Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Implant System Lawsuits
Last month, a federal judge in Maryland removed more than a dozen lawsuits filed against hip implant system manufacturer Smith & Nephew when those lawsuits were filed late. However, hundreds of pending lawsuits against the multinational manufacturer are pending in Judge Catherine C. Blake’s district court.
More than 400 Claims Against Smith & Nephew Move Forward
In spring of last year, the US Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation, which consolidates and centralizes class actions lawsuits, aggregated more than 400 claims against Smith & Nephew for misrepresenting the safety of its hip implant device, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) system.
The Birmingham system is a metal-on-metal hip implant technology which has allegedly caused pseudotumors and metallosis (metal poisoning) in patients who received the technology as part of hip resurfacing or replacement. As a result of these serious health consequences, many recipients of the BHR system were forced to undergone painful revision surgery to have the system removed and replaced. Claimants in the lawsuits allege that Smith & Nephew not only misrepresented the safety of the BHR, but also moved to cover-up problems with the technology.
What is a Metal-on-metal Hip Implant?
These implants are made of a ball, stem, and shell system composed of metal materials, hence the name. The aim of these devices is to resurface or replace the hip joint. Using metal was supposed to reduce wear-and-tear on the implant, and reduce the chances of injury and fracture.
In the event, these implants have caused other major health issues for recipients in the US and around the world. Smith & Nephew are just one of several multinational medical device manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implant systems who have been sued in MDLs around the country.
What Problems May Be Caused by Faulty Hip Implants?
A wide array of different metal-on-metal hip implant systems have resulted in catastrophic injury to patients. In some cases, a design flaw causes metal components to grind against each other. This in turn leads to fragmentation and the release of metallosis. Titanium, chromium, and cobalt compounds commonly used in MoM systems leech into the bloodstream of recipients and wreak havoc on their bodies.
What’s Wrong with Smith & Nephew’s Birmingham Hip System?
Unlike many of its competitors, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System is used to maintain the integrity of the femoral neck and head rather than replace them. This approach, touted as more conservative and thus by implication safer than more radical procedures, turned out to be just as problematic for patients who received the system.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, since its introduction to the market in 2006, the BHR system has been implanted more than 175,000 times. However, in 2015, Smith & Nephew were forced to issue a public safety notice announcing that the BHR had a higher risk of dislocation, fractures, and other complications than they had originally suggested.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Unsafe Medical Device Law Firm
If you or someone you know has been the victim of health complication due to a faulty hip implant system, please contact our attorneys immediately for a free consultation at 215 462 3330 or by using our online contact form.