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DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Lawsuit Filed in Ohio

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Yet another DePuy lawsuit has been filed in relation to the ASR hip implant recall, this time in Ohio. The lawsuit seeks DePuy class action suit status on behalf of all US citizens who received an implant of the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System hip replacement.

Recent 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. That report prompted DePuy to issue a worldwide recall of the he 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.

Roughly 93,000 people around the world have received one of these faulty hip implants. According to DePuy, the recall means that additional testing and treatment may be necessary to ensure the hip is functioning well. In some cases, patients may need additional surgery.

According to a report on the Independent, a UK media outlet, the Australian Joint Registry – the second largest database in the world after the England and Wales National Joint Registry – issued seven reports to DePuy starting in 2007 that identified problems with the hip implant system. The ASR system was finally withdrawn from the Australian market in December 2009. In March, DePuy Orthopaedics warned US Doctors that the ASR appeared to have a high early failure rate, but it waited until August to issue the recall. According to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records, since early 2008, it received about 300 complaints on the ASR involving patients in the U.S.

Plaintiffs in the Ohio class action lawsuit are seeking answers to a number of questions including, whether DePuy should have known of the defects in the device prior to its sale and implant in patients, and whether DePuy failed to provide timely and adequate post-market warnings of the health risks associated with the its ASR XL Acetabular System.

On its Website, DePuy says that it “intends to cover reasonable and customary costs of testing and treatment, including revision surgery if it is necessary, associated with the ASR recall.” However, it appears this promise of reimbursement comes with strings attached. Payment for doctor’s costs, X-rays and any repair surgery is conditional on the patient agreeing to provide DePuy with all medical records, as well as the faulty hip implant. DePuy states that while signing a Medical Release Form is not required, “without access to all of the appropriate medical information, it is unlikely that we will be able to consider the patient’s claims for reimbursement and prompt resolution of their claim may not be possible.”

Attorneys representing people in DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits have warned that agreeing to DePuy’s stipulations could hamper any product liability claims against the device maker. Recipients of the recalled ASR hip implant should not sign anything given to them by DePuy without first consulting an attorney. It is also important that the original hip replacement be preserved as evidence.

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