Recently, there have been a number of developments in both the medical and legal field concerning metal on metal artificial hip replacements. These hip replacements have drawn a large amount of attention from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to the serious medical problems these replacements are causing in patients.
There are currently a number of metal-on-metal hip implant systems that have been implanted in patients across the United States including the following:
- DePuy ASR
- DePuy Pinnacle
- Biomet Magnum M2a
- Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII
- Wright Conserve
- Smith and Nephew
These metal-on-metal total hip replacements consist of two metal components that act as a replacement to both parts of the ball-and-socket hip joint. These replacement components are made largely of cobalt, chromium and titanium. Due to the design defect of a large number of these systems, the metal components can result in grinding, excessive friction, excessive looseness and other issues that lead to serious medical complications.
Due to these defects, fretting and corrosion of the components is occurring which is resulting in cobalt and chromium particles to separate from the implant and enter into the patient’s bloodstreams. In turn, this may lead to, among other things, bone and tissue damage, kidney damage, pseudotumors, hip and groin pain, swelling, and difficulty with walking and standing. Many patients who are experiencing these types of symptoms have also been required to undergo a follow-up or revision surgery to remove these defective systems.
While DePuy has recalled its defective product (“DePuy ASR”) many patients who received these metal-on-metal hip replacements are still experiencing serious medical problems. There are approximately 10,000 lawsuits related to these defective hip replacements that have been filed across the United States. The first of these lawsuits recently proceeded to trial in California and resulted in a jury verdict awarding over $8 million dollars in damages.
California law imposes strict time limits within which you must act to protect your rights in these types of matters. These time limits are complex and vary for different types of legal actions and jurisdictions. For instance, under California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, claims of general negligence and product liability carry a two-year statute of limitations within which you must bring a civil claim. Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5, claims of medical malpractice generally must be filed within one year of the discovery of the injury. These timelines are usually triggered on the date in which you received “notice” of your claim and failure to bring a civil claim within the required time may forever bar you from bringing any action in the future. However, there are also various legal principles such as the delayed discovery rule that can toll the statute of limitations. In order for you to be properly advised all of the records, information and evidence related to your specific potential claim needs to reviewed by an attorney so a determination can be made about when notice was actually received.
If you or someone you know has received any of the above hip implants and are experiencing pain, complications or other problems, including but not limited to having to undergo any type of revision surgeries, you or that person may be entitled to some form of compensation and should immediately contact the attorneys at Rains Lucia Stern, PC so we can properly advise and preserve your legal rights and remedies.