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DePuy hip implant recall and compensation: Too little, too late

| Oct 6, 2010 | Drug & Medical Device Injuries |

If you are experiencing pain or suffering from a defective medical device,  it’s wise to consult an attorney. For answers about legal issues in this article or with your own malfunctioning medical product, call me directly for help – Lawrence Egerton, 336-273-0508, or 800-800-4LAW, or e-mail me at [email protected].

On August 26, 2010, the DePuy Orthopaedics company, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, issued a voluntary recall of two hip replacement systems. About 93,000 of the devices have been implanted worldwide, according to a DePuy spokesperson.

The hip implants are known as the ASR XL Acetabular System and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System. The chances are that one out of eight of the implants will fail, requiring painful and expensive “revision” surgery.

Too late

The first lawsuit filed in the United States against DePuy over these defective ASR hip implant was in March, 2009 — almost 18 months before the device was recalled. Another lawsuit quoted in this news article states: “Officials of J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit knew for years many of the 93,000 patients with ASR hip implants required corrective surgeries.”

In fact, the Food & Drug Administration had received over 500 complaints about these implants over the past few years

Late in 2009, DePuy announced it was phasing out the implants because of slow sales. But in March, the company warned doctors that the implants might have a high failure rate in some patients. As one doctor said succinctly, “It is way too late.”

So, despite lawsuits beginning nearly a year and a half before, years of complaints to the FDA, and warnings to doctors in March, DePuy waited until the end of August 2010 to issue the recall.

Furthermore, stopping production of the devices more than eight months before the recall has been compared to a “phantom recall,” in which Johnson & Johnson hired contractors to secretly buy back tens of thousands of packets of defective Motrin. That recall and a spate of others were the focus of a congressional hearing September 30, 2010, where federal regulators testified that Johnson & Johnson repeatedly did not investigate and fix problems with its medicines.

Too little

DePuy’s recall notice opened with this sentence: “DePuy makes patient safety and health a top priority and is continually evaluating data about its products.”

But the notice also stated, “DePuy intends to cover reasonable and customary costs of testing and treatment if you need services, including revision surgery if it is necessary, associated with the recall of ASR … DePuy will then reimburse you for your reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.”

If you were implanted with this defective device you are entitled to complete compensation, not just what DePuy decides is “reasonable.” Their offer leaves out injury such as the effect on overall physical and mental health, pain and mental anguish, disfigurement or scarring, and future medical expenses.

Link to this article to learn more about symptoms, injuries, and damages a defective implant can cause. You also may receive documents requesting access to your medical records – which you should not sign.

The severity of the health issues involved and DePuy’s limited offer of compensation mean you will need the counsel of an expert hip-replacement attorney. To be sure that you receive justice in your case, call us at Egerton Law – 336-273-0508 336-814-2126 (4529). We will do what it takes to get you a fair and just settlement.

Has your life been disrupted by problems with a malfunctioning medical product? Do you or someone you know need the advice of a lawyer specializing in defective medical devices? You can get help at the Egerton Law website. The Egerton Law firm and its personal injury attorneys want to help you. Call us at 336-273-0508 or 800-800-4LAW. E-mail us at [email protected]

Facts about the Egerton Law firm:

• We have built a tradition of helping injured people and their families since the firm was established in 1956.

• We have handled cases in North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, New York, the District of Columbia, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and U.S. District Court. We have fought cases all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

• Our team of lawyers are dedicated to fighting insurance companies and corporate giants that seek to increase their bottom line at the expense of injured people.

Are you being:

• Pressured to agree to reimbursement for “reasonable” or “out-of-pocket” medical expenses?

• Pressured to sign document you don’t understand? (Don’t sign anything without consulting us.)

• Told to submit bills for medical services to your insurance company or Medicare, and you will be reimbursed later?

Take action and help us to help you. Call or email: 336-273-0508, 800-800-4LAW, [email protected]. We can advise you on whether you have a case and the process for getting medical care. You will always speak to an attorney on your first call.