Stryker Orthopedics in conjunction with Weitz & Luxenberg and other law firms on a Settlement Oversight Committee have announced the extension of a settlement program to compensate victims of recalled Stryker hip replacements. The program will now be open to individuals who underwent surgeries to remove the recalled implants since the last settlement date of November 3, 2014.
“This extension opens the door for many hundreds of people who suffered from these faulty devices to seek justice,” said Ellen Relkin, Practice Group Co-Chair of Weitz & Luxenberg’s Defective Drugs and Devices Department. “These victims will now be able to obtain meaningful compensation for the pain they endured from a product they thought would help them.”
The settlement specifically refers to individuals who received Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABGII modular hip implants. These implants – referred to as modular hip stems – can cause adverse tissue reactions, metallosis, necrosis, and the need for revision surgeries to remove the neck and stem of the implant. Stryker and its New Jersey-based subsidiary, Howmedica Osteonics, issued a recall of the hip implants in 2012 due to a high failure rate caused by metallic corrosion and debris of cobalt and chromium, causing tissue and muscle damage and leading to complex revision surgeries.
The current settlement program applies to the Multi-County Litigation in New Jersey and a Federal Multi-District Litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota as well as individuals who have not yet filed suit.
Settlement values have a general base of $300,000, with higher compensation for individuals who suffered from associated complications requiring additional surgical or medical treatment. The settlement also compensates at a lower amount individuals who need revision surgery but are medically unable to safely withstand the risk of surgery.
In its coverage of the announcement, Law360 noted that the process for settling cases has become much more efficient for plaintiffs. The article quoted Relkin, who said, “learning from procedural obstacles from the first settlement, we were able to change some terms to deliver a more efficient and quicker payment process for this new round of settlements. Hundreds of patients who underwent revision surgeries of their Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hips will be pleased that they are finally getting compensated for their injuries.”
Shortly after the recall of the implants was announced in 2012, Weitz & Luxenberg filed the first lawsuit against Stryker and Howmedica in New Jersey, acting as local counsel for the Florida firm of Searcy Denney. The case was later granted Multi-County consolidation status and Ms. Relkin was appointed by the Honorable Brian Martinotti as liaison counsel and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
Weitz and Luxenberg represents more than three hundred recipients of the recalled implant.