January 23, 2013 – Newly disclosed court documents have revealed that a 2011 internal investigation conducted by Johnson & Johnson on its much-troubled DePuy ASR hip implant estimated that the device would fail within five years in nearly 40% of recipients. For reasons still unclear, the company failed to make this information public while simultaneously downplaying the potential health complications associated with its metal-on-metal hip. J&J recalled the ASR in mid-2010 after being slammed with over 10,000 lawsuits over the device, the vast majority of which were filed on behalf of patients who allegedly suffered severe injuries after being implanted with the artificial hip.
DePuy Hip Lawsuit Update 11/13/13 – Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to pay over $4 billion to resolve more than 7,500 lawsuits in federal and state courts over its DePuy hip replacement devices. All of the claims involve similar allegations that DePuy hip implants were defectively designed, resulting in adverse health complications including tissue damage, corrosion, metal ion poisoning (metallosis), and premature failure requiring the need for revision surgery. Click here to learn more.
Free DePuy Hip Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury after being implanted with a DePuy artificial hip device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against Johnson & Johnson and we can help.
What’s the problem?
The newly released internal analysis is among hundreds of Johnson & Johnson documents expected to become public as the first DePuy ASR Hip lawsuits prepare to go to trial this week. The ASR represents one of the biggest medical device blunders in recent years, and the upcoming trial is expected to shed light on what J&J officials knew about the device’s problems prior to the 2010 recall, and whether or not crucial safety information was hidden from the public.
The first DePuy ASR Hip trial, which is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, January 25, is expected to act as a sort of bellwether trial in gauging how future cases might play out. Last year, J&J took a $3 billion special charge, much of it related to medical and legal costs associated with the ASR hip. The company has offered to pay replacement costs for patients whose devices failed prematurely.
The ASR was the best-selling of a once popular line of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. While these types of implants are still on the market, they have been largely abandoned due to their tendency to shed tiny metallic particles into recipients’ bloodstreams, which can lead to a serious medical condition known as metallosis.
Last week, Judge J. Steven Czuleger, who is presiding over the first ASR trial, unsealed several motions that contained portions of pretrial depositions of DePuy employees, as well as related company records. As revealing as the documents may be, these depositions represent but a tiny fraction of the information that will become available to the public if the trial moves forward. Over the past two years, lawyers working on ASR-related complaints have reviewed tens of thousands of internal documents and taken depositions from a large number of DePuy officials.
DePuy executives have long denied any wrongdoing as to their handling of the ASR hip. When the company recalled the device in mid-2010, DePuy officials said they were taking the action because data from the National Joint Registry of England of Wales showed for the first time that it was failing at a higher rate than competing metal-on-metal prosthetic hip replacement devices. Then in 2011, the British implant registry announced that the ASR was failing in approximately 30% of recipients who had been implanted with the device for the longest amount of time. It was this figure that was challenged by DePuy executives.
To date, about 7,000 DePuy ASR Hip lawsuits have been consolidated in an Ohio federal court. Another 2,000 such claims have been consolidated in California. The first case set to go to trial this week was reportedly chosen because the plaintiff, a man named Loren Kransky, has cancer and may not live much longer. DePuy has already settled a number of ASR lawsuits before trial, and may do so in Kransky’s case as well.
Do I Have a DePuy Hip Lawsuit?
The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in DePuy Hip lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new DePuy Hip injury cases in all 50 states.
Free DePuy Hip Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury after being implanted with a DePuy artificial hip device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a DePuy Hip suit and we can help.