On Monday, November 3rd, a settlement was announced in which Stryker Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, agreed to pay approximately $1.4 billion to resolve more than 4,000 lawsuits against the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants. The hip implants were recalled in July 2012 following numerous reports the devices caused tissue damage and elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in the body.
The cases brought forth from patients nationwide are consolidated in federal court in Minneapolis, Minnesota under Judge Donovan W. Frank and under Judge Brian Martinotti in Hackensack, New Jersey in a multi-district litigation (MDL 13-2441). A multi-district litigation involves thousands of cases from various federal courts around the country that are moved to one court. The purpose of an MDL is to better handle cases by conserving resources and promoting consistent rulings regarding different lawsuits about the same issue.
Stryker will pay a base award of $300,000 to qualified patients who underwent a revision surgery, replacing the recalled hip, prior to the November 3, 2014 settlement announcement. The website http://www.strykermodularhipsettlement.com outlines the terms of the settlement. This settlement can either go up or down depending on individual circumstances of the plaintiff. The settlement can go up if someone has extraordinary injuries, or injuries that go beyond an average case, such as multiple surgeries, infection, or dislocation.
Stryker is scheduled to begin making payments in 2015.
In re: Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Stem and ABG II Modular Hip Stem Litigation, Case No. 296, Master Docket No. BER-L-936-13, venued in MCL Court and In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 13-2441, venued in the MDL court.