Biomet Orthopedics Inc. has agreed to settle hundreds of lawsuits involving the Biomet M2a-38, a metal-on-metal hip implant. Plaintiffs allege that the all-metal hip replacement is defective because it can cause metal toxicity (metallosis), pain, bone loss, and other debilitating side effects. Many people have required revision surgery because the implant failed prematurely.
Biomet Agrees to $56 Million Settlement
February 2014 — Biomet will pay $56 million to settle hundreds of lawsuits involving the Biomet M2a-38 and M2a-Magnum hip replacement, according to Reuters. Patients who had the implant for at least 180 days will receive a base award of $200,000. However, patients who require additional medical treatment could receive even more compensation. As of April 2014, Biomet was facing over 1,600 lawsuits in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2391) in Indiana. Click here to read more.
What is the Biomet M2a-38?
The Biomet M2a-38 is a metal-on-metal hip replacement made from chromium and cobalt. This design was originally intended to last longer and provide patients with more flexibility and a wider range of motion.
What is the problem?
Metal-on-metal hip implants became controversial after numerous studies found that they had unique risks in addition to the risks of all hip implants. The problem is that the metal pieces grind together whenever the patient moves. The friction may allow tiny particles of chromium and cobalt to flake off and accumulate in the hip joint.
Cobalt ions are water-soluble and can leech into the bloodstream and cause metallosis (metal toxicity). Metal debris in the hip can also cause pain, swelling, inflammation, bone death, soft-tissue growths, and other side effects that contribute to premature failure of the implant. When these complications occur, most patients need revision surgery.
Biomet Hip Implant Class Action
As of April 2014, Biomet was facing over 1,600 lawsuits involving the Biomet M2a-Magnum and M2a-38 hip implants. These lawsuits were not part of a Biomet hip implant class action — they are individual lawsuits that have been centralized in a federal court. The Biomet Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2391) is located in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. In February 2014, Biomet agreed to pay $56 million to settle hundreds of cases, with each qualifying plaintiff receiving a base award of $200,000.