Tipp FM Legal Slot – 12th March 2013
Orlagh Wafer on DePuy Hip Implant Recall[soundcloud id=’167059530′]
We spoke previously about the first of the DePuy cases to go to trial in the US – Kransky v. DePuy. This case has resulted in an $8.3 million jury award in the United States. Tell us about this case.
While continuing to press on with our cases we closely monitored the first of these cases to go trial in the United States – Kransky v. DePuy. The case was running before a Jury at Los Angeles Superior Court during the past few weeks. The Jury delivered its verdict on Friday.
In the course of the trial, testimony offered to the Court on behalf of the Plaintiff indicated that DePuy knew of the high risks and side effects well before the recall. The Plaintiff also argued that DePuy were told that there were safety concerns relating to the design of the DePuy ASR implant three years before it was recalled. It also emerged in the course of the trial that DePuy’s orthopedic unit used incorrect standards in trying to assess some of those risks before first selling the implant in 2003.
On the other hand DePuy asserted that they acted properly and in a timely fashion to the device’s problems. They argued that any of the problems associated with the device were because the Surgeon implanted the ASR at an incorrect angle. They also argued that the Plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by a defect in the ASR hip and they denied claims that the tissue around the hip was damaged because the device, made of chromium and cobalt, shed metal ions.
The Los Angeles jury awarded compensation to Loren “Bill” Kransky, a retired prison guard from Montana, after finding that the design of the ASR XL hip caused his injuries. This is the first of more than 10,000 lawsuits pending against the medical products maker in connection with a now-recalled artificial hip. The evidence offered to the Court in Los Angeles was that the design of the metal on metal implant caused the cup and ball to strike against each other as a patient moved, resulting in the shedding of metallic debris. The debris inflamed and damaged tissue and bone, causing pain and, in some cases, permanent injuries to patients. In its decision, the Jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the plaintiff, Loren Kransky, $338,000 to cover his medical expenses and $8 million to cover his pain and emotional suffering.
Remind us again how many DePuy ASR Hip implants were recalled in Ireland?
As many listeners will know we represent a large amount of Clients who have been affected as a result of the recall of DePuy ASR Hip implants in August 2010. Two types of DePuy ASR metal hip implants were recalled; the ASR XL acetabular total hip replacement the ASR hip resurfacing system after they were linked to high failure rates. In Ireland, 4,746 DePuy ASR Hip implants were distributed, with 3,282 patients receiving one or more of the components. These patients were spread equally across 16 public and 14 private hospital sites.
What is the current situation with those cases?
We are now at an advanced stage with many of our cases and have received “Defences” from DePuy. As we expected DePuy have denied all responsibility – this is not unusual and is a standard approach in this type of complex litigation. It is however ironic that they have stated in their Defences that they require us to prove that the DePuy Hip is defective – DePuy voluntarily recalled these Hip implants due to a high failure rate! While the circumstances of every case is different the physical capacity of clients who we represent in Ireland has been reduced significantly due to the failure of the hip implants and clients have the additional concern of the potential for metal ion toxicity due to erosion of chromium and cobalt from metal surfaces.
Do DePuy patients still have time to lodge a claim?
It may not too late to bring a case if you have been affected by the DePuy ASR Hip Recall in 2010. Those who believe their DePuy hip implant has injured them or caused them to suffer should know that they are not alone. We represent hundreds of Clients who have been affected by the DePuy ASR recall, many of who have already undergone revision surgery, and would encourage DePuy ASR hip implant recipients to contact us as soon as possible so that we can action a claim on your behalf.