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An agreement has been reached to settle all Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip lawsuits, which will result in the manufacturer of the recalled implant paying more than $1 billion to resolve claims brought by individuals who required revision surgery through the beginning of this week.
The cases stem from a Stryker hip recall issued in July 2012, which impacted an estimated 20,000 modular implants that were found to carry a risk of fretting, corroding and ultimately failing within a few years after they were implanted.
Unlike traditional hip implants, which feature a single femoral component, the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II implants featured 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.
As the chromium-cobalt components rubbed against each other during normal daily activities, the implant design has been found to release microscopic metal debris, often leading to catastrophic failure of the hip replacement and the need for risky revision surgery.
More than 4,000 product liability lawsuits are currently filed against Stryker over the recalled implants, but the number has been steadily growing since the recall as additional claimants step forward after experiencing problems with their Stryker Rejuvenate hips.
About half of the cases filed nationwide are now pending in New Jersey state court, with the other half pending in the federal court system, where the litigation has been centralized as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, before U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank in the District of Minnesota.
Following a last-minute status conference held late yesterday afternoon, Judge Frank issued an order (PDF) on Monday, detailing some provisions of the Stryker Rejuvenate settlement agreement.
A Claims Administrator and Special Masters were appointed to help implement certain parts of the settlement, and a stay on all discovery in the litigation has been ordered until September 2015.
The settlement is expected to result in a base payment of $300,000 for each Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II plaintiff who underwent revision surgery on or before November 2, and otherwise qualifies for the settlement. There will be several factors that may reduce the base award, including the plaintiff’s age, prior hip revision surgeries and other related health conditions. In addition, individuals who suffered catastrophic injuries will be able to pursue additional compensation under the settlement if they meet several eligibility requirements for “enhancements.”