Failed Hip & Knee Replacement Settlements Can Also Fail Plaintiffs

Even though Stryker ponied up with a billion-dollar settlement agreement over its failed Rejuvenate Modular Hip System, an attorney conversant with the file and similar recalled implant and settlement issues from DePuy takes exception to the way in which settlements were handled, suggesting that numerous deserving patients would have been excluded from a potential windfall. Hip & Knee Replacement Implant Failure has been a common headline for some years, as new products have performed well below expectations.

Back in the fall of last year, Stryker was lauded for agreeing to a settlement deal – achieved through a mediation process – that shaved a great deal of time from the normal process of going through a trial. The time window between the recall of the Stryker Rejuvenate system and the settlement announcement was about 18 months. The settlement was hailed as a win for any patient having filed a Hip Replacement Lawsuit against Stryker.

However, a lawyer in Michigan is not so enthused, given the limits and requirements that he suggests came tethered to the settlement. Attorney Terry Cochran noted that Stryker informed doctors of the settlement, but not their patients – thus it would have been up to the doctors involved with the initial implant procedure to pass the news along. Beyond that, patients might have heard about the settlement in the media, but would have only been aware that it might have applied to them had they also been aware of the particular implant involved with their hip replacement.

The Stryker settlement also hinged on the need for revision surgery, and to have already had the procedure performed by the date of the settlement: November 3 of last year. Any pending revision procedures – even if they made it in prior to the December 14, 2014 deadline for making a claim – would not have qualified for compensation.

Cochran noted, in a release (11/26/14), that patients denied the opportunity for a revision procedure due to sound medical reasons would be considered for compensation. However, the announced $1.45 billion settlement fund has the potential to fail Hip Replacement Lawsuit patients who did not meet the stated criteria.

The Hip Replacement Lawyer from Michigan says that such limitations are simply wrong.

“It is bad enough these companies implanted faulty hips in the first place,” Cochran said, “but now they want to limit the payouts for their negligence by keeping it secret from patients and requiring revision surgery be done before paying damages.”

It has been reported that one out of 10 patients in the US implanted with the ASR Hip Implant by DePuy Orthopedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, had to have the hip surgery repeated because the implant failed.