Just over two years since the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implant products were recalled from the market in June 2012, national leadership in the multi-district litigation (MDL) today announced a global settlement proposal for all Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implant victims who have undergone revision surgery to remove and replace their recalled Stryker hip implant on or before November 2, 2014. The settlement proposal includes a base award amount of $300,000.00 to each claimant who has undergone revision surgery on or before to November 2, 2014, and otherwise qualifies for the settlement. There are certain limited potential reductions to the base award for age, prior hip revisions, and other relevant factors. Claimants may also receive additional compensation, referred to in the proposed settlement as “Enhancements,” at a later date if they can demonstrate that they meet the eligibility requirements for the categories set forth in the settlement agreement.
Although participation is voluntary, it is expected that many of those that qualify (those who have had their recalled Stryker hip removed and replaced on or before November 2, 2014) will benefit from the settlement program, and may ultimately decide to participate in the settlement. Any such decision should be made on an individual, case-by-case basis.
The following is a basic summary highlighting key aspects of the Master Settlement Agreement:
The settlement program applies to patients who are U.S. citizens and residents who had either an ABG II Modular Neck System or a Rejuvenate Modular Neck System implanted in their bodies in the United States, and who had a qualified surgery to remove and replace the recalled device on or before November 2, 2014. The settlement program is also open to certain patients who have been deemed to be too sick or medically unstable to undergo a necessary revision surgery.
At Childers, Schlueter & Smith, our attorneys will immediately undertake to determine how the proposed settlement will affect each of our clients, and will work with each client individually to carefully consider the benefits of the proposed settlement so that they can make an informed personal decision on whether or not to participate. As a nationally appointed leader in this litigation, founding partner Richard R. Schlueter will ensure each and every one of our clients has all of the information he/she needs to make the best choice for his/her unique situation. Richard Schlueter has been involved in the various hip implant litigations (including DePuy ASR/Pinnacle, Zimmer Durom Cups, Biomet M2a Magnum and Wright Conserve Plus among many others) for several years, and has unique knowledge relating to hip implant failures and the injuries caused by those failures. Our current and future clients will be continue to be very well represented and informed during the entire process.
Attorneys representing those interested in participating in the Stryker hip implant settlement will have to register their clients in the program on or before the initial reporting deadline of December 14, 2014. After that, the next deadline will be the formal enrollment of each individual patient who chooses to participate into the Settlement Program. Those qualified claimants who would like to participate in the settlement program must enroll by March 2, 2015. If less than 95% of the qualified claimants elect to participate in the settlement, Stryker has the ability to walk away and cancel the settlement program. Stryker must make that decision on or before June 15, 2015. Assuming the participation threshold is met and the settlement continues after June 15, 2015, the deadline to file claims for Enhanced benefits is September 30, 2015. Additional compensation through the Enhanced benefits portion of the settlement will relate to damage to the femur, soft tissue damage, additional procedures and infection. There is a cap on the Enhanced damages so that most total claims (Base award and Enhanced benefits) will be no more than $550,000.00 per claimant.
Based on the timing of the deadlines in the proposed settlement, it is unlikely that any settlement payments will be made prior to late summer or early fall 2015.
For patients who are not eligible for the settlement program, Stryker’s existing program for reimbursement of eligible out of pocket costs, administered by Broadspire, remains available. The decision to undergo a revision surgery is a medical decision, not a legal decision, and should be made only by patients in consultation with their surgeons. If you were implanted with a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII hip implant product but are not eligible for the settlement program, all of your legal rights and claims are preserved and you will not be affected so long as you have a filed legal claim with the Court. Patients who have been implanted with a recalled Stryker hip in both hips (referred to as “bilateral” hip implants), in whom only one hip has been revised, will retain all of their claims and legal rights in regard to the unrevised hip, even if they participate in the settlement for their revised hip.
Childers, Schlueter & Smith is committed to continue litigating all claims for our clients who don’t qualify, who are arbitrarily penalized so as to not receive an offer under this proposal, who have not had revision surgery by today’s date, and those who choose not to participate in the proposed settlement. If you have a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII, please call us for a free consultation regarding your legal options.
For those looking for answers and guidance on these and/or any other Stryker hip implant related issues, we welcome you to contact our office for more information.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC, Richard Schlueter has spent his career representing individuals and families who have been harmed as the result of wrongful conduct by others. Recently, Richard was selected for inclusion into the Nation’s Top 1 percent of lawyers by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC).