The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP is representing several patients who experienced complications from DePuy ASR hip implants; the defective metal-on-metal hip devices started an onslaught of media and medical attention since DePuy’s massive recall in 2010.
One of the cases is filed on behalf of a 62-year woman from Ferrum, Virginia, who received her ASR hip implant in October 2007. Despite the fact that hip implants are expected to last a minimum of 10 to 15 years, she experienced serious side effects as early as February 2011, the complaint states. Allegedly, she suffers from pain and elevated chromium and cobalt levels as a result of the implant. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, is seeking compensatory, punitive damages and medical monitoring.
In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics (Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) recalled the ASR resurfacing system and the ASR acetabular systems. According to a study published in the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, the implants were failing in 12 to 13 percent of patients within five years. Unfortunately, the devices had already been implanted in 93,000 patients around the world. The recall not only drew attention to DePuy’s flaws, it cast light on the metal-on-metal hip industry as a whole.
DePuy’s recall is not the only piece of evidence backing the lawsuits. In February, the British Medical Journal published a report showing that device makers were well aware of the risks associated with metal-on-metal implants and failed to properly warn the public. According to the report, patients have experienced cobalt levels 600 times higher than what is naturally formed in the body. Even more disconcerting are the “uncertain risks” associated with these increased levels. Last month, The Lancet published a study showing that metal-on-metal hip replacements failed in 6 percent of patients within five years, compared to the 1.7 to 2.3 percent seen in other types of implants such as ceramic or plastic.
In response to the growing concern over metal-on-metal hips, last May the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered 21 manufacturers to conduct post-market studies assessing the dangers of metal ions generated by the devices. The agency is also currently conducting its own review.