Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Biomet claiming that its M2a Magnum hip implant has caused serious injuries to patients as a result of a design defect. The suits are seeking compensation on behalf of patients injured by the hip implants, which have been linked to metal toxicity and premature failure.
If you or a loved one has been implanted with this Biomet hip implant, you may be able to join in this growing litigation. To find out whether you can file a claim over your hip implant injuries, fill out our free, no obligation case review form today.
What is the Status of the Biomet Hip Replacement Litigation?
In Oct. 2012, a panel of federal judges ordered that all pending lawsuits involving the Biomet M2a Magnum be consolidated to a single court in front of one judge. The panel found that all of the hip implant lawsuits contained central issues regarding the alleged design defect and therefore be combined as a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). In an MDL, a single judge will manage the litigation during the pretrial and discovery phase, which includes taking witness testimony and obtaining documents to be used as evidence. This process saves both time and money, and allows consistent rulings in these cases. This order requires that all pending and future Biomet M2a Magnum hip lawsuits be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the North District of Indiana before the Honorable Robert L. Miller, Jr. As of February 2014, at least 1,141 Biomet hip implant lawsuits had been filed.
What Problems Have Been Linked to the Biomet Hip?
The Biomet M2a Magnum hip implant has been alleged to cause a number of problems, including hip implant failure and metallosis. These problems stem from the device’s metal-on-metal design and its alleged tendency to release excessive levels of metal ions as its components wear, the Biomet hip lawsuits claim. High levels of cobalt have been measured in patients with metal-on-metal implants such as the M2a Magnum, and have been linked to a number of problems, including:
- Optic nerve damage
- Peripheral neuropathy
Like other metal-on-metal devices, the Biomet M2a Magnum is composed of a metal ball and metal socket or cup. According to the Biomet hip replacement lawsuits, these components will rub against each other over time, releasing tiny metal ions into the surrounding tissue and bone. It is believed that these ions can not only increase the patient’s metallic levels, but also cause tissue death, bone loss, swelling and pain. These problems may make it difficult to perform revision surgery to replace the hip implants.
Biomet, Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Under Scrutiny
To respond to mounting concerns over metal-on-metal hip implants, which have prompted thousands of lawsuits across the country, the FDA convened an advisory panel in June 2012 to discuss the dangers of these types of hip replacements. The panel of health experts found that there were few reasons to continue use of metal-on-metal hip implants, as evidence reveals that the devices can fail earlier than expected and put patients at risk for metal poisoning. The FDA has not addressed the issue of recalling the devices, but the majority of panel members stressed that there were few, if any instances, in which metal-on-metal hip implants should be used. The health experts told the FDA that patients experiencing pain and other symptoms should receive routine x-rays and blood testing to measure the levels of metal in their systems. Unfortunately, there is no standard diagnostic kit that tests for these metals, which include chromium.