Deadline Approaches for Metal-on-Metal Hip Claims
Pryers Solicitors currently act for a large group of Southampton patients who have suffered the early failure of metal-on-metal total hip replacement devices.
Metal-on-metal hip replacements have all performed quite poorly, certainly worse than expected and worse than the older products they were intended to outlast. Not only have they failed earlier, but the way in which they have failed has been particularly damaging.
In many cases, the junction between the metal head and the stem suffers from excessive wear. In other cases, the metal stem corrodes. Both processes lead to the release of metal debris into the surrounding muscle and bone causing damage and death of those tissues. Metal debris is also released into the patient’s blood. As a result, many patients have had to undergo surgery for the removal of the hip device, which often results in permanent disability and the need for yet more surgery.
The Southampton hip
A particular hip replacement device used in Southampton has a failure rate many times higher than the national average. One paper has reported a failure rate of 15% at 5 years. We believe that failure rate to be almost twice that at 8 years. In contrast, the National Joint Registry provides, for hip replacements generally, a 5 year failure rate of 2.75% and an 8 year failure rate of 4.5%.
Claims are being brought against the producer under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Under this law, there are two separate time limits. Firstly, cases must be started within three years of the date on which the patient first suspected that they had suffered injury due to a defective medical product. However, the case must also be started within 10 years of the supply of the product, regardless of when the patient received it or when it failed.
If the claim is not started within this time limit, then the case will be out of time.
The Southampton hips were first used in 2003 and so a few will be already out of time.
Therefore, if you have been fitted with a metal-on-metal hip replacement in Southampton and it has failed or is failing, we urge you to contact Pryers solicitors as soon as possible. By taking some simple steps, we can ensure that your case is protected from the expiry of this time limit.
Most of Pryers’ clients’ claims are funded by conditional fee agreements (“no win no fee”), under which no legal costs are payable if the claim is unsuccessful. Legal costs are only payable if the case is successful and, in that situation, the majority of the costs are paid by the defendant.
This does not concern metal-on-metal hip resurfacings.