Stryker to Pay Over $1 Billion to Settle 4,000 Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Stryker Corporation today announced it will pay over $1 billion to patients who had surgery to replace certain defective metal-on-metal hip replacements. The settlement, which resulted from mediation conducted simultaneously with the litigation, was announced Monday in Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey, where approximately 4,000 cases from around the country had been consolidated.

The settlement will compensate persons forced to replace their Rejuvenate Modular-Neck hip stem or ABG II Modular-Neck hip stem when the Stryker-manufactured devices failed. Stryker said it has set aside $1.43 billion to settle the cases, but cautioned in a press release that the “ultimate cost to entirely resolve these matters will depend on many factors that are difficult to predict and may be materially different than the amounts accrued to date.” The company said it expects most of the payments under the Settlement Agreement to be made by the end of 2015.

The Stryker settlement marks the second massive settlement for victims of metal-on-metal hip device failures. Last November, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle approximately 8,000 lawsuits by patients who had received the J&J’s DePuy unit’s ASR hip replacement system prior to August 2013. The ASR implants were recalled in 2010.

Just last week, Bloomberg News reported that anonymous sources said J&J is mulling over whether to resolve over 1,000 more lawsuits by plaintiffs who had their ASR implants surgically removed after August 2013, and who had thus been excluded from last years’ $2.5 billion settlement.

Metal-on-metal hip implants fail at alarming rates. In addition to Stryker and J&J, other manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip devices include Biomet, Smith & Nephew, Wright Medical Technology, and Zimmer Holdings—companies also facing lawsuits from patients who were subjected to revision surgery or have faced other adverse medical conditions.

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