DePuy Orthopaedics is a division of the healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson, which has manufactured hundreds of medical devices, including a number of artificial hip joint products used for hip replacement procedures. While most hip replacement procedures can provide relief of pain and restoration of mobility, some patients who receive DePuy artificial hip implants may experience serious complications.
DePuy and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson have faced thousands of lawsuits filed by patients who were injured or experienced serious complications after a hip replacement surgery. Devices that have been particularly troublesome and resulted in thousands of DePuy Hip Replacement lawsuits include:
- DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System
- DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System
DePuy Hip Replacement Complications
The DePuy Pinnacle hip device was introduced in 2002 and was created with metal-on-metal (MoM) construction, intended to reduce “wear and tear” to be more durable and long-lasting than other devices. The DePuy ASR hip system devices including the ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing systems were created in 2005, using the same type of MoM construction.
Like many MoM devices, they were approved under an FDA shortcut pathway, known as 510(k), which allows manufacturers to introduce products without having tested them on human patients. They are allowed to market the products based on a claim that they are similar to other products already on the market. Unfortunately, with MoM hip implant products, many patients have suffered serious complications that can occur when metal surfaces are allowed to grate against one another. Friction and contact can result in shedding of metal fragments into joint tissue and can result in metal ions entering the bloodstream to cause an immune reaction.
Symptoms of serious side effects or complications from DePuy Hip Replacement devices may include:
- Hip pain and inflammation
- Infection of hip joint
- Bone fracture
- Joint bone dissolution
- Dislocation and loss of mobility
- Immune reaction with flu symptoms
Patients who experience complications due to a DePuy hip device will often require hip revision surgery to remove and replace a defective device, and to repair or reconstruct damaged joint tissue.
Read more about Hip Replacement Complications.
DePuy Hip Replacement Settlements
Some estimates have shown that DePuy device users may experience early failure in up to 40% of all cases. By 2009, DePuy had been subject to multiple warnings regarding early failure in numerous countries outside of the U.S. and the ASR devices were subject to recall and discontinuation in 2010.
Despite the known problems with the ASR devices, the Pinnacle device was not withdrawn from the market until 2013 but the company did not issue a recall, simply stopped manufacturing the device. This may have placed additional patients at risk as implants may have been used until supplies were exhausted.
DePuy and Johnson & Johnson have faced a minimum of more than 10,000 ASR lawsuits and more than 10,000 Pinnacle lawsuits, though numbers may be higher. DePuy began offering hip replacement lawsuit settlements after losing the first bellwether trial cases in 2013.
Federal ASR and Pinnacle lawsuits were consolidated into two, separate multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases. DePuy stated they had set aside $2.5 billion for ASR device claims at approximately $250 thousand per claim but expected that numbers may go higher with additional cases in state and local courts.
Pinnacle settlements began in December of 2018, after J&J lost multiple jury trials, forcing the company to pay $1.7 billion to several victims in Texas. The December announcement has Johnson & Johnson offering to pay $400 million to settle one-third of the ten thousand federal lawsuit claims but other settlements have yet to be announced.
J&J has also agreed to pay $120 million to 46 state agencies over concerns about misleading marketing claims for DePuy hip products.
Filing a DePuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit
The number of early failures associated with DePuy ASR and Pinnacle devices may be staggeringly high. Most of these patients will require revision surgery to repair and replace their defective hip implant.
People who have experienced complications or required hip revision surgery after receiving a DePuy/Johnson & Johnson ASR or Pinnacle hip device, may be eligible for compensation.
Past plaintiffs have received compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and other financial burdens. An evaluation by a lawyer experienced in DePuy Hip Replacement devices will help to determine eligibility.