Medical device lawyers attend important case management conference on behalf of hip clients

Lawyers representing over 1000 individual people who claim they were implanted with failed metal-on-metal hip implants will be at the High Court in London today, 12 November 2015 in a legal case against some of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers.

Legal teams on behalf of Depuy Synthes, Zimmer, Corin, Smith & Nephew and others, will attend an unprecedented Case Management Conference (CMC) which is intended to determine the way in which more than 1000 individual claims against these manufacturers should be managed through to trial.

The claims being discussed at the High Court today concern 11 different prosthetic hip devices, including; the Pinnacle Ultamet total hip device (Depuy); the Zimmer/Metasul total and resurfacing devices (Zimmer); and, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device (Smith & Nephew).

The Claimants allege that each of these products comprise different design features that promote metal debris production resulting in the premature failure of these devices leading to injuries, such as muscle necrosis and tissue damage associated with adverse reaction to metal debris.

A number of the products at issue, including the Pinnacle Ultamet total hip replacement, have been discontinued and  the vast majority are no longer recommended for implantation by the British Hip Society

Many of the devices are associated with failure rates that are in excess of the guidance levels issued by NICE for the selection of hip prostheses and have revision rates which are significantly in excess of long standing non metal-on-metal alternatives which, it is alleged, would have provided the Claimants more durable and safer alternatives.

Group Litigation Orders have already been issued by the High Court in order to consolidate the large number of claims involving the Pinnacle Ultamet, Zimmer Durom and Corin prostheses.

Leigh Day has been appointed as Lead Solicitors. It is likely that the Court will seek to further streamline the management of this large group of individual claims.

Bozena Michalowska-Howells from the Consumer Law and Product Safety group at Leigh Day, the lead solicitor for the Pinnacle metal on metal group litigation, said:

“We welcome the Court’s proactive management of this large group of metal on metal cases.

“The Claimants we represent believe that these devices have failed to deliver on the promise of improved wear performance and durability that many of these products offered.

“Since the recall of Depuy’s ASR metal on metal hip products in 2010, we have continued to investigate failed metal-on-metal prostheses on behalf of the hundreds of individuals whose lives have been affected by these products.

“We will continue to do all that we can in order to achieve the expeditious and successful resolution of these claims and we hope that today’s CMC will be a significant step in achieving that goal.”