DePuy Worker Told about DePuy ASR Design Issues

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DePuy Worker Told about DePuy ASR Design IssuesOverview: At the second DePuy ASR trial in Chicago, a former DePuy employee told jurors via video testimony that he received an email from a colleague who said that problems the company was seeing with the ASR had to do with the design of the metal-on-metal hip implant. Jurors in Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago are weighing the claims of Carol Strum, whose DePuy ASR lawsuit is the second of 10,000 to go to trial.

  • A former DePuy employee testified in the second DePuy ASR trial, stating that he received an email from a colleague stating that problems had to do with the design of the implant
  • The email was sent more than a year before the ASR was recalled due to a high failure rate
  • Carol Strum’s lawsuit is the second of 10,000 to go trial; the first trial ended with an $8.3 M verdict in favor of the Plaintiff

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

DePuy ASR Design Problems, Email Says

Law360 reports that yesterday, former DePuy employee Paul Berman testified via videotape about a March 2009 email stating that the issues the company was seeing at the time had to do with the design of the implant. The email was sent by a vice president of marketing for DePuy’s international operations. When questioned about the ASR recall issued in 2010, Berman said that the reason, based on his understanding, was that there were high rates of revision surgery in patients implanted with the device. Throughout the litigation, DePuy has insisted that ASR was recalled due to clinical needs and not due to defective design.

DePuy ASR Recall and Litigation

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants in 2010, reporting that the all-metal hip replacements failed in 13 percent of patients within five years. More recent data from Australian found that failure rates exceeded 40 percent in seven years. Plaintiffs suing over the DePuy allege that the metal-on-metal design of the implant is defective and releases toxic amounts of metal ions in the bloodstream and surrounding tissue, causing complications that eventually lead to the need for revision surgery. The ASR recall has sparked concerns about metal-on-metal hip implants as a class of medical devices, and since then other manufactures, including Biomet and Smith & Nephew, have been faced with lawsuits over metal hips. Recently, the first DePuy ASR trial ended with an $8.3 million award in favor of the Plaintiff.