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Biomet to pay $56 million to settle metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits

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 ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson to pay $2.5 billion to resolve thousands of ASR metal hip lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $2.5 billion to resolve more than 7,500 lawsuits involving defective ASR metal-on-metal hip implants made by its subsidiary DePuy Othopaedics. DePuy issued a worldwide recall on an estimated 93,000 of its ASR all-metal hip replacement systems in 2010 after reports that the devices were failing at a faster than expected rate. Traditional hip implants can last 20 years or more before needing to be replaced. However, a large number of DePuy’s ASR devices were failing in five years or less. Unlike traditional hip implants that are made with ceramic or plastic parts, the ... Read More

Cyclist files lawsuit against metal hip implant manufacturer

Mark Stephan was riding his bike with friends when he crashed and fractured two vertebrae. He was told he might never walk again. Yet, four years and a hip replacement later, Stephan defied the odds not only by walking again, but by completing a 3,200-mile cycling trip to raise money for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he was treated. The victory was short-lived, however. Last year he received a letter stating that the Stryker Orthopedic hip replacement he received in 2011 was recalled because it was defective. Stryker warned that the faulty all-metal hip implants were at risk of ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson considers $3 billion settlement for defective metal hip implant

Johnson & Johnson is considering shelling out more than $3 billion to settle lawsuits related to a faulty all-metal hip replacement system. The payout is about 50 percent higher than the company proposed in previous discussions, and would resolve as many as 11,500 lawsuits in the United States, at more than $300,000 per case. If accepted, the settlement would be the largest involving artificial hips. The lawsuits allege that the metal-on-metal ASR hip replacement system, made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, was defectively designed, which caused the devices to fail at a higher than expected rate. Thousands of patients ... Read More

Unexplained pain in patients with metal hip implants should be addressed promptly

Patients with failing metal-on-metal hip implants often complain of pain. New research shows the pain these patients are experiencing may be caused by tissue damage and not by wear of the implant. Traditional hip implants are made of ceramic or plastic parts, but a newer generation of hip implants introduced a decade ago featured an all-metal design. These metal-on-metal implants have recently been shown to fail at a higher than expected rate. The failures appear to be accelerated by the leeching of metal ions from the devices into surrounding tissue, causing tissue damage. The ions have also been found to ... Read More

Researchers unsure how to evaluate metal ion levels in patients with metal-on-metal hip implants

Blood tests to measure the amount of metal ions in the blood of patients with metal-on-metal hip implants are inexpensive and provide helpful information. But they do not provide definitive information whether an artificial hip is functioning poorly and is likely to fail, new research shows. Chromium and cobalt ion levels are generally elevated in the blood of patients with all-metal hip implants. Because the implants have been found more likely to fail than traditional hip implants, medical regulators say that patients with the devices should be monitored on a regular basis for signs of failure. That monitoring generally includes a ... Read More

Montana man awarded $8.3 million in first of 10,000+ DePuy metal hip implant lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics designed a flawed metal-on-metal hip replacement system and owes a retired prison guard from Montana $8.3 million in compensatory damages, a California jury decided in the first of more than 10,000 lawsuits regarding the devices to stand trial. Loren “Bill” Kransky sued DePuy arguing that the company failed to adequately test the device before marketing it in the United States. His lawsuit also claims the company covered up surgeon complaints of failures and considered redesigning the ASR model before ultimately deciding to stop making it in 2008. Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 DePuy ASR ... Read More

Rochester’s DePuy metal hip lawsuit will serve as example for other lawsuits

A lawsuit filed by a Rochester, NY woman against the manufacturer of an all-metal hip replacement system will serve as the example for more than 7,000 similar lawsuits across the country. Ann McCracken filed a lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics and it parent company Johnson & Johnson after her DePuy metal-on-metal artificial hip failed prematurely, requiring her to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the defective hip implant. Artificial hips are traditionally made with ceramic or plastic parts, but in the past decade manufacturers began making hip implants with all-metal parts. The design turned out to be flawed, resulting in ... Read More

August marks second anniversary of DePuy metal-on-metal hip replacement recall

August 26 marks the second anniversary of the worldwide recall of DePuy Orthopaedics ASR XL Acetabular Hip System and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which set in motion monumental concern over the safety of hip implants made from all metal parts. The ASR XL Acetabular Hip System first became commercially available in the U.S. in December 2005. The ASR Hip Resurfacing System was not commercially available in the U.S. but was sold in other countries. The recall affects an estimated 93,000 people. The recall was issued after mounting reports that the devices were failing at a higher than expected rates. ... Read More

Organic joint could one day replace artificial hips and knees

Researchers at the University Health Network in Toronto are working to find a biological cure for joints that become damaged by osteo-arthritis that may someday replace invasive knee and hip replacement surgeries. Dr. Nizar Mahomed and colleagues are conducting a series of experiments, one of which uses stem cells to create bone and cartilage, which they hope can be turned into a sort of organic joint implant that would fuse with existing tissue and regenerate diseased knees and hips. The prospect is intriguing, especially since thousands of people with arthritis seek relief from chronic pain with knee and hip replacement ... Read More