Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans undergo total hip replacement surgery to alleviate pain and restore function in their hips. Florida alone accounts for nearly 10 percent of all total hip replacement surgeries performed every year. These surgeries are rather complex and if the implanted device fails the symptoms can be debilitating.
Stryker Corporation manufactures hip implant devices. Recently, Stryker was forced to settle hundreds of lawsuits in a mass tort action due to the failures of their recalled LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Head hip implant devices. The devices were known to cause metal shavings to be introduced into the body often causing permanent disability.
The hip is a ball and socket joint where the femoral head, the ball, fits into the acetabulum of the hip, called the socket. In a total hip replacement the femoral head is cut off and a metal stem is placed inside the femur itself. On top of the stem is a new ball joint, usually made of plastic, that is attached inside the socket.
The difference with the LFIT V40 is that the head is made of a cobalt chrome metal alloy. The cobalt chrome head was meant to give the patient added mobility, but was recalled due to a high frequency of failures and injuries. Specifically, the cobalt chrome head would rub against the titanium stem causing metal shavings and debris to enter soft tissue resulting in metallosis or in more severe cases, catastrophic failure of the entire device. A failure of the device can cause a lack of stability and mobility and often patients note a painful popping sensation. The most common indicator is extreme pain and sickness.
The terms of the settlement are strictly confidential but the total value may be similar to Stryker’s previous settlement regarding their faulty Rejuvenate device. The Rejuvenate settlement totaled over $1 billion spread across a couple thousand plaintiffs. This begs the question; did Stryker have notice that the LFIT V40 was defective? If so, punitive damages may have been warranted, which is another reason that Stryker may have chosen to settle in order to avoid a trial and public backlash.
If you have had a hip replacement and your hip implant has failed, you may have a case depending upon the circumstances. Reach out to the trial attorney’s at Abrams Justice for a free consultation. We will tell you the truth, and if you have a case we will be your voice in court.