Artificial hips made in Ireland squeak and are defective, say 750 lawsuits against the manufacturers Stryker, the medical device and implants manufacturer. The artificial hips in question have now been recalled.
Most complaints allege that the hips squeak and one plaintiff says it destroyed his sex life. Another says he sounds like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz and has put his squeaky hip on You Tube and attracted over 50,000 viewers.
Stryker faces a barrage of complaints that replacement hips made in its Irish facility in Cork caused pain and made embarrassing squeaking noises. One patient complained that the problem interrupted sex with his wife as she started laughing as his hip squeaked.
Patients have stated that reported that while the noise was amusing at first it quickly became upsetting.
Frances Jones had a Stryker implant to replace her left hip in October 2007. Jones is seeking $2.5m (€1.85m) in damages plus costs in Illinois according to the Irish Sunday Times, Stryker Ireland and its parent company’s Stryker Orthopedics and Stryker Corporation are named in the suit.
Jones claims her artificial hip had “excessive levels of manufacturing residuals” that made it squeak.
Among those who have had to have their artificial Stryker hip replaced is Mike Mueller, head of an online real estate business.
Mueller put a video of his squeaky Stryker hip on YouTube and has attracted almost 50,000 views.
“They used to call me the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz as they could hear me creaking as I came down the corridor,” he said.
“I had the hip fitted in April 2007 and it started squeaking four months later,” he said. “Eventually I was in so much pain I had to have it replaced. I am worried that if I need a third hip replacement it will so much harder to fit and I might be confined to a wheelchair.”
Stryker Ireland’s accounts for 2008 showed the company employed 524 people here.
Doug Kreis, a personal injury lawyer in Florida, said the claims were related to “product liability.”
“The injuries claimed by the patients . . . relate to an alleged mechanism by which the natural lubricant layer between the ceramic ball and liner is compromised.”