DePuy, Stryker Face Lawsuits over Hip Replacement Devices

DePuy/Stryker Product Liability Update:

When advanced age or injury causes patients to suffer from hip complications, doctors often perform hip replacement surgery to improve a patient's mobility and quality of life. However, when hip replacement devices are defective, patients often suffer the consequences in the form of serious impacts on their health.

Recently, there has been significant controversy over the commonly used metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. Among the most controversial is the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement device. In 2010, 93,000 of these devices were subject to a worldwide recall over concerns that they exhibited a high failure rate requiring painful corrective surgery. Since then, thousands of product liability lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States and abroad against the manufacturer, DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson. The suits allege that in addition to the high failure rates, friction between the metal components of the device can result in a discharge of chromium and cobalt ions into the patient's body. This can lead to serious health impacts including metal poisoning, tissue necrosis, extreme pain, and inflammation. Evidence in these cases has been presented suggesting that DePuy was aware of the problems as early as 2006, but nonetheless failed to issue a recall until 2010.

Another recent case also indicates that recipients of other types of hip replacement devices may also have cause for concern. In New Jersey, numerous plaintiffs have filed a consolidated suit against hip replacement manufacturer Stryker after it was determined that certain components in its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement devices were prone to dangerous corrosion. These hip replacements differ from metal-on-metal devices in that they feature some metal components, but also utilize a ceramic cup rather than one made from metal. A nationwide recall was issued in July 2012 when it was revealed that the metal components of the devices were prone to excessive deterioration. As with the DePuy ASR, the deterioration can result in the discharge of metal particles into the body resulting in a myriad of serious symptoms.

The attorneys at Dreyer Boyajian LLP have extensive experience in products liability litigation. If you or someone you know may have received a hip replacement device manufactured by DePuy or Stryker, please contact our office for a free consultation.

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