Complications from the DePuy Hip Implant

People who have used the DePuy ASR are at risk of having hip replacement complications following a product recall last August 2010. This is after an initial lawsuit filed in July 2010 claiming that the hip replacement device was flawed in design, and that the DePuy Orthopedics, Inc. (manufacturers of the medical device) was aware of the possible complications that may arise but did not issue any warnings to their patients and/or surgeons. As a result, Johnson & Johnson, which DePuy Orthopedics is the device subsidiary, has agreed to pay a total of $4 billion as settlement for thousands of lawsuits filed against them.

Touted as the largest payout in liability claims when it comes to medical products, the settlement will benefit about 7,000 to 8,000 patients who have subsequent hip replacement surgery after being injured by the defective DePuy artificial all-metal hip. The product recall – and ensuing lawsuits – was made when 12 percent of the installed units failed within five years of surgery. It typically takes more than 15 years for artificial hips to require replacements due to weathering.

Based on reports, the all-metal composition of the DePuy hip unit creates debris every time it slides against the metal cup, causing tissue death in the surrounding joint which has, in some case, endangered the patient’s blood due to increased metal ions. The complication has contributed to crippling injuries for some patients. The settlement deal will only be given to patients who had the hip device removed after suffering from complications. Those who will experience complications with the DePuy artificial hip device, and would be forced to have corrective hip replacement surgery, can file for compensation in the future.

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