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Top 5 Types of Bad Medical Devices DePuy Pinnacle and ASR Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

Top 5 Types of Bad Medical Devices

Top 5 Types of Bad Medical Devices

DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has faced mounting litigation over its ASR and Pinnacle hip implants in recent years. Thousands have filed lawsuits alleging that the devices failed much earlier than anticipated and caused a host of problems prompting the need for revision surgery. In fact, scrutiny over all-metal hip devices truly surfaced when DePuy recalled its ASR Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System in August 2010 due to high failure rates.

In metal-on-metal hip implants, the surfaces are all made of metal, as opposed to metal-on-plastic or ceramic-on-plastic or ceramic-on-ceramic. When all-metal hip implants were first introduced, they were touted as being more durable and better suited for younger, more active patients. This claim was quickly cast into doubt once metal hip implants were shown to fail at higher rates than expected. Hip implants are expected to last for many years, but metal-on-metal hip implants are prone to early failure because metal debris can shed when the surfaces of the implant rub together, release metal particles into the bloodstream and surrounding tissue.

The recall affected 93,000 hip implants worldwide. J&J stated the failure rate was 12 percent within five years at the time of the recall. According to trial evidence presented in early 2013, the DePuy ASR failure rate was as high as 40 percent in five years.

Some complications associated with metal hip implants include metal poisoning (metallosis), implant loosening, dislocation, infection, swelling, pain and difficulty walking. These adverse events can prompt need for revision surgery, which is a second surgery performed to remove the hip device.

Parker Waichman LLP provides free legal consultations to individuals implanted with DePuy’s ASR hip implants and the Pinnacle hip system. If you or someone you know was implanted with a metal-on-metal hip device and want more information about your legal rights, contact our firm today.

In August 2013, DePuy agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle some 8,000 ASR hip implant lawsuits. The settlement would include patients who underwent revision surgery. In October 2014, Bloomberg reported that J&J was considering settling another 1,000 cases for $250 million. This settlement would resolve cases not covered under the 2013 settlement. If the settlement goes through, about three-quarters of the litigation will have been resolved. Legal experts told Bloomberg that the total cost of ASR settlements may exceed $4 billion by the time it is concluded.

In February 2015, an Oklahoma jury ordered J&J to pay $2.5 million to a woman who alleged that both of her DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implants failed. According to the lawsuit, she received an implant on her right side on October 25, 2006 and one on her left side on February 6, 2007. The suit alleges that both implants failed after implantation, forcing her to undergo a number of surgeries, including surgeries to remove the devices in 2011 and 2012. The Plaintiff’s implanting surgeon and the Plaintiff’s explanting surgeon believe both of the Plaintiff’s ASR XL implants failed, the lawsuit indicates.

There are several versions of the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement System; the metal-on-metal version uses the Ultamet liner, has been named in a number of lawsuits. Thousands of Pinnacle lawsuits have been consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation underway in Texas. More than 7,500 cases have been pending as of May 2015.

Parker Waichman LLP represents numerous clients in lawsuits over metal-on-metal hip implants, including the Pinnacle and ASR hip devices. If you or someone you know wants to file a lawsuit over the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System total hip replacement, ASR Hip Resurfacing System or Pinnacle Hip Replacement System or if you simply want more information, contact one of our personal injury attorneys today.


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