It’s been a long time coming, but the first settlements in lawsuits seeking compensation for Stryker’s defectively designed hip implants have been announced. Four lawsuits filed in New Jersey by four different plaintiffs have now settled, Judge Brian Martinotti announced last week.
It’s in everyone’s best interests to resolve these cases.
Stryker, along with several other companies, faces allegations that its metal-on-metal hip implants can corrode and allow metal particles to enter patients’ bodies, leading to a range of medical complications. The number of suits filed nationwide continues to grow, and only last month J&J settled more than 8,000 hip lawsuits in a massive $2.5 billion agreement. While Stryker doesn’t face quite as many lawsuits, the serious side effects of the implants are no less worrisome. Defective hip implants can cause metal poisoning, permanent destruction of bone tissues, and severe pain.
Last week’s settlement announcement relates to cases filed in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey. Six lawsuits entered mediation last April, and of those, four have now settled. While mediation efforts continue for a number of other lawsuits, and ten cases were due to enter the first phase of mediation beginning in January, Judge Martinotti admitted that “it’s in everyone’s best interests to resolve these cases at this stage rather than years and years of protracted litigation[.]”
Details of the settlement have not been made public, but Stryker announced in October that the company was setting aside between $700 million and $1 billion for litigation related to metal-on-metal implants. Around 400 lawsuits have been filed against Stryker and consolidated to the U.S. District Counrt of Minnesota, while 500 more cases are being heard in New Jersey’s multicountry litigation.