A lawsuit filed by a Rochester, NY woman against the manufacturer of an all-metal hip replacement system will serve as the example for more than 7,000 similar lawsuits across the country.
Ann McCracken filed a lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics and it parent company Johnson & Johnson after her DePuy metal-on-metal artificial hip failed prematurely, requiring her to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the defective hip implant.
Artificial hips are traditionally made with ceramic or plastic parts, but in the past decade manufacturers began making hip implants with all-metal parts. The design turned out to be flawed, resulting in the implants failing earlier and at a higher rate than implants made with traditional materials. The metal devices were also leaching chromium and cobalt ions into the body, which may cause a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis.
DePuy issued a worldwide recall of its ASR hip replacement system in 2010, which turned the spotlight on all-metal hip implants. DePuy – as well as manufacturers of other all-metal hip implants – face thousands of lawsuits from people who say the manufacturers should have known the design was defective and should have warned patients of the risks associated with their hip implants.
McCracken’s lawsuit says DePuy knew of the devices’ failure rate based in part on data in England and Australia, where the devices were used two years earlier than in the United States.
McCracken’s lawsuit will serve as a bellwether case, and will determine results for the thousands of other cases against DePuy.
Source: Rochester – Your News Now