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Claimants participating in a Stryker settlement for recalled Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants should begin receiving compensation by the end of this year, under an expanded deal announced late last year for individuals who required revision surgery prior to December 19, 2016.
A recall for Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hips impacted tens of thousands of individuals nationwide in July 2012, after the manufacturer acknowledged that a higher than expected number of implants were catastrophically failing, often as a result of fretting or corrosion at the point where the two metal pieces fit inside each other.
The longer the recalled hip implants remain in individuals’ bodies, the number of failures has continued to increase, causing more and more individuals to undergo risky revision surgery to have the dangerous device removed and replaced.
Following several years of litigating Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II lawsuits, the manufacturer originally announced a settlement in late 2014, which resolved all claims involving a revision on or before November 2, 2014. Under that Stryker settlement agreement, an average base payment of $300,000 was provided for each plaintiff, with several factors that may reduce the base award or increase it.
At the end of last year, the manufacturer agreed to expand the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II settlement, making individuals who required revision surgery through December 19, 2016 eligible for compensation.
According to a statement released by Stryker Corporation this week, 95% of additional eligible claimants have enrolled in the Settlement Program. As a result, the manufacturer will move forward with the second phase of the deal, indicating that the majority of all compensation payments will be made by the end of 2017.
As additional Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II implants fail in the coming months and years, it is widely expected that the manufacturer will need to expand the settlement again in the future.
The resolution of these cases stemming from the 2012 hip recall come as a new round of Stryker hip lawsuits begin to mount over problems with recalled LFit V40 femoral heads, which were removed from the market last year amid reports of loosening, instability, disassociation and other problems.
In August 2016, Stryker sent a notice to orthopedic surgeons about reports of problems with certain large diameter femoral heads, which are commonly used with Stryker Accolade hip stems, as well as other components.
As a growing number of these new hip replacement lawsuits have been filed throughout the federal court system involving implants with the LFit V40 femoral head, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established consolidated pretrial proceedings last month, centralizing the cases before U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani in the District of Massachusetts for coordinated discovery and bellwether trials, as part of a federal MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation. If the manufacturer fails to reach another Stryker hip settlement to resolve the LFit cases, each of the cases may later be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates.