Hip Metal Poisoning / Metal-On-Metal Implants

Legal Guidance for Hollywood Residents Injured by Defective Medical DevicesMetal poisoning

Every hip replacement carries its own set of risks, but metal-on-metal hip implants carry a greater risk for metal poisoning. If you suffered complications from this type of hip replacement, the lawyers at Anidjar & Levine can help you seek damages for your injuries. Our hip replacement mass tort attorneys have helped victims in Hollywood and surrounding communities hold manufacturers accountable for their defective products. We can provide the advocacy you need if you suffered metal poisoning from a hip replacement.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements

Hip replacement surgery involves the removal of damaged parts of the hip joint. The femoral head, or ball, is removed and replaced with an artificial ball made of either metal or ceramic. The socket is also replaced with a metal, ceramic, or plastic cup. When the prosthetic ball and socket are both made of metal, it is a metal-on-metal hip replacement.

Metal-on-metal hip replacements carry the risk of metal poisoning. The metal ball and socket rub against each other when a person walks or runs, and the device can corrode over time. The friction and corrosion can release metal ions, like chromium and cobalt, in the area around the device and into the bloodstream. This can lead to bone, nerve, or tissue loss around the implant as well as device failure and even the need for additional surgery to prevent further damage. Hip metal poisoning can also spread to the lymph nodes and damage the liver, kidneys, and other organs. In most cases, symptoms of metal poisoning do not appear until months or years after the surgery.

Some hip replacement manufacturers have recalled metal-on-metal devices due to a higher-than-normal risk of failure. DePuy Orthopaedics, for example, recalled its metal-on-metal hip replacement systems after a rise in serious complications associated with their devices.

Metal Poisoning and Manufacturer Liability

A single type of metal-on-metal implant can poison or injure thousands. Hip replacement manufacturers usually issue a recall only after numerous recipients have been hurt. When a product injures a large number of people, the victims can file a mass tort claim against its maker. By filing a mass tort claim, each individual can benefit from the evidence, expert testimony, and resources used to build a collective case against the manufacturer.

When a product injures its user, the victim can hold the manufacturer liable in a products liability claim. This lawsuit can be based on:

  • Strict liability: a manufacturer is strictly liable if the defect in its product poses an unreasonable risk of danger to the user;
  • Negligence: a manufacturer is negligent if it violated its duty of care to the plaintiff and caused injury; or
  • Breach of implied warranty of merchantability: a manufacturer breaches the implied warranty of merchantability if the product’s defect made the product unfit for its intended use.

Under each theory of liability, the plaintiff must show that the device was defective. A product can have a manufacturing, design, or marketing flaw. For example, it may have a manufacturing defect if there was an error in the way it was produced. These types of issues usually affect a limited number of products. A design defect is a problem with the way the device was actually designed. Unlike a manufacturing defect, a design defect affects the entire product line.

The plaintiff also has to link the implant defect to his or her injuries and show that the item was defective when it first left the maker’s control. If a manufacturer is found liable for harm caused by its defective metal-on-metal implant, each victim in a mass tort action can recover for his or her own damages. These can include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other costs arising from the injuries.

Product Liability Attorneys Representing Victims in Fort Lauderdale

At Anidjar & Levine, we have the resources to represent Fort Lauderdale victims of hip replacement injuries. Our product liability lawyers are skilled litigators who can thoroughly investigate injuries caused by a defective device. We will work with a team of professionals to build and effectively present a strong mass tort claim on behalf of hip replacement recipients. Call us at (800) 747-FREE or via our online form for a free consultation.