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Recalled Hip Implant Maker Setting Conditions for Repairs

Sep 9, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

A news outlet in Ireland is reporting that Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit is setting conditions for people who want the device maker to pay for repairs of its now-recalled ASR hip implant. The conditions Johnson & Johnson wants to impose could endanger any product liability lawsuits recipients of the DePuy ASR hip implant want to pursue.

Johnson & Johnson announced the worldwide recall of the DePuy ASR Hip Implant system last month, after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 patients (12%-13%) who had received one of the recalled devices had to undergo revision surgery within five years of receiving it. The recall involved the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket used in traditional hip replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that involves placing a metal cap on the ball of the femur. Only the ASR XL Acetabular System was approved for use in the United States.

According to a report on RTÉ News, an outlet which is based in Ireland, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics has confirmed that payment for doctor’s costs, X-rays and any repair surgery is conditional on the patient agreeing to provide DePuy with all medical records, as well as the faulty hip implant. Patients must agree to sign a consent form to this effect.

At least one Irish law firm has said it is inappropriate that the original hip replacement and medical records would come under the control of DePuy. The firm recently sent a letter to 160 consultant orthopedic surgeons informing them that turning the defective devices over to the company could hamper patients’ defective product claims, RTÉ News said

The law firm contends that the original hip replacement should be preserved as evidence. It has advised patients not to sign any authorization that would allow the device to be returned to DePuy.

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