A federal judge has remanded a Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit to state court after allowing new claims against another non-diverse defendant, despite ruling that the plaintiff could not prevail on strict liability claims against a previously alleged in-state distributor.

Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga granted plaintiff Jamie Simon’s motion to amend and remand her Stryker hip recall lawsuit on November 30, stating that Simon is allowed to bring in additional defendants.

Simon filed the Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit in September, naming Howmedica as the defendant in a complaint filed in Florida circuit court in Broward County. Simon received a Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant in her right hip on September 12, 2011. The hip implant began to loosen and corrode, leading to infection and malposition. Simon suffered from pseudo tumors, fluid collection and heavy metal poisoning. In early September,  Simon went through revision surgery to remove the defective implant.

Simon claimed that the device was distributed by Stryker South Florida, a non-diverse defendant. Howmedica tried to remove the action to federal court, maintaining that Orthopaedic Solutions has not done business as Stryker South Florida agency, and was only named for the plaintiff to defeat the federal court’s diversity jurisdiction.

Judge Altonaga ruled in favor of the defendant. In addition, the judge also rejected Simon’s argument that the alleged damages would not bring the amount in controversy over the court’s threshold, noting defendants’ examples of similar cases where courts have found the amount in controversy sufficient for federal jurisdiction.

However, the judge allowed Simon to amend her complaint to add claims against Orthopaedic Implants Professionals, a non-diverse party. The judge deemed that Simon had a right to hold a second party in the Stryker distribution chain responsible for her injuries.

While Simon’s Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit will progress in state court, numerous Stryker recall hip lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey Superior Court, which plaintiffs have requested to be consolidated into a mass tort in Bergen County. Like Simon, plaintiffs filing Stryker hip recall lawsuits suffered injuries after receiving a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip implant. The devices were recalled because of issues with fretting and corrosion of their metal components, which caused serious adverse effects in patients such as metallosis and hip replacement failure.

Stryker hip lawsuits seek compensation for the victims of the recall and to hold the manufacturer responsible for the defective device. To learn more, call 877-779-1414.

Published December 4, 2012 by