Thousands of people have filed lawsuits after they were injured by metal-on-metal hip implants. Experts have linked the all-metal design to higher rates of corrosion, failure, and revision surgery than non-metal implants.
Do I Have a Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective hip implant, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
UPDATE: $1 Billion Pinnacle Jury Verdict Cut in Half
January 4, 2017 — Judge in Dallas cuts $500 million off a $1.04 billion jury award to six people who were injured by the Pinnacle, citing “constitutional concerns” about excessive jury verdicts. Click here to read more.
December 1, 2016 — A federal jury in Dallas, Texas awarded over $1 billion to six plaintiffs from California who were injured by the Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal hip implant. Click here to read more.
November 3, 2016 — Wright Medical Technology has offered to settle about 2,000 lawsuits involving metal-on-metal hip implants for $240 million. Click here to read more.
March 29, 2016 — A federal jury in Texas has awarded $498 million to five people who were injured by a metal-on-metal hip replacement made by DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Click here to read more.
February 12, 2015 — A woman who needed surgery to replace two defective DePuy ASR hip implants has been awarded $2.5 million by a jury in Oklahoma. Click here to read more.
December 4, 2014 — A federal jury in Illinois has cleared Zimmer of liability in the first “bellwether” trial out of more than 350 lawsuits inovlving the Durom Cup, a metal-on-metal hip replacement that was pulled off the market in 2008. Click here to read more.
November 3, 2014 — Johnson & Johnson has proposed settling more than 1,000 lawsuits involving the DePuy ASR hip replacement for $250 million. Click here to read more.
October 24, 2014 — A jury in Dallas, Texas has unanimously cleared DePuy of wrongdoing in the first “bellwether” case to go to trial involving the Pinnacle, a metal-on-metal hip implant. Click here to read more.
September 17, 2014 — Reuters reports that lawyers for a woman who was injured by the Pinnacle hip implant grilled executives from Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics in the first “bellwether” trial out of more than 6,400 lawsuits. Click here to read more.
September 11, 2014 — Bloomberg reports that trial attorneys for a woman who was injured by the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant allege that the device-maker knew it was defective in 2001, but failed to withdraw it from the market until August 2013. Click here to read more.
February 10, 2014 — Biomet agrees to pay $56 million to settle over 1,000 Magnum M2A hip implant lawsuits, for a base payment of $200,000 per plaintiff. Click here to read more.
November 22, 2013 — U.K. hospitals ban metal-on-metal hip replacements. Officials have also reduced the “acceptable” rate of revision surgery to 5% in 10 years. Click here to read more.
November 20, 2013 — J&J has proposed paying $2.5 billion plus medical costs to 8,000 people who were injured by the ASR hip implant. There are 4,000 additional pending lawsuits. 94% of eligible claimants must agree to the settlement. Click here to read more.
August 29, 2013 — J&J considering settling 11,500 lawsuits for about $300,000 each, or more than $3 billion. If plaintiffs approve the settlement, it would be the largest-ever payout in defective hip implant litigation. Click here to read more.
July 18, 2013 — At least 494 Biomet M2A Magnum lawsuits have been filed in federal court. Click here to read more.
May 17, 2013 — DePuy withdraws the Ultamet and Complete liners for metal-on-metal hip implants. The company will be phasing out metal hip implant products and renew focus on plastic and ceramic hip implants. Click here to read more.
March 11, 2013 — A jury in Los Angeles, California state court has awarded more than $8.3 million to Loren Kransky, the first plaintiff to see his ASR hip implant lawsuit go to trial. The award includes $8 million for pain and suffering and $338,000 for expenses. DePuy faces approximately 10,750 more ASR hip implant lawsuits. Click here to read more.
February 19, 2013 — Study finds that women are 29% more likely than men to need revision surgery for hip implant failure within 3 years. Click here to read more.
January 30, 2013 — Expert witnesses testified that the ASR failed DePuy’s own safety tests because it released 16-times more chromium and cobalt than the Pinnacle hip implant. Instead of re-designing the ASR, DePuy re-designed the test. Click here to read more.
January 25, 2013 — A Rochester NY woman’s ASR lawsuit chosen for federal bellwether trial. Click here to read more.
January 24, 2013 — DePuy knew about hip implant problems in 2008, waited 2 years to issue recall. Click here to read more.
January 23, 2013 — A DePuy analysis in 2011 linked the ASR to a 37% five-year failure rate, which is significantly higher than the industry’s “acceptable” 5% five-year failure rate. Click here to read more.
January 17, 2013 — The FDA has published a Safety Communication to warn that metal-on-metal hip implants can shed toxic metal particles that can cause soft tissue damage. The agency has also updated recommendations for orthopedic surgeons. Click here to read more.
December 12, 2012 — The journal Orthopedics describes the case of a 54 year-old woman implanted with a Pinnacle hip implant. The implant shed metal debris, which cause fluid-filled soft-tissue growths called bursal cysts to form in her hip. The cysts cut off circulation to her lower leg and caused swelling. She required revision surgery, and was re-implanted with a ceramic-on-ceramic hip implant. Click here to read more.
December 6, 2012 — There are 3,202 lawsuits involving the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant pending in an MDL. Click here to read more.
December 5, 2012 — A South Carolina man has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Biomet M2A Magnum hip implant is defective. Click here to read more.
November 9, 2012 — Thousands of metal hip implant lawsuits filed in federal MDLs. Click here to read more.
October 26, 2012 — A Birmingham hip resurfacing implant lawsuit has been filed in Illinois. Researchers are also warning that women should not undergo hip resurfacing procedures due to the “unacceptably high” risk of failure and revision surgery. Click here to read more.
October 3, 2012 — A federal judicial panel has centralized Biomet M2A Magnum hip implant lawsuits into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, before Judge Robert L. Miller. Nearly 70 pending lawsuits will be transferred to the court. Click here to read more.
September 28, 2012 — Researchers have found that metal-on-metal hip implants do not increase the risk of cancer after 7 years. Click here to read more.
September 27, 2012 — Smith & Nephew is warning that failure rates for the Birmingham hip implant exceed benchmark levels established in the United Kingdom. Click here to read more.
September 24, 2012 — Health authorities in Australia are recommending routine blood tests for all people implanted with a metal-on-metal hip implant. Click here to read more.
August 2012 — Stryker has recalled the ABG II and Rejuvenate metal-on-metal hip implants due to high risk of corrosion, fretting, and shedding of toxic metal particles into a patient’s body. Click here to read more.
June 4, 2012 — Researchers are warning that people with metal-on-metal hip implants may be 10-times more likely to develop pseudo-tumors (non-cancerous soft tissue growths that increase the likelihood of hip implant failure. Click here to read more.
Traditional hip implants are designed with a metal head and plastic or ceramic sockets. During the 1990s, medical device companies began experimenting with metal-on-metal hip implants, which consist of a metal head rotating inside a metal cup. Experts hoped this design would last longer than plastic and/or ceramic devices, making the metal-on-metal implants ideal for younger hip implant recipients.
510(k) Approval Process
Most types of metal-on-metal hip implants were approved under the FDA 510(k) approval process. This “fast-track” system allows manufacturers of new devices to avoid conducting costly, time-consuming safety studies, so long as they claim their device is “substantially equivalent” to an existing device. Unfortunately, “substantially equivalent” does not always mean “safe.” By the time experts found hazards and recalled several types of hip implants, tens of thousands of people had already been implanted with the devices.
Types of Metal Hip Implants
- DePuy ASR (recalled)
- DePuy Pinnacle
- Encore Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant
- Stryker ABG II (recalled)
- Stryker Accolade
- Stryker Rejuvenate (recalled)
- Biomet M2a Magnum
- Biomet M2a-38
- Smith & Nephew Birmingham
- Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System
- Wright Conserve
- Wright Dynasty
- Wright ProFemur
- Zimmer Durom Cup
- And more
What is the problem?
Unfortunately, there is little evidence that metal-on-metal hip implants are any better than plastic or ceramic devices, but they expose a patient to much higher risks of side effects — including toxic metal poisoning, tissue damage, bone loss, pain, and other complications that may require corrective surgery.
According to a study published in The Lancet in March 2012, approximately 6.2% of metal-on-metal hip implants fail within five years, compared to just 2.3% of ceramic devices and 2.7% of plastic devices. The researchers also found that women who were implanted with large-sized femoral head implants had the greatest risk. After this study was published, researchers called for a ban on these hip implants.
Other studies have found that when metal-on-metal hip implants fail, the failure usually occurs within two years. Researchers have also been linked to high rates of corrosion. In May 2012, the Journal of Arthroplasty published a study that found corrosion occurred earlier and more severely in patients implanted with metal-on-metal hip implants.
Toxic Cobalt and Chromium Poisoning
Corrosion is a serious complication associated with metal-on-metal hip implants that increases the risk of toxic metal poisoning (metallosis). The metal alloys in a metal-on-metal hip implant contain chromium and cobalt. When metal parts of the hip implant grind together, tiny particles of chromium may shed into the body.
When chromium is exposed to oxygen in the body, it corrodes and releases charged cobalt ions. Cobalt is much more soluble than chromium, and easily passes into the bloodstream and moves throughout the body. The long-term side effects of these metal particles are unknown, but early studies have not found an increased risk of cancer.
When large amounts of metal particles leak into the body, a person can suffer metallosis (metal poisoning). Severe metallosis can cause lifelong disabilities, visual impairment, blindness, deafness, cognitive impairment, heart damage, and death.
Side Effects of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
- Bone loss
- Tissue damage or necrosis
- Decreased walking ability
- Dislocation of the hip joint
- Need for revision surgeries
- And more
Side Effects in Other Areas of the Body
In a January 2013 Safety Communication titled “Concerns about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants,” the FDA warned about the potential risk of systemic reactions in areas outside the hip joint, which are linked to excessive levels of cobalt in a patient’s bloodstream:
- General hypersensitivity reaction (skin rash)
- Neurological changes including sensory changes (auditory, or visual impairments)
- Psychological status change (including depression or cognitive impairment)
- Renal function impairment
- Thyroid dysfunction (including neck discomfort, fatigue, weight gain or feeling cold)
Do I have a Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
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