LFIT V40 Femoral Head Recall
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) has created new MDL No. 2768 to hear products liability litigation involving the Stryker-branded LFIT Anatomic CoCR V40 femoral heads, a prosthetic hip replacement device.
US District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston will oversee a total of 33 cases from 17 district courts, with at least eight groups of competing plaintiffs’ counsel involved, in In re: Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation.
Defendant HowmedicaOsteonics Corp. of Mahwah, NJ, unsuccessfully opposed centralization and wanted the cases heard in New Jersey or New York federal court.
All the lawsuits involve common factual questions about alleged defects in Howmedica’s Stryker-branded LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral heads.
42,519 Defective Hips
Howmedica recalled 42,519 of the defective hips on August 29, 2016. The company also issued a letter to orthopedic surgeons advising them of a “higher than expected” incidence of taper lock failure for certain sizes of its LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads.
Potential hazards listed in the recall notice included excessive metal debris, disassociation of the head from the stem/failure, trunnion fracture, metal corrosion at the femoral head and stem junction, metal debris and tissue death surrounding the device, pain, and metallosis.
Simultaneously, the Canadian public health agency issued a recall about the Stryker LFIT V40 and the Australian Government Department of Health published a Hazard Alert about the same devices.
The plaintiffs’ claims focus on the performance of the LFIT V40 cobalt-chromium device, in particular the alleged propensity of the device to cause corrosion at the taper junction when paired with femoral stems made from different alloys (such as Howmedica’s proprietary TMZF, which is an alloy of titanium, molybdenum, zirconium, and iron). This corrosion allegedly leads to failure of the implant or other serious health consequences and necessitates surgery to remove and replace the implants.
In addition to the specific causes of the failure of each plaintiff’s device, the cases have common issues about the development, manufacture, testing, regulatory history, promotion, and labeling of the LFIT V40 cobalt-chromium femoral head. “We note, though, that the transferee judge might find it useful, for example, to establish different tracks for the different femoral stems that can be mated with the LFIT device,” the JPMDL said.
Lieff Cabraser partner Wendy R. Fleishman has applied to the Court for a leadership position to lead the lawyers in the case who have claims filed on behalf of the victims and their families against Stryker.
About Wendy R. Fleishman
A partner in Lieff Cabraser’s New York office, Ms. Fleishman is a passionate and experienced lawyer for the injured and the loved ones of those who died due to the wrongful misconduct of others. With more than thirty years of courtroom experience to draw upon, a large part of Wendy’s practice today consists of representing patients prescribed drugs with undisclosed and dangerous side effects or who received defective medical devices.
Ms. Fleishman has served in leadership roles in significant multidistrict litigation cases in federal and state courts involving pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and personal health products. These cases include: the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG-II Hip Implant Litigation, Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Implant Litigation, Yaz and Yasmin Litigation, DePuy Hip Implant Litigation, Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Heart Lead, the Guidant Cardiac Defibrillator, the Ortho Evra Patch Litigation, and contaminated contact lens solution litigation against Bausch & Lomb and Abbott Medical Optics.