For patients who experience pain and discomfort in their hip joints, the doctor could recommend a hip implant to reduce the pain and restore the patient to regular activity. Smith & Nephew are among the companies that manufacture these metal implants, with their Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System and R3 Acetabular System being some of the most common implants. Instead of bringing much-needed relief, hip implants from Smith & Nephew have been reported to cause serious complications.
Even after realizing the defects and issuing a recall on the metal implants, countless individuals have suffered and continue to experience the adverse complications associated with defective hip implants. If you have any recalled metal hip implants and suffer injuries, you must hold the manufacturers liable for their negligence to recover compensation for your losses.
If you are unsure of your eligibility for the lawsuit and other ways to proceed, you must seek competent legal guidance. At Consumer Alert Now, we help you hold the company accountable for their actions and ensure you recover the compensation you deserve by connecting you with top-notch attorneys who handle successful lawsuits and mass torts on defective hip replacement implants.
An Overview of Smith & Nephew Hip Implants
Smith & Nephew hip implants are a device doctors use in hip replacement surgeries to treat joint-related complications. Such an implant helps to repair or replace a portion of your hip, including the top femur and the socket. Receiving a hip implant allows you to lead a more active life. During hip replacement surgery, your doctor will surgically remove the affected area and replace it with a metal implant. Smith & Nephew is one of the major companies that manufacture hip implants, with the most common device being the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System.
The BHR system has two main parts. A ball-shaped socket that is attached to your pelvis and a semicircular cup that surfaces on your femur. These two parts mimic the natural ball in the socket joint. Another hip implant with a similar structure to the BHR system is the R3 Acetabular system.
Complications Associated with Smith & Nephew Hip Implants
Smith & Nephew hip implants have been proven to cause serious complications, including poor design-related failures and grinding of the metal, which causes poisoning:
High Failure Rate
Several studies have shown that hip implants made with a metal-on-metal design will require some corrective surgery at one time or another. The British Orthopedic Association hypothesized that hip implants would likely fail within four to six years. Before you undergo corrective surgery for the hip implant complications, you may have undergone severe suffering and experienced the following symptoms:
- Decreased mobility. You could experience extreme discomfort when the implant fails, making it difficult to move your joint.
- During your initial hip replacement surgery, the surgeon will cement the implant components while allowing space for the bone to grow back. The implant will loosen when the bone fails to grow, causing instability and pain.
- Infection is a severe complication of a hip implant that may prompt replacement surgery. Numerous patients have experienced infection after a fitting with the Smith & Nephew hip implant. Infection from the hip implant could be characterized by pain, swelling, and redness of the joint,
- Recurrent hip dislocations. A hip dislocation occurs when the ball joint comes out of its socket. Some patients have experienced recurrent hip dislocations after fitting with a hip implant, leaving them to undergo painful correction surgeries.
In addition to physical pain, hip implant revision surgeries have a significant risk of infection, mental anguish, and financial losses from the high medical bills.
Metal poisoning, commonly known as metallosis, is a condition resulting from shedding and a buildup of metal particles from the joint replacement device. When the metals grind against each other and release these particles into the bones, tissues, and bloodstream, your body will likely react. Smith & Nephew hip implants are made from various metals, including cobalt, chromium, and nickel, which have been proven to release carcinogenic ions into the bloodstream of patients. Some of the common complications associated with exposure to heavy metals include:
- Death of nearby tissues. The body does not react positively to foreign materials, and the cells could die from the metal particles.
- Blood poisoning
- Heart complications resulting from cobalt exposure
- Deterioration of the cells which surround the implant, causing friction and further shedding of metal debris
- Chronic pain
You should consult your doctor if you have suffered any complications associated with metal poisoning from your Smith & Nephew hip implant.
Lawsuits Over Smith & Nephew Hip Implants
The patients who suffered injuries from the BHR and R3 hip systems did not have knowledge or control of the hip replacement defects. For this reason, numerous lawsuits have been filed against the company. All the cases against this company allege that Smith & Nephew breached their duty of care by manufacturing defective devices. All manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that the products they produce for human consumption are safe.
Unfortunately, some companies try to cut production costs by using substandard materials to produce the devices. Cobalt and chromium metals are the most common materials that have been proven harmful and cause defects in metal hip implants. In addition to the production of substandard devices, the lawsuits allege that the hip implant manufacturers failed to warn surgeons and patients of the potential side effects of their products.
Smith & Nephew has continued to market the R3 and BHR hip implants as more suitable and stronger than those made from ceramic material. Research has shown that the metallic poisoning and other complications associated with metal implants outweigh the benefits offered by these devices. The injured patients hope to hold Smith & Nephew accountable for their actions by seeking compensation for their injuries.
Many patients have suffered consistent injuries from the defectiveness of Smith & Nephew hip implants. All the small lawsuits were consolidated to form single multidistrict litigation. Multidistrict litigation is the process of streamlining complicated lawsuits into one case, which is easier to handle and more likely to recover compensation. Additionally, the following pretrial procedures are easier to handle with the MDL:
Discovery of evidence. Often, the only evidence needed to prove injury from hip implants is that you received the implant. The courts handling Smith & Nephew lawsuits did not need you to establish the company’s negligence.
- Depositions of witnesses, experts, and victims
- Motions to dismiss
- Motions for summary judgment
- Challenges affecting the admissibility of evidence
Smith & Nephew Hip Replacement Recalls
The worrying link between Smith & Nephew hip implants and metallosis has become common in recent years. Smith & Nephew issued a notice on their devices in 2015, claiming that they had noted the risk of fracture-dislocations and other complications. Additionally, the company recalled R3 hip systems in 2012 over serious issues that could spark potential lawsuits. The timelines of the suits and recalls for Smith & Nephew hip replacements include:
- 2012 June. Smith & Nephew recalled up to 4,000 R3 acetabular hip systems in the United States after reports of complications.
- A lawsuit was filed over the Acetabular Hip system, and the company settled the cases silently
- 2015 December. The company set aside $203 million to pay for the lawsuits associated with its products
- November 2016. Smith & Nephew recalled 2,00 Modular Redapt and Modular SMF femoral hip systems.
- February 2017. Eight individuals who suffered injuries from Smith & Nephew hip systems joined their lawsuits to form multidistrict litigation.
- April 2019. The multidistrict litigation has grown to 609 lawsuits
The hip replacement systems named in the lawsuits were the subject of the recall, including:
- Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System
- Modular SMF
- R3 Acetabular System
- Imperial System
- Redapt Revision Femoral system
Although thousands of hip replacement devices from Smith & Nephew haven’t been recalled, not all devices from their company are defective. If you have a Smith & Nephew implant and haven’t experienced symptoms of heart disease, dislocations, or metallosis, you may not be in any danger. However, you can still discuss your options with your doctor.
Your physician will assess the progress of your device and determine how to proceed. If you are worried about potential complications affecting your life, you can decide to have the implant removed. If you are already experiencing mild symptoms, your doctor could explore all other options before settling for revision surgery.
Joining a Mass Tort for Smith & Nephew Hip Replacements
Mass torts are lawsuits from individuals with the same defective drug or product. In most cases, the defendants in mass torts are large corporations that manufacture defective consumer products. Sometimes, mass torts receive increased publicity, allowing you to join the lawsuit and recover compensation for your losses. If you have suffered complications after being fitted with Smith & Nephew hip replacements, you may be eligible to join a mass tort. A mass tort will likely receive more compensation and ensure a faster settlement than an individual lawsuit.
If you believe that you are eligible for compensation, you must understand the following stages of the mass tort:
Your lawyer reviews different aspects of your case to determine that you are eligible to join the mass tort. In an ordinary case, your lawyer looks into your records dating back ten years. However, with a mass tort, they scrutinize your entire history to ensure that the injuries for which you receive compensation resulted from the defective product. Since the defendant will have a strong team of attorneys to fight against the claim, you must notify your lawyers about all the details of your case to avoid any unexpected circumstances along the way.
A mass tort is supposed to be formed by individuals who have suffered similar injuries or losses from another person’s negligence. Therefore, mass tort lawyers must ensure that your injuries are consistent with those of other individuals in the suit. Although each plaintiff in the mass tort has a different case, the lawyers must find common ground to make so that the lawsuits can have a similar structure and increase the chances of winning as a mass tort. A mass tort could be categorized in terms of age or the severity of the injuries. When the court settles the case, you will recover the benefits depending on the category you claimed.
Filing Federal Lawsuits
Lawyers often make mass tort claims more convenient and faster by consolidating them. Mass tort claims are handled in federal court regardless of where the plaintiffs live. The victims of Smith & Nephew hip replacements are scattered throughout. Therefore, the mass tort lawyers will take the case to federal court.
Before holding a hearing for every case, the court may try several cases. This could be done on some of the most severe cases to act as samples. Bellwether trials help the judges gauge the outcome of other cases. If the court awards a settlement for the bellwether cases. The remaining suits may not even reach trial.
Since some mass tort claims are more complicated than others, the timelines for the settlements may vary. The trial can be tiresome and expensive. Therefore, it would be in the best interests of all plaintiffs if only the federal court handled the bell claims.
If you suffer injury from the Smith & Nephew hip replacements, you can file an individual’s claim or join a mass tort for the product. Some of the benefits that you will accrue from joining the mass tort include:
- Better defense. When you come together with other injured parties, you can combine your resources and hire the best attorneys to handle your case. This increases the chances of recovering a favorable outcome.
- Mass tort claims tend to receive publicity and media attention. This can pressure the defendants to accept liability and settle the claims to avoid negative publicity.
- Prevent future negligence. Most lawsuits and mass tort claims against Smith & Nephew hip replacement manufacturers are based on their negligence in manufacturing the products. Therefore, winning this suit can warn other producers and ensure they exercise caution when producing similar products.
- Better chance of recovery for minor injuries. When you file a lawsuit against Smith & Nephew hip replacement manufacturers, having minor injuries could dim your chances of recovering meaningful compensation. However, a win in a mass tort is a win for everyone, and your chances of recovering compensation are higher.
Compensatory Damages Available for Victims of Smith & Nephew Hip Implants
A person who received a defective hip implant from Smith & Nephew may be eligible for compensation. However, you will need to prove that you underwent hip replacement surgery and, as a result, suffered severe injuries or complications. The lawsuits against Smith & Nephew are adjudicated with strict liability in that there is no requirement for you to prove the exact ways the manufacturer was negligent.
When you file a lawsuit or join a mass tort for the defective Smith & Nephew Hip Implants, your compensation will depend on how much you can prove your injury through medical records. Additionally, you can use testimony from your physician or other individuals who have seen you suffer from the complications associated with the implant. Expected compensation benefits you can recover include:
Some of the symptoms associated with hip implant failure are often very severe. You may incur expensive medical bills to treat the injuries, remove the implant or undergo corrective surgeries. If you are successful in your lawsuit or part of a winning mass tort, the court may compensate you for past and future medical expenses expected to occur owing to the metal implants.
Injuries from a defective hip implant can cause you to spend extended periods away from work. Lost wages are the amount you lose in monthly salary, bonuses, or income from self-employment while you are away from work nursing your injuries. In cases where the corrective surgeries do not go as expected, you can wait weeks or even months to recover from defective hip implant injuries. In your lawsuit, you can be compensated for the lost wages.
Inability to Work in the Future
Hip implants are used for patients with extreme joint pain and discomfort. When these implants fail, you may suffer a permanent disability that makes it impossible to work in the future. Although the loss has not occurred, you can recover compensation for lost future earning capacity from the lawsuit. In most cases, you cannot sue for personal injury after you have received a settlement. Therefore, you must ensure that your lawsuit includes all the past and foreseen losses.
Pain and Suffering
Some of the symptoms of hip implant failure are accompanied by severe pain. Additionally, undergoing numerous corrective surgeries could cause both emotional and physical pain. While you cannot equate pain to a dollar value, a successful lawsuit against Smith &Nephew could see you recover for the pain and suffering you underwent owing to these defective devices.
Loss of Consortium
The lost consortium is the loss of love and companionship you will not enjoy from a loved one who has been injured. If your spouse or close relative has suffered injuries from a hip implant, you can seek compensation for the lost consortium in your lawsuit.
The FDA passed information in 2013 advising the public about the potential risks linked to the metal hip implants from Smith & Nephew. If you have a hip implant, you are urged to consult with your attorneys on how to proceed. A statute of limitations is the time you must file a lawsuit for the defective product. Filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has elapsed could prevent you from collecting compensation.
The statute of limitations is a significant line of defense for Smith & Nephew lawyers since they do not want to compensate you. Therefore, you must understand the statute of limitations and act fast.
Why do I need Legal Guidance to File a Lawsuit Against Smith &Nephew?
Whether you file an individual’s lawsuit or join a mass tort against Smith & Nephew for their defective metal implants, you will need expert legal guidance to recover compensation. While most of the faulty implants have been recalled, this indicates that the company will accept liability for your injuries and compensate you the amount you deserve.
Personal injury cases against large corporations like Smith & Nephew are complicated. The company will employ expensive and skilled attorneys to fight your claim and ensure that they settle as little as possible. Suffering injury from another person’s negligence can be traumatizing. Therefore, you will need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the personal injury law. When you want to join a mass, an attorney enables you to determine your eligibility and guides you through the process of joining other people with similar injuries to pursue compensation.
Join a Mass Tort Near Me Near Me
When a person undergoes a hip replacement procedure, they expect to feel some relief from their joint problems. Unfortunately, hip implants have been found to cause many complications, including metallosis, dislocation, and other complications that may require corrective surgery. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Smith & Nephew, alleging that their products were defective, and as a result, the plaintiffs have suffered life-changing injuries. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products and devices are safe.
Therefore, you may be entitled to compensation if you have suffered an injury after a hip implant from Smith & Nephew. You can explore different legal options, including filing an individual lawsuit or joining a mass tort against the company. Since Smith & Nephew is a large company, you will require expert guidance on your side. At Consumer Alert Now, we will enlighten you on the complications associated with Smith & Nephew hip replacements and connect you with lawyers handling the lawsuits. Contact us today at 800-511-0747.