When metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants were first introduced in the mid 2000’s, they were hailed as medical breakthroughs that would last longer than traditional hip replacements, and allow patients to lead more active lives.
Unlike prior implants that used hard plastic, ceramic or even stainless steel components, these implants used advanced metals like cobalt,chromium and titanium for all major parts.
Unfortunately, however, this new technology turned out to be more harmful than beneficial to many patients. As these metal parts grind together under normal use, they produce tiny metal fragments that can be toxic to surrounding tissue or when released into the bloodstream.
Side effects range from bone and tissue loss to vision or heart problems. In many cases, patients must undergo painful revision surgery much earlier than expected.
Most troublesome is the fact that manufacturers didn’t properly test the safety of their own products or warn of the dangers before selling them to millions of patients.
Some of the most popular brands of metal-on-metal hip implants were:
Experts have linked severe metallosis side effects to all of these implants. By now, most have been recalled or are no longer in use. In addition, tens of thousands of victims have filed lawsuits.
The makers of the DePuy ASR, Stryker and Wright Medical hips have already paid billions of dollars in settlements to the patients affected. However, litigation continues for those who were implanted with Pinnacle, Smith & Nephew, Encore or Zimmer Biomet devices.
If you or a loved one received a Pinnacle, Smith & Nephew, Encore or Zimmer hip implant, it’s important to speak with a lawyer about the compensation available as soon as possible before your rights expire. Contact us today.
The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System was approved by the FDA in 2006 and has been used in more than 175,000 patients worldwide. Unfortunately, it has faced similar problems as other metal hips with metallic emission.
The U.K. based Smith & Nephew issued a warning to doctors for its BHR implants in 2015, saying there was a higher risk for premature implant failure, bone fractures or dislocation. In addition, the company issued a recall of its R3 Acetabular Hip Systems in 2012 and its Modular SMF and Modular Redapt Revision in 2016.
In May 2017, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that the growing number of Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip lawsuits be moved to a specialized federal court in the District of Maryland under the direction of U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake.
The litigation is known as MDL 2775, IN RE: Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation.
In March 2018, Judge Blake blocked an attempt by the company to dismiss claims, and has allowed lawsuits to proceed for injuries from any component of the BHR system.
Many of the lawsuits allege the defective hip systems caused early failure, tumors, complications, metallosis and painful revision surgery. As of September 17, 2018, 466 cases have been filed in the Smith & Nephew MDL court.
Although Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics recalled its Pinnacle metal hip implants from the market in 2013, the company has yet to agree to a total settlement with victims.
DePuy settled thousands of cases involving the 2010 recall of its ASR model hip implants, but has curiously chosen to fight similar claims over its Pinnacle MoM hips. As a result, the company has suffered heavy losses in the majority of trials so far. In the last three Pinnacle lawsuit trials, the following multi-plaintiff verdicts were awarded:
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has consolidated all Pinnacle metal hip lawsuits to the Northern District of Texas under U.S. District Judge James E. Kinkeade.
The litigation is officially known as MDL 2244, IN RE: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation. To date, more than 9,900 claims have been filed in this special DePuy Pinnacle MDL court.
Based on the magnitude of verdicts awarded to Pinnacle hip victims so far, lawyers believe it’s only a matter of time before the company agrees to a full settlement. Fortunately, those affected still have time to file a claim.
Metal-on-metal hip implants were mostly approved by a loophole in FDA regulations that allowed fast-track certification without new clinical testing to prove they were safe.
As a result, manufacturers rushed these products to market without comprehensive safety trials, and promoted them as being safe without having the data to prove it.
Studies conducted in the decade after metal hips were implanted have shown that the toxic microscopic metal particles produced from device friction can cause metallosis, or the build up of metal debris in soft tissues. This can lead to a number of health problems, including:
The FDA and doctors have urged patients who’ve received a metal hip implant and experienced any of these symptoms to speak with their doctor. In some cases, patients will need revision surgery to replace the defective implants that are emitting toxic metal.
FDA issues the comprehensive warning to consumers titled “Concerns about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants.”
U.S study shows severe heart failure in patient with elevated cobalt levels from bilateral metal hip implants
FDA issues final order requiring that new metal hip implant approvals submit a premarket approval (PMA) application, increasing the amount of safety testing needed.
Finnish study showed 54% of MoM hip implant patients had possible to definite adverse reactions to metallic debris.
Finland study finds metallic levels in patients with MoM hips were elevated 26 fold for cobalt and 15 fold for chromium 2 years after implant
FDA issues a Safety Communication warning for metal-on-metal hips
Indian study attributes retinal degeneration and vision loss to metallic poisoning from MoM implant
Dutch study shows 39% of MoM hip patients developed pseudotumors and 12% needed early revision
National Joint Registry study shows 6.2% of MoM hip implants failed within five years, compared to 1.7% for plastic and 2.3% for ceramic implants
The FDA first advised it was investigating metal hip implant failures
At DrugNews, we’ve successfully worked to help thousands of patients who’ve been the victim of injury from defective medical devices or pharmaceutical drugs.
Our lawyers are no different: They’ve been at the forefront
of metal-on-metal hip implant litigation since 2010 and have helped thousands of victims recover settlements from companies like DePuy, Stryker and Wright Medical.
Fortunately, help is still available for those patients that have suffered complications from the following metal hip implants:
However, it's important to choose a lawyer that specializes in defective medical product litigation and has experience in federal MDL venues.
Our lawyers will offer to come meet with you in person, will handle every aspect of your case so that you rarely have to leave home or work, and will fight to maximize the amount of compensation you receive.
Best of all, the entire process from lawyer consultation to filing a lawsuit is free of cost to you unless you receive an award.
Contact DrugNews today to talk directly with a lawyer and see how we can help.
Speak with a lawyer who specializes in the hip implant litigation.
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