A head designer and surgeon for Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR hip replacement implant recently testified that he wouldn’t have sold the device if he had known about its high failure rate. His videotaped testimony was shown in the DePuy ASR hip recall trial underway in Los Angeles.

He answered “I would not have put the product on the market,” when asked whether he would have recommended the ASR hip for market knowing of a 20 percent four year failure rate. He was asked about an internal DePuy study from 2011, which showed that 35.8 percent of the ASR hip implants failed within five years of implantation. Out of the 66 ASR hip replacements the surgeon implanted, 11 needed revision surgeries. He admitted that the ASR revision rates were “higher than some products that were in the marketplace at the time.”

The surgeon received net royalties of two percent on most devices sold. He calculated that he had gotten royalties between $2.5 million and $3 million. The plaintiffs calculated the amount to be $3.66 million.

Metallosis A Leading Cause of ASR Hip Replacement Failure

In August 2010, J&J issued the ASR hip recall after data showing that one in eight of the metal-on-metal hip implants failed within five years of surgery. The failure rate of the devices is now estimated to be much higher.

Recipients of the ASR hip implant experience adverse effects such as pain, inflammation, infections, tissue damage, bone fractures and metallosis. Toxic cobalt and chromium ions shed from the metal components of the hip implants, causing problems that may even expand beyond the local hip area.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued warnings about the dangers of metallosis in all-metal hip implants, though the agency has not specified a specific metal ion level to warrant revision surgery.

DePuy ASR Hip Recall Lawsuits Making Headway

The Los Angeles trial is the first of over 10,000 DePuy ASR hip lawsuits filed against J&J, alleging negligent recall, failure to warn and defective design. Lawsuits seek compensation for victims’ medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

If you were affected by the ASR hip recall and experienced adverse effects such as tissue damage, metal poisoning or hip replacement failure, speak to a DePuy ASR hip recall lawyer today to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call (877) 779-1414 for a free case review.

Published February 13, 2013 by