Defective Hip Implants

Here at Ladenburg Law, our attorneys have been following a story that’s emerged in recent years about defective hip implants. These metal-on-metal implants have caused thousands of people to endure pain and extensive revision history. One such manufacturer of these implants is DePuy (a Johnson and Johnson company).

Let’s look a little more about what the dangers are with these devices and the what’s been going on in the courtroom. We’ll also share how our attorneys can help you win a settlement if you’re a victim of a defective hip implant.

THE DANGERS OF METAL-ON-METAL HIP IMPLANTS 

Hip replacement surgery involves the removal of an arthritic hip joint and replacing it with an artificial joint hip. Usually, doctors will try other conservative treatments before a hip replacement. Hip replacements can also become necessary in the course of slip and fall accidents, or as the result of degenerative changes that occur with age.

While all artificial hips carry risks, metal-on-metal hip implants carry additional risks. Some potential side effects include:

  • metal debrisfound in the body
  • cobalt toxicity
  • bone erosion
  • tissue death
  • bursitis
  • radicular pain

Patients experiencing problems with metal hip implants may require periodic injections and pain management. Unfortunately, removing a defective metal hip replacement isn’t easy. It’s a painful process that further prolongs patients’ healing.

In 2013, The USDA changed its artificial hip regulations, leading to a cessation in the use of metal-on-metal hip implants. The regulations came after a 2012 Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Advisory Panel meeting where the panel reviewed failure rates, metal ion testing, complications, risk factors, and post-surgical care.

HOW JOHNSON & JOHNSON AND DEPUY ARE RESPONSIBLE 

Despite the dangers, manufacturers pushed metal implants. They claimed that the metal implants would last longer than other materials, such as plastic or ceramic.

However, documents presented during lawsuits against DePuy claimed the company knew that there was a design flaw, even while they sold the product. In fact, documents show that DePuy estimated that two out of every five patients would need revision surgery within five years.

Not only were there design flaws with these replacement hips, the manufacturer failed to warn consumers about the risks.

SETTLED AND PENDING LAWSUITS 

It should come as no surprise that the thousands of patients harmed by these dangerous metal hip replacements are seeking justice.

Here is a brief timeline of events:

  • 2000 – 2013: DePuy sells thousands of metal-on-metal hip devices (ASR and Pinnacle)
  • 2006: FDA receives first complaints about DePuy ASR implants
  • 2010: DePuy recalls one of its hip devices, the ASR
  • 2013: DePuy stops selling Pinnacle, their other hip device
  • March 2016: a Texas jury awards five plaintiffs $502 million for injuries from Pinnacle hip devices. Over $300 million of this award amount was in the form of punitive damages. (This amount was later reduced to $150 million.)
  • December 2016: a Texas jury awards six plaintiffs over $1 billion for injuries from Pinnacle hip devices. Fully $1 billion of this staggering amount was for punitive damages. (This amount was later reduced to $500 million.)
  • November 2017: in a fourth trial, a Texas jury awards six plaintiffs $247 million for injuries from Pinnacle hip devices.
  • June 2019: DePuy agrees to settle over 6,000 pending lawsuits for over $1 billion.

Despite these verdicts and settlements, over 4,500 lawsuits remain outstanding. Some of these lawsuits come from patients who have yet to have their metal hips removed.

INJURED BY A DEFECTIVE HIP IMPLANT? 

Our Tacoma personal injury lawyers can help you seek justice with your defective hip implant. Please call us today for a free consultation. You may also wish to read some FAQ about how a defective product case works.

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