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ASR Device Caused Leap in Ion Levels in the Blood, Other Complications, Revision Surgery

Apr 4, 2013

Injuries related to increased ion levels in the blood led to a Texas man’s revision surgery to remove and replace a now-recalled DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant device. This lawsuit is just one of nearly 11,000 filed against Johnson & Johnson over the DePuy ASR.

The complaint states that the man received the ASR hip implant on his right side in October 2008. He then suffered from pain, clicking, instability, and increased ion levels allegedly due to the ASR’s defective nature. The plaintiff underwent explantation—removal of the device—in June 2012. He is now suing for injury to himself, economic loss, loss of services, and loss of consortium, which the lawsuit alleges are a result of the defendants’ negligent or wrongful actions. The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants neglected to warn about the risks of the ASR hip implant.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff in the first case, recently heard in Los Angeles, was awarded $8.3 million in compensatory damages over DePuy’s ASR after the jury found that the ASR was defectively designed, said Bloomberg News. The second case to go to trial was brought by Carol Strum, 54. The plaintiff alleges that the DePuy ASR failed three years after implantation, causing her to undergo revision surgery. It is also charged that faulty design caused the ASR’s failure and the need for additional surgery, as well as Strum’s development of high metal concentration in her blood.

The plaintiff’s husband, Mike Strum, recently testified in Illinois state court that his wife has been in constant pain since undergoing the revision surgery. Mr. Strum told jurors that after her hip revision surgery, his wife’s recovery took twice as long as it did following the initial surgery, which he attributed to severely worsened pain and a loud clicking sound that could be heard “across the room,” he said, according to Law360.

The DePuy ASR was recalled globally in August 2010, after Johnson & Johnson stated that the device was associated with a 12 percent failure rate in five years in the United Kingdom. Since then, Australian joint registry data has revealed a more than 40 percent failure rate there. Johnson & Johnson said the recall was implemented over the device’s high failure rate, not a product defect, Bloomberg News noted previously.

The lawsuit brought by the Texas plaintiff was filed on March 20, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division, by Parker Waichman LLP. This case is one of thousands consolidated into the multidistrict litigation (MDL) known as In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 1:10 md 2197).

Named as defendants are DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., DePuy Inc., DePuy International Limited, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson International. Johnson & Johnson maintains that the ASR was not defectively designed. DePuy Orthopaedics is a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

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