X-ray of hip implant

Biomet settles metal-on-metal hip implant complaints for $56 million

Medical device manufacturer Biomet Inc. agreed Monday to pay $56 million to resolve multi-district litigation (MDL) in which plaintiffs alleged they were injured by the company’s defective all-metal hip implants.

Hundreds of Biomet patients filed lawsuits against the company, alleging its M2A Magnum metal-on-metal hip implants malfunctioned, led to injuries, and required additional surgery for repair or replacement. Lawsuits filed in U.S. District courts throughout the country were consolidated for MDL in October 2012 in an Indiana federal court under Judge Robert L. Miller.

The two-part settlement requires Biomet to establish a $50-million escrow fund that will be used to compensate patients who claim they were injured by Magnum M2A hip implants. An additional $6 million will go to plaintiffs’ legal fees.

The settlement agreement specifies a formula for the payment of claims, with each injured patient receiving a base payment of $200,000, with additional provisions in place to satisfy a range of court-approved conditions. The agreement covers all pending cases and any future lawsuits filed in U.S. court before April 16, 2014.

In addition to Biomet, several other medical device manufacturers are facing personal injury lawsuits related to hip implants made from all metal components. In November, Johnson & Johnson and its orthopedic unit, DePuy, agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle some 8,000 lawsuits alleging its ASR all-metal hip implants led to debilitating injuries and metal poisoning. Those implants were recalled by the manufacturer.

Smith & Nephew, Wright Medical Technologies, and Stryker Corp. are other metal-on-metal hip implant makers facing personal injury lawsuits alleging the devices are defectively designed. Like DePuy, each of the companies recalled some of their all-metal hip devices in recent years.

Beasley Allen lawyer Navan Ward is working on cases related to all-metal hip implants. For more information, email him at [email protected].

Sources:

Reuters
Law 360

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