In the most recent DePuy ASR defective metal hip trial, an Oklahoma woman has been awarded $2.5 million after suffering metal blood poisoning or metallosis from DePuy ASR hip replacements.
Andrea Smith, received ASR hip implants on each side in October 2006 and February 2007. Smith’s blamed DePuy in her lawsuit, claiming that she had to undergo revision surgery to have the implants removed in 2011 and 2012, after being diagnosed with high levels of Cobalt and Chromium metal ions in her blood.
12,000 DePuy ASR Lawsuits and Counting
More than 12,000 personal injury and product liability DePuy ASR hip lawsuits have been filed in the United States. DePuy a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant, Johnson and Johnson, issued a worldwide recall in 2010 after they acknowledged the high risk of premature failure of the metal on metal hip implant.
Huge DePuy Failure Rate
The hip replacement system was recalled after data suggested that about one out of every eight would fail within five years.
According to some experts, the DePuy hip failure rate may be substantially higher, more likely ending up in the 35% to 45% early failure range.
In other words, between one third to a half of the implanted DePuy ASR hips, may fail with five years, when they were touted to last 20 years. An outrageous and unacceptable failure rate.
What is the Problem with the DePuy ASR Design?
The plaintiffs claim that DePuy designed and sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous hip implant. The metal-on-metal design causes the release of metallic trash into the hip joint as the metal parts grind against each other during normal daily activity.
DePuy ASR Hip Settlement Agreement
This trial took place after DePuy agreed to settle thousands of ASR cases for more than $3 billion. Some plaintiffs have decided not to accept the settlement and are continuing to try their claims individually.
The global settlement was announced in November 2013, with a cut off date for claimants to have a revision surgery before August 31, 2013, in order to qualify for the settlement.
This agreement still leaves several thousand cases in limbo, involving individuals who filed a lawsuit after August 2013 revision date and folks who have not had a revision but are symptomatic or too sick to undergo painful and risky revision surgery.
There was 36,000 DePuy ASR implants implanted in the U.S. before the recall and since there are many implants still in place, it is expected that DePuy ASR hips will continue to fail over the foreseeable future, and lead to new claims and hip settlements.
Tolling Agreement For Non Revised Claimants
DePuy has announced a tolling agreement with non-revision plaintiffs, which will “pause” running of any deadlines on filing new lawsuits in return for a dismissal of the current claim and agreement not to refile the case until hip revision surgery is required or they are told that they are unable to undergo the risks of revision surgery due to their underlying medical condition.
Under this tolling agreement, plaintiffs who elect to dismiss their case may refile within one year after they receive ASR hip revision surgery in the future or within six months of being told that revision surgery is necessary, but too risky.