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Hip Check – DePuy Orthopedics Facing Heavy Litigation

Johnson & Johnson have been no stranger to the courtroom in recent years due to both manufacturing and distribution issues with medical products. Now, a subsidy of Johnson & Johnson, DePuy Orthopedics, is also facing numerous legal battles.

DePuy Orthopedics is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of medical devices with a specialized focus on orthopedic products. The company was founded by Revra DePuy. Revra DePuy in Indiana in 1895. Johnson & Johnson acquired the company in 1998.

Legal trouble surrounded DePuy in 2000 after the company made hip replacement devices that accommodated younger hip replacement patients. The controversial devices were the Pinnacle Hip Replacement System, the ASR XL Acetabular System total hip replacement and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System.

Patients complained that the devices, which are built metal-on-metal, led to metallosis, dislocation, immobility and infection. One study on the failure rate of the metal liner found that out of 545 patients who used the metal liner within the Pinnacle Hip Replacement System, 90 hips in 82 patients were revised after they failed. During revision surgery, doctors found cloudy fluid in pockets in the hip, severe necrosis and ruptured tendons.

DePuy’s ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which was used in more than 93,000 hip replacement surgeries across the world, was recalled by the company five years after its domestic launch due to a higher than usual failure rate. It was found that the device failed between 21% and 49% after six years of use. Internal DePuy projections show that the device will likely fail in 40% of patients within five years. Similar products from other companies have a life of 40 years.

Since the DePuy’s products were so heavily used, it stands to reason that there is a large volume of pending lawsuits as a result of the device failures. In fact, over 8,600 lawsuits were filed regarding injuries sustained as a result of the ASR System. The cases were later consolidated in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Ohio. It has been reported that 7,500 of those cases will settle out of court for approximately $2.5 billion.

The Pinnacle Hip Replacement System faced a multitude of lawsuits that were consolidated in Texas which yielded $502 million in damages.

Plaintiffs claim that had they been properly warned about the risks that would come with choosing to use the ASR and Pinnacle replacement devices, they would have chosen another form of treatment.

Medical malpractice can have devastating effects that last a lifetime. If you have been injured by a physician’s neglect, attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian will work to get you the full compensation to which you are entitled. Call 800-529-6162 today or contact them online for a free case evaluation. They handle cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

About the Author

Charles GilmanCharles Gilman
Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.


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