Stryker, slowly but surely, settles 8 more metal hip lawsuits

Stryker ($SYK), facing over 1,000 lawsuits alleging it sold faulty metal hip implants that hurt patients, has chosen to settle more cases rather than fight them in court.

Injury Lawyer News reported recently that eight plaintiffs suing over the company's Rejuvenate all-metal hip implants have reached a settlement. They were among nine cases ordered into a mediation process at Superior Court of New Jersey for Bergen County, according to the story.

The initial mediation process began with 10 cases, though one faced delays. Now that eight cases have been solved, 10 new cases will enter the mediation process, the article explained.

Stryker, based in Kalamazoo, MI, has chosen to settle rather than fight. Last December, The Record reported that four patients settled their metal hip lawsuits against the company in New Jersey state Superior Court, also in cases involving the Rejuvenate all-metal hip implants. Two weeks of mediation hearings led to those deals reaching a settlement.

Stryker faces close to 1500 lawsuits alleging it sold faulty metal hip implants that harmed patients, the story noted, and expenses regarding its Rejuvenate and ABG II metal hip recalls have taken an ongoing dent out of net earnings. The company voluntarily recalled both products in 2012 after higher-than-normal reports of problems, according to the article. As of the end of 2013, the recall effort cost the company $700 million in charges.

Stryker is looking forward, however, and trying to diversify, most recently with its $1.7 billion purchase of Mako Surgical, which gives it a line of knee implants and a robot-assisted surgical device for orthopedic procedures.

Stryker is not the only medical device company to face lawsuits alleging it made faulty metal hip implants. Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) DePuy arm is dealing with thousands of lawsuits over its now-recalled ASR-implants. The company has proposed a $2.5 billion-plus settlement to resolve 8,000 of them that has an April 1 deadline for plaintiffs to sign on. Biomet is also dealing with hundreds of metal hip lawsuits.

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