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J&J Did Not Warn Consumers about Hip Implant Failure Rates

by Ryan L. Thompson on 01/28/2013

Hip implant failure-related personal injury lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson are going to trial.  As these lawsuits go to trial, Texas product liability attorneys now find from internal company documents that Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics Inc. was aware back when it was denying the high failure rates of its hip implants that these devices were very likely to fail in a large number of the people in whom they were implanted.

In 2008, according to the documents, the company was also aware of reports by an English surgeon who said that the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System released high levels of metallic ions into the blood.  This ultimately led to deadly metal poisoning in these people.

DePuy Orthopedics is facing more than 10,000 lawsuits some of which are scheduled to go on trial.  The New York Times is reporting on internal documents that clearly show that back when the company was denying that it's implants had a high failure rate, it was actually aware that these implants were in danger of failing in many people.  According to the documents, Johnson & Johnson was aware that the metal-on-metal hip implants would fail in approximately 40% of the people who received them.

At least one analysis was conducted in 2011, just before DePuy Orthopedics announced a recall of certain implants.  The analysis showed that the device was likely to fail in a significant number of patients in whom it was implanted, and the company was aware of these findings.  Even then, when a British implant registry revealed that the devices had failure rates that were much higher than the failure rates of the company's competitors’ implants, Johnson & Johnson denied those failure rates. 

While the company continued to conceal the risks of failure and revision surgeries with these implants, patients continued to be implanted with the devices.

Watts Guerra is handling hundreds of metal hip implant recall cases in Texas and across the country for defetive medical devices including (but not limited to) Biomet M2A Magnum, Stryker Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck hip stems, DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, and more.

Tags: Medical Device Mass Torts, Product Liability, Hip Implants

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