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Depuy’s ASR and Pinnacle Hip Implant Woes Continue

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

By: Kelda Doherty

In 2010, DePuy, the manufacturer of the ASR XL Hip Replacement System, finally acknowledged problems with their hip implants by ordering a recall on all of their ASR hip replacements which were introduced to the United States in 2006. Depuy’s own internal data have revealed that the system’s failure rate is at least 40% within five years of implant, but could in fact be higher

Reports of problems with the defective metal-on-metal implant include microscopic metal debris being released into the surrounding tissue and blood causing inflammation, pain, and difficulty walking. Removal of the medical devices require costly and painful surgical procedures; additional surgery which would have been unnecessary since DePuy was aware of the high failure rate prior to 2010. We represent over 100 clients who have gone through this revision nightmare.

In the United Kingdom, the registry of patients revealed that up to 50% of people who received an ASR implant may require revision surgery within six years of receiving the flawed implant. DePuy (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) has also faced lawsuits over their Pinnacle Hip system. Our firm is litigating those in the federal consolidation located in Texas. The FDA Med Watch received 548 complaints in 2010 from patients complaining of symptoms similar to those experienced as a result of metal toxicity. The true number of patients suffering is believed to be considerably more given that less than 10% of patients suffering from adverse affects may have filed a complaint. Less attention has been given to the Pinnacle hip system as it has not yet been recalled, yet the coordinated discovery team is reviewing over 60 million documents and scheduling over 100 depositions. The Pinnacle had many optional components, some of which were pure metal-on-metal. The variety has resulted in extensively more documents to review than the mono-block ASR system.

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