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Biomet reaches $56 million settlement over faulty hip replacements

(Reuters) - U.S. medical device maker Biomet Inc will pay at least $56 million to settle a multi-district lawsuit relating to defective metal hip replacements, a court filing showed, ending a protracted legal tussle.

The litigation involves Biomet's metal-on-metal hip replacement device known as M2a Magnum. Hundreds of plaintiffs claimed in various courts across the country that the hip device led to injuries.

The lawsuits were combined and jointly heard at the federal court of Indiana, the state where Biomet is headquartered. The multi-district litigation began in 2012.

As part of the settlement, Biomet will deposit $50 million into an escrow account and another $6 million into an attorney fee fund, the filing showed.

The agreement with the plaintiffs shall extend to all pending cases, and any future lawsuit filed in a federal court on or before April 15, 2014.

Plaintiffs who have received a Biomet M2a 38 or M2a Magnum hip replacement system as part of an initial hip replacement that was rectified more than 180 days after it was implanted shall receive a base award of $200,000.

Biomet, however, maintains that the injuries, losses and damages were not due to its hip implants.

"Plaintiffs and Biomet are mindful of the uncertainties engendered by litigation and are desirous of settling and compromising their differences by entering into this settlement agreement," Judge Robert Miller wrote in his order.

Biomet said in a statement late on Monday that it is pleased to reach a settlement and resolve the lawsuits.

The case is Biomet M2A Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2391), Case No. 12-02391, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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