Texas teacher sues DePuy over harm caused by hip implant

A retired Texas school teacher and counselor has filed a personal-injury lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent company Johnson & Johnson, seeking compensation for debilitating injuries allegedly caused by her DePuy ASR hip implant. This newest lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western District, where Judge David Katz is presiding over multi-district litigation (MDL) involving DePuy’s recalled hip implants.

The 67-year-old plaintiff underwent surgery in January 2009 to have a DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip system implanted in her right hip. However, instead of improving her mobility and quality of life, the hip implant caused the plaintiff to suffer a range of serious symptoms and setbacks, including intense, constant pain in her hip, groin, lower back, and right side, elevated levels of heavy metal in her blood, rashes, and complications with her myelodysplasia condition, a serious blood disorder.

Additionally, the plaintiff was forced to “undergo numerous medical tests and additional surgery that wouldn’t have been necessary had the DePuy ASR not failed,” her attorney stated.

In May 2011, less than two and a half years after being implanted with the Depuy hip, the plaintiff had to undergo a revision surgery in which the faulty device was replaced with a different hip implant.

The plaintiff’s experience falls in line with thousands of other artificial-hip recipients worldwide who have been harmed rather than helped by the faulty DePuy devices. DePuy recalled its ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System nearly a year ago, but not before some 93,000 patients received the faulty implants, including about 37,000 in the United States alone.

The decision to recall the parts was made when the results of a new study confirmed an early failure rate of about 12 percent for the ASR resurfacing system devices and 13 percent for the ASR XL system. Whereas most hip implants are expected to last up to 30 years, the recalled DePuy implants were failing within 5 years.

Further studies published by the British Orthopaedic Association found that failure rates for the ASR devices may be as high as 49% at six years.