DePuy marketing boss stands by ASR metal-on-metal hip implant

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A top DePuy Orthopaedics marketing executive told jurors last week that he consulted with employees who had expressed concerns over the high early-failure rate of the company’s ASR metal-on-metal hip implant but contends that the device is not defective.

According to a Bloomberg report from the continuing trial of a former Montana prison guard who claims that the DePuy ASR hip implant is defective, Randall Kilburn testified this past week that he consulted with marketing representative Paul Berman months before the company had eventually issued a recall on the ASR hip implant and assured the concerned employee that he could feel comfortable marketing the device as he had been since it was introduced to the U.S. market in 2005. 

In this trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, former prison guard Loren Kransky claims the defective ASR metal-on-metal hip implant caused him to endure severe pain and eventually led him to a revision surgery just a few years after receiving the device in a total hip replacement surgery. Kransky’s claim is the first of more than 10,000 to reach a jury trial.

In addition to the injury claims, Kransky contends that executives at DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, were aware of the problems being caused by this hip implant but failed to notify the public or health officials.

Kilburn was addressing Berman after the marketing rep had sent at least four previous emails in the last few years that addressed his growing discomfort with selling an implant that may be responsible for thousands of serious injuries. Kilburn said he met with Berman to discuss his emails and after that meeting, Berman confirmed that his boss had reassured him the devices were safe.