Thousands of patients suffering from hip problems have undergone full or partial hip replacement surgery. In most cases, the surgery goes well and the hip replacement device functions as expected. For patients who received Biomet metal-on-metal hip implants, however, what was supposed to be a beneficial surgery can become a painful, costly ordeal.
The primary problem with devices like the Biomet M2a-Magnum hip implants is the use of metal-on-metal (MOM) articulation in their design. The human hip is basically a ball-and-socket joint, and artificial implant devices are built in much the same way. In the devices identified in Biomet lawsuit settlements, the ball, socket, and stem are made from metal that is not protected by a coating or cushion layer.
The problem with this metal-on-metal design is that the metal parts can grind against each other in a damaging way, even with normal use. Over time, this grinding can create harmful metal debris and completely destabilize the joint, leaving the patient at risk of catastrophic hip failure and other issues.
Despite these concerns and numerous adverse event reports, a Biomet metal-on-metal hip recall was never issued by the manufacturer or the FDA. In 2016, after much concern about metal-on-metal devices, the FDA changed their marketing requirements and required all manufacturers to stop marketing existing devices.
Since the requirements were tightened, no metal-on-metal hip replacement systems have been approved by the FDA.¹ Biomet has also since merged with Zimmer to become Zimmer Biomet, and the hip implants they currently offer are designed to avoid metal-on-metal grinding.²
If a patient’s hip replacement wears down, it may become unstable and make it difficult to walk and move normally. If the device fails completely, the patient can fall very suddenly and sustain serious injuries. At this point, the patient will need to undergo revision surgeries to replace the defective implant and attempt to repair damage caused by the failure.
These surgeries can be quite costly, and patients may have to go through several rounds of surgery and recovery to achieve optimal results. Many patients need help from a Biomet hip replacement attorney to seek compensation for their injuries.
Other physical effects of a deteriorating hip replacement device may include:
Over the last decade or so, there have been thousands of lawsuits filed by Biomet hip replacement attorneys against the manufacturer. Cases have argued that Biomet caused harm and overlooked known issues and rushed production, resulting in unsafe products that caused a variety of harm.
Because there was never a Magnum hip replacement recall, lawsuits have argued that implant recipients were never made aware of potential risks. As a result, they were unable to prevent or treat complications that might otherwise have been addressed. Individuals were never warned that their implant may suddenly fail, leading to expensive revisions.
Saunders & Walker P.A. has also taken part in the litigation. In 2012, we filed a Biomet metal-on-metal hip lawsuit on behalf of a Florida couple who suffered losses related to a faulty M2a-Magnum hip system. We continue to help victims file cases and settlement claims in state and federal courts regarding these devices.
The good news is that thousands of Biomet hip implant cases have already been settled with individuals and law firms around the country. In 2014, the company agreed to pay a minimum of $56 million to settle over 2,800 cases in a multi-district litigation involving M2a-Magnum devices.³
As more victims continue to come forward with injuries from metal-on-metal hip implants, the newly merged company Zimmer Biomet is likely to face further legal pressure. The fact that Biomet agreed to settle the previous cases bodes well for future lawsuits.
If you’ve had your hip replaced and received a Biomet Magnum hip replacement, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be harmed by it. If you are worried about possible risks, however, there are a few things you can do:
At Saunders & Walker P.A., our experienced personal injury lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you deserve as a victim of a faulty hip replacement. You may be eligible for compensation, including medical expenses and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
We’ll help you determine whether or not you have a good case for a lawsuit, then take you through the process of filing a claim. We will do everything possible to simplify the process of getting the compensation you deserve.
Worried about whether you can afford an attorney? Our contingency policy means that hiring a lawyer is completely free. We offer a free case evaluation, so you won’t have to put any money down up front, and you don’t have to pay us unless we successfully recover damages in your case. To get started, contact us online or call (727) 579-4500 and schedule a free consultation with a Biomet hip lawyer today.