DePuy Orthopedics, Inc. is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. They manufacture over 200 orthopedic devices and supplies including hip products. The ASR XL Acetabular System, the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, and Pinnacle are three of their hip implant systems. These prostheses are associated with numerous problems secondary to hip replacement failure.
Signs and symptoms of hip replacement failure include:
Prolonged hip replacement problems that may require revision surgery include:
DePuy ASR systems, now recalled, were under increased scrutiny due to their metal-on-metal bearings which can generate debris from wear, causing tissue damage and inflammation in some patients. During 2009, DePuy began “phasing out” the use of the ASR implant systems. On August 26, 2010, DePuy Orthopedics announced a worldwide recall of the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, recalling 93,000 ASR hip prostheses. In 2013, DePuy announced a settlement agreement compensating eligible ASR patients who underwent revision surgery, or surgery replacing their ASR hip. Roughly 8,000 patients participated in the program with a settlement valued at approximately $2.5 billion, an average of $250,000 for each surgery. A majority of settlement checks were processed in August 2014 and further payments are pending.
For more information concerning the U.S. ASR Hip Settlement, please visit https://www.usasrhipsettlement.com/Home.aspx.
The DePuy Pinnacle was discontinued in mid-2013 but not recalled. Lawsuits are currently underway against the DePuy Pinnacle for its defective design and leeching metal debris into patients’ bloodstreams. The first trial regarding the DePuy Pinnacle began on September 2, 2014. This trial concerns a lawsuit brought forth by Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli. Herlihy-Paoli, a graphic designer, was in her early fifties in 2009 when she had both hips replaced with DePuy Pinnacle implants. Subsequently, she complained of pain from the devices. She had blood tests revealing the implants released unsafe levels of cobalt and chromium into her bloodstream; her cobalt blood serum was 80 times higher than normal. During her revision surgeries, it was discovered an implant became discolored with metallosis. Her trial is the first of many tried in front of a jury and consolidated before a judge in Dallas, Texas. The first trials in consolidated litigation sets the precedent for the following cases.