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Lawsuits Overwhelm DePuy

posted May 18, 2012, 1:15 PM by Katherine Russel

DePuy Orthopaedics has been bombarded with lawsuits after recall was made affecting two of their products, namely: ASR™ XL Acetabular System and DePuy ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System.   The US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to DePuy after sales to two hip-replacement systems were allegedly made for unapproved uses. The DePuy recall has prompted three US Senators to spearhead legislation allowing the FDA to actively monitor artificial device manufacturers and implantation recipients. Design defects called for necessary revision surgeries after five years from the implantation, which primarily prompted the recall, says Johnson & Johnson and DePuy.

These revision surgeries became a source of worry for recipients of these ball and socket devices. Johnson & Johnson researchers found that after a five-year period, an overwhelming number of patients with complete hip replacements need a second operation. Metallosis, a medical condition produces when metal shavings from the implanted device fall to the person’s bloodstream which results in toxicity, have been a usual complaint of patients.

According to court filings, DePuy generated an income of U.S.$5.4 billion in sales. Nearly 8.5 percent of Johnson & Johnson shares have fallen in the Ney York Stock Exchange. The company has recalled more than 50 products in just a span of two years.   Doctor advise have been encouraged by DePuy regarding the implant’s performance after the surgery. DePuy agreed to bear the costs for monitory and treatment services including revision surgeries after the recall.

Prompted by the surge of lawsuits, DePuy hired Broadspire Services Inc. to manage workmen’s compensation and medical claims, including patient claims for out-of-pocket medical costs.   DePuy included co-pays, deductible expenses, lost wages and travel costs as out-of-pocket costs.   All claims will be evaluated on a case-to-case basis by Broadspire Services from insurance companies, employers or patients.   93,000 implantations of their synthetic device have been noted by DePuy worldwide.   Hence, inference can be made of a remarkable population of affected patients needing new expensive and painful operation to treat the repercussions of the failing device.

A lot of patients desiring to bring a DePuy lawsuit are incited to claim indemnification due to the tremendous stress the implant has caused them.  Unexpectedly, quite a number of patients complained of pain, swelling, joint dislocation, and damage to the central nervous system, thyroid and heart.  These incidents paved way to 2,000 lawsuits in state and federal courts.  At the very least, revision surgeries became a necessary recourse rather than an option. The inconvenience and damage indeed warrants a DePuy lawsuit.



REFERENCES:
  • www.depuy.com/asr-hip-replacement-recall
  • www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/business/27hip.html
  • www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/199525.php
  • www.usrecallnews.com/2010/09/depuy-hip-replacement-recalled-asr-artificial-hip-systems.html
  • www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-03/johnson-johnson-sued-over-recalled-implanted-hip-replacement-devices.html
  • www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/us-depuy-idUSTRE77L35H20110822

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