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With a growing number of Strkyer LFit V40 hip lawsuits being filed throughout the federal court system over the recalled femoral head component, a request has been filed to consolidate the litigation for centralized pretrial proceedings.
A motion (PDF) was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) by plaintiffs on January 13, seeking to transfer cases pending in U.S. District Courts nationwide to one judge for coordinated discovery, pretrial motions and a series of bellwether trials.
There are currently only about six product liability lawsuits filed over problems linked to the Stryker LFit v40 femoral head, which was removed from the market last year due to an increased risk of premature failure, corrosion and cobalt metal blood poisoning. However, as hip replacement lawyers continue to review and file claims for individuals who had to undergo revision surgery after receiving the implant, it is expected that hundreds of additional lawsuits may be filed in the coming months and years.
“Plaintiffs contend that Stryker knew for years that the LFIT V40 femoral heads were defective and dangerous but instead chose to downplay the risk of using such device and failed to properly warn the hundreds of physicians implanting these devices into thousands of patients across the country,” the motion filed by plaintiff Robert O’Hare states. “Plaintiffs further claim that the LFit V40 femoral head was defectively designed, manufactured and marketed by the defendants resulting in serious and significant injury to consumers.”
The motion suggests that all of the cases and any future lawsuits involving similar claims be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues in the cases, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the judicial system.
Stryker LFit V40 Hip Recall
A Stryker LFit V40 recall was first announced as part of a hazard alert issued by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, indicating that certain large-diameter femoral heads manufactured before 2011 may experience taper lock failures, which can result in loss of mobility, pain, inflammation, adverse local tissue reactions, dislocation and the need for revision surgery, among other complications.
The action was taken after an investigative report published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in August 2016, which outlined five cases of catastrophic failure with Stryker Accolade and LFit V40 combinations, which noted that there was extensive corrosion in the V40 head and Accolade stem that caused the stem to fracture at the stem/head juncture.
In 2014, the first Stryker hip lawsuits were filed by individuals who experienced problems after receiving an Accolade hip implant together with the LFit V40 femoral head, alleging that the components were defectively designed and manufactured.
If the cases are consolidated as part of a federal MDL, all pending and future cases will be transferred to one judge. However, if Stryker hip recall settlements are not reached following the coordinated discovery and any bellwether trials, each individual complaint may be remanded back to the court where it was originally filed for an individual trial date in the future.
The U.S. JPML is expected to consider oral arguments on the motion during an upcoming hearing set for March 30, in Phoenix, Arizona.