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Nevada DePuy ASR Hip Implant Lawsuit Set for Trial in December

Apr 25, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

The first trial over the defective DePuy Orthopaedics ASR hip implant will commence later this year in a Nevada state court.

According to a report at, the first trial will involve three plaintiffs excluded from a federal Multidistrict Litigation case against the medical device division of Johnson & Johnson being organized currently. That litigation includes thousands of people injured by the defective metal-on-metal hip implant.

Excluded from that litigation are at least 10 plaintiffs who’ve filed their cases in another court. The Nevada plaintiffs’ trial will begin Dec. 3. The report indicates each plaintiff in the case suffered from an early failure of their DePuy ASR hip implant, endured revision surgeries and eventually had to have the implant replaced entirely. Of the other plaintiffs currently excluded from the federal MDL are three people in Maryland, two in Florida, and one each in Utah and Wisconsin. These cases were excluded because their details are not similar enough to the 3,500 others filed in federal court where the discovery and other pre-trial processes would be of benefit to the cases.

An attorney for the Nevada plaintiffs told the source they were intent on keeping their clients out of the MDL to get it to trial quicker. Though it may get to trial faster, whatever decision is made in the case is likely open to more appeals. An MDL attempts to reduce the likelihood a decision will ever be reversed because it attempts to streamline decisions on admitting evidence or who can testify on what at a trial.

Though details on the Nevada cases are not available, the allegations made against DePuy are similar to those made in the MDL. Each recipient received an ASR hip implant some time between its approval by the Food and Drug Administration and when it was recalled by the manufacturer because of too many reports of defects and complications posed to recipients.

The ASR all-metal hip implant poses numerous dangers to recipients and several studies suggest the early failure rate of these hips is about 13 percent on average. Many of those who suffer early failures of the ASR hip implant will do so in the first months or years after receiving it.

Pain and inflammation at the site of the implant are usually just a precursor to trouble. In many cases, the ASR hip implant broke completely and unexpectedly. If a person is lucky enough to escape this danger, the overall design of the ASR and other all-metal hip implants poses a potentially greater danger, that of metal poisoning.

Through normal wear-and-tear of a metal-on-metal hip implant, small metal particles are broken free of the device and freely travel to different parts of the body, entering the bloodstream, surrounding tissues, muscles, and organs. Recipients of the ASR device has tested positive for toxic levels of cobalt and chromium. If this goes unnoticed, it could lead to metallosis, tissue damage or death, or organ damage or failure. 

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