Internal Documents Indicate J&J Was Aware of DePuy Hip Replacement Defects
The news keeps getting gloomier for Johnson and Johnson (J&J) as embarrassing disclosures continue to be unveiled about the lack of candor the pharmaceutical company exercised regarding dangers posed by their Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip replacement device.
There are currently thousands of lawsuits pending against the company for injuries and harm suffered by those who received this type of hip implant.
There is now a growing body of evidence that the pharmaceutical company continued selling the implant after company executives knew that it was defective. Defects in the metal on metal hip replacement device caused metal debris to slough into the blood stream of patients as the metallic cup and ball ground against one another. Internal testing conducted by J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics, the subsidiary that designed and produced the medical device, revealed that the device was defective only a few years after it was first made available to the public.
The company continued to market the product to surgeons throughout the U.S. for three years after this testing even though company executives were aware of the problems. Additionally, documents obtained from the pharmaceutical company and made public reveal that company executives including the president, Andrew Ekdahl, took no steps to protect or warn the public despite being aware of the problems.
Although the hip replacement device was eventually recalled in 2010, an estimated 100,000 people had been fitted with the hip implant. The device is expected to fail within 5 years of implantation though the device was designed to last more than twice that long. Forty percent of patients who received the implant will have the device fail within five years often necessitating painful revisionary surgery. This failure rate is eight times higher than the normal replacement rate for orthopedic implants. An article in the New York Times characterized the ASR hip replacement debacle as the biggest failure for a medical device in the U.S. in decades.
Many of those who received the defective hip implant also have brought a fraud claim against the company because of how the recall was handled. When the company initiated the recall, it indicated the device was being discontinued because of disappointing sales numbers rather than safety issues.
There are other serious side effects that may be caused by the ASR DePuy hip replacement implant which include:
- Fractures in the bones near the implant
- Loosening of the implant
- Dislocation or shifting of the device
- Intense pain
- Loss of mobility
If you were implanted with an ASR DePuy hip replacement device, our experienced defective medical products attorneys are currently evaluating potential claims against the manufacturer.
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