According to recently released court documents reported on by the New York Times, an internal audit performed by Johnson & Johnson in 2011 assessed that one of its recalled metal-on-metal hip implants would have a failure rate of almost 40 percent within five years of implantation.
Interestingly, as the New York Times report notes, Johnson & Johnson had underplayed previously projected failure rates of the hip implant – otherwise known as Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR – by a British implant registry at the same time it was conducting this internal audit.
Hip implant lawsuits
So far, there have been roughly 10,000 lawsuits filed by patients who received the alleged faulty Johnson & Johnson hip implant. Of these, about 7,000 have been consolidated in Ohio federal court and 2,000 have been grouped together in California state court.
Tragically, given that roughly 93,000 patients were implanted with an ASR hip implant worldwide, it is likely that there are thousands of hip-implant patients who will still experience implant failure and suffer an injury before all is said and done – especially since the ASR implant wasn’t recalled until mid-2010, meaning countless patients are still squarely within the five-year failure period.
Problems associated with hip implants
Although Johnson & Johnson never publicly released the recently uncovered hip implant failure rate estimates, they comes as little surprise to the thousands of injured patients who have known of the problems surrounding metal-on-metal hip implants for some time.
Basically, many of the problems associated with these hip implants stem from the fact that both the cup and ball of the implant are made of metal. Consequently, as parts of the implant grind together, tiny fragments of metal are released into patient’s body. Because of the issues surrounding these metal-on-metal hip implants – in addition to the recalls – they have generally fallen out of favor with many surgeons.
It remains to be seen how the recently disclosed ASR projected failure rate will impact the upcoming hip implant injury trials, but at the very least, it provides some insight on what dangers Johnson & Johnson were actually aware of prior to the hip implant’s recall. Hopefully, this information will assist victims of the faulty hip implants get the damages they are entitled to.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a faulty hip implant, it is important to speak with an experienced hip implant recall attorney to learn what your rights and options are given your particular circumstances.