Smith and Nephew BHR Hip Injury claims moving forward. The Smith and Nephew orthopedic company is under fire over its line of Birmingham hip resurfacing hip implants.
The major defense roadblock was the immunity shield the company threw up, claiming that their hip devices were protected by federal preemption because they had been approved by the FDA.
Judge Blake who is overseeing the federal litigation which is consolidated and centralized in Maryland, threw cold water on that defense proposition. Judge Blake has refused to dismiss state law claims of negligence, failure to warn and breach of warranty in the Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing hip implant MDL, ruling they are not expressly preempted because they each rest on a violation of federal requirements.
In a March 26 order, Judge Blake further held that those claims are not impliedly preempted. The Court’s order now paves the way to full-blown discovery, bellwether trials and eventually to a global settlement on these product liability and personal injury cases. There have been no trials, verdicts or settlements in the BHR cases yet.
What is the problem with the Birmingham Hip Implant?
Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip failure linked to design defect causing personal injury, metallosis, pain and need for risky revision surgery according to lawsuits
Metal on metal hips (MoM) hip implants consist of a ball, stem and shell, all made of metal materials. Metal-on-metal resurfacing hip systems consist of a trimmed femoral head capped with a metal covering. MoM hip implants were supposed to offer less device material wear, lower chance of hip dislocation and a lower chance of device fracture.
All of the major MOM manufacturers have faced personal injury and product liability claims over their defective design and premature failure. Including the DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle (made by the medical device giant Johnson & Johnson), Zimmer Durom Cup, Biomet m2A Magnum, Stryker Rejuvenate/ABG II, Encore, Wright Conserve, Smith and Nephew R3 and Birmingham hip to name a few.
Smith Nephew Birmingham Resurfacing Hips
Most recent hip implant manufacturer to be hammered is the Smith Nephew orthopedic company, which is under fire over its Birmingham Resurfacing line of metal hip devices which are prone to metal poisoning and premature failure according to lawsuits.
Since these symptoms are progressive, patients are advised to undergo metal total hip replacement or hip resurfacing procedures.
What is the problem with Metal on Metal hips?
Unfortunately, all of the MoM hip manufacturers have been plagued with a catastrophic defective design, in that there are two or more articulation points where the metal components can grind against each other.
This grinding action causes the release of toxic metal debris of cobalt and chromium, which are the alloys the metal hip implant is usually made from. Metallosis occurs when the poisonous microscopic metal particles are released into the bloodstream causing an elevation of cobalt and chromium blood levels.
Smith and Nephew Birmingham Hip
The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System is supposedly a conservative approach to hip replacement in which an all-metal bearing joint is used to preserve, rather than replace, a patient’s femoral head and neck.
BHR System was approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006. Since its introduction, there have been over 175,000 BHR implantations worldwide.
Smith & Nephew issued a field-safety notice on its BHR implants in 2015, saying the implants had a higher risk of dislocation, fractures and premature failure that needed surgery to correct.
In addition, the UK-based company recalled its R3 Acetabular Hip Systems in 2012 and its Modular SMF and Modular Redapt Revision in 2016, over serious complications.
Federal BHR Multidistrict Litigation
In response to the increasing number of product liability lawsuits filed against Smith & Nephew over the BHR system, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered they all be centralized before U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake in the District of Maryland.
If you think you may have Smith & Nephew Birmingham Resurfacing metal hip device and are experiencing pain caused by metal corrosion or have suffered premature hip failure requiring full revision and emergency care, please call Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm at 888-210-9693.
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Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.