Corporate Responsibility- Did DePuy Fail to Alert the Public of Mounting Hip Implant Failures?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D., The Health Law Firm

According to USA Today, in 2001 Johnson and Johnson’s DePuy set out to create a new metal hip implant that offered stability and longevity to patients. In 2005, the company introduced the ASR XL hip implant. According to reports in the media, a couple of years after launching the hip implant, a substantial amount of evidence began to appear that DePuy’s metal-on-metal ASR XL hip implants were failing at high rates. However, the devices were apparently left on the market.

In August 2010, DePuy recalled its ASR XL implants, but not before orthopaedic surgeons installed more than 93,000 into patients. Click here to read the press release on the recall from DePuy. DePuy now faces more than 10,700 lawsuits from patients who suffer chronic pain, tissue damage and metal ions in their bloodstream, allegedly due to the hip implants.


First Sign of Trouble.

DePuy is now accused of gambling with patients’ health. The company allegedly received letters and emails from surgeons all over the world and DePuy’s own paid consulting surgeons, warning of the significant failure rates in the hip implants, according to USA Today. The ASR implants failed in about thirty-seven percent (37%) of patients in fewer than five years, that’s according to Johnson and Johnson’s own statistics. Finally DePuy pulled the hip implants from the market in August 2010. Click here to read the entire article from USA Today.


DePuy Lawsuit Trial Underway.

On March 8, 2013, a California jury found the design of the ASR XL hip implant defective in the first trial against DePuy. The plaintiff was awarded $8.3 million in compensation damages. Click here to read a previous blog on the DePuy trial.

The second lawsuit is being heard in Chicago. The plaintiff claims she had a DePuy ARS XL hip implant installed in 2008, and developed high levels of chromium and cobalt in her body. In about three years the plaintiff apparently had to have the device removed.


DePuy Representative Believes the Company Acted Properly.

In an editorial piece, the vice president for clinical research at DePuy said she believes the company made the right decision to recall the ASR XL hip implants at the right time. The vice president said after years of design and testing, the hip implant system was cleared for sale. The company apparently openly and rigorously evaluated the data on the device and shared information with surgeons and regulators. She believes that DePuy acted properly and responsibly, in regards to the recall, with the information available. The company regrets the hip product did not meet the needs and expectations of some patients. Click here to read the entire article from the vice president for clinical research at DePuy.


DePuy Lawsuits Similar to Those Against Stryker Orthopaedics.

In July 2012, Stryker issued a voluntary recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems. (Click here to see the press release from Stryker.) As of February 2013, more than 80 lawsuits have been consolidated into multicounty litigation (MCL) in the Superior Court in New Jersey against Stryker Orthopaedics. Patients claim the company’s Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck femoral hip systems are defective.

The company is currently in the process of sending out letters to surgeons urging them to perform clinical exams, such as blood work and cross sectional imaging, on patients who had implants installed. Click here to read a letter from Stryker to a surgeon.


Hip Implant Patients Talk to an Attorney Before Speaking to Broadspire.

Warning, if you or a family member has suffered complications due to a DePuy or Stryker hip implant, contact an experienced health law attorney. Before you talk to the manufacturer of the defective product, or the manufacturer’s representative (usually Broadspire), contact us for information.


Contact an Attorney Experienced in Products Liability Litigation.

Although The Health Law Firm represents predominantly physicians and other health care providers, we are involved in products liability litigation. At the request of our clients, we have agreed to take on and prosecute a number of hip implant cases against their manufacturers for the patients. We currently are representing several plaintiff patients with DePuy hip implants and several plaintiff patients with Stryker hip implants.

We are able to combine our knowledge of the health law industry with our litigation experience for the benefit of patients. If you received a DePuy or Stryker hip replacement and have experienced pain, swelling, high levels of metal in your blood, a corrective revision surgery, or other complications, we may be able to help you. To learn more about your legal rights, contact The Health Law Firm for a consultation today.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Comments?

What do you think of the DePuy and Stryker lawsuits? Have you experienced complications for a hip implant? Please leave thoughtful comments below.


Sources:

Plouhar, Pam. “On Hip Replacement, DePuy Acted Properly: Opposing View.” USA Today. (March 14, 2013). From: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/03/24/hip-replacement-asr-johnson-johnson-depuy-editorials-debates/2015881/

The Editorial Board. “Hip Replacement Throws Johnson & Johnson: Our View.” USA Today. (March 24, 2013). From: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/03/24/hip-implant-replacement-johnson-johnson-editorials-debates/2015935/


About the Authors: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.


Tag Words: Stryker, Sktryker Orthopaedic, Stryker hip implant, recall, Stryker recall, Stryker lawsuits, Rejuvenate, ABG II modular-neck stems, DePuy, DePuy hip implant, DePuy recall, DePuy lawsuits, orthopaedic surgeon, artificial hip implant, hip implant lawsuit, hip implant recipient, Broadspire, Broadspire Services, Inc., Food and Drug Administration (FDA), metal-on-metal hip implants, dangers of metal-on-metal hip implants, defense attorney, defense lawyer, lawsuits, mass-tort cases, multicounty litigation (MCL), health lawyer, health care attorney


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3/26/2013

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