Complexities related to hip replacements are nowhere near as rare as you might think. Complicated and risky as they are, these surgeries can cost thousands of dollars and even more if something goes wrong for treatments and additional corrective surgeries. Money is not the only “expense” for someone who, for example, received a defective hip implant. Revision surgeries have long recovery times, and the pain and suffering a patient must endure takes a toll on psychological and emotional stability in addition to potential financial breakdown.
However, it is not all bad news. When such an unforeseen situation does occur, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the faulty device and receive compensation. While compensation cannot speed up the recovery period, it does take some of the burden away for paying medical bills and pain and suffering. Filing a lawsuit under such circumstances is not uncommon so the patient, whether you or your loved ones, should immediately consult a professional attorney who specializes in handling such cases.
Companies Reputed for Producing Faulty Implants
Before, only metal-on-metal (MoM) implants were available for hip replacements, but in the last decade alone, new implant materials like plastic, polymer and ceramic were introduced. Problem is, with more options also came more complexities. Suits against manufacturers are claiming that there was a failure to provide enough information about the defects and dangerous side effects of their hip implant devices. Some companies that have already paid huge amounts of dollars in lawsuit settlements are mentioned below.
Stryker Orthopedics: This company has the most recent history of paying for faulty products. In November 2014, Stryker ended up paying about $1.43 billion as compensations. The two products famous for this huge fiasco are ABG II and Rejuvenate.
DePuy: DePuy offers around 200 products but it has often been sued for two of its MoM items: the Pinnacle and ASR brands. Both of these brands are produced for DePuy by Johnson & Johnson and have often associated with implant displacements and infections. Surprisingly, this mainly seems to affect younger patients. DePuy has paid up to $200,000 per claimant as settlement.
Zimmer: Zimmer’s Durom Cup (formally known as Durom Acetabular Component) alone has caused so much trouble in the past 7 years that the company was forced to concentrate on its other products.
Biomet: As the innovator of M2a Magnum Hip replacement system, Biomet had offered durability unlike anyone else’s, but the same system has caused the company to pay more than $54 million as settlements since 2010.
Identifying Faulty Replacements
To file a lawsuit against a manufacturer, you must first realize that your body is rejecting the implants through no fault of your own. Hip replacement surgery is required when the natural connection or bond at the hip deteriorates, so it should not be too difficult to notice the similar problems after you have had the surgery.
Joint Displacement: This is the most obvious sign of failed or faulty implants. Severe pain accompanies these displacements and can occur even years after the original surgery. In this case the sooner, the better (comparatively).
Sudden Pain: If your joints stay in position, but you still feel sudden and extreme pain then there is a high possibility that your bone(s) has fractured. Implant inflexibility is the main reason for bones to fracture. But it is easy to detect through an X-ray examination.
Swelling: Swelling is almost always accompanied by high fever and nearly always indicate some kind of infection. Infections could be critical since they often affect your muscles as well.
Impaired Movements: Defective implants will never give you flawless mobility, because as time goes by, the equipment (screws, for instance) that hold them in place deteriorate the bones around to them. Consequently, the implant become loose and will start to impair movements. This problem is also easily detectable.
Once you have realized that you are a victim of a defective hip implant, you must consult a professional. It is advisable to seek an attorney who already has a history of handling such lawsuits. It would be best if you could find one who specifically handles defective implant related cases. Based on your requirements and the strength of your case, the attorney would then file an individual or mass tort lawsuit.
Joint lawsuits have several advantages over individual claims. For starters, they do not require any complex handling to be put together. Multiple individuals suffering from the same problem can simply file a lawsuit against a single manufacture. This way, the cost per head is drastically reduced on the one hand and on the other, the manufacturer faces much higher pressure. Problem is, the settlement is also divided equally and usually a lot lower than what an individual claimant receives. Joint lawsuits also offer lesser personal control over the whole process. A claimant should make their decision after comparing all the pros and cons of each method.
After filing a lawsuit, whether the claimant will receive a settlement or not depends on two things: the strength of the case, and the pressure the case manages put on the company. Of course, pressure stems from strength, so if you are filing such a lawsuit, give your attorney as much information as you can. Do not ignore even the simplest receipts that have something to do with the hip replacement. The amount is agreed upon by all parties after considering the financial, physical and emotional difficulties suffered by the claimant(s).
Receiving a settlement offers benefits like:
- Settlements can pay all the medical bills for present and future treatments that are somehow related to this subject. The claimant may also receive payments to cover past related expenses.
- Receiving a settlement takes a huge psychological load off of you as well. This way, you do not need to pay for the same surgery again. Undoubtedly, knowing this offers a big emotional relief.
- Settlements also cover expenses incurred due to the claimant’s inability to work.
The amount of a settlement can be quite substantial when the lawsuit plays out in the Plaintiff’s favor. In the case of
Stryker Orthopedics mentioned earlier, each claimant received on average about $300,000.
If you have questions about your Hip Replacement, do not wait for any issue you have to get worse. Seek out professional advice immediately. Contact our office to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your legal options.