In 2012 Stryker, a medical device manufacturer, issued a voluntary recall for two defective hip implants, the ABG II and the Rejuvenate. When introduced in 2007, these metal-on-metal devices were considered to be innovative due to their long-lasting components that allowed patients to go longer periods of time without needing further hip surgery. Unfortunately, the metal-on-metal construction of these products meant they were susceptible to a process called fretting, the shedding of small particles of metals. These metals, absorbed by nearby tissue, are recognized as foreign objects that the body attempts to attack leading to a wide array of minor to serious health issues such as internal hemorrhaging, kidney damage, liver damage, DNA mutations and increased risk of cancer.
Other complications associated with these defective products include nerve damage, limited mobility, and tissue necrosis.
Though many laws are in place to protect consumers, some laws could potentially limit a victim’s ability to seek compensation for a defective product. Known as the statute of limitations, the ability to seek compensation for a defective product can range from 1 year to 6 years. However, there are some exceptions. For example, those affected by dangerous pharmaceutical products such as Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug that, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, has been linked to several health problems, may have an extended period of time due to the fact that side effects and links may not be established for several years. The same applies to defective medical devices.
While several lawsuits have been filed since the recall in 2012, according to the Consumer Protection Act, many people affected by these defective devices may soon be running out of time to seek compensation for their injuries.
According to the CPA, legal action must be taken within ten years of the date the product was put into circulation. For Stryker victims, this means they only have until 2017 to file a claim regardless of the date they had the hip replacement surgery. Unfortunately, due to the long-lasting components of the device, patients may not begin to be affected by the faulty devices until several years after the surgery, usually about five years later. Therefore, it is recommended that those seeking to potentially file a lawsuit seek immediate legal advice before it is too late.