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Alabama Couple Demands Damages in Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Lawsuit

Stryker sign The 74 year-old Irish medical device company, Stryker Orthopaedics, has been hit with a Rejuvenate hip lawsuit by Mr. John Dabney, a resident of Jefferson County, Alabama, and his wife, Ms. Judith Dabney.

The Dabney’s suit, filed January 5, 2015, has been consolidated in MDL (multidistrict litigation) 2441 entitled In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products liability Litigation in United States District Court, District of Minnesota in front of Judge Donovan W. Frank.

Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuit

The company has enjoyed a long run of success in the manufacture and distribution of Stryker hip replacements for use in total hip replacement surgery, but its fortunes have turned sour after two major product recalls and a massive settlement. In November 2014, it was announced that Stryker had agreed to a $1.4 billion settlement to resolve almost 2,300 cases in Minnesota and 2,600 suits in New Jersey.

Each of these cases has virtually identical allegations:

  • that the plaintiffs suffered serious injuries due to the flawed design of the Rejuvenate hip replacement
  • that the plaintiffs could not have known that the Rejuvenate device would cause serious injury prior to the product being recalled
  • that the plaintiffs could not have known they were at risk of suffering from serious levels of chromium and cobalt in their bloodstreams (metallosis) because of the flawed design of the Rejuvenate hip replacement device.

Need for revision surgery and metallosis at heart of complaint

In the specific case of Mr. Dabney, his orthopedic surgeon implanted a Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement device in August 2010 at Brookwood Medical Center in Homewood, Alabama. The device failed and as of the filing of this lawsuit, the painful revision surgery to remove the defective device has not been scheduled.

Mr. Dabney also alleges in his Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuit that blood tests he had after the device had failed showed symptoms of metallosis, or abnormally high levels of chromium and cobalt in his bloodstream due to the flaking off of microscopic flakes of metal from the implanted device.

Together, Mr. and Ms. Dabney are demanding compensatory and statutory damages for:

  • injury to Mr. Dabney
  • economic loss
  • loss of services
  • loss of consortium

FDA cleared Rejuvenate to replace recalled Trident device

The Stryker Rejuvenate device, a metal on metal hip implant, received FDA clearance in 2008 as a replacement for the Stryker Trident system, a device made from ceramic material. The Stryker Trident was plagued by patient complaints of severe hip pain and loss of mobility until the FDA ordered Stryker to recall certain Trident components in 2008.

The Stryker Rejuvenate, made of a chromium cobalt neck piece and a titanium stem, received the FDA’s blessing in 2008 as a hip replacement device for a younger, more active user to replace the Trident system. By 2011, the FDA was besieged by complaints of the device loosening, pain, loss of mobility, and complete hip failure.In 2012, an article in the British Medical Journal stated that metal on metal components used in devices like Stryker Rejuvenate could rub against each other releasing flakes of the metal compounds into the bloodstream and potentially cause severe neurological, psychological, and cardiac problems.

In July 2012, Stryker sent out an “Urgent Safety Alert” to physicians warning of the possibility of “fretting and/or corrosion at or about the modular neck junction”. Shortly thereafter, the company issued a Stryker hip recall on all Rejuvenate and ABG II systems.

With over 400,000 hip replacement surgeries per year in the US, dozens of additional cases have been filed since the settlement announcement.

  1. Star Tribune, $1.4 Billion Settlement Announced in Artificial Hip Litigation 
  2., Stryker to Pay More Than $1 Billion for Recalled Devices