Biomet reaches settlement in hip replacement case

File photo.
File photo.

WARSAW, Ind. (AP) — Indiana-based Biomet has agreed to pay a base rate of $200,000 each to hundreds of people who received artificial hips that were later replaced.

Warsaw-based Biomet Inc. recently has reached a settlement resolving complaints related to its M2A Magnum hip replacement, The Journal Gazette reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1jk4jl8 ).

“Biomet is pleased to have reached this settlement and have the MDL (multi-state litigation) resolved,” the Warsaw-based company said in a statement released earlier this week. Warsaw is a city of about 14,000 people about 40 miles northwest of Fort Wayne.

Though hundreds of people in several states were involved, the case was not a class-action lawsuit and Biomet can award higher or lower individual amounts on a case-by-case basis.

Biomet said in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the total payout could ultimately cost more than $50 million, which would compel the company to tap its $100 million insurance coverage.

People who had the metal-on-metal hip implanted and replaced must sue Biomet in federal court by April 15 to participate in the settlement. Others who file claims after the deadline could potentially file their own lawsuits or negotiate another group settlement, said Tom Anapol, one of the attorneys who represented about 800 eligible plaintiffs.

In November, Johnson & Johnson said that it would pay $2.5 billion to settle an estimated 8,000 lawsuits brought by hip replacement patients who accused the company of selling faulty implants that led to injuries and additional surgeries. J&J pulled the implant from the market in 2010 after data showed it failed sooner than older implants.

The Biomet M2A Magnum has never been recalled. Some patients have experienced pain, reduced movement and other symptoms because the metal parts rub against each other. Artificial hip joints can also be made of plastic or ceramic.

Anapol told the newspaper that the settlement mostly addressed patients’ pain and suffering.

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Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net

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