Exactech Litigation Update
The attorneys at KBA have been working on hip failure cases for a while. These medical devices can be helpful for many patients. They have injured others.
KBA has written about artificial hips many times. We have explored the BHR litigation in Maryland. We also wrote about the Exactech litigation that our lawyers have been working on for some time now.
Exactech Hip Failures
Over 270,000 Exactech implant devices have been recalled within the past year alone, affecting multiple:
- Exactech knee implant products
- Exactech ankle replacement implants
- Exactech hip replacement systems
Since 2004, patients across the country have trusted these implant devices and joint replacement systems to reliably meet their orthopedic health needs, with a presumably minimal risk of adverse issues.
Unfortunately, the medical devices affected by this sweeping recall have failed to reliably and consistently meet patient needs. Around this time last year, we covered Exactech’s artificial hip recall, and the scope of problems prompting that initial recall have only broadened in the year since.
Thousands more Exactech devices have been revealed to fail and are prone to premature failure, which can lead to painful orthopedic health complications like:
- Swelling in the joint
- Osteolysis symptoms
- Loose joint instability
- Difficulty bearing weight
- Further revision surgeries
- Implant grinding or clicking
- Chronic pain in the joint
- Joint replacement failure
Exactech Hip Failure Damages
The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons estimates that the average cost of joint replacement parts can range from $3,000 to $10,000. Furthermore, if you require a full hip replacement procedure, that could potentially range anywhere from $30,000.00 to over $112,000.00.
The costs of other joint replacement procedures may vary depending on the sort of joint being replaced, the insurance coverage you have, and where you live. But in general, these procedures are no small investment, and can cost patients anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
One year after Exactech’s second hip replacement recall, and nearly two years after the initial FDA Exactech Recall, let’s check back in with the company’s product liability and defective device complaints.
Exactech Orthopedics Damages
We appreciate that Exactech is attempting to take accountability and exercise some proactive initiative by acknowledging their product’s faults and attempting to correct them. However, the only type of expense that Exactech-Broadspire’s third-party recall settlement program explicitly claims to cover (so far) are “out of pocket” expenses.
If you want to have these particular expenses reimbursed out of court, you’ll need to supply the two companies with the following information:
- The date of the surgical procedure involving the defective Exactech implant
- The name of the surgeon who performed the joint replacement procedure
- The serial number of the specific Exactech medical device under recall
Granted, “out of pocket” expenses are an important base to touch on, but they still might not fully encompass the scope of damages a plaintiff wants to recover. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with cases concerning defective medical devices, product liability claims, and other instances of defective joint replacement implants.
The most common sorts of damages we see in these practice areas will often pertain to:
- Injuries or illnesses caused by the defective devices
- The value of past, present, and future medical costs
- Loss of earnings, and the ability to earn future income
- Pain and suffering, in the past, present, and the future
If your situation concerns more than simply just “out of pocket” expenses, we would strongly implore you to consult an attorney before proceeding with your next move. We would stand by that recommendation, regardless of whether or not your ideal next move is in court or out-of-court.
Whether you decide to opt for an in-court or out-of-court settlement, you shouldn’t speak to Exactech or Broadspire directly, before speaking with an experienced attorney you can trust. It’s important that you know your rights prior to moving forward with any major decisions along the reimbursement process.
Timeline Leading up to the Exactech Litigation
Prior to 2022 and 2021’s Exactech recalls, lawsuits from as early as 2017 indicate an unusual preponderance of failure and adverse event reports associated with some of its devices. Most of these premature failures go back to the packaging of these devices, which previously used “out of specification” vacuum-sealed bags.
These bags didn’t conform to proper regulations, and exposed many devices to inordinate levels of oxygen prior to implantation. These particular packaging defects exacerbated the oxidation process, causing some Exactech devices to fail prematurely.
Before voluntarily recalling the medical devices impacted by this packaging issue, Exatech went ahead and quietly began replacing some of the implant parts that were vulnerable to this deterioration. Nevertheless, unfortunate premature failure incidents continued, these lawsuits continued, and three voluntary recalls followed suit, including:
- A recall in June 2021
- A recall in February 2022
- A recall in August 2022
To find out if you have an Exactech device that falls under any one of these recalls, you can contact your orthopedic surgeon. They may be able to confirm the specific type of implant you have, that implant’s specific serial number, and whether or not it’s affected.
(If you’re able to obtain the serial number, Exactech has a website where you can enter that serial number, to determine if your implant falls under their recall.)
An orthopedic surgeon can also determine if your device requires further revision. Likewise, they can provide essential medical records, which can be a valuable resource in proving damages and fighting for the settlement you deserve.
Exactech Litigation Update
Dozens of plaintiffs are already filing ongoing lawsuits against Exactech over their defective medical device products, so much so that:
- Exactech has now hired Broadspire, a third-party adjustment company, to oversee and supervise their reimbursement settlement process.
- A federal judicial panel is now consolidating these dozens of civil actions into a multi-district litigation (MDL) case, as of November 2022.
- There is a consolidated action in state court in Florida as well.
The MDL – the federal consolidation of dozens of lawsuits in a single jurisdiction – is in the Eastern District of New York. The U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis presides.
Dozens of plaintiffs and claimants have come forward; too many for us to concisely summarize in a single blog. However, most of these claims span back to the same defective, deteriorated polyethylene lining, and most of them cover similar sorts of damages, whether they’re economic or non-economic.
Consult an Attorney before Starting Any Claims Process and Do Not Delay
So before you “contact the Exactech-Broadspire Helpline at (888) 912-0403 to initiate the claims process” as the website suggests, understand what you’re getting into and what you may be risking and giving up. Of course, we’re biased here. It’s not simply because as attorneys we’re cut out of the process. We have plenty of work to keep us busy. And, this process may make sense for some people. Indeed, we routinely turn down motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice cases, nursing home cases, and other kinds of cases because the cost-benefit simply does not make sense for potential clients. Claims brought by attorneys can take a long time and be exhausting, physiologically. Quite honestly, these cases have been harder and harder every year and paying less and less it seems.
Nonetheless, starting a claims process with the company that injured you without speaking with an attorney is fraught with issue.
When the consultation is free, why wouldn’t you double check? Again, pursuing attorney representation is not for everyone. Litigation is a long process, but if your “out of pocket expenses” aren’t really why you are upset and there is more to your story than that, this may not be a real solution. Do not extinguish your legal rights without consulting an attorney.
So if you had an Exactech Hip feel free to contact KBA today to discuss.