Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Hip implant products liability suits about to begin

Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of an all-metal hip implant device back in 2010. It has since been revealed that Johnson & Johnson conducted an internal analysis that showing that nearly 40 percent of these devices would fail within five years.

What is troubling is that the device, which has already been implanted in a large number of patients, will likely to continue failing in thousands of these patients over the next few years. There have already been approximately 10,000 products liability lawsuits filed by patients and their attorneys concerning the reported defective medical device.

Unfortunately, since the product has been on the there have been at least 93,000 such devices implanted, and this likely includes individuals from the Pennsylvania area. A study of the National Joint Registry of England suggested that at such implants were likely to fail, but this conclusion was challenged by Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics division.

DePuy, while maintaining they have always been forthright with the public, earlier claimed the estimate of failures mentioned in this study was incorrect. In fact, company officials may have been aware of problems regarding metallic ions in the hip implants as early as 2008 - close to two years before the product was actually recalled.

Manufacturers have a duty to research the safety of their products before putting them out on the market, and these companies also have a duty to warn users of mistakes made during the design and manufacture of the product. This is especially true when we are talking about a medical device that will be implanted in a patient during surgery.

As this matter demonstrates, a recall is not always an adequate response by manufacturers as recalls can often come much too late. These manufactures need to be held accountable in a products liability lawsuit where an experienced attorney representing injured clients can demonstrate the harmful nature of these products.

Source: The New York Times, "Maker Aware of 40 percent Failure in Hip Implant," by Barry Meier, Jan. 22, 2013

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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