Plaintiffs Request MDL for Biomet Hip Implant Lawsuits
Another hip device manufacturer is under fire for complaints similar to those made by plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits alleging injuries caused by hips manufactured by Zimmer. Two plaintiffs recently filed a motion to consolidate litigation against Biomet, alleging their metal-on-metal hip implant device, the M2a Magnum, has resulted in serious complications and a high failure rate. The motion, which was filed with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on June 27, 2012, asserts that the FDA has received more than 450 adverse event reports involving the Biomet device.
This news comes at the same time hundreds are seeking compensation for Zimmer hip problems. Metal-on-metal implants have been associated with higher than expected failure rates and serious side effects like metallosis, or metal poisoning, which occurs when metal shavings from the implant enter surrounding tissue and the bloodstream.
The plaintiffs in the Biomet case allege the manufacturer knew of the potential problems even while marketing their implants, but did not share the risks with the general public or the medical community.
More multidistrict litigation
If granted, Biomet multidistrict litigation would be added to a growing list of other MDLs that have already been established for federal claims against other hip implant manufacturers.
In support of its argument to have MDL status granted, counsel states that more than 150 plaintiffs seeking a Zimmer hip settlement have had their cases transferred to the federal MDL in New Jersey. Hundreds more have brought similar lawsuits against manufacturers DePuy Orthopedics and Wright Medical Technologies.
The increase in complaints regarding metal-on-metal hip implants recently prompted the FDA to take a closer look at whether proper safety procedures are currently in place for the devices.
Zimmer hip MDL
Multidistrict litigation for Zimmer hip claims was granted by the JPML in June 2010. The majority of plaintiffs who seek compensation for Zimmer hip complications allege that their devices caused metallosis, loosening of the hip joint, ongoing pain and reduced mobility. In many cases, patients have had a revision surgery within just a few years, to remove the original device and replace it with a new one.
As more cases continue to be filed nationwide, it is difficult to predict just how many complaints will be added to the Zimmer MDL before the first bellwether trial begins later this year.