Settlements for Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Claims Continue to be Reached

A New Jersey court ordered mediation program continues to result in the successful settlement of Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuits, resolving claims over the recalled hip replacement early in the litigation process.

There are currently more than 1,500 product liability complaints pending in New Jersey state court involving the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip systems, which were removed from the market in July 2012 due to a risk that the implant may corrode, fret and ultimately fail within a few years.

Unlike traditional hip implants, which feature a single femoral component, the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II contained a modular neck-stem, with two pieces that fit inside of each other to allow the surgeon to customize the length of the femoral component based on the patient. However, the design has been linked to an increased risk of problems that may result from the release of microscopic metal debris as the chromium-cobalt neck rubs against the titanium femoral stem.

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Hip Replacements Lawsuits

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

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As part of coordinated pretrial proceedings before Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Bergen County, a Stryker Rejuvenate mediation program has been established in an attempt to resolve cases prior to the first bellwether trials, which are expected to begin next summer.

According to a case management order (PDF) issued following a status conference last month, at least 17 of the 18 cases that have gone through the mediation process in New Jersey state court have settled, with three more cases scheduled for this month.

Given the success in settling Stryker Rejuvenate claims, Judge Martinotti is expected to select an additional ten cases next month, which will move forward through the mediation program.

Stryker Rejuvenate Litigation Status

In addition to the the Stryker Rejuvenate claims pending in New Jersey state court, about another 1,000 lawsuits have also been filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country, which have been consolidated as part of an MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) that is centralized before U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank in the District of Minnesota.

An estimated 20,000 implants were sold before the Stryker Rejuvenate recall was issued in July 2012, so additional cases are expected in the coming months and years, as additional individuals experience problems with their hip replacement.

All of the claims raise similar allegations that the manufacture sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous implant.

While mediation efforts continue in both the MDL and New Jersey litigation, a small group of claims are being prepared for early trial dates, known as “bellwether” trials. These cases are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

While the outcomes of these Stryker Rejuvenate trials will not be binding on other lawsuits, they may promote further settlements or agreements to resolve larger numbers of cases. If the litigation is not settled through the mediation program or following the series of bellwether trials, hundreds of individual claims may be scheduled for trial dates throughout the country.

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