The first lawsuit involving DePuy ASR Hip Implants was filed in California in 2006. The complaint alleged design and manufacture defects of the hip replacement product. Since that time, the lawsuit was joined by several thousand plaintiffs making a great deal of headlines in recent years in the mass tort litigation arena.
Other surgical hip implant lawsuits are currently in progress.
In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. announced that it would be recalling both the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and XL Acetabular System because additional information strongly suggested more patients required revision surgery than originally thought.
Further, because the systems are “metal on metal”, as they age, the product can sometimes cause Metallosis, which is a serious medical condition where metallic debris builds up in the body’s soft tissues.
What this means is that ALL patients implanted with these systems are at risk, regardless of whether they are currently experiencing symptoms.
Some common symptoms involving complications from hip implants are:
- Thigh pain
- Pain when walking
- Pain when standing up
- Unexplained hip pain
- Groin pain
- Pain when bearing weight
Currently there are lawsuits against multiple hip implant manufacturers under state product liability laws. Plaintiffs suffer from various complications after the surgical implant procedure. Most notably, patients routinely suffer from pain, swelling and difficulty walking.
One study (from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales) estimates one in eight patients who received the recalled hip replacement products will require a revision surgery.
According to the new data, approximately 13% of patients implanted with the ASR total hip replacement and 12% of patients who received the ASR resurfacing device required a second hip replacement within five years. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. estimates that approximately 10,000 patients implanted with the recalled ASR hip replacement products will need revision surgery.
Plaintiffs suffer from various complications after the surgical implant procedure. Most notably, patients routinely suffer from pain, swelling and difficulty walking.
These symptoms could very well be caused by one or more of the following:
- Loosening – The implant does not stay attached to the bone in the correct position.
- Fracture – The bone around the implant may have broken.
- Dislocation – The two parts of the implant that move against each other are no longer aligned.
According to some data, over 35,000 of the DePuy Hips were implanted on patients. Studies estimate that up to 50% of the implants will fail in the first 5-10 years. What this means is that more and more plaintiffs will be joining the lawsuit as plaintiffs. Unfortunately, the larger the lawsuit becomes, the more complicated the funding of damages becomes.
A Partial Solution
The United States civil legal system protects its citizens from defective products in the form of product liability laws. Every state in the union provides protection in the form of monetary compensation for defective products negligently placed in the market by manufacturers.
The public policy reason for this protection is to discourage companies from releasing their products into the marketplace without having thoroughly tested them for safety. This is accomplished by recognizing the victim’s ability to file a lawsuit for a defective condition or intentional misrepresentation of the product. These lawsuits are known as a Product Liability Actions.
Generally, the three general categories that fall under product liability claims include:
- Design Defects
- Manufacturing Defects
- Marketing Defects
Lawsuits allege the hip implant manufacturer knew or should have known the risk of the product’s use yet they continued to market and promote the product as a safe and effective treatment.
Hip Implant Lawsuits
Currently there are lawsuits against multiple hip implant manufacturers under state product liability laws.