DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. (JNJ) Knew of Problems Well Before Recall  
2/19/2013 8:42:33 AM

ebruary 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On August 24, 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, recalled its articular surface replacement hip device after numerous complaints the devices were failing and causing harmful side effects in those who had the devices implanted. DePuy's ASR was one of the biggest failure of medical devices that had occurred in decades. Surgeons had used DePuy's ASR device in approximately 93,000 patients around the world, and an avalanche of lawsuits followed the failure of these devices. Court documents from the litigation show that the manufacturer was aware of serious issues with its ASR and hid them from regulators and consumers.

Painful complications

When DePuy first marketed its ASR hip device in 2005, it touted the revolutionary nature of the metal used to create the device, claiming that it would last for 20 years. However, the chromium and cobalt in the device led to adverse reactions in the patients who received ASR hip replacements, including:

- Tissue death

- Pain starting at the implant site and spreading to the groin and back

- Swelling and inflammation

- Metal poisoning

- Bone loss

- Fluid collecting around the implant

- Solid masses forming at the implant site

A growing number of patients have had to endure painful revision surgeries to undo the damage that the ASR device has done. In some cases, the devices have failed as soon as two years after patients initially received them.

Manufacturer cover-up

Johnson & Johnson has currently been served with more than 10,000 lawsuits dealing with DePuy ASR devices. Records from the first of the suits to go to trial revealed that as early as five years before the 2010 recall, DePuy knew there were issues with its ASR device. Physicians had complained to DePuy about its ASR in 2005, even as the company first began to market it in the U.S. In 2007 the company conducted an internal test of the ASR device, comparing it to another hip replacement device, and the ASR failed the test.

Records indicate that the surgeons who had worked as consultants in creating the device had ceased using the ASR by the time DePuy's engineers conducted the test. Company executives discussed potential ways to correct the defects in the ASR, but the company never took action and continued to market devices it knew were flawed.

Speak with an attorney

Medical technology can enhance people's lives. However, when companies produce devices that harm patients, they need to be held accountable. If you have suffered injury due to a defective medical device, speak with a seasoned medical malpractice attorney who can help you recover just and proper compensation.

Article provided by Devereaux, Stokes, Nolan, Fernandez & Leonard, P.C.

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