January 23, 2017
Plaintiffs involved in litigation concerning the Stryker LFIT V40 femoral heads have filed a motion to have similar federal claims consolidated for pretrial proceedings. Although so far the number of lawsuits concerning the Stryker hip replacement component is small—six federal lawsuits are currently pending—plaintiffs argue there is the potential for thousands of lawsuits to ultimately be filed because the LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads were used in at least six hip replacement devices.
Stryker LFIT V40 Patients Allege Early Device Failure
The Stryker LFIT V40 is a component of Stryker hip replacement devices. It is designed in such a way that the hip implants can be customized for individual patients, ensuring every patient receives a hip implant appropriate for his or her size. Furthermore, the LFIT was marketed as being less susceptible to regular wear and tear than other available hip replacement devices.
Plaintiffs, however, allege they have suffered from complications linked to the devices, including metallosis, spontaneous dislocation, and taper lock failure. Among the side effects of those complications are severe pain, limited mobility, difficulty walking, and weakness in the hip. Patients who experience device failure may have to undergo revision surgery, which can be painful and require longer recovery times, to fix the problem.
Stryker Already Faced Hip Replacement Lawsuits
Allegations concerning the Stryker LFIT V40 are not the first complaints Stryker has faced. Previously, the device maker faced lawsuits concerning its Rejuvenate and ABG 11Modular Hip Implant. The majority of those lawsuits were resolved in 2014 when Stryker agreed to pay more than $1 billion to thousands of patients who alleged the hip implants failed early on them.
That settlement was expanded in 2016 to include patients who had the devices implanted up to November 2016, although the Rejuvenate and ABG II devices were recalled in July 2012. Patients who had to undergo surgery to have the hip implant surgically removed were eligible for a minimum of $300,000, with some plaintiffs eligible for more if they required multiple surgeries.
Stryker Femoral Heads Recalled
On August 29, 2016, Stryker issued an “Urgent Medical Device Product Field Action Notification” to healthcare providers in the United States concerning the LFIT Femoral Heads. In its letter, Stryker noted that it had received “higher than expected complaints of taper lock failure for specific lots” of the LFIT V40, manufactured prior to 2011. However, the company did not request that the affected heads be returned to the company.
On August 24, 2016, Health Canada announced a type II recall of the LFIT V40 Head, due to “higher than expected complaints” of taper lock failure.
Stryker V40 Lawsuits
Although litigation concerning the Stryker V40 femoral heads is in early stages, plaintiffs have filed a motion to consolidate lawsuits for pretrial proceedings. Doing so is generally considered more efficient for the parties involved and for the courts, especially in situations in which large numbers of lawsuits have been filed or are expected. Plaintiffs claim Stryker was negligent in not adequately warn patients about the potential risks associated with the hip device component.
The proposed MDL is In Re: Stryker Orthopaedics Lfit V40 Femoral Head Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2768.
Learn more about taper lock failure and the LFIT V40 here.