DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced in November 2013 the resolution of thousands or lawsuits related to its recalled hip product DePuy ASR and DePuy ASR XL. The agreement would amount to approximately $2.5 billion resolution for an estimated 7,000 cases. This amounts to an average of $250,000 for each client that underwent a replacement surgery. Under the terms of the agreement, each Plaintiff would be affected by a variety of factors including smoking, obesity, age and the length of the implant. Plaintiffs with these risk factors will have a deduction in value. However, Plaintiffs who had more than one revision surgery or had multiple DePuy ASR products implanted would be eligible for additional money.
The DePuy ASR and ASR XL first came to the market in 2005 and were marketed as novel metal-on-metal designs that would revolutionize the industry. It is estimated that approximately 93,000 patients received DePuy ASR and ASR XL implants. In addition to providing a greater range of motion, it was alleged that the implant would last much longer than traditional implants manufactured from ceramic and polyethylene. However, the ASR hip implants were recalled in August 2010 after it was discovered by an Australian registry that the implants caused higher revision rates that previously believed. It was found that the five year failure rate of the device was approximately 13%.
Litigation uncovered that the ASR implant was so defectively designed that there was no proper or efficient manner to implant the device. The metal cup would often become dislodged and the metal parts would cause friction leading to metal debris. In some instances, clients had extremely elevated levels of cobalt chromium in their system due to the release of the metal debris in the bloodstream. Two cases were tried that led to varied results. In one case, the Plaintiff obtained an $8.3 million verdict in California state court, whereas, another case resulted in a win for DePuy in Chicago state court.
This litigation has prompted widespread concern regarding the use of metal-on-metal hip implants and the future use of these products. Initially, it was widely believed that these products were the future of orthopedic surgery, however, more surgeons are now reverting back to the use of ceramic and polyethylene implants given recent litigation.
If you have a DePuy Orthopaedics hip implant and have been experiencing problems or require a revision surgery, please contact our law firm. An experienced attorney at Pierce | Skrabanek will provide a free case evaluation and analyze the facts of your case. We handle all cases on a contingency basis, meaning that we don’t get paid unless we win.