The first of many lawsuits against a metal-on-metal hip manufacturer has been filed by Illinois woman Marcia Olson, who claims that her recalled artificial hip exposed her to toxic substances.
The suit, reported by the Peoria Journal Star, was filed Friday, June 21st, against New Jersey-based orthopedic company Stryker. Marcia underwent a total hip replacement back in June 2011, swapping her defective hip with a Stryker Rejuvenate Modular. Shortly after though, she began experiencing painful side effects, including swelling of the throat, hives, and hair loss.
As stated by Marcia’s attorney, Drew Parker, the pain that the artificial hip was intended to alleviate was intensified due to poisoning from the metal-on-metal implant.
“The parts [of the artificial hip] appear to be poisoning people with cobalt and chromium,” said Parker. “The metal is leaching out of the units themselves in a very short time after installation and attacking the surrounding tissue, causing it to rot and, in the process, unbelievable suffering.”
Even more shocking is that the lawsuit alleges that Stryker not only distributed a product capable of poisoning its host, but knew about the potential of toxic exposure as long ago as the 1980s, yet failed to address the problem or take the proper precautions to rectify the defect.
Stryker voluntarily recalled their Rejuvenate model last July, but it appears their problems are far from over. Parker said he is currently evaluating about 20 other claims against Stryker in the Peoria area alone.
And these Stryker lawsuits are undoubtedly only the tip of the iceberg.
Since 2008, numerous manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants have had to recall their products for a host of reasons—the most serious being toxic metal poisoning (as in the case of Marcia). In addition to Stryker, companies who have recalled faulty artificial hips include:
- Smith & Nephew
- And others…
Learn more about artificial hip recalls by visiting FDA.gov.
In all, there are an estimated 250,000 hip replacements performed each year, one-third of which are the metal-on-metal devices that have given patients so much trouble in recent years. And while there is no current data on the total number of artificial hips that failed prematurely or were recalled—since these numbers are not formally tracked by government agencies—estimates gathered by looking overseas suggest that tens of thousands of patients will have to undergo operations to replace a hip implant in the next few years.
Not only is this a huge burden on the health care system in general, but on the patients themselves, who are stuck paying high medical bills for artificial hips that should have lasted longer.
If you have a metal-on-metal hip implant that has been recalled, failed prematurely, or is causing side effects of toxic exposure, contact an attorney specializing in defective artificial hips as soon as possible to find out if you are entitled to personal injury compensation.