An Irish woman who had both of her hips replaced with DePuy hip implants filed what is expected to be the first of many lawsuits against the orthopedic device maker in Ireland.
Irene Pierson alleges in her lawsuit that the DePuy hip implants were “not of merchantable quality, and have both commenced to malfunction,” Ireland’s Kildare Nationalist reported. Ms. Pierson had her right hip replaced with a DePuy implant in March 2007. She was fitted with a DePuy implant in her left hip in September 2008.
Ireland’s High Court granted Ms. Pierson approval to serve the defendants she names in the lawsuit: DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson, which owns DePuy, and Health Service Executive, Ireland’s public health care and social services regulatory agency.
Ms. Pierson says that her claim against DePuy is warranted by the notice she received from the company in October 2010 informing her that she had been implanted with devices that were being recalled.
Indiana-based DePuy recalled its ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems in August 2010, after clinical data revealed the devices failed prematurely at alarmingly high rates. About 93,000 units had been implanted in patients worldwide before DePuy issued a recall of the defective hip devices.
Patients who were implanted with DePuy’s faulty hip replacement models may eventually come to experience a range of complications arising from the device’s failure, primarily attributed to their metal-on-metal design. Metal fragments released by the hip devices can lead to bone, muscle, and tissue decay in the area of the implant, causing the device to loosen, detach, or dislocate.
Many DePuy ASR patients have also experienced fracture of the bone at the site where the implant is attached. All of these complications typically cause severe pain and disability.
Another more pervasive and systemic injury associated with DePuy’d recalled ASR systems and other metal-on-metal hips involves metal poisoning or metallosis – a condition caused by excessive accumulation of chromium and cobalt in the body. Metallosis often triggers inflammation and can lead to constant pain, fatigue, dizziness, hearing loss, memory loss, cognitive decline, cancer, and a spectrum of other ailments.
A main contention of many personal injury lawsuits filed against DePuy over metal hip implant injuries is that the company was aware of the risks and complications the devices presented, but failed to warn physicians.