On September 27, 2011, the Australian Senate Community Affairs Committee conducted an inquiry into the regulatory standards for the approval of medical devices.  During the Senate hearing, testimony revealed that in 2006, there was evidence of high failure rates associated with the DePuy ASR hip replacement devices.  Hip replacement failure can occur in a variety of ways, including fractures, dislocations and soft tissue damage.  Hip replacement failure can often lead to revision surgery in order to have the defective hip implant removed.  Even though there was evidence of high failure rates in 2006, a DePuy ASR hip recall was not initiated until three years later.  Australia was the first country to issue a DePuy ASR hip recall in December 2009.  In August 2010, a DePuy ASR hip recall was issued in the United States.

The Australian Senate Committee heard testimony, which showed that because of the delayed DePuy ASR hip recall, 5,000 Australians had to undergo revision surgery.  As many as one in eight people who received a DePuy ASR hip implant had to undergo revision surgery within five years.  During the hearing, Professor Steven Graves, an orthopedic expert, told the Senate Committee that what he found most troublesome was the amount of time it took for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to issue the DePuy ASR hip recall.  Professor Graves is the head of the country’s National Joint Replacement Registry.  Professor Graves told the Senate Committee that the National Joint Replacement Registry noticed a 50 percent higher rate in revision surgery involving DePuy ASR hip implants in 2006.  At that time, Professor Graves alerted the Therapeutic Goods Administration to these findings.

Tuesday’s hearing was held in response to an action filed in Australia on behalf of 5,000 individuals affected throughout the country by the DePuy ASR hip recall.  In addition to seeking compensatory damages against the manufacturer, plaintiffs are also requesting punitive damages on the basis that Johnson & Johnson allowed the DePuy ASR hip systems to remain on the market despite evidence that the artificial hips were failing.

United States DePuy ASR Hip Recall

In August 2010, a nationwide DePuy ASR hip recall was issued.  An estimated 37,000 Americans received an implant that was subject to the DePuy ASR hip recall.  Since that time, thousands of DePuy hip replacement lawsuits have been filed by injured victims throughout the country.  There have also been calls for the United States to form its own national joint replacement registry.  On September 15, 2011, The National Joint Registry for England and Wales reported that failure rates of metal-on-metal hips are increasing.  In addition to noting that metal-on-metal hips are failing in large numbers of patients within just a few years, the report also stated that early failure rates are much higher in women than in men.  Specifically, the British registry tracked 2,100 patients who received a metal-on-metal device six years ago; approximately 29 percent of those individuals have since had to undergo revision surgery.  This latest development follows an August 22, 2011 New York Times report, which noted that since January 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) received over 5,000 adverse event reports  involving metal-on-metal hips.  Notably, 75% of those complaints involved DePuy ASR hip implants.  Additionally, the FDA has also been the subject of widespread criticism over its expedited 510(K) process, which allows medical devices to receive market approval as long as the manufacturer can show that their product is substantially similar to others already on the market.  DePuy utilized the 510(K) process in order to get its DePuy ASR hip replacement products on the market.

DePuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit

If you or a loved one received an implant that was part of the DePuy ASR hip recall and have experienced any problems as a result of the defective hip system, you may be able to file a DePuy hip replacement lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.

Contact one of our lawyers today for a free and confidential DePuy hip replacement lawsuit evaluation. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have extensive litigation experience and have recovered billions of dollars for their clients. In addition to being staunch advocates for your claim, our hip replacement injury lawyers also provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.

Published September 28, 2011 by