Resource4thePeople Offering Referrals for DePuy, Other Hip Implant Injuries

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DePuy reaches settlements with Australian victims; U.S. hip implant lawsuits increase to over 15,000 cases.

Resource4thePeople announced today that it is informing consumers who may have suffered hip implant device injuries that it is continuing to provide referrals to lawyers offering free consultations to such victims.

Cases are continuing to be accepted as recent news events show that DePuy Orthopaedics’ parent company, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, has reached settlements with many Australian victims of defective DePuy knee implant systems.*

Bloomberg News also reported that the company is still facing similar lawsuits over metal-on-metal hip implant systems, of which over 90,000 were recalled around the world in 2010.

Bloomberg reported on Dec. 3 that Johnson & Johnson’s settlement to resolve lawsuits filed by Australian patients who received faulty knee implants was approved by a judge, clearing the way for compensation to be paid beginning at A$30,000 ($31,000) per user.*

“Pamela Casey, who had a total knee replacement in 2008, sued Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy International unit in 2010 on behalf of all patients who had received the DePuy LCS Duofix Femoral implant,” Bloomberg reported. “The companies agreed to settle the lawsuit in August with Federal Court Justice Robert Buchanan approving the deal today.”

In an earlier story Bloomberg reported that the DePuy unit recalled its 93,000 ASR hips worldwide in 2010, including 37,000 in the U.S., admitting that failure rates of more than 12 percent of the devices were being reported within five years and that lawsuits in federal and state courts describe patients in pain and immobilized by joint dislocations, infections and bone fractures.**

Resource4thePeople is providing referrals to hip implant lawyers who are offering free consultations for men and women who have suffered infections, bone fractures and other injuries as a result of failed hip implant systems.

As with most legal cases, there may be legal deadlines in such cases so it is recommended that victims make contact as soon as possible to preserve all legal options to seek compensation for medical costs, loss of wages, pain and suffering and other expenses.

Resource4thePeople notes that the number of metal-on-metal hip implant systems is continuing to increase. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which designates and oversees complex litigation involving common defendants, claims and allegations has now designated six different multi-district litigations across the country involving lawsuits alleging defective hip implant systems.***

The Panel’s data lists 15,000 pending actions seeking class-action status naming defendants including DePuy Orthopaedics, C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific Corp. and Ethicon Inc. ****

The Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that it is now conducting a review of the increasing number of Adverse Event Reports that have been filed in connection with health problems caused by metal-on-metal implants.***** In its announcement of the investigation the FDA said:

“Different people will react to these metal particles in different ways. At this time, it is not possible to know who will experience a reaction, what type of reaction they might have, when the reaction will occur, or how severe the reaction will be. However, it is known that over time, the metal particles around some implants can cause damage to bone and/or tissue surrounding the implant and joint. This is sometimes referred to as an ‘adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR)’ or an ‘adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD).’ Such a reaction may cause the implant to become loose or cause pain. Ultimately this can require a revision surgery where the old device is removed and replaced with another one.

"In addition to these reactions to metal near the joint and implant, there are some case reports in the literature of a small number of patients in which high levels of metal ions in the bloodstream may have caused other types of symptoms or illnesses elsewhere in the body, including effects on the heart, nervous system, and thyroid gland.”

In its listing of the Adverse Event Reports it has received that caused the review of metal-on-metal hip implants the FDA data listed the DePuy systems, the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII systems, the Biomet M2a Magnum, Wright Profemur and Conserve systems.

These Adverse Event Reports mirror allegations contained in the multidistrict lawsuits in which victims complain that metal particles flake off from the hip implants, wander through the body and cause pain, infections and fractures.

In their allegations some of the victims document the fact that they had to undergo revision or replacement surgery, which were among the factors that were reported by Bloomberg News in Johnson & Johnson’s Australian lawsuit settlements.

Resource4thePeople also notes additional important information passed along to consumers by the FDA in its health advisory informing the public about its investigation into the safety of metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants:

“Patients who have MoM hip implants should be aware of potential symptoms which may occur after surgery and indicate that their device is not functioning properly. Common symptoms may include:

  •     Pain in the groin, hip or leg
  •     Swelling at or near the hip joint
  •     A limp or change in walking ability

There are many reasons why any of these symptoms may arise or worsen after surgery and it does not necessarily mean that a reaction to the metal particles from the device is taking place. A thorough evaluation by an orthopaedic surgeon is needed to determine the actual cause. Besides a physical exam of the hip, the orthopaedic surgeon may consider several tests to evaluate these symptoms including:

  •     Special imaging tests
  •     Using a needle to remove fluid from around the joint (joint aspiration)
  •     Blood tests, including checking levels of metal ions in the blood

Patients who receive a MoM hip implant should also pay close attention to changes in their general health or new symptoms outside their hip including symptoms related to their:

  •     Heart (chest pain, shortness of breath)
  •     Nerves (numbness, weakness, change in vision or hearing)
  •     Thyroid (fatigue, feeling cold, weight gain)
  •     Kidney (change in urination habits)”




****MDL#s 2197, 2244, 2187, 2325, 2326, 2327 and 2387 U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio


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W.J. Callahan
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