As First DePuy ASR Lawsuit Goes to Trial, Records Show that Johnson & Johnson Hid Flaws of Recalled Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant

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depuy asrOverview: Documents revealed during the first DePuy ASR trial suggest that DePuy and parent company Johnson & Johnson hid information about the defects of the metal-on-metal hip implant. According to the New York Times, the company had received numerous reports from doctors about the high failure rate of the device. Furthermore, an internal test conducted by DePuy engineers showed that the ASR was not performing as well as other types of hip replacements.

  • The first DePuy ASR lawsuit went to trial last week; the case is in California state court (In re: Loren Kransky and Sheryl Kransky v. DePuy, Inc., et al., BC456086, Los Angeles Superior Court)
  • Documents revealed during the trial shows that Johnson & Johnson hid information about the defect of the DePuy ASR, including doctors’ complaints and a failed internal test
  • There are over 10,000 DePuy ASR lawsuits in the United States alleging injuries from the defective hip implant

Product: DePuy ASR Hip Implant

Manufacturer: DePuy Orthopaedics/ Johnson & Johnson

Side Effects & Complications

  • High failure rate
  • Necrosis (tissue death)
  • Increased levels of cobalt and chromium ions
  • Pain at the implant, sometimes spreading to the groin and back
  • Osteolysis (bone loss)
  • Fluid collections/solid masses around the hip joint

J&J Hid Data, Continued to Market ASR Hip

On Friday, internal documents unveiled during the trial showed that Johnson & Johnson executives were aware of defects in the ASR hip implant long before the device was recalled in 2010. At the time the ASR was recalled, J&J cited unpublished data indicating that the implant failed in 13 percent of patients within five years. The recall affected 93,000 devices around the world, with a third of them in the United States. Yet even before the implant became known as one of the worst medical device failures in decades, internal records show that Johnson & Johnson had been receiving complaints from doctors over the ASR as company consultants quickly stopped using them. Records also show that DePuy engineers conducted an internal test in 2007 to see if the ASR had similar rates of wear compared to other types of hip replacements; the ASR failed this test, with the report stating “The current results for A.S.R. do not meet the set acceptance criteria for this test,” Still, the company continued to market the device as it was being implanted in thousands of patients.

DePuy ASR Lawsuits

Johnson and Johnson is facing some 10,000 lawsuits over the faulty hip implant in the United States. The lawsuit going to trial was filed on behalf of Loren Kransky, a retired corrections officer, in California state court where about 2,000 other cases are pending. Most of the lawsuits have been filed into the federal multidistrict litigation entitled In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2197), centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.