Jury Awards $3.5M In Iowa Artificial Hip Trial

By Cara Salvatore
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Law360 (November 24, 2020, 9:19 PM EST) -- An Iowa federal jury has awarded $3.5 million over a hip implant patient's claims that her Biomet M2a Magnum metal hip shedded microscopic particles and caused her to need revision surgery.

In a verdict signed Friday and made public Monday, the jury in Cedar Rapids awarded $1.05 million in compensatory damages and $2.5 million in punitive damages to Lori Nicholson and her husband, Willis.

The compensatory damages consisted of $500,000 for past physical and mental pain and suffering, $250,000 for future pain and suffering, $100,000 for past loss of function of body and mind and $200,000 for future loss of function.

Nicholson's Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based lawyer, Bryan Hofeld of Schlesinger Law Offices, said in a statement Tuesday, "Traveling and trying a case in person during a pandemic is never ideal, but our client deserved justice and the very best representation in court."

Hofeld said the team "took the necessary precautions" in traveling to Iowa and conducting the case.

A spokeswoman for the Schlesinger firm said that of the eight original jurors, two were dismissed for COVID-19-related reasons, and the six that were left decided the case.

Lori Nicholson, who lives in Fort Dodge, Iowa, had her left hip replaced with a Biomet M2a Magnum metal-on-metal hip in July 2007. Her lawyers said the hip loosened over time, resulting in pain and dramatically increased levels of chromium in her body. Nicholson had a revision surgery in June 2012.

The trial started Nov. 9. The plaintiffs said before trial that in many respects the Nicholson case was "virtually identical" to that of Mary Bayes, which just played out in Missouri.

A jury awarded $21 million to Bayes and her spouse after Bayes got both hips replaced in early 2008 with M2a Magnums.

Bayes said Biomet should have known that the M2a Magnum had defects because it was based on an earlier design, called the M2a Taper, that had allegedly already caused problems. Bayes had 11 dislocations and seven revision surgeries, according to her lawyers.

The Nicholsons are represented by Bryan Hofeld of Schlesinger Law Offices.

Biomet is represented by Stephanie Koltookian of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

The case is Nicholson et al. v. Biomet et al., case number 3:18-cv-03057, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

--Additional reporting by Mike Curley. Editing by Bruce Goldman.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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Case Information

Case Title

Nicholson et al v. Biomet Inc et al


Case Number

3:18-cv-03057

Court

Iowa Northern

Nature of Suit

Personal Inj. Prod. Liability

Judge

CJ Williams

Date Filed

September 07, 2018

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