We are happy to report some good news regarding a recently-announced Biomet hip settlement. Yesterday, the Court proposed a settlement between Biomet and the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) of the multi-district litigation on behalf of all plaintiffs who suffered a metal-on-metal (MoM) related failure of their Biomet M2a 38 or Biomet M2a Magnum hip device. As we anticipated and hoped, the settlement structure is in many ways similar to the ASR settlement that we reported in late 2013. However, as we previously warned, each hip litigation varies and might produce slightly different results.
Who is eligible for the Biomet hip settlement?
Plaintiffs who have undergone revision surgery on their Biomet M2a 38 or Biomet M2a Magnum hip more than 180 days after it was originally implanted are eligible for the settlement. Cases that have not undergone revision surgery will be dismissed without prejudice on or before September 12, 2014, if a revision does not take place by that date. The injuries necessitating the revision surgery must have been caused by metal-on-metal wear. Other reasons for failure, such as infection or trauma, do not qualify.
How much will plaintiffs receive?
We cannot speculate on individual amounts at this time. However, reports say that Biomet will pay at least $56 million to settle the claims in the MDL. The Biomet hip settlement agreement includes a base award of $200,000 for eligible plaintiffs. This amount is subject to deductions based on the date of implantation, amount of time between implantation and revision, and other factors. Notably, the base amounts for the Biomet hip settlement will not be subject to discounts based on age, BMI, or smoking like they were in the DePuy ASR settlement.
In addition, certain factors may “enhance” the compensation a plaintiff can expect to receive. Examples of enhancement cases have not yet been released. Stay tuned for updates.
To our clients:
If you qualify, we will be sending you an update letter as soon as possible detailing the settlement agreement and next steps. Please keep in mind that, in settlements of this size, distribution is a slow-moving process. Deadlines are spaced out over a large period of time in order to accommodate such a large number of cases. Thus, we ask that you follow these guidelines unless you consult with your attorney first:
1.) Do not spend the money until you have it. Even if we do confirm with you that your case is eligible for settlement, the base value could be subject to discounts based on the facts of your case. In addition, we cannot guarantee a deadline by which you will receive funding. Settlement funding depends on many factors beyond our control, and after we have submitted everything on our end there is little we can do to expedite the process.
2.) Do not talk to loan funding companies. They charge extremely high interest rates over short periods of time. Again, we cannot guarantee when you will receive funding, and you could end up owing most or all of your settlement back to them.
3.) Do not post on social media about the settlement. Posting on social media about your case is never going to help it, but it does have the potential to hurt it (see more).
4.) Be wary of anyone (besides us) who calls you to talk about your claim. The period between a settlement announcement and fund distribution can be an opportune time for scammers to prey on plaintiffs. If you are not sure who is calling you or how they got your information, don’t be afraid to ask.
5.) Be wary of anyone trying to get you to switch attorneys. Now that people have heard of the settlement, the competition for these cases is fierce. Marketers can make a lot of money selling your name and number to other law firms, and they will often tell you whatever you want to hear to try to get your attention. Sticking with your current attorney is, in most circumstances, the best route specifically because our attorney has already prepared your case for settlement.
If you have not yet hired an attorney:
It is very important that you speak with us as soon as possible. Plaintiffs are not eligible to participate in the settlement unless their case is filed in the MDL on or before April 15, 2014. That does not simply mean that we must hear from you by that date. It takes months to prepare these cases before we can file them. We must hear from you very soon in order to file your case on time for the April 15th deadline. Further, there are statute of limitation laws that could bar your claim if your case is not filed by a certain date. Statute of limitation laws vary from state to state and are determined on a case-by-case basis.
These cases still depend on our ability to prove that your injuries were related to the metal-on-metal design of these implants. We have some of the top expert physicians reviewing our cases and making sure your case is as strong as possible before we file it. If you have metal-on-metal Biomet hip, please contact us to speak with one of our attorneys. We look forward to helping you.