Defective Medical Devices: Biomet Hip Replacements

Defective Medical Devices: Biomet Hip ReplacementsEvery year, many products fall under product liability due to being defective in their manufacturing or other components of how they are made and distributed. Biomet is a medical device manufacturer based in Indiana that has undergone scrutiny in recent years due to this very reason. A timeline of events led up to this, including Biomet’s implant sales being up to $312.9 million in the United States in 2010, and Zimmer buying Biomet in 2014. You may say that Biomet had the utmost of success, but when it all comes down to it, in the end they also had many problems with their devices.

Biomet manufactures many hip replacement devices for all types of replacement surgeries, but one implant in specific grabbed the attention of the general public for its issues in patients. These are known as implants that come from the M2a Hip Implant line of products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of reports of complications from doctors and patients who used products from this line. These implants were released all the way back in 1996 and the design promised long-term performance, which allowed for a wider range of motion and decreased dislocation.

Issues Concerning the M2a Magnum
450 adverse events were reported regarding the M2a Magnum products, and it has been said that the number would only grow from there. The events reported include pain, swelling, premature device failure, and fracture. One of the biggest issues reported was metallosis, which occurs in metal-on-metal implants like the M2a Magnum. This occurs when the metal surfaces of ball and socket rub against each other, releasing metal debris. This debris causes damage in the tissues surrounding the joint, which can lead to several problems like tissue discoloration, tissue necrosis, pockets of fluid, swelling, loosening of the prosthesis, and more. Excessive metal particles could be released into the blood, which can cause complications to many of the patient’s organs.

In October 2012, a lawsuit began which claimed Biomet, Inc. and various Biomet business units as the defendants. The case went on until February 2014, which is when Biomet agreed to settle all of the consolidated federal lawsuits for a combined $56 million, meaning the base award for each plaintiff is $200,000. Aside from all this, there has been no official recall of the hip implants. Instead, the FDA recommended that patients with hip implants schedule follow-up visits annually or bi-annually to identify potential issues before they become problematic.

Device makers are under a special duty of care to adequately design and test their products and ensure their safety. The sad fact of the matter is that Biomet, like many makers, usually aren’t very quick to take responsibility for injuries caused by their products. They typically attribute problems to infections and surgical errors instead when this isn’t actually the case, which is why in most cases, their products are not removed from shelves.

Many people who have been injured by these metal-on-metal hip implants have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for their injuries. You may be able to receive awards for compensatory damages such as medication, revision surgery, and more, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and even punitive damages that discourage future misconduct. Call Welebir Law today to find out where you stand in your case.


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