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DePuy ASR Hip Implant Test Trials To Start Later This Year

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DePuy ASR hip implant test trials are scheduled to begin later this year. DePuy Orthopaedics is a unit of medical device giant, Johnson & Johnson.

DePuy Orthopaedics issued a worldwide recall of its ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR Acetabular System in August 2010. The recall followed release of data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales in which it revealed that 1 out of every 8 patients—approximately 12%-13%—who had received the devices required revision surgery within five years.

Now, said Bloomberg.com, patients who received the defective DePuy devices will be going to trial later this year in some 6,000 lawsuits, which will help determine liability and damages. Of the 93,000 DePuy patients, 37,000 are from the U.S.; lawsuits in federal and state courts involve patients in pain and immobilized by dislocations of their joint or joints, infections, and fractures, said Bloomberg.com.

Attorneys for patients and Johnson & Johnson just met with the judge overseeing a multi-district litigation (MDL) involving 4,200 federal lawsuits; 2,000 additional cases are in state courts. The sides are negotiating how to choose appropriate plaintiffs to help determine if the device maker bears the blame for these injuries and the worth of each case by way of a bellwether trial, explained Bloomberg.com.

“DePuy is satisfied that the MDL process to address the issues raised by this litigation is moving forward,” said spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley said in a statement.
“DePuy will defend itself against the allegations raised in the litigation and believes the evidence will show company acted appropriately and responsibly.”

According to Johnson & Johnson, it spent $800 million on the recall over the past two years, but would not estimate the cost of product liability, said Bloomberg.com. The company has produced a massive 37 million pages of documentation in discovery, a plaintiff’s attorney told the judge at the hearing, noting that, if the paper was stacked, “you would have seven towers equal in height to the Empire State Building,” according to Bloomberg.com.

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