After Stryker Corp. decided to recall its Rejuvenate Modular Hip Stem and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem in June 2012, many recipients filed lawsuits against the manufacturer. Like recipients of other metal-on-metal hip replacements that caused problems, they expected to consolidate their cases into federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) or a state court equivalent. After a series of bellwether trials, the remaining parties would be able to determine what their cases were worth. For Stryker hip recipients, then, bellwether trials appeared to be a long way off, but in 2013, plaintiffs in other metal-hip MDLs announced that they were agreeing to mass-settlement offers by the manufacturers. Consequently, Stryker hip recall lawsuit settlements might not be that far off. In fact, some Stryker cases have already settled.
What Stryker Lawsuit Settlements Have Occurred?
The New Jersey multicounty litigation (MCL) in Bergen County Superior Court went a different route than other hip replacement lawsuit consolidations had until that point. The court ordered some cases to go into mediation, the first phase of which began in December 2013. Of the 21 cases that had gone into mediation by August 2014, 19 had reached an out-of-court settlement. More mediations are scheduled to take place. The cases that settled are:
- Mergel v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Seely v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Seeman v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Dixon v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Murray v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Singh v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Cotone v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Cook v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Maggi v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Dlutkowski v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Conklin v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Kile v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Jeannita Gaudet v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Doris Smith v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Jeff Beard v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Betty White v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
- Renee Tanitsky v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., et al.
The results are encouraging, but unfortunately the parties did not disclose the amounts of compensation the plaintiffs agreed to. It appeared that the plaintiffs who settled had fairly straightforward claims without significant medical injuries or lost earnings.
How Much Can a Stryker Hip Recipient Obtain in a Lawsuit Settlement?
The amount of compensation from a Stryker hip lawsuit settlement will differ on a case-by-case basis. A settlement agreement will equal what the plaintiff believes he or she could have obtained at trial. The types of damages a plaintiff can claim are called “economic damages” and “non-economic damages.” The former are any losses that are quantifiable, like medical bills and lost earnings. They can be proved in court with receipts and other documentation. Non-economic damages can’t be so easily demonstrated, such as pain and suffering, or loss of spousal companionship. Plaintiffs often place expert witnesses on the stand to testify as to what these damages might be worth.
Other all-metal hip mass-settlements can provide useful comparisons for Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement recipients. In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) agreed to settle more than 7,000 DePuy ASR hip lawsuits for more than $4 billion total. Plaintiff-claimants could obtain a $250,000 base award that could go up or down based on various factors, such as whether they received two hips, how old they were, or if they were smokers. Recipients who suffered additional medical injuries could claim additional compensation from the settlement funds.
Similarly, in January 2014, Biomet, the maker of the M2a Magnum and M2a Acetabular System 38mm agreed to settle a smaller number of lawsuits for $56 million. The base award is $200,000, and it too can go up or down depending on plaintiffs’ specific circumstances.
How Long Does It Take Until a Settlement Payment Arrives?
Because a Stryker lawsuit settlement is a private agreement between two parties, the settlement payment should occur shortly after the agreement is struck.
How Do I Get a Lawsuit Settlement From Stryker?
A Stryker lawsuit settlement won’t happen if you do nothing, and negotiating with Stryker is not a good idea as its lawyers will ensure you receive as little as possible for your injuries. After hiring an experienced hip replacement law firm, such as the Rottenstein Law Group, the next step is to file a lawsuit against the device’s manufacturer. After that, when and whether a settlement will occur will depend on your case and the defendant’s opinion of it. Sometimes manufacturers try to negotiate an early settlement with plaintiffs whose injuries aren’t very severe, believing that it’s worthwhile to resolve the case early. Other times, the manufacturer will choose not to settle, so the case will have to go to trial.
Reaching a Stryker hip lawsuit settlement with the manufacturer is not a certainty, nor is it always the best course of action. If you or a loved one received a Stryker hip, and you believe it caused an injury, then you need legal counsel that will fight for you whether to settlement or trial. The amount of compensation from a Stryker hip lawsuit or settlement can include damages for full medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages. For a free, confidential legal consultation with a lawyer from RLG, click on this link or call 1-800-624-9568. Not acting will not result in compensation or a settlement, and a lawsuit might be time-barred if you wait too long.