Last month, the federal judge presiding over the DePuy Orthopaedics multi-district litigation decided to delay the first federal trial regarding the company's recalled ASR hip implants. Originally set to begin on September 9 - and then postponed the first time to September 24 - the order by U.S. District Court Judge David A. Katz postponed the trial for another possible 90 days on the grounds that scheduling expert witnesses has become an "extremely difficult task."
This particular case was to be the first federal trial among the nearly 8,000 similar federal actions filed against DePuy, which is a unit of Johnson & Johnson. Specifically, victims in these federal actions - actions that have been consolidated in one federal jurisdiction under Judge Katz - allege that their DePuy hip implants were defective and caused them severe injury.
In total, it is estimated that there are over 11,000 state and federal lawsuits pending in the U.S. involving these recalled hip implants. And, according to recent reports by Bloomberg, Johnson & Johnson is currently considering a settlement that would exceed $3 billion, or roughly $300,000 per victim.
Problems associated with DePuy hips
Sadly, the issues linked to DePuy hip implants have been known for some time. In fact, after more than 12 percent of ASR hip implants failed within five years, DePuy recalled 93,000 implants in 2010 - with 37,000 in the U.S. alone, according to Bloomberg. During the same year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the recall of defective hip implants.
Many of the problems with the DePuy hip implants are related to the metal on metal design of the devices. In particular, when the metal hip ball of the implant rubs against the metal hip socket, microscopic metal ions are released into the bloodstream. Over time, a condition known as metallosis may develop as the presence of these metal ions increase in the body.
Additionally, many patients who received ASR implants have experienced premature failure of the devices, which not only causes immense pain and suffering, but also requires further surgeries to rectify the problem.
Consequently, if you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to the implantation of a DePuy hip device, it is important to contact an experienced products liability attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. A skilled attorney can review the specifics of your injuries and help explain what your rights and options may be given your circumstances.