We reported last month that Biomet metal hip implant lawyers are attempting to combine the federal lawsuits into a type of Biomet class action known as multi-district litigation (MDL) The argument to combine them has only gotten stronger in that time.
What Injuries Do Biomet Metal Hip Implants Cause?
Biomet metal hip implants include the M2A Magnum, which is a medical device that we believe is connected to serious problems like blood poisoning and serious malfunction. Like other types of metal-on-metal hip implants, studies and research are showing how dangerous Biomet’s hip implant is, and we’ve concluded that, like other metal hip implants, it is defective.
These hip implants have two components, easily thought of as the ball and the cup. The metal cup rests in the pelvis at the hip, and the ball rests in the cup and is attached to the upper leg bone. The problem with these hip implants is that, as the leg moves, the metal parts grind away at each other. This causes metal bits to shave off and to fall into the surrounding tissue, and sometimes into the patient’s bloodstream. Metal poisoning of the blood is called metallosis. When the metal gets into the body, it can cause irritation, inflammation, and pain. In addition, the wearing away of the metal causes the Biomet hip implants to fail at a very high rate, so patients will require a second hip replacement surgery.
What Progress Has Been Made In The Biomet MDL?
The Biomet injury lawyers have requested that all cases filed in federal courts be grouped together before one federal judge, who will then steer and guide these cases, hopefully to Biomet metal hip implant settlements. When they first filed the request in MDL 2391, there were about eight Biomet lawsuits. That number has multiplied, and now there are approximately forty cases.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers will meet in New York City on September 20, 2012 (see the hearing schedule), where the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will have a hearing to help decide whether to group these cases together. That’s about a month away, and additional Biomet hip implant lawsuits will be filed before then, which will increase the chances of combining these cases.
Biomet has filed an opposition and is resisting the MDL. They give the usual reasons, claiming that each case is unique, and it will be difficult to group them together. However, from past experience, we know that the cases have substantial similarities, and could benefit from group management. Interestingly, one other reason given by Biomet is that some Magnum hip implant cases have been settled already, and other cases are moving toward resolution. This is almost an admission that the metal hip implants are defective.