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Failing Artificial Hips Expected to Cost Taxpayers Billions in Coming Years

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on February 8, 2012

Defective metal-on-metal artificial hip implants are rapidly becoming the largest medical implant failure in years. The failure rate of these implants, the tens of thousands of patients who will need to have these implants surgically replaced, the costs of replacement and the scale of litigation involved all make this a very serious situation for taxpayers, who may be on the hook for billions in the coming years. Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham has been following this story closely, as many people in Central Florida have had these devices surgically implanted in recent years before government investigations led to massive recalls of these implants.

A case involving a metal-on-metal hip implant patient in Illinois illustrates the hardships that these patients must endure through no fault of their own. The 55-year-old man had to spend five months in 2011 stuck in a recliner in his home unable to move due to complications involving a recalled artificial hip. In August of last year, he underwent replacement surgery to remove the defective implant and replace it with another model, but his pelvis fractured soon after the surgery. The fracture resulted in doctors having to abandon the replacement hip, and the patient suffered a serious infection. This one incident resulted in massive healthcare bills, including $400,776 in hospital expenses and over $28,000 in doctors’ bills.

These hip implants were supposed to last 15 or more years, but doctors and patients are now finding that these devices are failing in just a few years. Making matters worse, these implants tend to release tiny shards of metal as they fail, resulting in degenerative conditions that impair patients’ quality of life and threaten their health. Surgeons perform around 250,000 hip replacement surgeries in the U.S. each year, and around 500,000 Americans received a metal-on-metal artificial hip before they were recalled.

Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham would like to remind his readers that these recalled devices were manufactured and sold by several different corporations. Many of these corporations have contacted implant recipients and offered to pay for the costs of having them replaced. Mr. Cunningham cautions readers that signing these documents may result in having the defective implant replaced, but it will also likely prevent them from seeking damages for the additional health problems caused by the defective products. If you or a family member has received a metal-on-metal hip implant and you would like to learn more about the recall, your rights and legal options, call Mr. Cunningham today. He has law offices conveniently located throughout Central Florida, and you can schedule a free and confidential consultation by calling 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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