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DePuy May Have Delayed Warning Public of Defective Hip Replacement Medical Devices

May 26, 2011

The DePuy Pinnacle hip system was introduced to the market in 2001 by the company DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson company.

The design of the Pinnacle hip system has since been found to be faulty and the company is facing many lawsuits.

Instead of a polyethylene liner, the company put a metal liner in the hip replacement and when the parts of the hip system rub together, little metal shavings can be shed into the body. These metal pieces have led to inflammation, swelling, loosening of the parts and ultimately cause the hip replacement to fail, and patients have to go in and have hip revision surgery.

As recently as April 5th, a complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by Anna Sillman against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., Johnson & Johnson and the designer of the metal-on-metal hip replacement. The complaint alleges that the company had received hundreds of negative reports about problems with the hip system before she actually had her hip system implanted. It also contends that based on the information that the company and its manufacturers had, they should have issued a recall on the DePuy Pinnacle Hip System before January of 2004.

The FDA actually approved another DePuy hip system in 2005 called the DePuy ASR hip replacement system. A recall was issued for this system in August 2010. The recall was issued because of complaints of problems similar to those that have been reported for the prior Pinnacle hip replacement system. Reports after the recall have indicated that the failure rate for the DePuy ASR system was about 12-13 percent, but some estimates indicate that as many as half of all DePuy ASR hip replacement systems may lead to problems within as early as 6 years after implantation.

The United States Senate held a hearing this week about the dangers of faulty medical implantation devices. The hearing focused on the FDA's approval process for medical devices such as these hip replacement systems made by DePuy.

Nearly 96,000 people have been affected by DePuy's hip implant recall. Patients were told that the hip replacement systems would last 20 years but have needed to go in and have them replaced within 5 years. The metal debris also causes serious adverse reactions in patients. The metal raises the cobalt and chromium levels in the blood stream. The level in the bodies of some patients has been 1000% higher than it should have been. High levels of these substances have been linked to cancer and myopathy and can be dangerous to fetal development.

These hip replacement systems were fast-tracked through the FDA approval process, and DePuy actually paid doctors to use their defective implant products. In one case, they allegedly paid a woman's doctor $600,000 to use the implant, the woman was not aware of this payment. These bribes and flawed approval processes have caused serious pain and injury to thousands of U.S. patients.

The government is looking for a way to improve the system when it comes to approvals and is trying to protect future patients. Unfortunately, this comes as little comfort to all of the victims who are already experiencing pain and suffering due to the failure of DePuy to recall their defective medical device in a timely fashion. If you have had hip replacement surgery and a DePuy Hip Replacement System was used, contact our Georgia DePuy hip implant injury claim lawyers immediately. You may be at risk of serious medical consequences if you have one of these hip implant systems in your body.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, represents those who suffer serious injuries from defective medical devices like DePuy hip implants throughout Georgia and the Southeast. If you believe you are suffering serious symptoms and may have received a defective hip implant, Montlick and Associates offers a free initial case evaluation. Our experienced Georgia DePuy hip replacement defect lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.