WASHINGTON D.C. — A major manufacturer in the U.S. of orthopedic medical devices,Smith & Nephew, was recently exposed by plaintiffs’ lawyers for serious criminal violations in addition to producing defective hip and other joint replacement implants.
In addition to facing hundreds of civil lawsuits for its harmful metal-on-metal hip implants, the London-based company (with U.S. headquarters in Memphis) was required to pay over $20 million in fines to various U.S. government agencies.
In 2012 the U.S. Department of Justice found Smith & Nephew to be in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Smith & Nephew was found guilty of facilitating the use of off-the-books funds so that Greek distributors may pay cash bribes to publicly-employed Greek health care providers. From 1998 to 2008, Smith & Nephew and its affiliates authorized the payment of $9.4 million to the distributor’s shell companies – most of which was then passed on to physicians to corruptly induce them to purchase medical devices manufactured by Smith & Nephew. As part of its agreement to cooperate with the Department of Justice, the company paid $16.8 and entered into a deferred criminal prosecution agreement.
In addition, the company also reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its corrupt practices. Smith & Nephew paid the SEC $5.4 million in disgorgement of profits.
Smith & Nephew is the very same company that is facing thousands of lawsuits over its recalled metal-on-metal hip implants. On June 1, 2012, it issued a worldwide recall of the metal liner of its RC Acetabular System – a system for replacing hips, knees, and shoulders. The product was recalled for manufacturing, design, and marketing failures. Patients reported pain, device failure, infection, metal sensitivity, bone fracture, and dislocation of the device. From 2009 through the recall, an estimated 4,000 Smith & Nephew liners were in use in the United States. The company had marketed the R3 system as being long-lasting and safe even though the implants have since been found to fail prematurely and require subsequent surgery.
Smith & Nephew was keen to push these defective joint implant devices, even through the use of bribes, with the hopes of taking advantage of the baby boomer population in the U.S. The year of the recall, the company reported profits of $1.03 billion in sales. The company continues to profit despite the growing number of individuals harmed by its poorly made hip and joint implants.
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Our dangerous device attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by hip replacement surgery. Lawsuits have been filed against the device makers by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the dangerous device. You may be entitled to a settlement. We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement and we pay all of the case costs. If your claim is not successful for any reason, you do not owe us anything. We put it all in writing for you. Our defective hip lawyers will help you file your lawsuit.
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