There is a nationwide problem with metal on metal hip replacements, and patients may need to be tested for higher cobalt or chromium levels in their blood, the best indicator that their hip replacement is failing according to recent sources. Our Atlanta product liability lawyers will be interested to see how the cases across the country progress, particularly the case in Georgia’s Federal Northern District Court.
The pending Georgia case, Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, is being handled by Judge William Duffy. It is in the discovery phase, and in September the judge ruled that plaintiffs have access to documents citing complications with a particular product, the Wright Profemur hip neck stem. Plaintiffs had argued that this neck stem was an integral part of the design flaw of the hip replacement. Judge Duffy’s discovery order stated, “The Court finds that information regarding the Profemur neck is relevant to the claims in this action and reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” It also said that the plaintiffs should get information and documents about the neck’s design and function and any notice or investigation by the manufacturer of any defects, like corrosion, fretting, or failure.
There are also cases going through the federal courts of several other states, including Texas, Ohio, California, and New Jersey. The defendants are most of the major medical device manufacturers in the United States. Aside from Wright, they include DePuy, Stryker, Biomet, and Zimmer. It is not only an American problem either. Some European health agencies have done studies suggesting that some of these devices have a failure rate of almost 50 percent in some circumstances. The British Hip Society and British Orthopaedic Association issued a joint statement on the matter. And the US Food and Drug Administration has looked into the issue, as well.
The push for litigation is being helped by the consumer group, US Drug Watchdog. They note that about 500,000 Americans currently have this type of metal on metal hip replacement, meaning the potential scope of this problem and these lawsuits is enormous. According to the group, symptoms of hip replacement failure are “pain in the area of the hip implant, loss of flexibility, swelling in the area of the metal-on metal hip implant, loss of mobility, and elevated levels of cobalt or chromium in the bloodstream of the recipient.” The group also points to lack of knowledge about these kinds of product problems among consumers as an obstacle to overcome when talking about metal on metal hip replacement failure awareness.
Atlanta Product Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, including a medical product, contact the personal injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter. Our lawyers have experience representing clients in many different types of personal injury claims in Georgia, including product liability lawsuits. Call our law office at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
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