February 10, 2014 — Indiana-based medical device company Biomet Inc. has agreed to pay $50 million in compensation and $6 million in attorneys’ fees to resolve hundreds of lawsuits involving the M2A Magnum hip replacement.
People who were injured have until April 15 to participate in the settlement agreement. Each plaintiff would receive a base award of $200,000, though actual amounts will vary depending on the severity of injuries. Some individuals could receive more if they require medical treatment in the future. People who file lawsuits after the deadline could seek compensation individually or negotiate another joint settlement.
As of January 31, the company was facing 1,012 lawsuits in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2391). The lawsuits are overseen by Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.
All of the plaintiffs allege that the Biomet M2A Magnum is defective because it has a metal-on-metal design. When components grind together, particles of chromium and cobalt can shed inside the patient’s body, causing local and systemic complications.
Chromium debris around the hip typically causes pain, inflammation, soft-tissue growths, tissue necrosis, bone loss and loosening of the hip implant. Cobalt ions can seep into the bloodstream and cause systemic reactions throughout the body, including metal poisoning (metallosis). Despite these devastating side effects, Biomet never recalled the M2A Magnum.