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Parker Waichman LLP Offers Take on DePuy ASR Hip Implant Trial Developments

Feb 22, 2013

The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP believes executives at DePuy Orthopaedics are trying to pin blame for the failings of its ASR metal-on-metal hip implant on everyone but themselves.

Despite thousands of complaints that the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant is defective and likely to cause recipients serious injuries, executives at the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary - including former President David Floyd - argue that it’s not the device that’s responsible for these deficiencies but either the health of the recipient or the surgeon who implanted it.

Floyd recently testified at the trial against his former company brought by Loren Kransky, the first victim of the defective ASR metal-on-metal hip implant to have this claim reach a jury trial. Kransky is one of more than 10,000 people in the U.S. who received the ASR hip implant during a total hip replacement surgery. Like the others, Kransky developed serious complications that were blamed on the device and after just a few years he was back at his surgeon to have the ASR implant removed.

DePuy counters Kransky’s and others’ claims that the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant is to blame for his injuries that include severe pain, inflammation, and internal injuries caused by elevated metallic ion levels in his blood. When he testified at the trial, Floyd admitted that he had heard from several surgeons who had implanted the ASR device about its shortcomings but still maintained that it was not defective.

Still, he admits that in the short term, a medical device like the ASR hip implant should not have an early failure rate higher than 1 percent. When the company issued a recall on the ASR device, reports showed that the early failure rate of it was at least 12 percent. More testimony delivered in the trial shows that that rate could be as high as 40 percent.

Attorneys at Parker Waichman believe that once the company was faced with the extremely high failure rate of the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, DePuy executives attempted to shift the focus of the blame to the recipients and the surgeons.

Parker Waichman’s Senior Litigation Counsel Daniel C. Burke adds, “While Floyd testified that failure rates should not be higher than 1 percent a year, the ASR has been shown to have revision rates much higher than that. When this information came to light, DePuy decided to place the blame on surgeons instead of taking responsibility for their own design.”

The law firm is representing several victims of the ASR hip implant and recipients of other defective metal-on-metal hip implants. It adds that people who believe their hip implant may be defective should consult with their physicians to discuss these concerns.
Signs of trouble with a metal-on-metal hip implant include severe pain, inflammation, and a loosening of the device. Even if there are no immediate signs of pain, the defective devices are likely causing serious internal injuries by dispersing dangerous metallic particles into a recipient’s bloodstream.

Kransky’s trial is expected to continue through next week when it enters its fifth week.

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