McGinnis v. Stryker Sales Corporation et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION re 22 Judgment on Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by Michael P. Mills on 5/1/2013. (lpm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
CASE NO. 4:13CV32
STRYKER SALES CORPORATION AND
HOMEDICA OSTEONICS CORP.
This cause comes before the court on the motion for partial summary judgment  of
defendants, Homedica Osteonics Corp. and Stryker Sales Corporation. William McGinnis has
responded in opposition to the motion. Upon due consideration, the court finds the motion due
to be granted.
This is a products liability action arising out of injuries sustained as a result of an
allegedly defective prosthetic hip implant. At issue in the present motion is whether McGinnis’
products liability claim is barred by the statute of limitations.
The complaint contains the following factual allegations. McGinnis underwent a hip
implant on September 28, 2007.
He experienced constant pain after this implant, and he
underwent surgery in October 2009. During the surgery, the doctor discovered that the femoral
component of the implant was “grossly loose”. “The Plaintiff’s original prosthetic hip required
revision in a mere two (2) years. Based upon the onset of Plaintiff’s pain, it is likely that his
implant failure occurred much earlier than two years. A prosthetic hip failure within two (2)
years is considered a gross premature failure.” Defendant Stryker, a hip implant manufacturer,
issued recall letters as late as November 2007, though McGinnis did not receive notice of the
recall until he saw a reference to it in a TV commercial in February 2012.
The parties agree that the applicable statute of limitations is found in Mississippi Code §
15-1-49. It provides:
(1) All actions for which no other period of limitation is prescribed shall
be commenced within three (3) years next after the cause of such
action accrued, and not after.
(2) In actions for which no other period of limitation is prescribed and
which involve latent injury or disease, the cause of action does not
accrue until the plaintiff has discovered, or by reasonable diligence
should have discovered, the injury.
Miss. Code § 15-1-49. The parties do not appear to have any disagreement on the facts,
disagreeing instead on the date at which McGinnis should have discovered his injury. McGinnis
contends that the three year period should begin to run on February 2012, because he never
received any of the 2007 recall letters, allegedly “due to the negligence of Stryker”.
Defendants, on the other hand, allege that, at the very latest, the cause of action accrued on
October 2, 2009, when McGinnis had surgery on his implant.
Fatal to McGinnis’ contention is the Mississippi Supreme Court’s interpretation of §151-49, stating that a cause of action accrues “upon discovery of the injury, not discovery of the
injury and its cause.” Angle v. Koppers, Inc., 42 So.3d 1, 7 (Miss. 2010)(emphasis original).
Thus, McGinnis’ concern that he did not receive notice of the recall is irrelevant to whether he
had notice of his injury. His injury was apparent to him in October 2009, at the latest, when he
had surgery on the implant he now claims to be defective. Therefore, this action having been
filed in 2013, count 1 of McGinnis’ complaint is barred by the three year statute of limitations.
In light of the foregoing, the motion for partial summary judgment is GRANTED. A
separate order will issue accordingly.
SO ORDERED, this the 1st day of May, 2013.
/s/ MICHAEL P. MILLS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
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