Pharmaceutical

Woman files lawsuit over defective hip replacement system

Just months after Jacqueline Lum had an artificial hip joint surgically implanted in her left hip, she began having problems. The constant pain and disability has her walking with a cane. “It hurts to sleep at night,” she told News Now. “I need to take medications so it can help take the pain away.”

What has Lum even more pained is that 15 months after going through hip replacement surgery, she will once again go under the knife, this time to replace the artificial joint system with another.

What Lum learned is that her hip replacement system was defective. The irregular rubbing of the manufactured hip joint not only is causing her limited mobility and severe pain, it also is dumping heavy metals into her bloodstream. “Jackie’s cobalt level is thirty times the normal level. Chromium, ten times,” her attorney said.

Reports of problems with the hip replacement system has led to a massive recall of parts by DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The two affected parts include the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System.

Lum is one of a growing number people who have filed a lawsuit against DePuy and J&J seeking punitive damages on the grounds that the company manufactured and sold the parts before having thoroughly tested them. The lawsuit contends that DePuy knew about the defects in its products but failed to pull the parts off the market and allowed doctors to continue to use them.

For now, Lum is scheduled to undergo a second hip replacement surgery in early November. “I hope the next one is going to be a good one,” she said. “I’ve got to wait and see, right?”