Bellwether Trials Scheduled to Move Forward in DePuy Hip Litigation
DePuy metal hips have been linked to a number of serious complications.
The first bellwether trials in the pending DePuy hip litigation are scheduled to begin later this year. The handful of plaintiffs involved in the trials represent just a few of the thousands of individuals who filed suit against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopedics after allegedly being injured by a defective metal hip implant.
According to a Bloomberg report, the first bellwether case is scheduled to go to trial in a Nevada court in December of this year. Additional bellwether trials are expected to begin in January 2013. According to the report, these cases are part of an estimated 2,000 DePuy hip lawsuits filed in state courts across the country. Several thousand more lawsuits are also pending in federal court after being consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for pretrial proceedings. The plaintiffs involved in the DePuy hip litigation allege that they experienced pain, swelling, tissue damage, loss of mobility and other complications after being fitted with an ASR all-metal hip implant. The lawsuits also allege that DePuy and Johnson & Johnson knew of potential problems with the metal hip replacement devices but did not take adequate steps to warn consumers of the dangers.
DePuy initiated a recall of approximately 93,000 ASR hips in August 2010 after data from joint registries in the U.K. and Australia indicated that the devices were failing at a much higher rate than initially expected. Specifically, failure rates appeared to hover between 12 and 13 percent within the first five years following hip replacement surgery. Reports from the New York Times have suggested that Johnson & Johnson may have been aware of problems with the DePuy ASR hip for as long as a year before the recall was ever issued. It has also been suggested that the company continued to market an ASR hip resurfacing device overseas for as long as a year after the device was rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
DePuy ASR hip lawsuits continue to mount, both in the U.S. and in countries around the world. Patients in the U.K., Australia and Ireland have reportedly taken steps to pursue legal action against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy in connection with the defective metal hips. Meanwhile, researchers have continued to evaluate the potential for additional health complications stemming from all-metal hip implants, including the potential for an increased cancer risk. While a recent study concluded that there was no definitive link between metal hip implants and cancer, the researchers did acknowledge that additional long-term studies are need to fully assess the risk
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