The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants have been responsible for some of the most serious medical device failures in recent history. With more than 30,000 Stryker hip devices implanted in patients worldwide (20,000 in the United States alone), the revelation that these products pose such a high risk of complications and failure was a huge blow. Now, patients are fighting for Stryker to be held accountable for the harm caused by their unsafe product design.
In July 2012, Stryker voluntarily issued a full Stryker hip replacement recall of its metal-on-metal ABG II and Rejuvenate hip implant devices. Naturally, they also stopped manufacturing and distributing the implants. Unfortunately, because it took years for a trend of complications to appear, thousands were already ill or injured.
These products can no longer cause harm, but there are still many patients living with Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement devices that could cause problems and necessitate revision surgery at any time. The recall may have prevented new patients from receiving the faulty implants, but it did not protect them from the Stryker hip replacement lawsuit cases to come.
In most other hip implant device cases, the primary issue is one of debris caused by metal-on-metal action between the ball and socket of the joint. In case of the Stryker ABG II and Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant devices, the problem isn’t strictly the ball and socket, but the metal-on-metal grinding of the chromium-cobalt neck against the titanium coating of the stem. Chromium, cobalt, and titanium are all considered heavy metals; if these elements leach into the blood and tissues, it can easily be fatal.
The wearing down of the metal in these devices can have serious consequences in addition to the potential for hip implant failure. The debris from the grinding of parts can lead to tissue damage, corrosion, or metallosis, a condition in which the debris migrates to other places in the body, leading to things like inflammation, pseudo-tumors, accelerated device deterioration, and metal toxicity.
For a strikingly large percentage of patients—up to 50% of them, according to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Zann—revision surgery is required.
After a hip replacement surgery, it’s important to stay aware of your body and keep an eye out for red flags that suggest complications. Watch for signs and symptoms like the following so you can address problems before total failure occurs.
Keep in mind that symptoms of hip replacement failure often don’t appear for some time after implantation. You may not experience loosening or symptoms of other complications for 5-15 years after your surgery.
In the wake of the flood of complaints and the ABG II and Rejuvenate hip replacement recall, thousands of patients who suffered complications after implantation with these devices began to come forward with legal action against Stryker. The resulting thousands of lawsuits were condensed into two major multi-district litigations (MDLs): one to be heard by a federal judge in Minnesota, the other by a federal judge in New Jersey.
New litigation is still in progress; a hip replacement lawsuit from 2018 involving the company’s ABG II and LFIT V40 femoral head products is set to be heard starting in late 2019.
In November 2014, Stryker settled the thousands of ABG II and Rejuvenate product liability lawsuits for an impressive total of more than $1 billion. According to the terms of the settlement, each plaintiff in the MDL cases stood to receive as much as $300,000 in damages per hip implant device.
Although this settlement marked an important win for injured patients and product liability justice in general, Stryker hasn’t necessarily learned any lessons. Despite the disturbing trends and costly litigation, they have continued to deny any actual wrongdoing or liability in these Stryker hip lawsuit cases.
As recent Stryker hip replacement class action suits and MDLs continue to move through the legal system, the company will likely face further payouts.
The 2014 Stryker lawsuit was not the end of the litigation the company would face; years later, victims of faulty metal-on-metal devices continue to come forward and seek justice for the harm done.
If you received a Stryker ABG II or Rejuvenate hip implant device as part of a hip replacement surgery and have since experienced complications like loosening, pain, or metal toxicity, the expert lawyers at Saunders & Walker P.A. can help.
We’ll leverage our decades of litigation experience and in-depth knowledge of product liability law to build the strongest possible Stryker hip lawsuit case and get you the compensation you’re owed as a victim. To learn more about how we can help you or schedule a free consultation, call us today at (727) 579-4500.