17: Smith & Nephew Birmingham Artificial Hip Litigation Update

Metal-on-metal artificial hip devices have been available for more than twenty years. Years ago, product manufacturers thought that metals like titanium, cobalt, and chromium used in the construction of artificial hips would last a lot longer than the regular shelf life of other artificial hips using plastics and ceramic materials, particularly for athletes and active people. Unfortunately, those metals have caused many problems, like metallosis, which happens when metal particles grind away from the artificial hip and leach into the bloodstream and surrounding tissue, causing pseudotumors, high levels of metal in the blood, and other problems.

Various manufacturers developed different metal-on-metal artificial hips. In most cases, it did not go well for the thousands of patients who had hip replacement surgery. Hundreds of thousands of those patients have subsequently become plaintiffs in litigation against all those companies. 

In this podcast conversation, Attorney Clay Hodges updates on the Smith & Nephew Birmingham hip litigation, which has been going on for several years. The litigation has become quite active lately, with many new cases filed. Stay tuned to hear the details, and find out what it could mean for you if you have had a hip replacement done in the last ten to fifteen years.

Show highlights:

  • Smith & Nephew first began to sell the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device in the United States in 2006. 
  • The different types of surgery required for the two Birmingham hip systems at play in this litigation.
  • With the first type of Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System, Smith & Nephew provided the resurfacing components only. That was approved by the FDA in 2006.
  • Smith & Nephew described the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System as a good choice for more active patients because the company said it would last longer than other systems.
  • While companies like Zimmer and DePuy were having trouble with their own MoM artificial hips, Smith & Nephew claimed that its Birmingham hip was a different type of metal hip implant that could be distinguished positively from those causing problems.
  • The Birmingham hip components used as part of a total hip replacement were the second type of Smith & Nephew hip that has led to litigation. The S&N Birmingham THA components did not get FDA approval.
  • All brands of metal-on-metal hips have caused problems, injuries, and symptoms. That is why they are mostly no longer in use today.
  • Smith & Nephew lawsuits began for similar problems occurring with the Birmingham hip components soon after Zimmer and DePuy started dealing with litigation for their metal-on-metal hip systems.
  • The results of the S&N bellwether trial that took place for one of the first Smith & Nephew cases last June. 
  • What does this litigation mean for you if you have had a hip replacement done in the last ten to fifteen years?

Links and resources:

If you think you may have a possible S&N Birmingham case, call Clay at 919-546-8788.

Note: The information in this podcast episode is for informational purposes only. All the information in this episode was derived from media reports, public court filings, and other publicly available resources. Any opinions presented are mine alone. The information provided is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal or medical advice.

Client Reviews
I was involved in a case for the faulty hip replacements. Clay Hodges represented me. I can't say enough about how much he has helped me. Clay was able to win multiple settlements on my behalf with most of them being the maximum amount able to be awarded. Matt J.
Clay, thank you sir for making a disheartening experience at least palatable, you and your staff were honest, caring and understanding through the entire process of my wife’s hip replacements, while monetary settlements never make the pain and suffering end, it sometimes is the only way people can fight back to right a wrong. J. V.
We are absolutely pleased with how Clay Hodges handled my husband’s hip replacement claim. He always kept us informed of the progress. And, his work resulted in a settlement which we are extremely pleased. Thank you, Clay! Carol L. & Norm L.
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