Over 900 Biomet hip lawsuits have been filed by people who were injured by the M2A Magnum and M2A-38, metal-on-metal hip replacements that have been associated with metal toxicity (metallosis) and premature failure.
Biomet M2A Hip Lawsuits Settled for $56 Million
February 2014 — Biomet Inc. agreed to pay $50 million in compensation and $6 million in attorneys’ fees to resolve hundreds of lawsuits involving the M2A Magnum hip replacements. Plaintiffs would receive a base settlement of $200,000 — though some could receive more or less depending on the severity of the injury. Plaintiffs who file lawsuits after April 15, 2014 could still seek compensation through an individual lawsuit.
What is the Biomet Hip Replacement?
Biomet manufactures the M2A Magnum and M2A-38. They are metal-on-metal hip replacements, which means that both the femoral head and acetabular cup (“ball-and-socket”) are made of metal. When a patient walks, these components grind together and release tiny particles of chromium and cobalt into the tissue surrounding the hip joint.
When chromium debris accumulates around the hip, it can cause severe pain, inflammation, swelling, bone loss and the growth of pseudo-tumors (non-cancerous soft-tissue growths). This may contribute to loosening or dislocation of the hip implant. Cobalt ions are highly soluble, which means they easily leech into the bloodstream. This can cause metal poisoning (metallosis) and systemic reactions in many areas of the body.
Biomet Hip Replacement Lawsuits Centralized in Federal Litigation
In October 2012, a panel of federal judges ordered the centralization of Biomet hip lawsuits into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, overseen by Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr., for coordinated pre-trial proceedings. Since then, over 1,000 lawsuits have been filed here:
What is the problem?
Studies have shown that metal-on-metal hip replacements are no more effective than traditional plastic and ceramic designs, but they increase the risk of complications like metal poisoning, corrosion, premature failure, and revision surgery due to metallic debris.
In March 2012, a study published in the Lancet found that, on average, 6% of all-metal hips failed within five years, compared to 1.6% of metal-on-plastic and 2-3% for metal-on-ceramic hips. Researchers saw no reason to recommend an all-metal hip implant, and said:
“[Metal-on-metal hip implants] give poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted. All patients with these bearings should be carefully monitored, particularly young women implanted with large diameter heads.”
Biomet Hip Replacement Side Effects
- Hip pain
- Swelling, inflammation
- Dislocation, looseness, or instability
- Bone loss (osteolysis)
- Tissue necrosis
- Bone fracture
- Bursal cyst
- Pseudo-tumors (soft-tissue growths)
- Metallosis (metal poisoning)
- Corrosion of hip implant
- Failure in less than five years
- Revision surgery
- Permanent disability
FDA Safety Warning for metal hip implant systemic reactions:
- General hypersensitivity reactions (skin rash)
- Neurological changes
- Hearing or vision loss
- Psychological changes
- Cognitive impairment
- Kidney function impairment
- Thyroid dysfunction (neck discomfort, fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold)