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Iowa Woman Wins Appeal in her $3.5 Million Defective Biomet Hip Lawsuit

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

Nearly a decade after initially filing a civil lawsuit, Lori Nicholson will get to keep the $3.5 million an Iowa jury awarded her after medical device manufacturer Biomet was found liable for her suffering and injuries. 

On August 24, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that verdict and rejected Biomet’s request for a new trial. The court found evidence supported Nicholson’s claim that Biomet rushed the untested device to market despite multiple warnings it might not be safe for patients.

Her original hip replacement surgery occurred in 2007.  However, the Biomet device failed less than four years after implantation and Nicholson had to endure a revision surgery.  She filed a defective hip lawsuit in 2013 against Biomet Inc., the manufacturer of the M2a Magnum hip replacement, for defective design. The case went to trial in 2020, and the jury awarded her $3.55 million.

The Biomet saga suffered by Lori Nicholson is not an isolated case.  Most recently, medical device manufacturer Exactech is facing an onslaught of civil lawsuits for their hip replacement devices.

Founded in Gainesville, Florida in 1985, Exactech has been making joint replacement devices including knees, hips, and shoulder devices.  However, recently the company has had to recall some of their defective products due to high failure rates.  Exactech has recalled 40,105 hip replacement products that have been surgically implanted into patients since 1993. The failed hip components include Novation, MCS, and Accumatch.

Findings show Exactech hip implants are wearing out much faster than expected, forcing patients to undergo traumatic hip revision surgery to remove and replace defective Exactech hip liners.

Exactech first recalled their GXL brand of hip-liners in the summer of 2021. The company expanded the recall by 40,000 additional hip devices in August 2022, including even more at-risk patients.

In addition, Exactech has notified doctors that patients implanted with a hip replacement that used the Connexion GXL hip liner may “exhibit earlier linear and volumetric wear.” Some patients with the Connexion GXL liner have experienced early bone tissue loss called osteolysis and may require revision surgery.

Exactech hasn’t initiated a hip replacement recall for the GXL liner, but the company is phasing out the product and will no longer be manufacturing it in the United States.

If you or a loved one have had an Exactech hip component implanted and are experiencing symptoms of failure, please contact us for a free initial consultation. 

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