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Hip Replacement Lawsuit–Should You File One?

Five hip-implant related surgeries. Five! That’s how many Dianne Pingel had to suffer through– and in quick succession. The cause? Faulty implants. Pingel filed a hip replacement lawsuit against her device’s maker, joining thousands of Americans who are holding manufacturers accountable for negligence. 

Are you a victim of faulty hip implants? You may be entitled to damages. Contact our lawyers to discuss the details of your situation.

Faulty hip implant.

Dianne Pingel’s Hip Implant Horror Story

“I just never thought this is how I would have spent my first year of retirement, in and out of hospitals,” Dianne Pingel told the Palm Beach Post. “It’s a lot for a person to go through.”

At 66 years old, Pingel expected to put her working days behind her and enjoy a well-deserved retirement. But instead of lounging poolside, she found herself stretched out on a hospital bed. 

In July 2011, her left hip was replaced with a Stryker Rejuvenate modular stem. Just 14 weeks later, she had to have her right hip taken out as well. Surgeons put in another Stryker Rejuvenate device. 

Then Pingel started having scary complications. Her blood cobalt levels soared. MRIs revealed a tumor-like swelling on her right hip joint. So she had the first implant removed. 

That first revision surgery didn’t go well at all. The artificial hip had damaged and poisoned surrounding tissue. As surgeons tried to remove and replace it, Pingel’s thigh bone broke. New fractures rippled through her femur. 

This led to yet another operation to fit her leg with a titanium rod. After that, Pingel could barely walk, and couldn’t tie her shoes or walk up stairs. 

Then, as if she were experiencing deja-vu, the same series of events happened with her left hip. High cobalt levels, swelling, the whole nine yards. So she had to have the second implant removed as well. 

After all these surgeries, Pingel had every right to be angry. Who wouldn’t be? She filed a hip replacement lawsuit against Stryker. She was the first recipient of a Rejuvenate device to do so. But she wasn’t the last. 

Hip Replacement Lawsuit Statistics

As America ages, hip replacement surgery is becoming more common. And so are hip replacement lawsuits. Medical device manufacturers continue to pump out the “latest and greatest” in joint replacement technology. That may sound like a good thing. But the rush to get them to market is putting hip patients at risk. 

At present, there are too many faulty devices out on the market. That’s one of the reasons why so many implant recipients end up filing hip replacement lawsuits. 

Take a look at these statistics:

  • According to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, about 29,000 hip device lawsuits had been filed in the US as of July 2019. 
  • Since 2008, manufacturers like Stryker have paid more than $6.5 billion in damages to victims. 
  • The FDA says that hip replacements are the medical devices they’ve received the most reports about. (Patients reported 103,104 injuries from 2008-2017). 

Common Reasons for a Hip Replacement Lawsuit

Many hip replacement surgeries are successful. Surgeons remove damaged bone. They put a metal, plastic, or ceramic implant in its place. This implant should last around 15 years. 

But sometimes the implants fail. Or they don’t last nearly as long as they’re supposed to. The result? Endless pain, suffering, and unexpected revision surgeries for patients. Sometimes patients end up worse than they were before their first implant surgery. With each operation, tissue and bone surrounding their damaged hip joint deteriorates. 

Here are some common reasons for patients to file a hip replacement lawsuit:

  • Hip device was unsafe, but the manufacturer failed to recall it
  • Device shed metal particles, causing metallosis
  • Implant caused muscle loss  
  • Patient had to undergo multiple surgeries to remove or fix the device
  • Manufacturer failed to warn about potential safety problems
  • Implant failed earlier than it was supposed to
  • Device corrodes and poisons the patient
  • Maker didn’t include adequate instructions for implanting the device
  • Patient experienced inflammation and pain because of the implant

Class Action Hip Replacement Lawsuits

In essence, class action lawsuits are large lawsuits that involve many people. All these people want to sue over the same thing. They come together to “take down” big companies, like medical device manufacturers. 

Here’s what a class action case looks like:

  • One lawyer files the hip replacement lawsuit for all victims
  • A jury hears a single case
  • The jury hands down one verdict for everyone in the “class”

Victims of faulty hip devices may find more success by joining this type of hip replacement lawsuit. After all, there’s strength in numbers. 

These manufacturers have been the subject of recent hip replacement lawsuits:

  • Encore Orthopedics
  • Biomet
  • Smith & Nephew
  • OMNILife
  • Stryker Orthopedics
  • Exactech
  • Zimmer Holdings
  • Wright Medical Technology
  • Depuy Orthopedics

Should you file an individual hip replacement lawsuit? Or join a class action suit? That’s a perfect question for hip replacement lawyers. If your hip device failed or you’ve had complications after hip replacement surgery, it’s worth consulting with a lawyer to see if you have grounds to sue. 

Hip implant class action lawsuit.

How Hip Replacement Lawyers Can Help

Hip replacement lawyers are attorneys who specialize in device failure cases. They can apply their experience in this area to help you win damages. They have the “know-how” (and the guts!) to take on big companies who notoriously deny responsibility. 

 Oftentimes, filing a hip replacement lawsuit to seek damages is a victim’s only recourse. It’s the only way they can pay for the “extra” hip and leg surgeries they had to have. Damages can pay for medical equipment, round-the-clock care, and hospital bills as well. You may also win compensation for pain and suffering, and other non-economic losses. 

Thinking about filing a hip replacement lawsuit? Here are some questions hip replacement lawyers can answer for you:

  • Do I have grounds to sue? Will my case hold up in court?
  • Should I file an individual hip replacement lawsuit? Or join a class action lawsuit?
  • Does what happened to me constitute a medical malpractice case? Or a manufacturing defect case?

If it was your surgeon’s fault that your hip implant failed, you may have a case of malpractice. If the device failed despite all going well with the implant surgery, it’s most likely the manufacturer’s fault. 

Not all cases are cut and dry. In fact, you may be able to sue both your surgeon and the device maker. This can maximize your compensation, and help improve your quality of life. 

Consult with an attorney to find your best way forward. You deserve justice for what happened to you. Manufacturing companies must be held accountable for their negligence. Call the attorneys at Hampton & King today to get started.