MDL Created for Exactech Knee, Ankle, and Hip Implant Lawsuits

MDL Created for Exactech Knee, Ankle, and Hip Implant Lawsuits

Recently the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation formed an MDL for lawsuits regarding defective Exactech knee and hip implants. Exactech, Inc., based in Florida, has specialized in joint replacement technology since 1985. The MDL involves lawsuits against Exactech for injuries caused by polyethylene liners of certain hip, knee, and ankle implants. In 2021, Exactech recalled thousands of its joint replacements and even expanded this recall in 2022. With the creation of this new MDL and more patients stepping forward, we could see a massive shift in the Exactech knee, hip, and ankle litigation. 

Exactech Issued Massive Recall for Knee and Ankle Replacements

In August 2021, Exactech initiated a significant nationwide recall of its knee and ankle replacement devices manufactured after 2004. In February 2022, Exactech expanded the recall to cover all liners stored in defective bags. The recall affected nearly 150,000 knee and ankle systems packaged in defective vacuum-sealed bags. Exactech announced the recall impacted several products, including Optetrak, Optetrak Logic, Truliant, and Vantage systems. After learning that oxygen could enter the packaging and compromise the polyethylene insert, the company rolled out the recall. This faulty packaging resulted in the inserts oxidizing during storage and before the end of the specified shelf-life. Therefore, many patients received degraded knee and ankle replacements, which resulted in premature failure. 

A year later, in August 2022, Exactech expanded the recall again, but this time to its hip liners. Exactech warned the public and healthcare providers that the same defective packaging issue that affected its knee and ankle replacements also extends to the company’s hip devices. This updated recall concerned 40,000 more hip implant systems: 

  • Acumatch GXL
  • Novation GXL
  • Exactech All Polyethylene Cemented Cup
  • Acumatch Conventional UHMWPE
  • MCS Conventional UHMWPE
  • Novation Conventional UHMWPE

JPML Forms Exactech Knee, Hip, and Ankle MDL

In June 2022, plaintiffs in Exactech knee recall lawsuits filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to establish an MDL for all Exactech recall lawsuits. At the time of this filing, 27 Exactech recall lawsuits were pending in 11 different districts across the country. On October 7, 2022, the JPML created MDL-3044 to centralize the handling of Exactech knee, ankle, and hip liner lawsuits. While the plaintiffs who requested the MDL only suffered from defective knee replacements, they asked the JPML to add all future litigation, including ankle and hip cases. The JPML assigned 75 lawsuits to the MDL and appointed U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis of New York to preside over the newly formed MDL.