In October 2022, Reuters reported on the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) that took a significant step by combining a substantial number of lawsuits against Exactech Inc, a prominent orthopedic device maker. These lawsuits included several plaintiffs who claim that their knee or hip implants experienced premature failure, requiring subsequent revision surgeries.
The consolidation of at least 75 cases marks a pivotal development in the legal proceedings concerning these alleged product defects and their potential impact on patient’s well-being.
Exactech backed up the plaintiff’s call for creating the MDL. Since August 2021, the company has recalled close to 200,000 hip, ankle, and knee prosthetics. The company further shared that the “off-specification” of the packaging devices might have enabled their polyethylene components to get oxidized before the end of their declared shelf life.
In June 2023, All About Lawsuits stated that every Exactech lawsuit had faced the same allegations. It indicates that the vacuum-sealed bags, which weren’t specified, were used with the plastic tibial insert component enabling the oxygen to touch the hip, ankle, and knee implants much before they got placed inside the body. That, in turn, maximized the chances of premature failure or degradation. Therefore, patients might need extra surgery to dispose of the component after a few years.
Exactech Acumatch and Novation hip implants faced similar packaging issues that led to a recall in June 2021. In August 2022, the Exactech hip replacement recall was expanded to add an extra 40,000 joint replacements that can potentially experience premature failure. The recalls and the subsequent litigation have raised concerns about the reliability and safety of these orthopedic devices and their impact on people’s health and well-being.
Why Did Exactech Recall the Implant Devices?
Exactech is a well-known medical device brand that develops advanced orthopedic implants that comprise hip and knee devices that surgeons use. Based on the records till February 2022, the company had recalled all these devices which got implanted in patients, from 2004 to 2022.
The packaging layers of plastic inserts in the recall enabled the airflow before getting inserted, which led to oxidation. It also made the device get worn out prematurely. All the components which got manufactured in the last 8 years missed out on a barrier layer that comprised a strip of ethylene vinyl alcohol.
Using these devices made patients witness knee implant failure. Exactech has shared that severe complications from such devices include pain, knee complications, and device failure. Patients should contact an expert healthcare provider for correct treatment.
It is possible for the patient’s to witness:
Clicking or grinding
Feeling the pain while walking
Not being able to bear the weight of the implant
As a result, several patients kept wondering all that they should do to decide in case the recall impacted them. Filing a lawsuit to claim financial compensation is the wisest action to take.
Navigating the Legal Path
Patients affected by the Exactech hip replacement device can file a product liability lawsuit. It places accountability on the companies for every injury caused by the defective product. It is applicable to file a complaint about defective medical devices. If the court verdict is in favor of the patient, they may get awarded compensation for all the injuries. For instance, the patient might get money from Exactech for lost wages and revision surgery.
The other option for injured patients is an Exactech settlement, which gets negotiated by a lawyer without the trial process. It can save money and time for everyone. However, all these conveniences can be made available for a certain price. The settlement can provide the patient with slightly less cash compared to a lawsuit. At times, the patient might have to forsake their right for filing a lawsuit.
TorHoerman Law states that if you or your loved one was provided with a hip implant that had a liner, which got recalled and you witnessed an injury, you are eligible to file a legal complaint. However, it is imperative to keep a tab on all the medical records and the implant details and receipts, so that you can add them as proof to make your legal case strong. The lawsuit can be worth $100,000 but then that is not an assured amount and it can vary.
The surge in Exactech lawsuits surrounding hip replacements underscores the relevance of staying updated about the legal choices you have because patients experiencing complications from these devices are going up. People should understand their legal options and rights to recover the damages and get the justice they deserve.
Furthermore, staying updated on the latest developments in the Exactech lawsuits can provide valuable insights and empower affected patients to make informed decisions about their legal options. Engaging in discussions with others who have faced similar challenges can also offer support and knowledge-sharing during this difficult time.
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