Two lawsuits involving the MicroPort Profemur Modular-Neck Hip Replacement have been consolidated by the California federal judge overseeing the cases. The claims, which are scheduled to go to trial in December, were filed on behalf of plaintiffs who claim that a faulty modular neck component caused their implants to break “suddenly and catastrophically.”
MicroPort Orthopedics, Inc. recalled more than 11,000 Profemur Long Cobalt Chrome 8 Degree Varus/Valgus Modular Neck components in April 2015, after they were associated with an unexpectedly high rate of fractures. The components connect the Profemur hip’s femoral stem to its femoral head.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) classified the MicroPort Profemur recall Class I, which indicates that the components may cause serious injury or death. Should a Profemur modular neck fracture, those affected could suffer neurovascular damage, hematoma, hemorrhage and even death. Prior to their recall, the affected Profemur modular necks had been associated with 28 reports of fracture.
One of the California lawsuits was filed on behalf of Richard Sarafian, who received a MicroPort Profemur Modular-Neck Hip Replacement in August 2012, only to experience fracture of its neck in October 2015. The second plaintiff, Kristin Biorn, received a Profemur hip in August 2013, and experienced a similar fracture in April 2015. Both plaintiffs say they were “performing the normal and expected activity of daily living,” when their fractures occurred. Their lawsuits put forth similar claims, including strict products liability for manufacturing defect, strict products liability for failure to warn, negligence, negligence for failure to recall/retrofit, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment and negligent misrepresentation.
MicroPort and other defendants were against combining the lawsuits for trial, arguing that there were too many differences between the cases. They assert this could result in the introduction of differing evidence that could confuse jurors. However, U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder of the Central District of California found that the differences cited by the defendant did not outweigh the efficiencies to be gained from consolidation..
“Here, Sarafian and Biorn were both implanted with the same device, had that device implanted in their left hips, suffered injuries when their devices allegedly failed 37 months and 20 months after implantation, respectively, and assert the same claim for relief, “Judge Snyder stated in her January 9th ruling.