There are more than 600 Styker Rejuvenate hip cases centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the federal court system. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank has just indicated that a small group of cases will be ready for trial in the summer of 2015.
This small group of cases, known as “bellwether” cases, are scheduled for early trials in order to get some preliminary idea on how juries react to these cases, so that the parties can make informed decisions regarding settlements. This is critical towards moving the litigation forward and ultimately resolving these cases. If the parties do not agree on the value of the claims, the cases do not settle.
It is unfortunate for the plaintiffs who have suffered injuries and additional surgeries to have to wait so long for their cases to be heard. But, by trying a few cases in the summer of 2015, it will give a clearer and honest look at just what the value of the cases look like. Maybe Stryker will get the message after hearing what the jurors have to say.
In addition to the cases filed in federal court, there are more than 873 cases pending in New Jersey state court, with additional claims filed in Florida state court. In New Jersey, all of the Stryker hip lawsuits have been centralized before one Superior Court judge as part of a Multi-County Litigation (MCL). MCLs consolidate the cases for discovery purposes, as there are similarities between the underlying cases, such as witnesses and evidence that will be common to all of these Stryker hip lawsuits.
Last year, in an attempt to see if the Stryker Rejuvenate cases could be settled, a mediation process was established. At least eight of the nine cases that have gone to mediation have agreed to settle.
All of the lawsuits involve similar claims regarding the fact that Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stems tend to corrode, leaving metal particles throughout the body, causing patients to experience osteolysis, tissue necrosis and many other complications that require replacement of the device and severe pain. Revision surgery is more difficult and takes longer to perform than the initial hip replacement procedure, according to the Orthopaedic Research Institute. The complaints against Stryker Orthopaedics include strict products liability, negligence and breach of warranties.
As we have been reporting to you over the past couple of years, Stryker first recalled the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular neck in July 2012 after the company determined that the metal hip stems could corrode and fret at the modular neck junction. The company has recommended that all Rejuvenate and ABG II recipients undergo blood and imaging tests to ensure that their hip stems are functioning properly, even if they have not experienced any symptoms of failing hip implant. Although a typical hip replacement is expected to last between 15 and 20 years, the defects with these products were detected in less than two years.
Over the past ten years, there has been an epidemic of dangerous and defective hip implant products being sold in this country. The dangers of these products have only been brought to the public’s attention in the past few years. DePuy maker Johnson & Johnson recently made offers to settle lawsuits involving nearly 8,000 patients for more than $4 billion. Don’t you think these patients should have received a higher award? Stryker believes the value of the cases is lower because they did not have a DePuy-like recall that was all over the media. However, the jury will see the evidence and make their decision.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of one of these defective products, it is not too late to contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878). You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.