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Johnson & Johnson Knew About High Failure Rates in Hip Implants

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on January 31, 2013

A recent article in the New York Times reports that Johnson & Johnson, parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics, the company that manufactured faulty metal-on-metal hip replacement appliances, knew that the hip devices would fail within five years in nearly 40 percent of patients who had them surgically implanted. According to the article, which cited documents recently disclosed in the upcoming trial for a recipient who filed a lawsuit against DePuy, Johnson & Johnson conducted the internal analysis of the implants shortly after they were recalled. Of particular concern to implant recipients and Orlando personal injury attorneys such as James O. Cunningham is the fact that Johnson & Johnson knew of the high failure rate while it was publicly disputing similar findings conducted by a British implant registry.

Johnson & Johnson never released their findings or the projections for the device, the DePuy Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., which was recalled in the summer of 2010. The in-house analysis suggests that the implant was likely to fail in thousands more patients over the next few years, in addition to patients who had already had the implants surgically removed and replaced with different devices. The analysis is among the first of hundreds of documents that are expected to be available as the first of nearly 10,000 lawsuits goes to trial later this month.

The A.S.R. class of all-metal implants was once quite popular with surgeons, as they were viewed as more durable and less likely to cause health problems when surgically implanted in patients. However, early findings found that the metal cup-and-ball ground together and released metal fragments that invaded nearby tissues, causing a variety of serious health problems in patients.

DePuy executives have maintained that their handling of patient complaints and the ensuing recall was forthright and appropriate. However, this and other documents may prove otherwise as more personal injury lawsuits are heard in courts across the U.S. Around 93,000 patients around the world received the faulty hip implants, including approximately 31,000 people in the U.S.

An unknown number of Floridians had the defective hip devices implanted before they were recalled, but it’s likely that thousands of people are affected in our state alone. Anyone who had a DePuy A.S.R. device implanted in recent years is encouraged to speak with a doctor about surgical options to remove and replace the implant before it can fail and impair his or her health. If you or a loved one is affected by the recall and you would like to speak with an Orlando DePuy hip recall lawyer, call Mr. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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