Canadian Victims of Defective Hip Implants Launch LawsuitsJan 4, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
More Canadians are lining up to sue the manufacturers of allegedly defective hip implants that they claim have failed and caused them pain. At least four hip implant class action lawsuits are currently pending in Canada, and over the past five years, a dozen different hip implant recalls have been issued there.
According to a report from CBC.com, most of the problems reported in Canada involve newer versions of hip implants. One plaintiffs' attorney attributed that fact to Health Canada's fairly rudimentary approval process for new medical devices that are merely modifications of older designs. In such cases, new clinical trials are not required, something that may be hurting patients.
"The risk to people has been huge in relation to the benefit, particularly bearing in mind that there were effective products on the market that were working for decades before these new products came out. In this case, newer was not better,” the attorney told CBC.com
One doctor said that patients need to be informed that newer versions of hip implants have not undergone extensive testing. According to CBC.com, Dr. David Urbach, a surgeon with Toronto's University Health Network, suggested telling patients that "we've done all the diligence that's required for testing, but we actually don't know that this will perform well over many years."
Some patients have found that out the hard way. They include Res Desborough of Nova Scotia, who told CBC.com that his hip replacement surgery left him in worse shape after his implant failed. "Now I have some degree of pain and my lifestyle is quite a bit different than it was," Desborough said.
Desborough told CBC.com that Canada's current regulations don't go far enough, said he would like to see a mandatory system established to track implant failures and to contact patients when devices are recalled.