Nationally prominent personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today said that 95 percent of registered eligible patients are now enrolled in the Stryker modular hip settlement program. This program has been established to ensure that each injured patient will receive a share of more than $1 billion as compensation for problems encountered with Rejuvenate and ABGII metal-on-metal modular hip implants.
Weitz & Luxenberg, as the New Jersey litigation member of the Settlement Oversight Committee, said the word of the enrollment numbers was received in a letter from Stryker’s counsel in a letter dated June 12. The official announcement by Stryker of the settlement can be accessed at rejuvenatehipsettlement.com, the official website of the New Jersey Plaintiff Steering Committee.
The letter, from Kim Catullo, Esq., of Gibbons, P.C., Newark, New Jersey, thanked W&L and other law firms representing the eligible patients for their hard work at ensuring the impressively high level of enrollment. As a result, the settlement program can continue moving forward, the letter said.
“The settlement was only open to individuals who had a revision of the recalled stem and neck components or were deemed medically unrevisable but in need of a revision surgery prior to Nov. 3, 2014,” said Ellen Relkin, who is W&L’s lead counsel in the Stryker case and was the court-appointed liaison counsel and Chairperson of the Plaintiff Steering Committee.
“However, we intend to press for the same settlement terms for patients who had the recalled hips surgically removed thereafter,” Relkin said. “We continue to receive calls from clients who have metallosis and corrosion-based failures recently diagnosed and need to be surgically revised.”
Relkin said eligible patients can contact W&L by calling (833) 544-0604 or reach us online by using our form or live chat.
Significant Sums May Be Available to Stryker Hip Patients
According to Weitz & Luxenberg, enrollment of eligible cases into the settlement program opens the door for most injured patients to receive at least either $300,000 or $600,000, depending on the number of implants the patient has revised. Several thousand plaintiffs should begin receiving the first installment in the payments later this summer.
However, the amount is reduced the older the patient is, W&L clarified.
“The amount is adjusted down by five percent for a patient who is between 70 and 74, another five percent if the patient is between 75 and 79, then another five percent if the patient is between 80 and 84, and then it is reduced one last time — for a total of 20 percent — if the patient is 85 or older,” said Relkin.
Importantly, patients who suffered complications during revision surgery may receive significant additional compensation, Relkin said.
“The additional compensation is available not just for revision surgery complications but also for, among other things, future surgeries and treatments necessitated by complications of the revision surgeries,” Relkin remarked.
“I know I speak for our clients when I say how pleased W&L is with the very high participation rate in the settlement program, which made continuation of the settlement automatic per the terms of the agreement,” she offered.
Judges Apprised of Enrollment Figures
Accompanying the correspondence was a copy of a letter sent that same day to judges in New Jersey, Minnesota and Florida, where Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII metal-on-metal modular hip implants litigations were proceeding, she said.
The letter to the judges apprised them of the 95 percent enrollment number, W&L said.
“It was in November 2014 that patients injured by Rejuvenate and ABGII modular hip implants first learned that Stryker wished to settle by offering plaintiffs an amount that we now know substantially exceeds $1 billion,” said Relkin.
It took almost four months of talks to reach the settlement with Stryker —and many months of testing the waters before that until the negotiators sat down at the table to begin those discussions, W&L indicated.
Relkin described the talks as “intense but always cordial and professional.” Joining her on the New Jersey litigation’s plaintiffs’ side of the negotiating table were co-counsels C. Calvin Warriner of the firm Searcy Denney, West Palm Beach, Florida, Thomas R. Anapol of Anapol Schwartz, Philadelphia, and Tara Sutton of Minneapolis-based Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi.
The court appointed mediator Retired Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh, formerly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, helped the settlement negotiations stay on track, said Relkin.
Bergen County, New Jersey, Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti, who proactively encouraged the parties to settle and initiated the mediation program, announced the agreement that was ultimately reached, Relkin added. The announcement setting forth the details is available on the same NJ PSC website above.