Biomet MDL May Join Other Consolidated Metal-on-Metal Hip Litigations
The U.S. Judicial Panel on multidistrict litigation (JPML) will soon be hearing arguments on whether to consolidate all federal Biomet M2A Magnum hip lawsuits into one court. Patients implanted with the metal-on-metal (MoM) hip have reported complications like pain, immobility, and premature loosening of the implant, as well as metallosis. Those who have filed a lawsuit against manufacturer Biomet seek to hold them liable for their injuries.
Should the JPML agree to consolidate these cases, Biomet will join other manufacturers like Zimmer, Inc. and DePuy Orthopaedics in defending against a potentially large number of claims that their product was not adequately studied for safety.
Biomet opposes centralization
According to a notice released on August 8, 2012, the JPML has scheduled a hearing on September 20, 2012, to hear oral arguments for and against centralization of federal Biomet hip lawsuits.
Biomet filed a response with the JPML on July 19, 2012, opposing centralization. The company stated the cases are too different from one another to benefit from shared pre-trial processes. The components come in different sizes and designs, with some products used with femoral stem components that are manufactured by other companies.
In addition, Biomet asserted that they have a track record of resolving Magnum actions “expeditiously” and often out of court, negating the need for consolidation.
Plaintiffs claim Zimmer hip replacement problems
When reviewing the claims against companies like Biomet, Zimmer, and DePuy, one typically finds similar facts. Like the Zimmer Durom Cup, for example, the Biomet M2A Magnum places a metal cup inside a metal ball. Originally, the design was supposed to offer better durability than ceramic and plastic implants, but post-marketing reports indicated that a larger-than-expected number of patients were experiencing premature complications.
Patients who have sought the advice of a Zimmer hip lawyer, for example, typically claim to have experienced Zimmer hip replacement problems related to metal contamination. The metal components can shed tiny particles of cobalt and chromium into the surrounding tissues, causing inflammation and tissue damage leading to loosening. Patients complain of pain and instability, and the need to have to undergo revision surgery.
In their lawsuits, plaintiffs seek compensation for Zimmer hip replacement problems and related economic losses.
Similarly, the Biomet M2A Magnum was linked with reports of metal poisoning, which could cause joint and tissue damage and systemic illness. In 2011, the Australian National Joint Registry reported that patients implanted with the M2A had a yearly revision rate of 7.2 percent—much higher than typical metal-on-polyethylene devices.
Zimmer hip lawyer busy with pre-trial processes
In August 2011, the JPML consolidated all Zimmer Durom Cup federal cases into the Northern District of Illinois. Each plaintiff, represented by a Zimmer hip lawyer, seeks compensation for Zimmer hip complications and revision surgeries. Since then, the court has been busy with pre-trial processes, including discovery and scheduling.
Recently, Zimmer filed a motion to dismiss the master complaint at use in the MDL, stating that it was too general to meet federal pleading standards.