On November 3, 2014, a global settlement program involving Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABGII modular hip implants was executed before and announced by Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Bergen County, New Jersey. The settlement was finalized after four months of negotiations before retired United States Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh of JAMS in Philadelphia. Stryker and plaintiffs’ counsel appointed by Judge Martinotti —Ellen Relkin of Weitz & Luxenberg, NYC; Cal Warriner of Searcy Denney, West Palm Beach, FL; Thomas R. Anapol of Anapol Schwartz, Philadelphia; and Tara Sutton of Minneapolis-based Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi L.L.P —reached agreement on behalf of an estimated 3000 patients who were implanted with the modular Rejuvenate or ABGII implants and have undergone a revision surgery. Counsel from the parallel federal Multi-District Litigation proceedings in Minnesota subsequently joined the negotiations and are signatories to the Agreement. Tobias Millrood and David Buchanan, the other members of the NJ PSC, played key roles advancing the discovery and bellwether trial process, serving as a catalyst to the settlement.
The settlement provides for gross base awards of $300,000 per failed implant and provides for significant additional compensation for claimants who suffered complications during revision surgery and for other damages, including future surgeries caused by complications. The settlement also provides compensation for individuals who need a revision but are medically unable to undergo the surgery. There is no overall cap or fixed fund for Stryker’s liability under this settlement program, and the settlement payments are expected to exceed $1 billion. Claimants will begin receiving their awards the summer of 2015.
Stryker Orthopedics of Mahwah, New Jersey issued a voluntary recall of its modular Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip stems on July 3, 2012, due to fretting and corrosion near the modular neck-stem junction of the implant that results in adverse tissue reactions, metallosis, necrosis, and the need for revision surgeries. The first lawsuit against Stryker Orthopedics was filed in Bergen County in August of 2012. On January 15, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court designated the Stryker litigation as Multi-County litigation and assigned all of the individual cases to Judge Martinotti.
Early in the litigation process, Judge Martinotti established a unique, bellwether mediation process that resulted in individual settlements of 21 cases. The parties credit the NJ bellwether mediation process as precipitating the lengthy negotiations and, ultimately, the global settlement.
The Settlement Oversight Committee of the New Jersey Plaintiff Steering Committee directs interested parties to Stryker’s official settlement website at http://www.strykermodularhipsettlement.com/ as well as to the website of the NJ PSC at http://RejuvenateHipSettlement.com for additional information and a copy of the full settlement agreement.