Canada Certifies DePuy ASR Metal Hip Implant Class Action LawsuitSep 23, 2013
A class action lawsuit has been certified by an Ontario, Canada judge against DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of health care giant Johnson & Johnson, over the recalled ASR metal-on-metal hip implant device. DePuy Orthopaedics’ ASR hip implant is the focus of large-scale litigations.
The class action was filed in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice and is seeking damages for all patients who have been implanted with DePuy's ASR hip devices. The class action was undertaken to cover the costs of medical monitoring and emotional distress and may include about 4,000 Canadian patients, according to MassDevice.com.
DePuy is at the center of litigation all over the world and some preliminary trials, known as bellwethers, are scheduled to begin next week in the United States in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio, MassDevice.com wrote. The first lawsuit involving the DePuy ASR settled before it reached trial. A jury awarded another plaintiff $8.3 million and found that the ASR was defectively designed, according to MassDevice.com.
Lawyers for thousands of alleged victims of DePuy Orthopaedics’ ASR metal-on-metal hip implant are urging federal regulators to investigate the defective device. Attorneys told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the device maker violated federal law by keeping experts’ concerns about the device quiet, according to Law360. One attorney group stated that DePuy broke with federal reporting requirements in 2006-2010 by not advising the agency about evidence that its ASR XL implants were not safe. This took place after two bellwether cases presented testimony about the ASR, Law360 noted. Before that, the evidence was sealed under protective court orders.
The device maker issued a worldwide recall of 93,000 ASR devices in 2010; more than 11,000 lawsuits have been brought against the device maker. Law360 noted that Johnson & Johnson stated that 37 percent of the implants will prematurely fail; however, other estimates state that the premature failure rate exceeds 60 percent.
Metal-on-metal hip implants, as a class, have become the focus of serious safety concerns. The devices received clearance under the FDA’s fast-tracked 510(k) route, which bypasses clinical testing. Studies reveal that metal hip replacements tend to fail more often than other implants, despite the fact that the devices were created for increased durability and longevity and with the intention that the apparently stronger components would be superior over their traditional counterparts, which are constructed with plastic or ceramic elements. The metal devices have come under fire for failing at unexpectedly high rates and leaving patients with significant and, often, life-long injuries.