Can chromium related illness claims for compensation be made for illnesses developing from metal on metal hip replacements?
Since the DePuy hip replacement recall of 2010, awareness of chromium related illnesses and the possibility of making chromium related illness claims for compensation has increased significantly. In the first six months of 2012, the Injuries Board received 605 applications for assessment relating to the DePuy hip replacement recall – not all of them in respect of chromium related illness claims, but a good indicator of the number of injuries which are being sustained from faulty metal-on-metal hip replacements.
Unfortunately, the Injuries Board Ireland released all the claims for chromium related illness to the courts as a ”compensation benchmark” had not been established in Ireland. However, the first DePuy chromium related illness claims are already being heard in the United States – giving an indication of how much compensation for a chromium related illness each claimant is entitled to.
In order to be diagnosed with chromium related illness, an orthopaedic surgeon would need to find metal ions in your bloodstream using joint aspiration, imaging tests or blood tests. If these tests reveal that chromium ions have entered the blood stream, and ‘on the balance of probability’ caused you to sustain an injury, you should be entitled to claim compensation for a chromium related illness.
The solicitor will also advise you whether it is in your best interests to pursue claims for chromium related illness as part of a class action suit or as an individual depending on your personal situation and the severity of your injury. There could be a considerable time difference in how long it takes to process chromium related illness claims and how much compensation for a chromium related illness you will be entitled to and, as the first hearings are soon to take place, it would be advisable to speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.
Please note: Everyone who has received a metal on metal hip replacement is now being advised by the Irish Medicines Board to seek annual checkups for 5 years following a hip replacement operation to check for the presence of chromium ions in the blood.