Morgan & Morgan’s Laura V. Yaeger has been selected by the Honorable Judge Donovan W. Frank to be part of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) for the Stryker metal-on-metal hip implant multidistrict litigation (MDL). Plaintiffs in the MDL allege they sustained injuries as a result of faulty hip implant components found in Stryker’s Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II devices. They claim that the implants are prone to fret and corrode at the modular-neck junction, and fail prematurely.
On November 5, 2013, Judge Frank appointed leadership roles for the Stryker MDL, including five attorneys as the Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Committee, two attorneys as the Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, and 17 attorneys to serve on the PSC. Ms. Yaeger and the other members of the PSC will be responsible for conducting all of the plaintiffs’ pretrial proceedings, as well as planning for and conducting the trials and potential resolution for the cases. During discovery, all of the attorneys appointed to leadership roles will gather different forms of evidence to help expedite the litigation and avoid any conflicts between parties.
Hundreds of lawsuits are currently pending in the federal MDL against Stryker, which claims that the hip stems found in two of Stryker’s metal-on-metal devices are defective. Although Stryker’s hip implants use a metal neck and stem – as opposed to the more common metal ball and socket design – similar adverse effects have been reported in connection with both of Stryker’s implants and traditional metal hip replacements. It is believed that the implants can release small metal particles into the patient’s bloodstream due to friction between the metal neck and stem. As a result, some patients have suffered from pain and swelling, while others have reported bone and tissue damage near the implant. There have also been reports of patients requiring corrective surgery after premature degradation or failure of the metal hip implant.
Over 40 lawsuits were originally consolidated into a federal MDL against Stryker, but that number has since grown by sevenfold to nearly 350 cases, making leadership roles all the more necessary as the litigation continues to grow.