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Court Documents Reveal a 37% Failure Rate on Recalled DePuy Metal Hips
According to newly unsealed court records, an internal analysis conducted by J&J shortly after it recalled its troubled DePuy ASR hip implant, estimated that 37 percent of the devices would fail with the first five years.
J&J is currently facing more than 10,000 lawsuits over the ASR hips, and the company’s own analysis indicates the implant is likely to prematurely fail over the next few years in thousands of more patients. There are hundreds of other internal company documents which are expected to become public as the first lawsuit, Kransky v. DePuy goes to trial in Los Angeles on January 25, 2013. The trial is expected to expose what officers of DePuy Orthopedics knew about the product’s defects before the recall and whether they took any action to remedy the problems. The trial is also expected to provide guidance regarding how future juries may rule in upcoming DePuy lawsuits and what financial consequences the company may be facing.
It is estimated that over thirty thousand patients in the US received the all-metal ASR implant. All metal-on-metal implants such as the Wright Conserv, Biomet M2A Magnum, and Smith & Nephew R3 Metal Liner and Stryker Rejuvenate appear to be causing injuries, however, the ASR was the most failure-prone of the all-metal hips. Such devices are particularly prone to causing damage because the all-metal components grind against each other releasing metallic particles, particularly cobalt and chromium. This metallic debris can damage surrounding tissue and bone as well as causing systemic damage to the central nervous system and other organs. According to court documents, J&J requested the Judge in the upcoming trial to bar Plaintiff’s doctors from testifying he was “poisoned by the chromium and cobalt” released by the DePuy hip. However, on January 18, 2013, the court ruled that doctors could testify that Mr. Kransky was suffering form exposure to “heavy metal poisoning” from his hip components.
J&J is also currently negotiating a potential $2 billion settlement with patients who received the all metal hip implants, offering to pay more than $200,000 per case. This represents one of the biggest medical device failures in history. In a November filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, J&J increased its reserves “due to anticipated product liability litigation and costs associated with” the ASR hips. Additionally, last year the company took a $3 billion special charge, mostly related to medical and legal costs associated with the device.
Over 7,000 ASR lawsuits are currently pending in the consolidated MDL, In re DePuy Orthopedics Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigations, 10-MD-2197, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, while an additional 2,000 have been consolidated in a California state court. However, with the number of DePuy hips implanted in US citizens, many more suits will be filed. Ennis & Ennis, P.A. continues to offer free, nationwide, confidential consultations to anyone who received a DePuy or other metal-on-metal hip device by calling toll free 1-800-856-6405 or by going to www.ennislaw.com and completing an online case evaluation form. Ennis & Ennis, P.A. is a nationwide law firm with offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Washington D.C. that concentrates its practice in mass torts and represents individuals against pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers.