Background on the Recalled DePuy Hip Replacement Joint
About 1,000 lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts accusing Johnson & Johnson the giant drug and medical-device maker, of knowing about problems with some of its metal-on-metal hip joints before its DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. unit stopped making them in 2009. DePuy led thousands of patients with damaged hips to believe their recalled ASR Hip Replacement system will improve the pain and mobility of their hip. However, this recalled hip replacement, which uses a metal-on-metal device, has proven just as harmful as a damaged hip or worse. Johnson & Johnson later recalled the joints world-wide.
Johnson & Johnson, which had $61.6 billion in sales in 2010, has allocated approximately $280 million to cover surgeries and other medical care for patients with the DePuy joints – a metal ball and socket developed and modeled to replicate a normal human hip joint.
A panel of federal judges has consolidated many of the hip-joint lawsuits in federal court. Johnson & Johnson, whose products range from simple daily medications to complex cancer fighting drugs, recalled its metal-on-metal hip joints after British data showed them wearing down or otherwise requiring replacement at unusually high rates. Some patients had to undergo risky and expensive surgery to remove and replace the recalled implant.
Moderate estimates have about 37,000 patients in the U.S. and 93,000 patients world-wide having received the recalled device. The recalled hip joint, the articular surface replacement, or “ASR”, system, caused chromium and cobalt in the users’ bloodstreams to surge. The potentially toxic metals came from parts of the joint wearing down and leaching into patients’ systems.
In May, the FDA said particles from the metal-on-metal hip joints, such as cobalt and chromium, might wear off and make their way into a patient’s blood. The agency said this could contribute to heavy concentrations of cobalt and chromium in the body.
Where are the Cases Now
Currently, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all federal DePuy ASR hip injury suits in December 2010 for pretrial proceedings. The purpose behind this consolidation is to promote efficient handling of all the cases as well has facilitating a settlement agreement between the parties.
What Should You Do
If you or someone you love have fallen victim to the failed DePuy ASR hip implant, contact our CSS Firm for a free case evaluation and consultation for your defective hip implant. Our hip implant recall lawyers continue to review claims all over the country in an effort to help those affected by this dangerous product. Our experienced Georgia hip implant lawyers at Childers, Schlueter & Smith LLC will work closely with you to ensure you get the care and justice you deserve.