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Artificial hip maker paying $1.5 million for defective products

None of us wants to hear that a product we purchased has been recalled because it is defective. However, when that product is in your body, the news can be particularly frightening. Of course, by the time the product is recalled, you likely know that something is wrong.

That was the case for thousands of people who received artificial hips made by Stryker Corporation, which is considered the leading manufacturer of these devices. After numerous reports from people who said they suffered serious pain after having a Stryker hip implanted, the company recalled the Rejuvenate Modular and the ABG II Modular-Neck Stem hips in June 2012.

However, the company is still dealing with a class-action lawsuit that is going to cost almost $1.5 billion. That's the total Stryker agreed to pay people who received the defective artificial hips. The minimum settlement per person is reported to be $300,000.

According to an attorney representing one of the plaintiffs who received a Stryker-manufactured hip, there was an issue with the metal hips that caused them to corrode around the femur joints. That causes chromium and cobalt to enter the person's blood system, causing irritation of the tissue in the hip joint. Eventually it causes the muscles in that area to break down. The condition is called metalossis.

For people who receive a settlement for one of the defective hips, there are a couple of stipulations. They have to undergo what is called a "revision surgery." They also have to receive a new Stryker hip. That means additional recovery time, which for some people takes longer than for others. Of course, there is always the danger of complications with any surgery. However, the alternative can be a life of pain and other health complications. One plaintiff, who said that he was in so much pain after the initial surgery that he was pretty much confined to his bed, says that after the revision surgery, he can walk normally.

Often when there is a product defect with a medical device like an artificial hip or knee, many patients suffer the same problems. That can lead to a class-action suit, which can be easier and less costly for plaintiffs than an individual suit. However, it's always a good idea to seek legal guidance from a Florida personal injury attorney regarding your own specific situation before deciding what type of legal action to pursue.

Source: WNEM-TV, "Faulty hip replacement recall reaches settlement" Craig McMorris, Nov. 24, 2014

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