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DePuy ASR Hip Implant Victim Takes Stand as Trial Continues in Los Angeles

Feb 20, 2013

Loren Kransky feared that the revision surgery to remove his defective and failed DePuy Orthopaedics ASR metal-on-metal hip implant would kill him and he feared going under the knife one more time.

According to a Bloomberg report, Kransky testified earlier this week before a Los Angeles Superior Court jury as he attempts to prove that DePuy Orthopaedics’ metal-on-metal hip implant, the recalled ASR device, is defective and that the company aggressively conspired to hide data that highlighted its flaws.

Kransky, 65, is the first person in the U.S. to have his claim that the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant is defective reach a jury trial. The court proceedings are nearing their fourth week and after lawyers representing him have spent weeks attempting to show that executives at DePuy were made well aware of the flaws, defects, and complications caused by the device but failed to warn the public or federal health officials of them.

Finally after several weeks, Kransky took the stand and described to jurors the ordeal he faced after receiving the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant in a December 2007 procedure. Like thousands of other recipients of the device, Kransky began developing complications caused by the allegedly defective hip implant soon after he received it. Severe pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility were the immediate effects of the flawed hip implant. Further, Kransky and others claim that the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant caused dangerous accumulations of metallic ions to build, causing extensive internal damage, including that to organs and tissue.

Fed up with this suffering caused by the defective hip implant, Kransky eventually decided in November 2011 to have the device removed through a revision surgery. And for as much pain as he endured in the nearly four years with the device, the surgery to remove it caused him just as much worry.

He told jurors this week, according to the Bloomberg report: “I thought that surgery was going to kill me. I thought I was going to die. I came to believe that I was going to have to do it because I was told that something in my body was poisoning me. I was told it could be the hip. I thought, ‘I’m going to die either way.’ One way would be slow and one would be fast. I took the lesser of two evils.”

Kransky is the first of more than 10,000 people to have a claim against DePuy Orthopaedics and its ASR metal-on-metal hip implant reach a jury. This bellwether trial could impact the fate of many of those claims. About 7,000 of these lawsuits have been consolidated as part of a federal Multidistrict Litigation and a bellwether trial for those claims is expected to begin later this year.

Prior to Kransky’s testimony, attorneys representing him have paraded current and former DePuy executives along with paid consultants and surgeons to the witness stand attempting to prove that complaints were made in high numbers to the company alerting them to problems caused by the ASR hip implant.

In previous testimony, one surgeon who had implanted more than 200 of the devices told jurors that he had seen a 40 percent early-failure rate among recipients of the device.

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