With age or a degenerative condition, many people suffer from hip pain. When less invasive treatment options fail, hip replacement or resurfacing may be suggested to alleviate pain and restore mobility. In the last decade, metal hip implants were marketed as superior to traditional metal and plastic implants, a claim that time and litigation has proved false.
In 2003, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson and Johnson, began selling a metal hip implant system called the Articular Surface Replacement (ASR). By 2005, the company was receiving reports of early failure of the device.
Internal company correspondence reveals DePuy was aware of a design flaw in the ASR that caused the ball of the implant to move irregularly within the socket, leading to uneven wear on the rim of the cup. This in turn caused the device to shed metallic debris within the body causing inflammation, pain, poisoning and other injury in some cases.
In 2010, DePuy recalled the device and now faces more than 10,000 lawsuits for the suffering and loss caused by the device. To date, two cases against the manufacturer have been heard and decided. In March this year, a Los Angeles jury awarded a Montana man $8.3 million for injuries he suffered when his ASR transplant failed. In April, a Chicago jury rejected the claims of a 54-year-old nurse whose hip implant failed after three years, electing to award her nothing for her pain.
Johnson and Johnson is widely expected to face over $1 billion in exposure as these cases come to trial. If you received a DePuy product, talk to your surgeon. If your implant failed early, speak with Stipe Law Firm for an experienced products liability lawyer to evaluate your case.