After patients complained and a few individual product liability lawsuits were filed, Johnson & Johnson announced a recall of hip-replacement implants in August 2010. The defective implants are DePuy ASR hip-replacement products and are manufactured by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. The company faces a class-action lawsuit over the defective devices on behalf of the patients who received them.
Defective Hip-Replacement Implants
There are about 120,000 hip-replacement operations every year in the United States. Many of these operations are successful, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received around 400 complaints from hip-replacement patients since 2008.
Many patients who received DePuy ASR hip-replacement implants have reported hip pain and stiffness. Some patients are incapable of walking, standing or sitting for long periods of time, and some are even unable to work.
Johnson & Johnson acknowledged that their hip-replacement implants may be prone to fail within a few years after implantation, and the company has recalled about 93,000 implants.
Estimates place the DePuy ASR failure rate at around 12 to 13 percent within five years, and it is expected that the rate of problems will increase the longer the devices are in place. Implant failure results in pain, impairment of daily activities, and possibly the need for another hip surgery to replace the defective product.
Product Liability Claims
If a patient suspects that his or her hip-replacement implant may be faulty, the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is invaluable.
A personal injury lawyer can provide a free consultation to evaluate any potential claims a hip-replacement patient may have. An attorney experienced in product liability cases also can help patients understand how the recall impacts their legal rights and options. In addition, a lawyer can help hip-replacement patients analyze the DePuy ASR class-action lawsuit and whether joining it is in their best interests.
The DePuy class-action lawsuit is not intended to represent patients who have already experienced problems with defective implants. Instead, the purpose of the current lawsuit is to make DePuy pay for the tests and monitoring that are necessary to assess whether the hip-replacement implant has failed.
Class-action litigation is useful in this instance because it makes available a uniform remedy for all patients who suffer from the failure of their DePuy ASR hip-replacement implants. Also, it is an efficient way to process possibly thousands of claims, resulting in faster resolution of the cases.
If you or a loved one is experiencing pain from a hip-replacement implant or has a recalled implant, contact a personal injury attorney in your area. A lawyer can help you understand the recall, the DePuy ASR class action lawsuit and, where possible, help you assert your rights.