Howmedica Osteonics Corp. (referred to as “Stryker Orthopaedics”), a subsidiary of Stryker Corporation, has informed the courts in the New Jersey Multicounty and Federal Multidistrict litigations that 95% of registered eligible patients have enrolled in the Settlement Program.
The current settlement covers eligible patients who underwent revision surgery for their recalled Rejuvenate or AGB II hip prior to November 4, 2014. Under the Master Settlement Agreement, Stryker had until June 15, 2015, to walk away from the settlement if the 95% participation rate was not reached. Though with the participation rate attained, the settlement will move forward, and enrolled patients will begin receiving payments as early as July. Payments are to be made on a first-in, first-out basis, meaning that those who submitted their enrollment paperwork early in the process should be paid sooner than those who submitted near the deadline. Payments will continue to be made throughout the fall.
Enrollment for additional payments for extraordinary injuries such as fractured femur during revision surgery, significant lost wages, or re-revision will begin in July. Payment for extraordinary injuries are expected toward the end of 2015 or early 2016.
Patients who were revised after November 4, 2014, or have not yet been revised, may have a valid claim to be litigated and should seek the services of an attorney. The November 4, 2014, cutoff for this settlement was an arbitrary date; it allowed Stryker to handle thousands of claims that were in the legal system without cutting off the rights of those who are revised after that date.
Hare Wynn attorney Don McKenna is a member of the Multi District Litigation Plaintiffs Steering Committee for the Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II hip litigation and is representing many Stryker hip clients. McKenna says, “The settlement provides good compensation for the overwhelming majority of people impacted by this defective product. The fact that the compensation is being provided to clients within two years of the litigation being filed is an added benefit, as litigation with thousands of affected plaintiffs can drag on for years.” McKenna believes it is likely that there will be additional settlement rounds for those revised later in time, but none have been announced.