Archive for the ‘Hip replacement’ tag

Hip Replacement Company to Pay $56 million for Defective Products

March 10th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

hip replacementReuters is reporting that Biomet Inc. is going to pay $56 million to settle multiple lawsuits against them for the company’s defective metal hip replacements. Hundreds of plaintiffs across the country had filed lawsuits against Biomet for their metal-on-metal hip replacement devices known as M2a-38 and M2a-Magnum. These suits were all combined and an Indiana federal court heard the case against the company.  Biomet’s headquarters are located in Indiana.

According to the lawsuit, these metal-on-metal devices are made from cobalt and chromium alloy. As grinding of the ball and cup articular surfaces takes place, the defect in the device releases an excessive amount of these two metals. Plaintiffs in the case experienced early failure of the hip replacement devices and many suffered from metallosis – elevated metal ion poisoning. This led to often painful revisions and a long rehab process.

Biomet will put $50 million into an escrow account to pay all those plaintiffs who have been forced to have the revision surgery. Each claimant will receive a base $200,000, with any more funds being determined by clinical factors in each individual case. There are at least 200 claimants who have not had the surgery yet. They will not receive any funds as part of the settlement until, or if, they have the revision surgery.

The other $6 million will go towards attorney fees.

Despite the settlement agreement, Biomet maintains that their product were not responsible for any injuries or damages suffered by anyone who received those implants. However, it was revealed that shortly after Biomet introduced the devices in 2004, hundreds of complaints of the product failure began coming in to the company. Biomet didn’t act on those complaints.

Biomet isn’t the only hip replacement company facing litigation over defective metal hip replacement devices. Other companies include the Zimmer, Stryker, Biomet, Wright and DePuy.

If you received a defective hip replacement device, contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

New Program Ranks Best and Worst Hospital for Hip and Knee Replacements

February 28th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

joint replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery, hip replacement, hospital safety, Connecticut, lawyer, attorneyKaiser Health News is reporting on a new Medicare program that tracks the results of hip and knee replacement surgeries. Medicare has released the names of the 97 best and the 95 worst hospitals to have these procedures at.

Over 500,000 Medicare patients have either hip or knee replacement surgeries each year. In 2010 alone, between Medicate patients and those with private health insurance, more than 332,000 patients had hip replacement surgery (costing $8 billion) and 700,000 patients had knee replacement surgery (costing $12 billion).

The tracking system looked at operations performed from June 2009 through July 2012. It looked at how often patients were readmitted within a month after replacement surgery. Serious complications from the surgery, like infections, blood clots, problems with the replacement joint or death, were also tracked. An average was determined by Medicare, and most hospitals fell in that average. Two hospitals from Connecticut fell on that list, with one falling into the best category and one falling into the worst category.

Several of the hospitals that fell in the worst list complained about the procedure that was used to determine these results. They said that the results were outdated given the time-frame that Medicare used to track results. New technologies and new treatment models were two examples of how treatments have improved over the past year or two.

Medicare is going to add the results of this tracking as part of its formula when deciding to penalize hospitals. After conducting a similar tracking on readmission rates for patients with heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia, the federal agency has already penalized more than 2000 hospitals nationwide by paying those hospitals less. Once these new figures are factored in, a hospital could lose as much as 3 percent per patient stay.

If you’ve had side-effects or injuries from joint replacement surgery, contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

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