NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Another lawsuit has been filed against Johnson & Johnson over its hip replacement products, adding to thousands of legal proceedings surrounding the devices.
The Indiana man filed the lawsuit in Middlesex County Superior Court on Dec. 9, according to nj.com. That’s four days after a jury in Texas awarded six patients $1 billion in punitive damages in a similar case. The pharmaceutical giant faces more than 8,000 suits for the DePuy Orthopaedics product.
The New Brunswick-based company has lost one trial involving the device and won one where the courts ruled in the manufacturer’s favor.
The suit filed in New Jersey claims the man “suffered substantial injuries and damages” from the hip implant made by the subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures surgical joint replacements and other medical devices related to spinal- and sports-related injuries. The company has offices in Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
The suit alleges DePuy’s metal-on-metal version of the product, the second line of the hip replacement implants, is defective and allows for metal particles to make their way into the recipient’s bloodstream and tissue.
The Indiana man claims he suffered “constant debilitating pain and instability” due to “friction wear from the movement at the joint” after undergoing a total left hip replacement with the DePuy product in 2008. In 2014, the man had another total hip replacement to fix the product’s alleged issue and may need future procedures, according to the suit.
The alleged defect can cause severe pain and inflammation and lead to bone erosion, tumors and tissue death, according to the suit.
DePuy spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley said: “We have no greater responsibility than to the patients who use our products, and our goal is to create medical innovations that help people live more active and comfortable lives. DePuy acted appropriately and responsibly in the design and testing of ULTAMET Metal-on-Metal, and the product is backed by a strong track record of clinical data showing reduced pain and restored mobility for patients suffering from chronic hip pain.”
Another brand of Johnson & Johnson’s hip replacements, the ASR device, were recalled in 2010. The company allocated $2.5 billion for potential patient damages.
DePuy Hip Recall Information
Many patients who have received DePuy hip implant devices have experienced severe complications, including:
- Early failure rates/difficulty walking
- Joint slippage/component loosening
- Metallosis (metal poisoning)
- Periprosthetic osteolysis (bone fracturing)
- Dislocation of the implant
Although the FDA does not require premarket testing of hip implant devices, manufacturers are obligated to design and sell safe products to the public. Additionally, they are responsible for warning patients of any risks or dangers associated with their devices. When a patient suffers significant complications or injuries due to a defective DePuy hip device, it may warrant legal action. DePuy can be held liable for the injuries suffered by the patient.
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