Cobalt-Chromium Toxicity Resource Center

What is the statute of limitations, and when do metal-on-metal hip replacement patients need to take action?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Hip Defect Lawsuits?

When Do Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacement Patients Need to Take Action?

Many patients with metal on metal (MOM) hip prostheses are concerned with the adverse effects secondary to implantation of these devices. Additionally, many are asking questions regarding when they may be eligible to file a claim over their defective hip. Waiting too long to take legal action may actually bar you from recovery completely. For every case, a statute of limitations determines how long you have to file your claim These are state-specific limits, which can be affected by your unique circumstances as well.

At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, we understand how confusing the statute of limitations for hip implant lawsuits can be. Below, our lawyers answer common questions about these limits. However, if you need information about your unique circumstance, then feel free to contact us today.

What Is the “Statute of Limitations”?

Stuart Talley, a partner at Kershaw, Cook & Talley and one of the lead medical device lawyers at the firm, explains why waiting to take legal action over a metal hip causing elevated blood levels cobalt or chromium blood levels is a bad idea. He warns: “Many patients with a metal-on-metal hip know the implant is releasing cobalt or chromium in their blood, but they are not taking action because they are not aware it is causing any problems. However, if three or four years down the road they do have problems, it is going to be too late to do anything. DePuy, or another metal hip manufacturer, will NOT pay for your revision surgery or other medical treatment at that time. They won’t have any legal obligation to do so.”

This quote refers to the statute of limitations, or the period of time after a person becomes injured wherein he or she can file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period varies from state to state. In most states, the statute of limitations is approximately one or two years for injury claims. Many patients with MOM hip replacements are curious as to when that statute starts to run.

According to Mr. Talley, “There are very good arguments, which the defendants will likely make, that once you are aware of the potential for your hip to cause problems, that’s when the statute starts.”

Does a Hip Implant Recall Affect the DePuy Statute of Limitations?

For patients implanted with a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip (recalled in August of 2010) or any defective hip which was subject to a recall, then the answer may be more cut and dry. “As we approach the two year anniversary of the ASR recall, there’s a good probability that will mark the end of the statute of limitations for many patients,” Mr. Talley explains. “It depends again on the statute in the state where the patient resides, but the lawyers for DePuy will likely make the case that the statute of limitations for litigation involving the DePuy ASR should begin to run on the date that the recall was issued, which was August 26, 2010.

“That means for patients residing in a state with a two-year statute of limitations, come August 2012, they may no longer be able to file a claim against DePuy for injuries related to their defective hip implant. While there are good arguments that the statute should not start running until the patient is actually injured, the better course is to not give DePuy the chance to argue that the statute of limitations has run and to file before the August deadline.”

This means that, in general, if your hip implant was recalled, then the time period set out by the statute of limitations will likely begin on the recall date. For patients who have a recalled implant, this means that you should take action immediately. Even if you have experienced no complications yet, waiting to file a claim may mean that you lose the chance to do so.

Can I File a Claim for Implant Failure If My Device Was Not Recalled?

Some defective implants, like the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system, have not been recalled. This makes that statute of limitations more difficult to determine. Lawyers for DePuy usually argue that the time period should begin as soon as you know of the potential dangers of your implant.

However, your attorney may be able to argue that the statute of limitations for your DePuy implant should not begin until you sustain an injury.

Regardless, it is best for your case if you take action as soon as you can. The sooner you speak to an attorney and file a hip defect claim, the more likely it is that you will be within the statute of limitations.

Contact a Hip Recall Lawyer Before You Lose Your Right to File a Claim

If you were implanted with a metal-on-metal hip replacement system – particularly a metal hip manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics – Mr. Talley encourages you to contact a product liability lawyer right away, before you lose your right to file a claim against the manufacturer.

At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, we represent hundreds of hip replacement patients. For decades, our clients have continued to rely on our knowledge and expertise in fighting and winning cases against manufacturers that put defective medical devices on the market.

All it takes is 3 simple steps! Start by sharing your story with us through our free evaluation form or give us a call, toll free, at 916-520-6639 for a confidential case review. At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, we look forward to serving you and your family.

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