Class action claim: metal-on-metal hip prostheses

Have you had a metal-on-metal hip prosthesis implanted for medical reasons and is it causing you severe problems? We are handling a class action claim to recover damages from manufacturers, doctors and hospitals. On this page you will find important information about how you can recover your damages and how we can assist you in doing so.

Reason for class action claim

A metal-on-metal hip prosthesis is a medical implant that is based on a metal ball and socket design. The friction of the two metal parts against each other can release tiny metal particles that then enter the body. These have caused a variety of symptoms in many patients, such as swelling in and around the hip, pseudo-tumours, pain and restriction of movement.

Alongside these symptoms, many patients with substandard hip prostheses also have high concentrations of chromium and cobalt in their blood. In some patients the problems are so severe that they require emergency revision surgery.

Initially, reports of these types of problems concerned two types of hip prostheses made by British manufacturer DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Later, however, patients with hip prostheses from other companies, including Wright Medical Technology Inc., Biomet Nederland BV., Smith & Nephew B.V. and Zimmer, also began reporting the same problems.

What we mean by “damages”

When we refer to “damages” we do not mean only the cost for a revision operation, but also all other costs resulting from the use of the problematic prosthesis. This can include everything, including additional travel costs, the deductible that you must pay to your health insurer, and loss of income if you are unable to work because of the problem. Damages can also arise in the long term, for example if it is no longer possible to perform revision surgery.

Some manufacturers and hospitals have indicated that they intend to reimburse the costs of additional medical examinations and revision surgeries. However, this still does not cover all potential damages. To recover all such additional losses, you need to hold the manufacturer and/or the hospital liable.

Registering for the class action claim

We have made arrangements with a large number of legal aid insurers, who have agreed to place all hip prosthesis cases with us. If you have legal aid insurance with one of these insurers, then the insurer will cover the legal costs up to your policy’s maximum. You can register your case with the legal aid insurer with the request for your case to be placed with our firm. We will then receive the registration of your case from your legal aid insurer and contact you as quickly as possible.

If you do not have legal aid insurance, then you can contact us directly to discuss your options in a free, no-obligation consultation.

Settlement on DePuy ASR hip implants

Working in tandem with a legal team in London, in 2015 we achieved a satisfactory result for claimants with claims against manufacturer DePuy. We argued consistently in a series of legal proceedings that the ASR hip implants from DePuy exhibited such defects that the British manufacturer had to be held liable for compensation of the damages suffered by Dutch ASR patients. After two years of litigation, the parties arrived at a settlement agreement. This agreement is available exclusively to clients of our firm and we heartily recommend it to any patient who falls under this category.

Every resident of the Netherlands who is seeking compensation for problems caused by defective ASR hip implants can take advantage of this agreement. If you would like more information, please complete the hip prosthesis contact form and we will contact you as quickly as possible to begin assisting you.

What you need to consider for recovering damages

When recovering damages, there are two things you need to think about. Firstly, the expiry period for your claim; secondly, the risks of medical authorizations and settlement agreements.

Expiry periods and prescription periods.
In order to recover your damages, you can hold the manufacturer of the hip prosthesis and/or the doctor and hospital liable. These are two different forms of liability: product liability and medical liability, respectively. In both cases, it is important to pay attention to the expiry/prescription periods for claims based on this type of liability. 

Normally, in cases of product liability there is an expiry period of 10 years from the moment that the product came on the market. Because of this expiry period it is important to make sure that if you are appealing to this type of liability you must either have resolved to your compensation claim or have initiated legal proceedings in court within this 10 years.

However, in a judgment in a case we argued, the court accepted our argument about the legal basis of the wrongful act (tort). This means that the court accepted that the doctrine of wrongful act (tort), and not just product liability, applies to these cases. One of the consequences of this is that the much more favourable expiry periods apply, and there is no statute of limitations period at all. It should be noted that the counterparty has appealed this ruling, and that appeal is still pending.

Claims of liability against the doctor and the hospital do not expire. There is, however, a statutory of limitations period of five years from the moment that both you as the victim and the person responsible for the damages become aware of them. Unlike the expiry period, this statute of limitation period can be interrupted multiple times for a five-year period.

Risks of medical authorization and settlement agreement.
If at any moment you receive a medical authorization or a settlement agreement from a counterparty, we advise you not to sign it. Doing so would be very risky without independent legal advice. One risk, for example, is that it may allow your complete worldwide medical file to be obtained by companies affiliated with the manufacturer. You also run the risk that significant damages may not be compensated and you may be signing away your right to hold the counterparty liable for future damages.

Stronger together

We treat every case we handle as an individual case. We itenditfy the nature and the severity of the injury, as well as the amount of the damages, individually for every client. Having said that, the adage of “stronger together” applies, because the discussion of liability comes up in every case, and because we serve many clients in this kind of situation we have extensive knowledge of the subject matter. Also, we are able to spread the costs that we incur in the liability discussion among multiple clients. This makes it for you as client more attractive to join us alongside other clients in protecting your rights.

More information

If you would like more information about the handling of the class action claims or if you would like to register your claim, please complete the hip prosthesis contact form. We are looking forward to helping you and will contact you as quickly as possible.

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