Judge Denies Motion for Summary Judgment in Stryker Hip Lawsuit
Peter Cerqua filed a Stryker hip implant lawsuit on December 16, 2011. Cerqua claimed that he had suffered serious injuries due to the allegedly defective Trident device. He seeks damages in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Defendant Stryker Corp. moved for summary judgment based on a three-year statute of limitations. Cerqua was implanted with the device in 2007, but he didn’t file until four years later, in 2011. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest recently denied that motion on strict liability and negligence claims.
Stryker hip complications
The Trident implant has been linked with Stryker hip complications including squeaky joints, inflammation, pain, bone fractures, infections and implant contamination, and premature loosening and failure. In 2007, the FDA issued two warning letters to the company, citing violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements. The first stated concerns with the manufacturer’s Cork, Ireland facility, and the second with the Mahwah, New Jersey facility.
The FDA also rebuked Stryker for failing to correct several problems with the implant, including poor adherence to the bone and improper implant sealing. As a result of these letters, and of many post-marketing reports of Stryker hip complications, the company implemented a Stryker hip recall in January 2008, withdrawing the Trident Hemispherical Cups and the Trident Acetabular PSL cup from the market.
Stryker hip implant lawsuit
Statues of limitations are designed to help prevent plaintiffs from filing claims after all evidence has been lost or the facts have become obscure through the passage of time.
The statutes vary from state to state, but in medical device injury cases, typically range from 2-3 years after the date the injury is discovered. In Cerqua’s case, he claims to have discovered the problem with his Trident hip implant in August 2009, when he went through revision surgery and his doctor claimed that the acetabular cup had loosened and failed.
The defendants, however, asserted that the date of discovery was actually in 2007, when the plaintiff first complained of hip pain to his primary care physician. The judge disagreed.
Cerqua brought several claims against Stryker, including failure to warn. Like other plaintiffs who have filed a Stryker hip lawsuit, he claimed that the company did not alert doctors and patients to the risks associated with the Trident device.
Judge Forrest agreed with the defendants that Cerqua’s failure-to-warn claim was untimely, because the statute of limitations in New York begins at the date the product was sold.
On the rest of the claims, however, the Judge denied the defendants’ motion, ruling that a jury must decide.
Stryker hip complications
The Trident isn’t the only device that has been the subject of a Stryker hip recall. In July 2012, the company also recalled the Rejuvenate and the ABG II devices. These have been linked to problems of fretting and corrosion.