An orthopedic surgeon testifying on behalf of a woman who alleges she was injured by ASR metal hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics told jurors in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, that metal debris from the hip devices “absolutely” caused the plaintiff to suffer from bone decay. DePuy is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
Surgeon Tony Nargol, who has warned about the dangers of metal-on-metal hip implants such as DePuy’s ASR devices, particularly to women, told jurors that plaintiff Carol Strum’s calcar bone had been “eaten away” near the ASR hip device she had implanted in in January 2008. X-rays of Ms. Strum’s bones taken between February 2008 and September 2009 revealed the progress of that decay.
“To me, this is a really hard sign that something’s not right,” Dr. Nargol testified.
Carol Strum is suing Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary company DePuy over serious injuries she alleges stemmed from the ASR hip implant’s defective design. Her case, one of more than 10,000 in the U.S. filed against the companies over its ASR hip devices, is the second to go to trial.
Earlier in March, a Los Angeles jury awarded plaintiff Loren Kransky $8.3 million for injuries he claimed were caused by defectively designed ASR hip devices made by DePuy. Mr. Kransky’s case was the first such case to go to trial.
Ms. Strum filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy in 2011, after her ASR hip implant allegedly failed and left her with high concentrations of toxic metal in her blood. She underwent revision surgery in January 2011 to have the ASR device removed and replaced with another hip implant. She asserts in her lawsuit that the ASR implant was defective and never adequately tested.
Lawyers for the companies argued that Ms. Strum’s individual health issues caused the ASR hip to fail.
DePuy recalled its two ASR hip devices in August 2010 after data from an artificial joint registry in the U.K. showed that the devices failed at a rate of 12 to 13 percent within five years. Subsequent studies have suggested the rate of failure for the devise could actually be much higher. The ASR hip devices were implanted in about 93,000 patients worldwide, including about 37,000 patients in the U.S.