A Michigan man is suing medical device maker, Biomet, over its M2a Magnum™metal-on-metal hip implant device. The man alleges that the defective hip system caused complications that led to his having to undergo risky revision surgery; he is represented by the national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP.
The lawsuit was filed on November 29th in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Michigan (Case No. 2:12-cv-15255-LPZ-MJH). Biomet, Inc. and Biomet Orthopedics, LLC have been named as defendants.
The Biomet M2a Magnum™ device is a type of metal-on-metal hip implant; the lawsuit alleges that this type of hip system causes metal to rub against metal with the full weight of the body. As a result, tiny metal particles, mostly cobalt and chromium ions, shed from the device and may be absorbed into the bloodstream and local tissue of patients’ body. The suit alleges that the defective design caused the plaintiff’s body to react adversely, a condition which typically leads to symptoms that include pain, looseness, dislocation, and squeaking and popping sounds. The suit also claims that the metal debris typically causes fluid build-up, as well as bone and tissue damage. The plaintiff is one such patient who experienced these painful complications, the lawsuit alleges.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was implanted with the Biomet M2a Magnum™ on his left hip in March 2009. Even though Biomet knew of over 100 adverse event reports related to the Biomet M2a Magnum™, the defendants refused to inform the plaintiff or the public, the suit alleges. The lawsuit claims that the implant failed, causing the plaintiff to suffer severe pain, which ultimately forced him to undergo revision surgery to remove the implant. According to the lawsuit, the revision surgery itself has a significant risk of injury because these procedures are more complex than initial implantation because there is less bone to work with and a higher chance of future complications.
The lawsuit alleges that the patient would not have received the Biomet M2a Magnum™ implant had he been aware of the risks and holds Biomet responsible for his injuries. The plaintiff seeks compensation for a number of damages, including economic losses, severe and possibly permanent injuries, pain, suffering, and significant emotional distress.
Research suggests that metal-on-metal hip implants fail more often than alternative hip replacement systems. Research based on data from the National Joint Registry of England Wales found that metal hip implants fail at a rate of 6 percent in five years compared to 2 percent in plastic or ceramic devices. The study, which was published in the Lancet in March, also found that the risks tend to be higher in female patients and in patients with larger diameter heads.