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Biomet denied summary judgment in latest metal hip implant trial

A favorable ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr., in litigation involving allegedly defectively designed metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by Biomet will help move hundreds of plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation toward either their day in court or a resolution of their claims, said Navan Ward Jr., Beasley Allen attorney and co-lead counsel for the Biomet Plaintiffs Steering Committee. The favorable rulings by Judge Miller involve two bids by Biomet to dismiss certain claims in the multidistrict litigation that alleges the company’s metal-on-metal hip implants cause injuries to patients such as metallosis, a type of metal poisoning. The ... Read More

Witness tampering investigated in hip implant trial

A Texas federal judge asked two FBI agents and a federal prosecutor to interview witnesses about possible tampering in a bellwether trial involving Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics’ hip implants. The request was made after a plaintiffs’ attorney accused the pharmaceutical company’s attorneys of indirectly pressuring a doctor for the plaintiffs. “This is a serious matter that requires – you know – serious treatment and has serious ramifications,” said U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas during the hearing, adding he wouldn’t jump to conclusions but, “it is certainly disturbing and disconcerting to me.” The issue ... Read More

Small-Head Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Fail Frequently

Large-diameter metal-on-metal hips were thought to be an independent risk factor in hip failure, besides the material from which the prosthetic was made. But according to a recent study, adverse reactions to metal debris from small-headed metal-on-metal Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hips are even more common than originally thought. In the study, 482 hips (424 patients) were reviewed. After the ASR small-diameter hip was recalled at an average of 4.9 years post-op, 379 patients (435 hips) agreed to a screening that measured cobalt and chromium in the blood. Metal-on-metal hip implants are created with a ball-and-cup design made up of a cobalt-chromium ... Read More

Metal-on-metal hip implant settlement cuts Into Stryker Earnings

Profits for Stryker, a medical device manufacturing giant, have taken a 2.3 percent cut year-over-year when projections had predicted they’d be up by 14.1 percent. This is likely due to the number of lawsuits regarding the company’s Rejuvenate or ABG II modular metal-on-metal neck hip stems. Information about the earnings came about a month after Stryker announced that Howmedica Osteonics, its subsidiary, had reached a settlement with patients who required revision surgery to correct problems with their new Rejuvenate or ABG II metal-on-metal hips. The metal-on-metal hip implant designs, made by a number of medical device manufacturers such as Wright Medical, DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent company Johnson & Johnson; Smith & Nephew, and Zimmer Biomet ... Read More

J&J Says Hip implant Claims Should Have Never Made It to a Jury

Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics are moving forward with an appeal of last year’s bellwether trial verdict that awarded five plaintiffs $502 million, which was eventually reduced to $150 million. The plaintiffs are a small fraction of the thousands of cases that have surfaced, claiming metal-on-metal hip implants caused them pain, injury and metal poisoning. Most cases required revision surgery to replace the defective hip. The company has wilted in the courtroom, complaining that, during trial, it was subjected to prejudices as well as “outrageously inappropriate evidence and rhetoric.” J&J claims the jury was turned against it with statements saying it was “as evil as ‘big ... Read More

Wright Medical and MicroPort Orthopedics Accused of Hiding Defect in Hip Implant

Two cases filed against Wright Medical Technology Inc. and MiroPort Orthopaedics Inc. have been consolidated by a California federal judge. The lawsuit accuses the companies of hiding a crucial defect in their metal cup-and-ball hip implants. The two plaintiffs allege the Profemur Total Hip System broke “suddenly and catastrophically,” leading to emergency surgery that requires damaging the femur. In one case the Profemur implant lasted only 37 months, the other a mere 20 months. The lawsuit comes in the midst of Wright Medical’s multidistrict litigation (MDL) battle against claims that its Conserve Hip Implant, a metal-on-metal hip implant system, has been releasing metal ions into ... Read More

Indiana man claims DePuy Orthopaedics metal-on-metal hip implant is the source of ‘constant debilitating pain’

Just four days after a Texas jury awarded six plaintiffs a $1 billion verdict against DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson related to the company’s metal-on-metal hip implant, a new lawsuit is filed about a similar case. An Indiana man filed a lawsuit against DePuy, the maker of his metal-on-metal hip implant, saying it caused him “constant debilitating pain and instability” because of the “friction wear from the movement at the joint.” He received the hip implant in 2008, but was forced to have revision surgery just six years later to fix the agonizing problems. The metal-on-metal implants have been ... Read More

FDA Panel Says Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants are not recommended for Most Patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel of medical device experts convened recently, advising against metal-on-metal hip implants, just short of banning the device altogether. The panel also advised that any patients who have received the devices should be evaluated with an X-ray and blood tests, particularly if they are experiencing pain or other symptoms that might indicate device failure. In particular, blood tests would allow detection of metal in the bloodstream, which could result in metallosis, a dangerous condition of metal poisoning in the blood. The metal-on-metal hip designs, made by a number of medical device manufacturers such as Wright Medical, ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson Plans to Appeal $1 Billion hip implant verdict

It’s been a little over a month since DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, were handed a $1 billion verdict over their metal-on-metal hip implant system that has been known to shed metal debris. The federal jury found J&J responsible for failure to warn about the potential hazards linked to their hip implant products in the third bellwether trial of the multidistrict litigation (MDL). The verdict covers $30 million in damages and $1 billion in punitive damages. J&J and DePuy now plan to appeal the verdict, claiming they were not allowed to “properly and fairly defend against ... Read More

European Medical Device Regulations Tightened Due to Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Safety Concerns

New medical device regulations (MDR) have been put in place by European Parliament after four years of negotiation. The decision to tighten regulation was spurred by safety concerns over breast implants and metal-on-metal hips. The regulation amendments are expected to begin in early 2017, and medtechs will be allowed three years to comply. If the medical products fail to meet the new regulation standards, the manufacturer will lose their CE rating, which allows legal marketing of the product. The new regulations include stricter rules regarding clinical trials, quality management, and marketing necessities such as product labeling and design. Regulators will now inspect Class ... Read More