lawrence Anderson and his wife, Joan, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on September 13, indicating that the Stryker Secur-Fit and C-Taper LFit hip implant is unreasonably dangerous.
According to the lawsuit, Lawrence Anderson underwent left total hip arthroplasty in January 2011, which involved implantation of a Secur-Fit femoral stem, a C-Taper LFit head, and a Cluster Acetabular Shell with a Trident insert. However, after a little more than a year, he began experiencing pain and stiffness in the hip. In June 2016, a laboratory report found high levels of cobalt and chromium in his blood.
“Plaintiff underwent partial revision surgery on October 29, 2016, at which time Plaintiff’s surgeon encountered severe tissue necrosis and black sludge corrosion at the interface of the trunnion interface,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff’s elevated serum cobalt and chromium persisted for a time after revision surgery.”
The lawsuit indicates that the combination of a titanium alloy stem with a cobalt/chromium femoral head is known to cause fretting and corrosion. The complaint indicates that the manufacturer moved forward with the design despite knowing these risks.
Stryker LFIT Problems
The lawsuit comes as Stryker faces hundreds of Stryker LFit hip lawsuits filed in courts nationwide, each raising similar allegations.
Given common questions of fact and law raised in the litigation, all cases involving problems with Stryker LFit components have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.
As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings, Judge Talwani has indicated that the first federal “bellwether” trial will commence in September 2019, to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.
Similar centralized proceedings were previously established in the federal court system following a 2012 Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II recall, which resulted in thousands of lawsuits brought by individuals nationwide. Following coordinated discovery in that litigation, the manufacturer agreed to pay more than $1 billion in hip implant settlements to resolve cases for individuals who required revision surgery after these recalled implant failed.