In August 2010, the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal artificial hip device was recalled due to an increased rate of revisions (follow up surgeries) occurring shortly after the original hip implant. Certain medical literature and data has shown that a number of revisions in users of the ASR hip are due to metal debris from the metal components in the device. Following the ASR recall, a MDL was formed for all lawsuits filed in federal courts around the nation.
Now a second MDL has formed because DePuy makes various hip devices besides the ASR. Specifically, DePuy makes the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip model that is similar to the ASR. There have been reports of metal poisoning and pre-mature revisions occurring with the Pinnacle device. Multiple lawsuits have been filed and the DePuy Pinnacle MDL has been assigned to Judge James E. Kinkeade in the Northern District of Texas.
Realizing that they had a major problem with the defective ASR hip implant, J&J and DePuy established a “medical bill reimbursement program”. The program allowed DePuy to pay for the medical bills related to the medical treatment care and treatment necessitated by the defective hip implants including revision surgeries. However, for a patient with a defective hip implant to access the program, the patient was being required to sign and hand over a medical authorization to DePuy. Lawyers representing clients have put an end to this requirement. Clients can now access the medical reimbursement program without signing the medical authorization. All information related to the client’s case goes through the lawyer representing the client. This ensures that the client’s rights are well protected. This also means that for injured ASR hip users without current legal representation, it is important that the person retain legal counsel. For more information or to inquire about retaining legal representation, feel free to contact Attorney James Sabatini, the firm’s lawyer handling hip implant litigation.
The DePuy Hip Implant litigation continues to grow. In December 2010, the court approved a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for the cases filed in federal court. State class actions cases have been filed in Ohio and California. In August 2010, Depuy recalled 93,000 hip implants. The hip implants have a higher failure rate than other hip replacement devices. One out of eight patients has had to undergo a second hip replacement surgery due to the defective implant. Besides the high failure rate, the device also may cause elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in the body which can develop into metallosis – a buildup of metallic debris in soft tissues. It is believed that the metal on metal design of the hip implant is causing the metallosis.