Hip Replacement Recall Claims

Since the DePuy hip replacement recall of 2010, there has been considerable attention focused on metal on metal hip replacement systems and hip replacement recall claims for compensation. However, with almost fifty thousand metal on metal hip replacement systems in circulation within the USA, it is impossible in any general article to provide individual advice to people who have sustained an injury due to a metal on metal hip replacement system and who wish to make hip replacement recall claims.

Therefore, we have compiled the following list of questions which you should be asking your lawyer and, just as importantly, what questions your lawyer should be asking you.

What to Ask Your Solicitor about Hip Replacement Recall Claims

The first thing you may wish to know is if your hip replacement system has actually been recalled. Although the lack of a hip replacement recall does not disqualify you from receiving compensation for injuries sustained due to metal on metal hip replacement systems, if the manufacturer of your faulty hip replacement system has acknowledged that there is a product defect, it will facilitate the smoother passage of hip replacement recall claims.

There have been a number of hip replacement recalls over the past decade, and hip replacement systems which have been recalled include:-

  • Wright Medical (2004 – Conserve® Plus and Conserve® Total Hip Replacement Systems)
  • Smith & Nephew (2007 – Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System)
  • Biomet Implants (2008 – M2a Magnum Hip Replacement System)
  • Stryker Corp. (2008 – Trident Hip Implant System)
  • Zimmer (2008 – Durom Cup Hip Replacement System)
  • DePuy Orthopaedics (2010 – ASR Articular Surface System and ASR XL Acetabular System)

Am I Entitled to Make Hip Replacement Recall Claims?

Even if your model of metal on metal hip replacement system does not feature on the above list, you may still be entitled to make hip replacement recall claims for compensation. The criteria for eligibility only needs to show that you were implanted with a faulty hip replacement system which was defective when it was introduced to the market and you have sustained an injury as a result.

Hip replacement recall claims for compensation are made under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and, provided that your revision surgery was not due to an external infection or surgical error, you have three years* from the date on which you discovered that you had a faulty hip replacement in which to make a claim for hip replacement recall compensation.

* The Consumer Protection Act stipulates that there is a time limit of ten years from when a product is introduced to the market in which to make hip replacement recall claims. Claimants who are sustained an injury due to a metal on metal hip replacement in the 2010 DePuy hip replacement recall should be advised that the DePuy ASR Articular Surface Hip Replacement System and DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System were both introduced in the USA in 2003.

How Much Compensation Am I Entitled to Receive?

Each claim for hip replacement recall compensation is individually assessed. Factors which are taken into account include the pain and suffering you experienced prior to and after revision surgery, the effect that your injury had on your quality of life and those around you, the financial costs attributable to your injury and any psychological injury you may have sustained.

No two hip replacement recall claims for compensation are the same – even when the injuries sustained are identical. How much compensation for hip replacement recall you receive will be influenced by your age, gender, state of health prior to the failure of the metal on metal hip replacement system and how your future health may be affected by the failure of the hip replacement system.

How Long Will the Hip Replacement Recall Claims Process Take?

Unfortunately it is impossible at this stage to answer this question. DePuy Orthopaedics made an offer of compensation following the DePuy hip replacement recall which was wholly inadequate and removed patient´s rights to claim compensation for hip replacement recall in respect of the pain and suffering they had experienced and for any future health consequences.

There are a number of class action suits in progress in the United States which it may be to your advantage to participate in. Your lawyer will advise you whether your particular claim for hip replacement compensation would benefit from joining a class action suit, or whether it would be more appropriate to prepare for litigation in the USA.

How Much Does It Cost To Make Hip Replacement Recall Claims for Compensation?

The costs of making hip replacement recall claims for compensation will depend on the complexity of your case, who the claim is being made against and whether litigation is necessary. Some claims for hip replacement recall compensation are settled before going to court and, in these circumstances, there are considerable savings to be made on legal fees associated with making hip replacement recall claims.

Most claimants will have some form of legal expenses insurance attached to a home contents or car insurance policy, and your lawyer will ask to review such policies to determine your level of coverage. It may also be possible to represent you under a “Contingency Fee” conditional arrangement, and your lawyer will advise you whether your claim for hip replacement recall compensation qualifies for this option.

Questions Your Solicitor Should Be Asking You

In order to compile the strongest possible hip replacement recall compensation claims, your lawyer will have to ask you some very personal questions. Your answers may have to be supported by medical evidence or you may have to undergo further medical examinations to collaborate your claim. Your lawyer will acknowledge that you have been through an exceptionally traumatic experience and it is unlikely that a complete assessment will be made in one telephone conversation.

When Did You First Know That Your Hip Replacement System Had Failed?

This is important to know to ensure that your claim for hip replacement recall compensation falls within the time scale permitted by the Consumer protection Act 1987. The “date of knowledge” is not the day on which you underwent revision surgery, but the day on which you were diagnosed with an injury attributable to a metal on metal hip replacement system.

What Was your General State of Health at the Time?

Your general state of health, along with your age and gender, is considered by a lawyer when compiling claims for hip replacement recall compensation. A fit, young male with a healthy lifestyle will be entitled to more compensation for hip replacement recall than an elderly female smoker who suffers from a poor immune system due to her way of life.

How Long Did You Have to Wait for Revision Surgery?

The period of time that you had to wait from knowing you had a faulty hip replacement system until revision surgery was performed will also be integrated into hip replacement recall claims. Claimants who were conscious of the fact that friction between the head and cup of the implant was causing their hip replacement system to fail would have reduced their movements to as little as possible, whereas those who had already suffered a dislocation would have been unable to move at all.

What Levels of Chromium and Cobalt Were Recorded in Your Blood?

The reason for the DePuy hip replacement recall and several others was that high levels of chromium and cobalt were entering the bloodstream and causing inflammation, cysts and unexplainable pain – even away from the area of the implant. Any recordings of chromium and cobalt above 7 parts per billion could lead to other health complications including cardiovascular and neurological injury.

Have You Had a Blood Test Subsequent to Revision Surgery?

This is an obvious question following the previous one. If high levels of chromium and cobalt remain in the blood after revision surgery, further damage could be caused to tissues and organs in your body. This may affect your future health, life expectancy and – in hip replacement recall claims for women of child-bearing age – the health of your future children.

How Long Was Your Recovery Period?

One of the major factors considered in hip replacement recall compensation claims is how much of your life was lost due to an injury attributable to a metal on metal hip replacement. It is well-known that patients who have sustained significant bone damage and tissue necrosis will undergo longer and more complicated revision surgery which, in turn, will affect how long it takes to recover from the operation.

How Did Your Injury Affect Your Income?

The length of time you were unable to work will have had a negative impact on your income. Even if your employer continued to pay you throughout your period of incapacity, you may still have lost overtime, promotion opportunities and pension contributions. Hip replacement recall claims should ensure that you are no worse off financially than if your metal on metal hip replacement had never failed.

Do You Believe You Have Suffered a Psychological Injury?

There are many ways in which you can sustain a psychological injury which would qualify for hip replacement recall compensation. If you have a quantifiable fear of hospitals or surgery, if you suffered from anxiety and depression, or if you have justifiable concerns about your future health, these can all be considered as emotional traumas and accountable in a hip replacement recall compensation claim.

What Was the Impact of Your Injury on Family and Friends?

Whether or not you suffered a psychological injury which affected those who were caring for you during your recovery, partners may have had to exist on a reduced income, give up their jobs or work part-time to care for you, or change their own lifestyles to synchronise with the changes to yours. There are many other ways in which the “secondary victims” of an injury can suffer, and these should also be considered in a claim for hip replacement recall compensation.

What Leisure Pursuits Were You Unable to Participate In Due to Your Injury/Recovery?

The “loss of amenity” is an important consideration in hip replacement recall compensation claims. If your metal on metal hip replacement failed, and you were unable to enjoy the standard of life that you experienced prior to your injury, it is possible to recover compensation for hip replacement recall due to the negligent manufacturer´s breach in his duty of care to provide you with a product, the safety of which you would be entitled to expect.

Speak With a Solicitor about Hip Replacement Recall Claims

These lists are not comprehensive by any means, and each personal situation will influence your priorities and those of your lawyer. If you would like to discuss your entitlement to claim hip replacement recall compensation and put your own specific questions to a lawyer free of charge, you are invited to call our freephone service.

There is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for hip replacement recall compensation once you have used our service and, naturally, all calls to our service are completely confidential. We recommend that you write a list of your own questions before calling us and have a pad of paper handy to make notes.

As mentioned above, it may not be possible to complete a full assessment on the initial telephone conversation, but you are more than welcome to call us at any time – our lines are open 24 hours, seven days a week – or complete your contact details in the box at the foot of the page and one of our lawyers will get back to you at the requested time.