Two National Recalls Prompt Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to Update Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Safety Concerns

GFI Blog LabelBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D., The Health Law Firm

On January 17, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an updated public health communication about hip replacement components that have both a metal ball and a metal socket, or metal-on-metal hip devices. This comes after two recent hip replacement recalls that are sparking thousands of lawsuits. Click here to read the FDA communication.

In August 2010, Johnson and Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics implemented a DePuy ASR hip recall, withdrawing more than 93,000 hip implants from the market. (Click here to read the press release on the recall from DePuy.) In July 2012, Stryker Orthopaedics implemented a similar recall on the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular neck components. (Click here to read the Stryker recall press release.)

Updated Information on Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants From the FDA. 

According to the FDA, in metal-on-metal hip implants, metal can be released into the body when two connecting components slide against each other. This can happen during daily activities. Metal release will cause some tiny metal particles to wear off of the device and into the space around the implant. Wear and corrosion at the connections may also occur. Some of the metal ions from the implant can enter the bloodstream. If this happens, patients can suffer from muscle, nerve and bone damage.

Click here to read more on metal-on-metal hip implants from the FDA.

Second Trial Over DePuy Hip Implant in Progress.

The president of DePuy testified during the second DePuy ASR hip trial. According to an article in Bloomberg News, the DePuy president said that the metal-on-metal hip implants were recalled because of a high rate of corrective surgeries required in patients, not because the device’s design was defective. Click here to read the Bloomberg article.

You may remember on March 8, 2013, in the first ASR hip recall trial, a California jury awarded the plaintiff $8.3 million in compensation damages after finding the ARS’s design defective. This result will have significant impact in the 10,750 other lawsuits against DePuy. Click here to read a previous blog on the first trial over the DePuy hip implants.

Stryker Orthopaedics Facing Similar Lawsuits.

As of February 2013, more than 80 lawsuits against Stryker have been consolidated into multicounty litigation (MCL) in the Superior Court in New Jersey. Stryker is currently in the process of sending out letters to surgeons urging them to perform clinical exams, such as blood work and cross sectional imaging, on any patient who had implants installed. Click here to read a previous blog on the Stryker lawsuits.

We’ve also learned some Stryker patients are being contacted by Broadspire. This company is trying to discuss settling with these patients. We want to encourage any metal-on-metal hip implant recipients to contact and experience attorney first, because there is still time to file a claim for injuries.

Contact an Attorney Experienced in Products Liability Litigation.

Although The Health Law Firm represents predominantly physicians and other health care providers, we are involved in products liability litigation. The Health Law Firm has recently undertaken plaintiffs’ products liability cases against the manufacturers of defective hip implants. We are now representing plaintiffs in a number of products liability cases involving both the DePuy hip and the Stryker hip implants. We are able to combine our knowledge of the health law industry with our litigation experience for the benefit of patients.

If you received a DePuy or Stryker hip replacement and have experienced pain, swelling, high levels of metal in your blood, a corrective revision surgery, or other complications, we may be able to help you.

To learn more about your legal rights, contact The Health Law Firm for a consultation by calling (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 or visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

What are your thoughts on these recalls? Are you a Stryker or DePuy hip implant recipient? Please leave thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Harris, Andrew and Voreacos, David. “J&J’s Ekdahl Says Hip Recalled for Clinical Reaons.” Bloomberg. (March 13, 2013). From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-03-13/depuy-chief-questioned-over-records-calling-asr-defective.html

Hooks, Beau. “Stryker Hip Replacement Lawsuits.” Drug Watch. (February 2013). From: http://www.drugwatch.com/stryker/lawsuit-hip-replacement/

Guilfoyle, Jeanine. “Stryker Initiates Voluntary Product Recall of Modular-Neck Stems.” Stryker. (July 6, 2012). From: http://www.stryker.com/stellent/groups/corporate/documents/web_prod/147504.pdf

About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

 

The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.

Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

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