Biomet Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Lawsuits Settle for $56 Million

U.S. medical device maker, Biomet Inc. will pay at least $56 million to settle a multidistrict lawsuit relating to defective metal-on-metal hip implants, according to court filings.

The litigation over Biomet’s M2a-38 and M2a-Magnum began in October 2012. In various courts across the country, hundreds of plaintiffs claimed that the hip device led to injuries.

All of the lawsuits related to these two metal-on-metal hip implants were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Indiana federal court, the state where Biomet is headquartered. Plaintiffs in the MDL claimed Biomet’s hip implants were defective, resulting in significant injury to the patients, requiring extensive revision surgeries.

The $56 million fund will compensate patients implanted with Biomet’s M2a-38 or M2a-Magnum who had to have the device removed or otherwise repaired.

Plaintiffs who have received a Biomet M2a or M2a Magnum hip replacement system as part of an initial hip replacement, which was rectified more than 180 days after it was implanted shall receive a base award of $200,000. However, each individual payment could depend on a number of stipulations, which are detailed in the court documents. These conditions may include anything from patient’s age at the time of implantation to patient’s BMI.

This fund and agreement applies to plaintiffs currently involved in the MDL, as well as any future plaintiffs who required revision surgery, as long as they file suit before April 15, 2014. This means that patients who believe they were implanted or were injured by a Biomet Magnum device have about two months to file.

The metal-on-metal devices are made of chromium and cobalt alloy and can corrode internally when the hip joints rub together creating friction. This releases tiny metal particles into the blood stream, tissues and surrounding bone, potentially leading to severe metal toxicity, metallosis, in unsuspecting patients.

There are about six companies that manufacture metal-on-metal hip implants, which have been approved by the FDA through an accelerated process, never having been tested on humans.

Corrosion would cause the implants to change their shape and functionality, making most of them defective within five years from implantation. Hip implant revision surgeries are painful, expensive, and require time off from one’s life yet again. Metal-on-metal hips were causing unprecedented numbers of revision surgeries.

Many injured patients subsequently filed lawsuits against device manufacturers. Besides Biomet, companies such as Wright Medical Technology, Stryker Corp., and Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics are currently facing their own litigation.

As we reported to you yesterday, Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to pay at least $2.5 billion to settle its metal-on-metal lawsuits. The number of plaintiffs involved in that litigation is estimated at about 8,000, which concerned the ASR implant systems. Stryker has also settled some of the 500 pending lawsuits regarding their Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems.

If you or a loved one suffers damages from a defective hip implant, there is still time to file a claim. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys for a free consultation at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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