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DePuy ASR Hip Implant Lawsuits Continue

May 12, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit continue to be hit with lawsuits over the recalled DePuy ASR Acetabular Hip Replacement Systems.  This week, four more DePuy Orthopedic lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Ohio and Texas. All of the lawsuits claim DePuy ASR hip implants failed prematurely.

A hip implant should last around 15 years, but when the DePuy ASR hip implant system was recalled last August, it was revealed that data from a registry in the United Kingdom indicated the implant had a failure rate of 12 percent within five years of implantation.  However, the true premature failure could be much higher. According to this report from, information published by the British Orthopaedic Association indicates that failure rates at six years may be as high as 49 percent.   The association's statement, issued in March, also warned that the 21 percent revision rate at 4 years could rise to 35 percent “if all currently known painful implants progress to revision.”

Nearly 1,000 DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts around the country, and it is expected that even more will be filed in the coming months.   Many such lawsuits have already been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.  A partner with Parker Waichman LLP, was appointed to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in that litigation earlier this year.

The complications associated with the DePuy ASR hip implants could be the result wearing of their metal components, which can allow metal shavings to make their way into patients’ bloodstreams.  Many victims of the DePuy ASR hip implant have been found to have elevated metal ion levels in their blood, and some even exhibit signs of cobalt poisoning.  Untreated, this can lead to serious long-term health problems. Recently, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asked DePuy Orthopaedics and 20 other manufacturers of similar metal-on-metal hip implants to conduct safety studies aimed at determining if these devices are shedding dangerous amounts of metallic debris in patients.

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