Consumers who were affected by an international recall of defective DePuy ASR metal hip implants and have been following a massive group of over 8,000 lawsuits consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio may be interested to know that there is another large group of DePuy metal hip implant lawsuits in our court system.
Most of the attention of the problem with DePuy metal hip systems has focused on the litigation in U.S. District Court in Ohio over the recalled DePuy ASR systems and the multi-billion settlement proposal in the works there.
However, there is also a federal multidistrict litigation in federal court in the Northern District of Texas where about 5,600 other DePuy metal hip implant lawsuits involving the company’s Pinnacle Hip Replacement System that is being overseen by a U.S. District Court judge.
The allegations there, as with the DePuy ASR system, involve claims from thousands of victims who say they suffered injuries and pain and suffering from failed Pinnacle systems.
The Texas plaintiffs, as do the plaintiffs in the Ohio litigation, allege that the metal-on-metal design of the Pinnacle system was so flawed that metal particles flaked off from the system and invaded their bodies, causing metal poisoning and other serious health problems.
Whether Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant that is the parent company of DePuy, decides to embark on a huge financial settlement in the Texas cases remains to be seen.
However, Johnson & Johnson, according to court documents, has agreed to a tentative settlement of over 8,000 consolidated federal lawsuits there in which payouts of up to $4 billion may be made to resolve the cases.
The New York Times reported on the huge scope of the proposed settlement saying “The tentative plan, which must win court approval, represents one of the largest payouts for product liability claims involving a medical device.”
The DePuy ASR systems were the subject of a nationwide recall announced on Aug. 24, 2010 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which warned consumers about the dangers of metal-on-metal hip implant systems.
In its announcement, the FDA said “there was a voluntary recall of the DePuy ASR TM total hip system because of new, unpublished data from the UK joint registry indicating the revision rates within 5 years were approximately 13 percent.”
Later figures as reported in the media have placed the failure rates at high as 40 percent.