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Defective Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR Has Global Reach

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Roughly 93,000 people across the globe were implanted with a recalled Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR hip implant. So it’s really not that surprising that a man from Australia has decided to join a Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuit in the US.

According to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane-based Bob Lugton, 66, is the first Australian to join a US lawsuit involving the Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR hip implant. Lugton, whose health has been severely compromised through leakage of cobalt into his body and degradation of the hip joint, is scheduled to undergo surgery next month.

Without the surgery, Lugton will be unable to walk, as his hip implant will eventually crack. But even once that is fixed, his blood cobalt levels are still 750 percent above normal. Lugton told the Sydney Morning Herald that the cobalt is “eating away” at his bones, causing other health problems.

Johnson & Johnson announced the recall of the DePuy ASR Hip Implant system last month, after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 patients (12%-13%) who had received the recalled devices had to undergo revision surgery within five years of receiving it. The recall involved the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket used in traditional hip replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that involves placing a metal cap on the ball of the femur. Only the ASR XL Acetabular System was approved for use in the US.

The problems with the ASR system had been well documented well before the recall was issued. In March, DePuy Orthopedics warned that one of the devices appeared to have a high early failure rate. According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records, since early 2008, it received about 300 complaints on the ASR involving patients in the U.S.

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