Stryker hip implant lawyers at Jones Ward PLC have been receiving calls in recent weeks from concerned patients with the recalled Rejuvenate and ABG II device implanted in their bodies. The source of their anxiety: a series of advertisements on television and the Internet that claim there is a deadline in July 2014 to file a lawsuit against the company.
How to Calculate the Statute of Limitations
This is simply not true. Most likely, the ads are part of an effort to scare patients into filing a lawsuit quickly without weighing important considerations such as the level of experience that the law firm has in dealing with complex product liability cases. Any experienced hip implant lawyer will tell you that when a recall is announced for a medical device, that date is an important milestone for litigation. However, in most cases it has nothing to do with the Statute of Limitations for an injured person. That’s because the Statute of Limitations does not begin until the patient is actually injured. The injury in a recalled Stryker hip case is usually the date of revision surgery, when the recalled Rejuvenate or ABGII stem is removed by a surgeon due to fretting, corrosion, elevated levels of cobalt or chromium, or all of the above. The Statute of Limitations sets a deadline beyond which a patient may not make a claim against the manufacturer. It is different in every state.
Why the Ads are Wrong
The date of the recall does create a deadline in and of itself. Here’s why: when a company announced a hip recall, such as the DePuy ASR, the Zimmer Durom, or the Stryker Rejuvenate, the notice typically tells patients to have their device checked by a surgeon. Sometimes it must be removed immediately. Other times, it will last for a year, two years, or longer. Plaintiffs are still filing lawsuits even today over the DePuy ASR device, even though it was recalled in August 2010. The Rejuvenate was recalled in July 2012. But if the device never fails, there is no injury. In most states, the Statute of Limitations does not begin to run until the patient gains knowledge of, or “discovers,” the actual injury. Keep in mind that the rules vary from state to state, and the so-called discovery rule is not applied uniformly.
If you are injured by a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, don’t believe everything you see on television. For a free consultation, contact Attorney Alex C. Davis at 502-882-6000 or send an email to email@example.com