More DePuy ASR Hip Implant Lawsuits Filed in Federal Litigation

Nearly 100 more DePuy lawsuits over ASR implant have been filed around the country since the <"">DePuy hip replacement recall litigation was consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) earlier this month. The lawsuits allege that, among other things, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. failed to warn patients and doctors about the ASR Hip Implant’s risk of premature failure.

In August, DePuy issued a worldwide recall for the ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System 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. By then, more than 93,000 patients worldwide were fitted with an ASR hip implant. It is believed that roughly a third of those were patients in the US.

The ASR Hip Implant System is a metal-on-metal hip implant made of chromium and cobalt, consisting of a cup that’s implanted into the hip with a ball joint that connects to the leg. It is believed that many of the complications linked to the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip implant are caused by wearing of the metal components, which can allow metal shavings to make their way into patients’ bloodstreams, leading to tissue breakdown, bone loss, and even the formation of non-cancerous tumors. The shedding of metal shavings can cause cobalt poisoning, a disorder that, if left untreated, can put patients at risk of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, deafness, blindness, optic nerve atrophy, convulsions, headaches, peripheral neuropathy, cardiomyopathy, and hypothyroidism.

Earlier this month, we reported that all federal DePuy ASR Hip Implant lawsuits had been consolidated in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Ohio in Toledo. The lawsuits, known collectively as the DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2197), will be supervised by US District Judge David A. Katz. The consolidation allows all DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits to be coordinated under one judge for pretrial litigation to avoid duplicative discovery, inconsistent rulings and to conserve the resources of the parties, witnesses and the court. When lawsuits are consolidated, each retains its own identity. If the MDL process does not resolve the cases, they are transferred back to the court where they originated for trial.

When the Transfer Order consolidating the DePuy hip implant lawsuits was issued on December 15, there were seven cases pending. Since then, at least 96 additional DePuy ASR lawsuits have been filed in 34 different federal district courts. Considering the number of people who received a DePuy ASR hip implant, it is expected that the litigation will continue to grow.

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