DePuy ASR Trial Update: J&J Feared Metal Ion Debris Would Hurt Hip Implant Sales, Parker Waichman LLP Recounts

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Bloomberg reports that this week in first DePuy ASR trial, jurors were told that marketers at Johnson & Johnson were afraid that the backlash over metal ion debris would hurt sales of the DePuy ASR hip implant years before it was recalled. The DePuy ASR, an all-metal device made of a cobalt-chromium alloy, has allegedly caused injuries in thousands of patients.

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“This evidence further supports the thousands of lawsuits alleging that the ASR caused injuries by releasing metal debris.” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is continuing to provide updates and commentary on the developments of the DePuy ASR trial currently underway in Los Angeles state court (Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County). According to a Bloomberg report published on February 13th, company marketers were afraid of the backlash over metal ion debris three years before the ASR was recalled.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-13/j-j-feared-metal-ion-backlash-would-hurt-hip-sales-jury-told.html

“This evidence further supports the thousands of lawsuits alleging that the ASR caused injuries by releasing metal debris.” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. Parker Waichman continues to offer free legal consultations to hip replacement patients implanted with the DePuy ASR, along with other all-metal hip devices. The firm advises hip replacement patients to speak with their surgeons if they experience symptoms such as:

  •         Pain
  •         Swelling
  •         Difficulty walking, or a change in your ability to walk
  •         Popping, creaking, or other sounds emanating from the area of the implant
  •         Metallosis, high levels of metal ions
  •         Early failure, revision surgery

According to Bloomberg, this week DePuy marketing executive Randall Kilburn testified in the first of 10,000 ASR lawsuits to go to trial. The Plaintiff in the case is Loren Kransky, who alleges that the DePuy ASR hip implant is defectively designed and caused a number of injuries; among other things he claims that elevated metal ion levels caused severe complications. When Kilburn took the stand, he was questioned about a 2007 meet in which the marketing team discussed several hip devices. The sales team was a presentation entitled “What scares us the most in the year ahead?”; “Metal ion backlash” was the first of nine items listed.

Bloomberg reported that jurors also saw an email dated April 30, 2008 from DePuy engineer Graham Isaac stating that in some conditions the ASR was subject to “extreme metal ion levels.” Isaac wrote that the published data had “the potential to seriously affect our business…We need to discuss this at the earliest possible opportunity as I believe it means that we need to start any ASR upgrade sooner than our previous plans had suggested.” No changes were ever made to the implant.

Johnson & Johnson said that the ASR failed in 12 percent of patients within five years when they first recalled the device. More recent data from an Australian national registry indicates that the failure rate exceeds 40 percent.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued new guidelines for patients implanted with metal-on-metal hip implants. For the first time, the agency recommended metal ion testing in symptomatic patients. The FDA also advised diagnostic imaging and physical examinations.
http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm335775.htm

Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of metal-on-metal hip implant injuries. If you or a loved one experienced premature failure of your implant or other health problems associated with a metal-on-metal hip implant, please contact their office by visiting the firm's Defective Hip Implants page at yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Contact:
Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney
(800) LAW-INFO
(800) 529-4636
http://www.yourlawyer.com

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Gary Falkowitz
Parker Waichman LLP
1-800-529-4636
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