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Stryker Settles Rejuvenate and ABG II Litigation

Searcy Denney Filed First Case in Country – Results in Landmark Settlement

After months of negotiations, Stryker has agreed to settle all cases for those patients who were implanted with either the Rejuvenate or ABG II modular hip stem and have had it removed due to a failure of the hip implant device. The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implants were recalled from the market in July of 2012.

Searcy Denney first began representing plaintiffs who were harmed by these modular hip implants in April of 2012, months prior to the product recalls. They filed the first Rejuvenate lawsuit in the country in August of 2012 in state court in New Jersey on behalf of a South Florida woman who suffered catastrophic injuries due to defects in the Stryker hip implant. The case was filed against both Stryker Corporation as well as Howmedica Osteonics Corporation.

Facing numerous depositions and bellwether trials, Stryker (which is based in Mahwah, New Jersey) initiated settlement discussions in May 2012 with the cooperation of Judge Brian Martinotti, who oversees more than 2,000 individual lawsuits that have been filed in the New Jersey state court litigation. Over the ensuing months, a court-appointed negotiating team (which included Searcy Denney partner and shareholder C. Calvin Warriner III) met with Stryker representatives on multiple occasions to explore a global resolution of the litigation. The parties’ negotiations were greatly assisted by Diane Welsh, a retired federal judge who was appointed by Judge Martinotti as a mediator in the coordinated Stryker litigation.

On November 3, 2014, a global resolution program for Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II cases was announced in Judge Martinotti’s courtroom.  This settlement is available for all qualifying claimants with lawsuits filed in the New Jersey state court proceedings as well as plaintiffs who have filed cases in the coordinated federal court proceedings in Minnesota (MDL No. 2441) and other state court venues as well as claimants who have not yet filed a lawsuit.

The settlement reached between the Plaintiffs’ negotiating team and Stryker is unprecedented since it calls for the largest base payment in hip implant litigation history, and compensation remains available to participating claimants for complications that they may suffer over the next two years. In addition, Stryker’s liability is not capped, as occurred with the $4 billion DePuy ASR Settlement Program announced in late 2013. Instead, each claimant is entitled to have their case examined to determine the amount of their individual settlement. Stryker’s final tab for this disaster will not be known until all claims are paid. It will ultimately cost the company what it costs.

The Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) is over 90 pages in length. We have created a simplified Settlement Summary (which can be accessed below) for our clients’ easy reference. This Settlement Summary should assist our clients’ in understanding the manner in which their Base Award as well as Enhanced Benefits Award will be calculated given their unique medical history and complications suffered following Revision Surgery.   The confidential portal for Searcy Denney’s clients also includes other documents relating to the settlement, Frequently Asked Questions, and a video library with explanations of the critical information relating to settlement program eligibility, calculation of Base Awards and Enhanced Benefit Awards, the timetable for claims review and payments, the impact of the settlement on the voluntary Broadspire program, etc.  Unfortunately, due to confidentiality, we are only able to share these details with clients of our law firm.

The lawyers and staff of Searcy Denney are proud to see the Stryker project that our firm started reach such a successful and prompt conclusion.  It was a pleasure to work with such a great team and a huge thank you goes out to Judge Brian Martinotti for his masterful handling of the case and to Retired Judge Diane Welsh for her skillful mediation assistance.  We also look forward to continuing to work with Judge Martinotti and Judge Welsh on behalf of those clients whose cases are not included in the settlement program as well as those clients who choose in the future to reject the settlement being offered by Stryker and proceed to a jury trial on their claims.

Finally, we are elated to have the privilege of representing our Stryker clients over the past two years and are thrilled to be able to present them with the option of participating in this very substantial settlement program.  Many of our clients have expressed a desire to resolve their cases without the necessity of going to trial; and this settlement program provides them with that option, if they so choose. Bringing thousands of medical device cases to a meaningful and swift resolution is both challenging and very satisfying. Many have suffered needlessly and, while the civil justice system cannot fix their problems, it can provide some sense of justice.

The law firm of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley is still accepting new clients who have been implanted with the recalled Stryker ABG II and Rejuvenate modular hip implants and desire to pursue legal claims against the medical device manufacturers. Please contact us for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.