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Plaintiff Claims Biomet Hip Permanently Damaged Tissue and Bone

medical-malpractice-lowPermanent bone and tissue damage due to metal debris is the allegation made by a plaintiff who recently filed a lawsuit against Biomet.

The plaintiff claims the faulty nature of her Biomet metal-on-metal hip led to injuries and the need for revision surgery just a few short years after her initial procedure.

Suit filed in MDL No. 2391

Loretta Mason filed her lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana this month, the same court in which a settlement was reached between Biomet, Inc. and multiple plaintiffs in 2014. Those cases had been coordinated into multidistrict litigation due to the growing number of similar complaints involving the Biomet hip replacement systems. Although the settlement has concluded, lawsuits continue to be filed in this district court as the MDL for Biomet cases continues.

Mason states in her complaint that she underwent full hip arthroplasty in her left hip on May 22, 2007. At that time, she was implanted with the Biomet 2A Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant System. The design of the device resulted in metal components fretting together inside her joint, which released small metal particles into the surrounding tissue and bone. The metal contamination led to the loosening and failure of the hip device, requiring revision surgery in May 2015.

Risks of hip revision surgery

Hip revision surgery is often a riskier undertaking than the original procedure, due to damage to bone and tissue in the area. In addition, patients having to undergo a second procedure may have a longer and more challenging recovery and rehabilitation period. In Mason’s case, she states in her complaint that the complications with her first hip device have led to past and future “pain, suffering and disability.”

Metal-on-metal hip implants were introduced to the medical community by a number of manufacturers that touted their benefits as superior to other types of hip systems. Companies claimed these devices would be more durable, making them a good choice for younger patients concerned about their activity level after hip replacement surgery.

Unfortunately, early failure rates with these devices were reported, leading the FDA to issue a safety communication about metal-on-metal devices and hip implant complications in 2013.

Many injured patients began filing lawsuits against the hip manufacturers, including Biomet, Stryker and DePuy, claiming the companies failed to provide proper warnings about the risks associated with their devices.

Biomet allegedly fails to disclose risk

Mason alleges in her Biomet hip lawsuit that the defendant knew about the potential problems with their metal-on-metal hip system before she underwent her original surgery in 2007. Shortly after releasing its device on the market, Biomet began receiving reports of early failure. To date, more than 350 adverse events involving the Biomet 2A have been filed with the FDA, states the claim.

Despite this knowledge, Mason argues that Biomet continued to market their hip system to orthopedic surgeons across the U.S., assuring surgeons the devices were safe and had a low failure rate.

Mason is now seeking damages from Biomet to compensate her for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. She is also seeking punitive damages from Biomet, claiming the company’s failure to disclose risks was both “willful and wanton.”