Can I File a Lawsuit After the R3 Acetabular System Recall?
New Jersey Product Liability Attorneys Explains Hip Implant Lawsuits
The Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System is a three part medical implant used in hip replacement procedures. Its design includes interchangeable parts so that surgeons can customize the implant to the specific patient. However, the manufacturing company issued a product recall for one component due to design defects. The R3 liner, which rests between the two other parts of the system, makes the joint into a metal-on-metal implant. Over time, as the joint moves and the components rub together, small particles of metal escape into the bloodstream. These particles can cause complications, including pain, metallosis and possibly wrongful death. This often necessitates a second surgery to remove and replace the system, increasing the risk of infection. Smith & Nephew is now facing multiple lawsuits as a result of this recall.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a defective R3 implant, then you may be able to recover compensation. Our New Jersey product liability lawyers are currently reviewing claims related to the R3 Acetabular System recall. If you underwent revision surgery or were advised by a doctor that you need a joint replacement, then contact our law office today. We can investigate your situation to determine if you are eligible to file a product defect lawsuit against Smith & Nephew. Additionally, we may be able to help you join a class action lawsuit or multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the future. We offer free initial consultations so that you can get answers to your questions, free of charge.
What Makes the R3 Hip Implant Defective?
The R3 Acetabular Hip Replacement System consists of three parts. The acetabular cup fits inside the socket of the hip bone, creating a smooth surface. The femoral head component replaces the top of the leg bone, creating the ball portion of the ball-and-socket joint. These two parts may be made of plastic, metal or ceramic. The R3 liner, made of a chromium and cobalt metal alloy, sits between the other two components. Smith & Nephew marketed this liner as a way to facilitate movement and reduce wear, which should lower the rate of joint failure and revision surgeries.
However, since its introduction in 2009, the R3 system has had a higher rate of failure and serious complications than other types of hip replacement implants. The metal design of the R3 liner makes the entire system into a metal-on-metal joint. As the joint moves and the pieces rub together, metal shards may shear off and into the body, causing serious complications.
As a result of these design defects, Smith & Nephew issued an R3 Acetabular System recall in 2012. This was the third major recall of metal-on-metal implants. Since then, the company has recalled several other models of hip implant as well as knee and shoulder replacement systems. As a result, many people who underwent costly revision surgeries to remove these defective devices have filed individual product liability lawsuits. These lawsuits allege that the company produced a defective product and negligently marketed it as a safe alternative to traditional implant, though this was not the case. As yet, these claims have not been consolidated into a class action or multidistrict litigation. However, this remains a possibility for the future.
What Injuries Can a Defective R3 Implant Cause?
The metal shards that break off from the cobalt and chromium R3 liner can cause serious injuries. The chromium particles can embed in the bone around the implant, causing irritation, pain and inflammation. Irritation of the joint can result in dislocation and/or implant failure, including broken bones. In severe cases, the metal particles may cause necrosis or death of the bone and surrounding tissue. Without immediate treatment, this may in turn cause infection and possibly death.
The cobalt shards usually dissolve into the bloodstream, which may cause blood poisoning and metallosis. Common symptoms of metallosis include:
- Severe pain.
- Deterioration of the bone and tissue.
- Growth of benign tumors.
- Widespread skin rash.
- Kidney failure.
- Loss of vision and/or hearing, which may become permanent.
- Psychological changes, including depression.
Although the R3 system can often be replaced, patients must undergo costly and painful revision surgery. If the joint and/or the surrounding bone breaks, then the risk of infection increases. However, if you suffered injuries, metallosis or infection due to a defective R3 implant, then you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages through a product liability lawsuit.
Questions About an R3 Lawsuit? Contact Our New Jersey Defective Joint Attorneys
The attorneys at Keefe Law Firm are currently investigating R3 hip implant defect claims. If you need revision surgery or already underwent the procedure, then contact our New Jersey Law Firm today. We can investigate your hip replacement operation to determine whether you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Smith & Nephew. If so, then we can assist you in filing your claim and can represent your interests in negotiations and/or the courtroom, if necessary.
We have offices throughout New Jersey, including locations in Newark, New Brunswick, Point Pleasant and Red Bank. Call (866) 575-5000 or contact us online today to schedule a free initial consultation.