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Smith & Nephew Hip Recall and Lawsuit FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about defective hip implants by experienced Tennessee personal injury attorneys

There has been an extensive number of lawsuits filed in the past decade claiming faulty hip replacement devices haven't functioned as advertised by major manufacturers like Stryker, Zimmer Biomet, DePuy — and now Smith & Nephew.

Pending lawsuits claim that implant recipients suffered a wide range of side effects from the defective devices, from metallosis (metal poisoning) to complete dislocations resulting in surgical repair. Some plaintiffs have even undergone replacement surgery and later realized their hip implant was recalled, meaning they may still be eligible for compensation if action is taken soon.

Hundreds of pending cases have been files, and many combined into class action lawsuits in an effort to quicken the process of getting victims compensated for damages. It's important for anyone having difficulty with a S&N hip device to understand they may have a personal injury claim.

In addition to reviewing the five common questions below, we urge you contact experienced Tennessee hip implant attorneys at Gilreath & Associates as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Which Smith & Nephew implants were recalled?

Smith & Nephew implants have been on the market since 2008, when they introduced their original hip implant device. A new product was then marketed later in 2012. Those initial Smith & Nephew hip implant devices aren't the ones that have been recalled. The devices that have proven defective in multiple cases are the devices implanted beginning in 2016, which are third-generation products.

In all, five S&N models have been recalled or reported serious problems so far. These issues have included loosening, metallosis, and other complications requiring revision surgery. Since 2012, the following S&N products have been the subject of individual lawsuits:

  • Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System
  • R3 Acetabular System (4,000 devices recalled)
  • Modular SMF
  • Redapt Revision Femoral System (2,000 devices recalled)
  • Emperion Hip System

The issues with the newer devices could indicate that older units may be problematic, so anyone with a Smith & Nephew implant should seek medical evaluation and validation that their particular model is unaffected and functioning appropriately. Metal poisoning can often take many years to manifest, and much of the data regarding health damage is still being collected.

Should I see a doctor if I've have a S&N implant?

The short answer is yes. All successful S&N implant lawsuits will include significant medical documentation and diagnosis by a trained medical specialist who can provide expert testimony validating any medical claims. Even though some cases are being decided as a class action lawsuit, each claim is unique in some respect regarding the difficulties recipients have experienced following an implant.

It's possible that many individuals have received the recalled models and haven't yet experienced problems, but that doesn't mean there will not be future medical issues. All S&N hip transplant recipients should seek medical evaluation as soon as possible because time is always an element of any legal action.

Who is eligible for compensation?

Anyone who has received a defective Smith & Nephew implant should be eligible for some amount of compensation if they can prove that damages occured in a physical, emotional, or financial capacity. Final settlement amounts will be based on testimony and medical documentation regarding the individual patient.

S&N lawsuits are adjudicated by strict liability, which means that claimant legal representatives aren't required to prove negligence by the manufacturer. All that's necessary is establishing the fact that a defective hip implant was inserted into the patient and some kind of injury resulted.

What are the potential damages from an S&N hip implant case?

Almost all damages received for an injury due to a faulty Smith & Nephew hip implant are compensatory damages. Certain egregious cases could possibly result in punitive damages, but this is rare. Most case settlements will primarily consist of non-economic pain-and-suffering general damages in addition to the accumulated additional medical bills. Lost wages recovery could potentially be included as well when the case warrants the claim.

Why do I need a personal injury attorney?

While the defective S&N hip implants have been officially recalled, many of the individual personal injury cases and class action lawsuits are currently moving through the courts. These are complicated cases and must be validated according to personal injury law, which means that each claimant should have an official professional legal representative ensuring that all legal requirements are met for proper settlement compensation.

Which attorney you choose can matter even in a seemingly obvious claim situation, and hiring a lawyer who focuses their practice on product defect liability cases is highly recommend.

If you've experienced injury from a defective hip implant, contact Tennessee's Gilreath & Associates today to schedule a free consultation. We can assist you in filing a claim and getting the maximum compensation you are owed.

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