Stryker settles through mediation; more cases are expected to be determined
By Maria Markou, Esq.
Honorable Judge Brian Martinotti supervises in a multi-county litigation (MCL) in Bergen County, where more than half of the nearly 1,500 lawsuits have been filed against Stryker Orthopaedics ("Stryker"). Judge Martinotti recently strengthened the role of mediation, as a peaceful way of disputes' settlement, conflicts' prevention and resolution. Specifically, he called for mediation ten Stryker cases regarding lawsuits involving the product sold under the name of the Rejuvenate System, a metal-on-metal hip replacement system, which was recalled along with ABG II hip implants in July 2012, because of the crucial health problems that patients were experiencing. One case was delayed, and out of the remaining nine, eight have been settled. Ten more cases are expected to be settled through this thriving process. A settlement through mediation can alleviate some of the pain and suffering, which patients suffer as they seek resolution to a traumatic and distressing hip problem. Fortunately, two Plaintiffs from our firm were selected to participate in this mediation process. Judge Martinotti will have a Case Management Conference on Tuesday April 1, 2014 where both Plaintiffs and Defense counsel will have an opportunity to discuss the status of the litigation and mediations.
It is well known that metal-on-metal hip implants can cause early failure and metallosis due to their allegedly flawed design and can cause patients severe hip/groin/leg pain, injury from metallic debris, infection, local swelling, tissue death, numbness, limp or changes in ability to walk which can result in a second revision surgery for the patient. More evidence regarding hip implants complications and failures shed light on these issues after DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, evolved three hip replacement designs since 2000 with high failure rates. The problems with all three systems arise from their metal-on-metal parts, and the two ASR systems were recalled in mid-2010. Depuy has settled thousands of individual cases and conceded that the ASR systems were defective. In light of these significant matters, the Food & Drug Administration has ordered manufacturers for metal-on-metal products to conduct studies, testing and follow ups after the implants have been used in patients.