By: 27 January 2016
Medical device lawyers attend important case management conference on behalf of hip clients

Medical device lawyers attend important case management conference on behalf of hip clients

Lawyers representing more than 1000 individuals who claim they were implanted with failed metal-on-metal hip implants gathered at the High Court in London in November in a legal case against some of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers.

Legal teams on behalf of Depuy Synthes, Zimmer, Corin, Smith & Nephew and others, attended an unprecedented case management conference (CMC) to determine the way in which more than 1000 individual claims against the manufacturers should be managed through to trial.

The claims discussed at the High Court concerned 11 different prosthetic hip devices, including the Pinnacle Ultamet total hip device (Depuy); the Zimmer/Metasul total and resurfacing devices (Zimmer); and the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device (Smith & Nephew).

The claimants allege that each product comprises different design features that promote metal debris production resulting in the premature failure of the devices leading to injuries, such as muscle necrosis and tissue damage associated with adverse reaction to metal debris.

A number of the products at issue have been discontinued and the vast majority are no longer recommended for implantation by the British Hip Society. Many of the devices are associated with failure rates that exceed the guidance levels issued by NICE for the selection of hip prostheses and have revision rates which are significantly in excess of long-standing non-metal-on-metal alternatives which, it is alleged, would have provided the claimants with more durable and safer alternatives.

Group Litigation Orders have already been issued by the High Court in order to consolidate the large number of claims involving the Pinnacle Ultamet, Zimmer Durom and Corin prostheses.

Bozena Michalowska-Howells from the Consumer Law and Product Safety group at Leigh Day, the lead solicitor for the Pinnacle metal-on-metal group litigation, said: “We welcome the Court’s proactive management of this large group of metal-on-metal cases. The claimants we represent believe that these devices have failed to deliver on the promise of improved wear performance and durability that many of these products offered. Since the recall of Depuy’s ASR metal-on-metal hip products in 2010, we have continued to investigate failed metal-on-metal prostheses on behalf of the hundreds of individuals whose lives have been affected by these products. We will continue to do all that we can in order to achieve the expeditious and successful resolution of these claims.”

Source: Leigh Day

Picture credit: Alexandre Rotenberg /