In response to a recent editorial from USAToday.com that accused Johnson & Johnson of “leaving a trail of pain” by not issuing the DePuy ASR hip recall soon enough, the company’s worldwide vice president for clinical research promptly defended the August 2010 recall, saying it was “the right decision at the right time.”

According to the company official, the DePuy ASR hip replacement system was recalled in August 2010 after data from the United Kingdom’s National Joint Registry reported that 13% of patients had undergone one or more revision surgeries earlier than expected. According to the official, “we immediately recalled the product in every country where it was sold.”

DePuy ASR Hip Recall

The DePuy ASR hip recall affected 93,000 implants after evidence suggested that use of affected devices may lead to early hip replacement failure, revision surgery and metallosis (metal ion poisoning), which occurs when metal components of the device fret and corrode, causing a host of complications.

The USAToday.com editorial published Mar. 24 said Johnson & Johnson took too long to issue the recall knowing the risks, and suggested that the company no longer exhibited the same “speed” and “candor” it did during the Tylenol tragedy of 1982, when seven people died after unknowingly taking the drug spiked with cyanide. After pulling the remaining bottles off U.S. shelves, Johnson & Johnson introduced tamper-resistant packaging that later became an industry standard.

“Now, it seems, Johnson & Johnson has thrown out that textbook,” USAToday.com said.

The opposing view emphasized the manufacturer’s commitment to patients, however.

“We remain dedicated to serving patients who need joint replacement surgery,” DePuy’s vice president stated.

In the article though, she failed to mention the mounting litigation involving DePuy ASR hip lawsuits sweeping the nation. In March, a plaintiff in the first case to go to trial involving the metal-on-metal hip was granted $8.3 million in damages after jurors in Los Angeles found the device to be defectively designed. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of an ex-prison guard from Montana was the first of 10,000 to go to trial in the U.S. The hearing began Jan. 25, 2013.

There are also now more than 3,000 claims filed over a version of the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement that utilizes the Ultamet liner. According to a Master Case List update Mar. 1, 2013, 3,882 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas.

How to File a DePuy ASR Hip Recall Lawsuit

If you suffered complications associated with the DePuy ASR hip recall, contact an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP at (877) 779-1414. You may be eligible to file a claim against the manufacturer seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Published April 1, 2013 by