The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP is again being asked to take a leading role in protecting the rights of those injured by defective medical devices, this time those harmed by the Biomet M2a Magnum™ hip implant.
In a release from the firm, Attorney Daniel C. Burke has been appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Biomet M2a Magnum™ hip implant Multidistrict Litigation. This MDL was consolidated earlier this year in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana (MDL 2931, In RE: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation). The appointment of Burke was made by District Court Chief Judge Robert L. Miller Jr., who is presiding over the Biomet MDL.
This lawsuit aims to include any recipient of the Biomet M2a Magnum™ hip implant because it is a metal-on-metal hip implant, a class of medical devices that puts people at risk of serious injury, namely metallosis, caused by the accumulation of metallic fragments of cobalt and chromium generated through normal wear and tear of the device. The consolidated lawsuit claims Biomet Inc. failed to warn regulators and the public of the dangers of metal-on-metal hip implants, specifically their link to life-threatening metallosis.
The firm is already representing several victims of the defective Biomet M2a Magnum™ hip implant, including a most recent filing of a lawsuit on behalf of a Michigan man who claims he has experienced severe pain and inflammation and has been forced to undergo revision surgeries to correct the problems caused by the defective device. That lawsuit was filed on Nov. 29 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. A judge will determine whether it should be included in the newly-formed Biomet M2a Magnum™ hip implant MDL.
That lawsuit claims the Biomet M2a Magnum™ hip implant can cause high levels of chromium and cobalt ions in the bloodstream and through a recipient’s body that can lead to bone, tissue, and organ damage. It may also cause painful fluid build-up, looseness of the device, dislocation, or even squeaking and popping at the site of the implant.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have been the root of thousands of adverse event reports filed by recipients of these devices, especially in the last 10 years, after many models were approved for use on the U.S. market. Makers of these devices, including Biomet, used flawed and sometimes non-existent clinical data to show that metal-on-metal hip implants were safer and more effective than traditional implants. In fact, because they were supposed to last longer than a traditional implant, they were marketed to younger-than-traditional recipients because they’d require less replacement surgeries over time.
As the adverse event reports accumulate, it’s become clear these claims are far from fact and thousands of recipients of these devices have begun legal courses against makers of them. At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration – which allowed metal-on-metal hip implants onto the market through its “fast-track” approval system – has now required makers of these devices to product post-market safety data that refutes these claims, including those against the Biomet M2a Magnum™ hip implant.
As a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, Burke will play a key role in litigating pre-trial motions that affect what evidence can be admitted at a trial. An MDL is established when numerous lawsuits are filed making similar claims. Consolidating lawsuits has become an effective way at reducing the likelihood a decision can be appealed due to inconsistent rulings.