Stryker must face Trident hip implant lawsuit

March 22, 2013 by Brad Perriello

A Massachusetts federal judge rules that Stryker must face a personal injury lawsuit filed over its Trident hip implant, deciding that federal laws does not preempt the case.

Stryker Corp.

Stryker (NYSE:SYK) can't slip a personal injury lawsuit filed over its Trident hip implant because the case asserts a "parallel" claim that isn't preempted by federal law, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled this week.

Raymond Chasse Jr. and Stephen Miele sued Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker in December 2012 in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, alleging that the medical device company was negligent in its manufacture and distribution of the Trident hip replacement system, according to court documents.

Stryker moved to dismiss the case, arguing that it is preempted by federal law, but Judge Patty Saris disagreed, dismissing the Stryker motion on the grounds that the case parallels but does not add to federal regulation of medical devices.

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Chasse and Miele argued that Stryker was negligent under Massachusetts law, including Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. Saris cited prior appeals court decisions that allowed CGMP regulations to serve as parallel claims.

"The two Circuits to have addressed the precise issue have rejected efforts to dismiss substantially similar common law claims against Stryker, holding that CGMPs are 'legally binding requirements' that can serve as the basis of a 'parallel' claim when they are alleged to have caused the plaintiff’s specific injury," Saris wrote, according to court documents.