A Perthshire man has accused a US medical technology company of a “cover-up” after he was left crippled by a hip replacement.
John Haldane, of Hilton of Gask, is one of almost 90 people, aged from their 30s to their 80s, involved in the biggest class action lawsuit raised by NHS patients.
The claimants say they have been left with health problems after being fitted with hip replacements between the 1990s to 2008. Most have a metal-on-metal type replacement, though John’s is a metal-on-polythene type, called the Accolade, which is made by a firm called Stryker.
He was told his hip replacement would last two decades. Instead it was removed after just three years, leaving him in need of a crutch to walk.
John was forced to give up Foswell Estate, which had been in his family for 120 years, as he was unable to do the manual work required for its upkeep.
He believes corrosion of the implant sent toxic cobalt – from the ball section of the replacement – into his body causing necrosis in the surrounding tissue.
While he does not blame staff at Perth Royal Infirmary, who carried out the operation, he wants to see US-based Stryker held to account.
He said: “I feel angry with Stryker because I think there’s a cover-up going on. I’m pretty sure there have been a lot of cases of these Accolades corroding and they haven’t been properly exposed.
“For example, I happen to know two other Perthshire folk have had to have their Stryker hip implants removed because of corrosion within a few months of me.
“I think Stryker have been extremely good at being able to blame other people for the corrosion.”
The firm insists that the problem was caused by infection and Mr Haldane said despite all his test results coming up clear for infection, NHS Tayside has done nothing to refute this claim.
A former Leuchars resident, Mrs Jackie Downes, 32, is also taking legal action after claiming a metal-on-metal implant, made by a different company, Zimmer, destroyed part of the muscle and nerves in her hip.
She underwent surgery at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, but is now claiming she has been left in tears, “every day,” because of resultant pain.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment on matters relating to individual parties.”
Eight separate companies are in the firing line over the hip replacements.
Patrick McGuire, partner at Thompsons solicitors, who are fighting the class action, said: “A whole generation of people who underwent hip replacements have this type of replacement.
“They have been left needing further operations, in pain, often permanently disabled. People have lost their jobs because of the impact on their health, so it is only right that they get compensation for their loss of earnings.”
Despite repeated attempts by The Courier to contact Stryker no one was available for comment from the company.