DePuy, Zimmer and Stryker Hip Implants Named in Canadian Class Action Lawsuits

Litigation surrounding defective hip replacements continues to mount. Recently class action lawsuits were filed in Canada over DePuy Orthopaedics’ recalled ASR XL Acetabular Hip Implant System, as well as the <"">Stryker Trident PSL and the Stryker Trident Hemispherical Acetabular Cup, and the <"">Zimmer Durom Cup.

In August, DePuy issued a worldwide recall of the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket used in traditional hip replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that involves placing a metal cap on the ball of the femur. The DePuy hip recall was issued after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 patients (12%-13%) who had received the <"">recalled hip replacements had to undergo revision surgery within five years of receiving it.  A hip implant should last for 15 years or so. 

DePuy was already phasing out the ASR hip implant system when it finally acknowledged in March 2010 that the device was prone to early failure. By that time, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had received hundreds of reports describing premature failure of the DePuy ASR hip implant system. Still, it would be months before the DePuy ASR hip implant system was finally recalled. Other recalls, including probable DePuy knee recall, are also weighing on Johnson & Johnson’s performance.

In 2008, Stryker recalled the two Trident hip implants after the US FDA posted a warning on its website after receiving complaints of pain, squeaky joints and uneven wearing in patients with the new joint.

Zimmer pulled its Durom Cup hip implant in July 2008 in the US, but only halted distribution and marketing of the device in Canada 16 months later. Zimmer halted US sales of the Durom Cup following complaints about device failures due to loosened components that required revision surgery. That year, Zimmer’s own estimates suggested that some doctors in the US experienced failure rates as high as 5.7 percent with the Durom Cup. However, some Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuits claim the failure rate could be as high as 30 percent.

According to the Toronto Sun, an Alberta-based law firm began legal proceedings in Calgary, Halifax and Montreal against Zimmer, Stryker and DePuy, claiming the components pulled from the market caused chronic and painful complications. These complications include chronic pain, repetitive clicking, popping, grinding metal, frequent swelling, bone fractures and implant dislocation. The firm is seeking compensation for every Canadian implanted with one of the five devices.

In October, a Toronto law firm also filed class action lawsuit over the Zimmer hip implant, and in August, a British Columbia firm filed a similar complaint.

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