Defective Hip Implants: Stryker Agrees to a Settlement

We want to share this new information out of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Stryker has agreed to settle its defective hip implants for at least $1.43 billion dollars.  The deal - brokered by a New Jersey Superior Court judge - resolves state and federal lawsuits against Stryker.  The all metal  devices create tiny particles of metallic debris that can damage tissue or muscle, which resulted in Stryker recalling the devices.

This is the latest settlement against a product manufacturer of a metal-on-metal hip implant. Last fall Johnson and Johnson agreed to pay $2.5 billion to resolve cases involving its DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant.

This Stryker settlement will come as good news for many Washington State residents who have been saddled with these defective hip implants. It adds certainty to the process and puts an end to further protracted litigation.

SGB leads the way representing Washington State residents in defective hip and other product liability lawsuits.  If you think you may have a claim against Styker, give us a call. Our  product liability lawyers at SGB are happy to discuss this with you.

Defective Product Update: Thousands of defective St. Jude Riata leads still remain implanted in US

St. Jude Medical Inc. sent a letter to physicians warning of problems with Riata and Riata ST leads, which connect an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to the heart in order to monitor heart rhythms, on November 28, 2011. The FDA later classified the letter as a Class I Recall, the most serious type of recall – for products or devices that may cause serious adverse health consequences or death. St. Jude had already stopped selling these leads in late 2010, after more than 227,000 had been distributed worldwide. The FDA reported that, as of 2011, approximately 79,000 Riata leads remained implanted in patients in the US. The FDA, concerned that the Riata and Riata ST leads that show insulation abnormalities on imaging may be at greater risk of future electrical failure, recommends that physicians image Riata and Riata SST implanted  leads to assess for externalization or other visible insulation abnormalities.

New York Times  reported in its March 27, 2012, issue that at least 22 deaths were caused by the defective wires. Another eight patients died during procedures to remove the wires. Dr. Robert Hauser, author of the study, said the number of deaths was small compared with the number of patients who had these models of wires. However, “because it may be catastrophic, we need to be paying more attention to what are the electrical signs that might help us identify patients who are at risk,” he said.


Defibrillator Lead Lawsuits: St. Jude’s Motion to Dismiss Denied

As reported by Cardiovascular Business, California Federal Judge James V. Selna earlier this year denied St. Jude’s motion to dismiss five cases in which manufacturing defects that caused their Riata leads to fail were alleged. According to the judge, plaintiffs had met their burden of showing a plausible association between the injuries alleged and the allegedly defective St. Jude leads. He also found that the claims were not preempted by federal law. Preemption is a legal concept that a number of medical device makers have used in liability lawsuits that have been filed over devices that have received FDA approval.

Riata and Riata ST ICD leads are prone to high-voltage failures, which appear to be caused by insulation defects that lead to short circuits between high-voltage components. A phenomenon known as “externalized conductors” occurs when conductor cables wear through the silicone insulation from inside out, ending up outside the lead’s body. According to the American College of Cardiology research, inappropriate shocks were common and high voltage cable insulation abrasion also occurred. JACC concluded that Riata leads may have more widespread damage than can be detected by fluoroscopic exam.

Testosterone lawsuits: Additional Warning from the FDA

The FDA is adding a general warning to testosterone products due to the risk of blood clots. Blood clots can form in the veins and cause a pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening event that occurs when the clot travels to the lungs. The new warning is not related to the FDA’s ongoing evaluation of possible links between testosterone therapy and risk of a heart attack, stroke and death in those taking testosterone products.

If you or someone you know has suffered adverse effects from testosterone therapy, we welcome your inquiry. The Product Liability attorneys here at SGB would be happy to provide a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case.

Testosterone lawsuits: Testosterone Replacement Therapy MDL

On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL) ordered that all Testosterone Replacement Therapy Lawsuits, including AndroGel, be consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois. This means that complaints files in U.S. District Courts across the country will be transferred to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly.

If you or someone in  your family has suffered a heart attack or stroke sometime after having taken testosterone, we welcome your inquiry. The Product Liability attorneys here at SGB would be happy to provide a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case.