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Judge Denies DePuy's Appeal Attempt over ASR Verdict

May 28, 2013

A judge in California denied DePuy Orthopaedics’ effort to get a new trial to replace an earlier one that it lost in which the jury awarded $8.3 million to the plaintiff and found that the medical device maker had defectively designed its ASR XL metal-on-metal hip implant.

The judge determined that the plaintiff in that case had presented enough evidence to show that DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, had defectively designed the since-recalled ASR XL hip implant, according to a report.

This most recent ruling means that DePuy must pay the $8.3 million that the California state jury had determined was an appropriate award for plaintiff Loren Kransky, who received the ASR XL hip implant and developed a series of painful complications that ultimately led to him having the device replaced. Kransky’s case was the first of what could be 10,000 more lawsuits to reach a jury in which a recipient of the DePuy ASR XL metal-on-metal hip implant claims the device is responsible for causing numerous setbacks, according to our previous reports.

DePuy still faces thousands of lawsuits consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation in Texas. Like this first case, these lawsuits claim the ASR XL metal-on-metal hip implant was defectively designed and put recipients at risk of a painful and complicated revision surgery to remove the hip implant, according to our reports.

The DePuy ASR XL hip implant is known as a metal-on-metal hip implant. It was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through the agency’s much-maligned 510(k) fast-track approval system that grants clearance to the open market based on evidence that a product is similar in design to other previously approved devices.

More than 90,000 DePuy ASR hip implants were sold during its short time on the market. It was subject to a global recall by the company in August 2010. At the time, the ASR XL metal-on-metal hip implant was the focus of thousands of injury complaints. People who had received the device were reporting, at unusually high rates, that the ASR XL device had caused them severe pain and inflammation at the site of the implant. Further evidence showed that the metal from the component parts of the device was shedding into recipients’ bloodstream and into areas surrounding the implant, causing soft tissue and organ damage. Unchecked, this condition worsened into bouts of metallosis, a toxic accumulation of the metals cobalt and chromium, based on our numerous previous accounts.

Many people who received the DePuy ASR XL hip implant say it has failed long before the company said that it would. These recipients were forced to undergo a painful and costly revision surgery to replace the troubling hip implant.

During this first California trial, one surgeon suggested that the early failure rate of the DePuy ASR hip implant could be as high as 40 percent, according to our reports.

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