Patients with metal artificial hips may have case against manufacturer

About a thousand lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics over its defective ASR hip replacement system, which caused patients pain, disability and additional surgeries. However, the company refuses to compensate patients for anything more than their medical expenses.

Soon after the DePuy metal-on-metal artificial hip hit the market in 2006, reports of premature failures began to pour in. The devices were loosening, dislocating and fracturing. Patients were also testing positive for metallosis, a blood poisoning caused by bits of metal from the device leaching into the bloodstream.

By fall of 2010, DePuy had little choice but to recall the substandard device. About 93,000 people worldwide are affected by the recall. DePuy vowed to cover the cost of revision surgeries to replace the defective implants. Johnson & Johnson reported that it set aside $280 million of its $61.6 billion in sales, to cover surgeries and other medical care for patients with the DePuy artificial hips.

However, hundreds of injured patients say it isn’t enough to have their medical bills covered. They want compensation for pain and suffering, among other damages. Beasley Allen is currently investigating cases of DePuy hip implant failure in patients, and lawyers worry that thousands of patients are not aware they may have a case against the manufacturer of the defective hip devices.

Source: Wall Street Journal