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Stryker deal on recalled hip implants tops $1B

Bloomberg//November 3, 2014

Stryker deal on recalled hip implants tops $1B

By Bloomberg

//November 3, 2014

Stryker Corp. said it agreed to pay more than $1 billion to resolve lawsuits over thousands of hip implants it recalled in 2012 after patients complained of pain, swelling and metal debris from the devices.

Stryker, based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, will pay an average of about $300,000 per case to patients who had the devices surgically removed, Kim Catullo, one of the company’s lawyers, told a New Jersey state court judge Monday. The device maker faces almost 4,000 suits consolidated in both New Jersey and federal court in Minnesota, according to legal filings.

“This settlement program provides patients compensation in a fair, timely and efficient manner,” Bill Huffnagle, a Stryker spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

Stryker withdrew its Rejuvenate and ABG II devices in July 2012 after warning surgeons that they could harm tissue around the hip and cause other health problems. The company said it set aside more than $1.4 billion to cover costs of handling cases over the recalled hips so Monday’s settlement fell into the “low end of the range of probable loss.”

The company faces 1,800 cases consolidated before U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank in St. Paul, Minnesota. In those suits, some hip recipients blamed the Stryker implants for high levels of metal debris found in their blood.

“We estimate that it will cover about 3,000 patients whose devices have already failed,” Ellen Relkin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the New Jersey case, said in an interview.

Last year, Johnson & Johnson, the world’s biggest seller of health-care products, agreed to pay at least $2.5 billion to settle litigation over its ASR metal-on-metal hip device. J&J is in talks to extend that settlement to cover an additional 1,000 hip recipients, people familiar with the negotiations said last week.

The consolidated New Jersey case is In Re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular Hip Implant Litigation, Case No. 296 BER-L-936-13, Bergen County Superior Court (Hackensack). The consolidated federal case is In Re Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 13-MDL-2441, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (St. Paul).


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