Medical device company Biomet Inc. has agreed to pay at least $56 million to settle multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Indiana federal court claiming its metal-on-metal hip replacement devices were defective.
MDLs are special federal legal procedures designed to speed up the process of handling complex cases, such as product liability lawsuits.
Biomet disputes the fact that its devices caused people harm, however it agreed to set aside the money for MDL plaintiffs who qualify. The agreement resolves the MDL, which it has been fighting since October 2012.
Plaintiffs in the MDL who received either the Biomet M2a-38 or M2a-Magnum hip implant that later had to be removed and replaced due to premature failure will receive a base payment of $200,000; however, there are variations depending on a variety of court-approved conditions that could increase the amount of compensation.
Typical hip implants are made with ceramic or plastic parts and can last 20 years or longer before needing replacements. In the past decade, medical device manufacturers have started making hip implants with all metal parts with the impression that the design would make the implants more durable. It turned out to be a flawed design, resulting in premature failures and recalls of implants from Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, and Smith & Nephew.
Last November, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle nearly 8,000 lawsuits related to its metal-on-metal implant.