Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., Files Suit Based On Failure Of Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Hip System

April 2013

Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., has filed a product liability lawsuit against medical device maker Howmedica Osteonics Corp., doing business as Stryker Orthopaedics, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.

The lawsuit alleges that Stryker Orthopaedics designed, manufactured and sold a defective medical device called the Rejuvenate Modular Hip System, which was then implanted into the bodies of patients throughout the United States, including the firm's client, causing serious and permanent injuries.

The Rejuvenate is a metal-on-metal hip implant with a chrome cobalt modular neck that is inserted into a titanium femoral stem. The hip replacement system was released in early 2009. Thousands of units were sold and implanted into patients in subsequent years. The marketing materials for the Rejuvenate claimed the device was tested and proven to resist fretting and corrosion.

However, in April 2012, Stryker issued an Urgent Field Safety Notice detailing reports of heavy metal contamination and failures of the Rejuvenate system caused by fretting and corrosion. Among the symptoms and findings specifically mentioned in the Urgent Field Safety Notice were tissue necrosis, metallosis and adverse soft tissue reaction. Shortly thereafter, the company issued a voluntary recall in Canada. On July 6, 2012, a similar recall was issued in the United States due to heavy metal fretting and corrosion.

According to the lawsuit, the fretting and corrosion caused by the Rejuvenate system are exactly the same failure mechanisms that the defendant had warranted would not occur. These was also exactly the same failure mechanisms that the medical and scientific communities had been studying and documenting in modular device designs since the 1980s.

Like many other victims, after the device was implanted into the body of the firm's client, it began to corrode, causing her to develop severe metal particle disease and leaving her with substantial and permanent damage and pain in her left hip and the surrounding tissue, even after having undergone a revision surgery to remove and replace the defective device.

The lawsuit alleges that despite reports of early failures with the device, Stryker continued to market, sell and profit from the Rejuvenate without advising surgeons and the medical community of dangers the company was aware of. The lawsuit alleges that Stryker's conduct was not only negligent but willful and wanton, in that it recklessly disregarded the safety of patients including the firm's client.

The attorneys at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., represent people who have been injured, as well as the families of those who have died, due to defective medical devices or other wrongful conduct. If the at fault party or its insurer is unwilling to provide our clients with a fair settlement, our lawyers have the skill, resources and determination to pursue appropriate relief at trial. We have obtained substantial jury verdicts and settlements for clients injured by defective products. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective medical device, contact one of our product liability lawyers by calling 312-445-9160 or by filling out our contact form online.