Jurors tasked with deciding the fate of the second lawsuit regarding the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant have begun deliberations, and the plaintiff’s attorney has asked for upwards of $5 million to be given to his client.
That client is a Chicago-area nurse who was implanted with the all-metal device back in 2008. After three years, the woman had to submit to a revision surgery because the device had failed. The plaintiff and her team allege that DePuy continued to market and sell the devices despite knowledge of its potentially defective design, a design which contributed to the failure of this particular device.
DePuy denies wrongdoing, instead claiming that the recipient’s health problems were to blame. It remains to be seen whether or not the jury will agree with that sentiment. Nearly 11,000 lawsuits are still in the works, and the first of those to reach trial ended with an $8.3 million jury decision for the plaintiff, who was represented by Panish Shea & Boyle.
At one point, the attorney for the Chicago plaintiff described the marketing and subsequent recall of the DePuy ASR XL as a public health disaster. In this instance, the plaintiff also apparently suffered from blackened tissue around the site. Coupled with heightened levels of metal ions in the blood, this could be indicative of the danger posed when the ASR sheds metal debris.
The second lawsuit to come to trial in regards to the recalled DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant is still ongoing in Chicago. The case has illuminated apparent knowledge of the device’s faulty design among DePuy executives. Johnson & Johnson disputes this conclusion, but testimony from a director of marketing highlights the potential existence of intraoffice emails which show that executives were warning one another about the implant’s possibly defective design. This jibes with evidence unearthed during the first trial in California (in which Panish Shea & Boyle was a part) that showed concerns among doctors about the product’s design and rate of early failure. That case, in which worries about the DePuy ASR were shown to go back all the way to at least 2005, ended with an $8.3 million jury decision for the plaintiff.
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In Britain, an estimated 10,000 people have received the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant. According to a new report, one of those persons is an armed forces minister and former soldier who underwent a hip implant procedure back in 2006. Five years later, he claims that the development of a non-cancerous tumor in his leg can be attributed to the implant, something that he says his doctor backs up. His doctors also reportedly have told the man that a revision surgery will be necessary if the man stands a chance of eliminating the pain he faces when climbing stairs or standing up for long intervals of time. His plight is yet another example of patients being negatively impacted by the DePuy ASR as part of a situation that has led to thousands of lawsuits being filed.
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It’s been a few weeks since a Los Angeles jury awarded a plaintiff $8.3 million for the ordeal he was put through after being implanted with the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant, a device which later failed. Thousands of people have filed similar lawsuits, and one of those is currently underway in Chicago.
Like the Los Angeles trial before it, the proceedings have the potential to be quite revealing. Already, a former employee with DePuy has testified via video about an email he says outlined the thinking that design flaws with the all-metal implant were to blame for the heightened failure rates and problems with the device.
Said email is purported to have been sent by a marketing vice president at the company. Dated March 2009, the email explained that the design of the device was problematic. The testifying employee explained that this led him to think that the eventual recall was issued because of the exorbitant amount of revisions that were required because of a failure of the device.
This is contrary to the thinking expressed by Johnson & Johnson and Depuy, who have long claimed that design flaws were not the culprit for the recall. Still, one can’t deny the 93,000-unit recall in 2010, or the estimated 40%-plus revision rate reported in Australia within seven years of implantation.
A few weeks ago, a Los Angeles jury handed out an $8.3 million verdict for a Montana man who suffered complications after being implanted with the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant. Panish Shea & Boyle was an integral part of those proceedings, in which a case was made that Johnson & Johnson had knowingly put out a defective device and continued to market said device despite repeated remonstrations from surgeons that there could be something wrong with the design.
As a new report shows, that verdict could put pressure on the company to provide a fair settlement to the 4,500 Australians who have joined together as part of a class action lawsuit. Australia actually provided the global community at large with some of the first signs that something was amiss with the DePuy ASR. Although the device was recalled around the world in August 2010, Australia stopped receiving the implants in December 2009. And evidence out of Australia also shows an astonishing 44% failure rate after just seven years of implantation.
That failure requires the user to submit to a painful revision surgery to correct the problem. Australians and people across the world are worried not only about those complications, but about a purported issue wherein metal debris can be shed from the device and cause other health complications.
Although lawyers for the Australian plaintiffs are confident in their ability to obtain compensation, they worry that the country’s strict damages regime could limit the amount of restitution, especially among less seriously injured parties.
Two weeks have passed since the $8.3 million decision handed down by a jury for a plaintiff that brought a lawsuit against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. Panish Shea & Boyle was deeply involved in those proceedings, which stemmed from allegations surrounding the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant. Although the plaintiff achieved victory in that case, his was only the first of as many as 10,750 lawsuits currently awaiting trial.
The second such trial is currently underway in Chicago. In that case, a woman had to submit to a revision surgery just three years after implantation of the DePuy ASR XL. DePuy’s president took to the stand and explained that a failure to meet clinical expectations and an unacceptable revision rate were what led the company to issue a recall.
Lawyers also asked the president about a DePuy Health Hazard/Risk Evaluation Review Board document. Bearing the signatures of top DePuy officials, the document states that the recall was issued for being a defective product whose performance could be affected and which could lead to health problems.
A lawyer for Johnson & Johnson has disputed the idea that the issuance of a recall is tantamount to admitting the presence of a defect. Still, concerns about a heightened revision rate and the device’s effect on metal levels in the blood continue to plague the company.
Last week, one of Panish Shea & Boyle’s own clients gained a landmark victory when a jury decided that DePuy owed the man $8.3 million in compensatory damages. The jury concluded that the subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson failed to disclose the risks inherent with the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant, a device that failed and caused its recipient to go through extensive hardship.
On the heels of that case, the second lawsuit pertaining to the device has now gone to trial. An Illinois nurse and her lawyers claim that the defective design of the DePuy ASR caused her to experience a failure within three years after implantation and that the medical device company failed to notify her and others across the world of the dangers associated with the product. If those risks were made known, her lawyer says that a doctor could have made a better decision and refrained from implanting the device.
Despite all this, DePuy and Johnson & Johnson continue to insist that their device is not inherently defective. At trial, the lawyer for the company claimed that failures can be caused by the item not working correctly, a doctor not implanting the item properly, or an issue with the patient’s health. In this case, lawyers point to the latter to explain why the device failed.
Still, that doesn’t take into account DePuy’s own internal findings which show that a staggering 37% of devices are estimated to fail within five years. Concerns over the shedding of metal debris have also yet to be assuaged. 10,750 or so lawsuits still await trial.
Did DePuy and parent company Johnson & Johnson essentially play a game of Russian Roulette with those persons who became recipients of the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant? That’s what a jury must decide.
Panish Shea & Boyle’s Brian Panish posed that provocative statement during closing arguments which took place yesterday in Los Angeles. After hearing both sides, jurors must now figure out the level of financial responsibility owed by the medical device company in this case, which could be a bellwether for what future lawsuits can expect to achieve. This marks the conclusion of the first of thousands of lawsuits which accuse DePuy of putting forth an inferior product that was never properly tested.
Today was to mark the first day of jury deliberations. Jurors are being asked to decide whether the implantation of the defective DePuy ASR device led the plaintiff, Mr. Loren Kransky, to experience a decline in health. At trial, Mr. Panish pointed to Australian statistics which showed a whopping 44% failure rate for the device, and an internal analysis from DePuy itself shows an estimated 37% failure rate. Much has also been made of the device’s propensity to shed metal debris, a condition which the plaintiff argues has caused him to experience metal poisoning.
Mr. Panish asked that the plaintiff receive $5 million for his troubles, and he also believes $179 million in punitive damages should be assessed against the troubled company. Johnson & Johnson has recalled over 30 items since 2009, the DePuy ASR among them. 750,000 people across the country are thought to have received some kind of all-metal hip implant, but safety concerns have since diminished their popularity.
A trial attempting to determine the level of responsibility Johnson & Johnson should bear in the design and marketing of a defective hip implant is winding to a close, and Brian Panish of Panish Shea & Boyle was there to present closing arguments on behalf of a man injured by the implant.
Mr. Panish has been presenting the case of a retired prison guard named Loren Kransky. In December 2007, Kranksy was implanted with the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant, a device that had to be removed less than five years later. The lawsuit contends that DePuy both put forth a defectively designed product and failed to notify patients and medical professionals of the risks of using the device. Testing which could have exposed certain issues wasn’t sufficiently carried out and complaints from surgeons and patients failed to trigger an adequate response from the company.
This sentiment was echoed by Mr. Panish during closing arguments in Los Angeles today. He argued that defects plagued the item from the moment it arrived on the market, and these defects led to unprecedented rates of injury among patients. In Australia alone, Mr. Panish cited an astounding 44% failure rate within five years, a number that’s much higher than the original 12% suggested by DePuy.
Mr. Panish argued that the plaintiff is entitled to $5 million for pain and suffering and $338,000 for reimbursement of medical expenses. To send a message to DePuy, a company which has yet to acknowledge responsibility for this entire episode, Mr. Panish also called upon the jury to force DePuy to pay up to $179 million in punitive damages.
The attorney for Johnson & Johnson argued that the plaintiff’s injuries could not be attributed to a defect in the DePuy ASR device. With upwards of 10,000 additional lawsuits awaiting trial, it’s now up to the jury to decide whose evidence is more compelling.
One of the surgeons responsible for the design of the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant has testified at a trial currently going on in Los Angeles at the state court level. His testimony reveals some startling information about the way complaints are reported and the failure rates that even experienced medical professionals could expect.
Earlier in the trial, DePuy employees suggested that complaints made in regards to the all-metal implants were to travel to the company’s vigilance and complaint department. However, the head of the ASR surgeon design team points out that any complaints he received about the device or any instances of a revision surgery were handed over to the marketing department. When asked about the vigilance department, the surgeon expressed ignorance at the vigilance department’s very existence and says he couldn’t even point out the head of such a department.
The surgeon’s testimony also revealed that his own implantations suffered from unreasonably high failure rates. Of 39 devices he had implanted prior to 2007, he claims that no failures had occurred at that time. Cut to 2013, and 15 of the 66 ASR devices he’s implanted have reportedly failed, a rate which he believes will go up still. He says he sought to explain to surgeons how to place the device properly so as to limit the potential for failure. Still, leading surgeons around the world have expressed dissatisfaction with the items’ design.
The surgeon questioned has received an estimated $3.6 million worth of royalties from the DePuy ASR.