June 25, 2017

Across the country, lawsuits against the Stryker Corporation for the Stryker LFIT V40 femoral heads continue to march forward, with the Initial Case Management Conference now set for the multidistrict litigation in New Jersey, and a new lawsuit filed against the hip implant manufacturer in California. The Stryker hip lawsuits have become commonplace for the device maker, who has a series of hip implant recalls in their past.

First Conference in New Jersey Court Set for June 21, 2017

Last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced that they had designated litigation against Stryker LFIT V40 femoral heads in the state as multicounty litigation. Now, Superior Court Judge Rachelle Harz, who is handling the centralized cases in Bergen County, is preparing for the upcoming Initial Case Management Conference.

According to a Court order dated June 2, 2017, Judge Harz has set the Conference for June 21, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m. An attached agenda for the Conference states the following elements will be discussed:

  • The Status of Discovery
  • Status of Motions
  • Status of Settlements/Mediation Efforts
  • Organization of Counsel
  • Coordination of federal MDL

Additionally, the agenda includes a proposed discovery plan and a suggested schedule.

While litigation was only recently centralized on a multicounty level in New Jersey, Stryker hip lawsuits have already been centralized federally in the state of Massachusetts, where court proceedings are underway under Judge Indira Talwani.

New Stryker LFIT V40 Lawsuit Filed in California

As legal proceedings move forward in New Jersey, another Stryker LFIT V40 lawsuit has been added to the California court system.

Joyce Ulrich, a Rancho Mirage resident, filed a lawsuit against Stryker and the Howmedica Osteonics Corporation, which is owned by Stryker. In the lawsuit, Ulrich alleges that the companies were remiss in not undertaking proper clinical trials for the Stryker LFIT V40 (as well as the Accolade Hip Stem, which Ulrich also had implanted) and instead gained premarket approval for both under the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) process.

Ulrich was 68-years-old when she had her total hip replacement in February of 2009. The surgery used entirely Stryker components, two of which have since been involved in hip implant recalls. The court documents go on to allege that soon after surgery, Ulrich began experiencing pain and discomfort in her hip, and that on May 17, 2016, she underwent revision surgery to correct the issues. While in surgery, Ulrich’s doctors noticed several complications, including trunnionosis, that may have been caused by the Stryker LFIT V40 and Accolade devices.

Hip Implant Recalls Raise Many Concerns, Including Revision Surgery

There are many concerns that have risen out of Stryker’s recalled Accolade, Rejuvenate, ABG II and LFIT V40 devices, including metallosis (or metal poisoning), which can be caused by Stryker hip implant components rubbing together and metal particles breaking off into the surrounding blood and tissue. Arguably, however, the biggest issue surrounding the Stryker LFIT V40 is that of revision surgery.

In 2013, the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City released information indicating that between 2011 and 2013 there was a sharp increase in the number of patients seeking revision surgery after their initial hip implant. These revision surgeries were often needed long before the 10- to 20-year life expectancy of most hip implants. Two of the reasons for the increase in revision surgeries, according to the hospital, were likely loosening of the implant (which can be caused by metallosis) and recalled implants.

One reason revision surgery is so concerning is because it is so much more complex than the initial hip implantation. This can translate into more complications and often means patients must seek out specialist surgeons. Even when successful, the rehabilitation following revision surgery can be lengthy and painful.

Have You Been Affected by the Stryker LFIT V40?

The issues that the Stryker LFIT V40 has been linked to can be serious and detrimental to your overall health. If you know or believe you received the Stryker LFIT V40 during hip implant surgery, you are advised to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of device failure, and to speak with your doctor about your options. You may also be eligible for financial reimbursement for any pain or surgery you’ve experienced linked to the Stryker LFIT V40. Contact us for a free consultation on your case.