DePuy ASR Lawsuit Update: Surgeon Who Helped Develop the DePuy ASR Hip Implant Testifies that He Would Not Use the Device

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Parker Waichman LLP is commenting on a testimony by Thomas P. Schmalzried, an orthopedic surgeon who helped design and develop the DePuy ASR hip implant. In the second DePuy ASR trial, in Chicago, Schmalzried told jurors that the benefits of the recalled metal-on-metal hip implant did not outweigh the risks, and that he would not use the device.

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Because of its metal-on-metal design, this implant can cause serious complications, such as the need for early revision surgery.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is commenting on a surgeon’s testimony during the second DePuy ASR trial, in Chicago (Carol Strum v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. et al., case number 2011-L-009352, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois). According to a Mass Device report published on April 2nd, orthopedic surgeon Thomas P. Schmalzried testified that he would not use the DePuy ASR hip implant. Dr. Schmalzried, who is the defense’s first witness in the case, helped develop the recalled metal-on-metal hip implant.

“This testimony is further evidence that the ASR is an allegedly defective device,” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. “Because of its metal-on-metal design, this implant can cause serious complications, such as the need for early revision surgery.” Mr. Burke said that the alleged flaws of the DePuy ASR are a prime example of why metal-on-metal hip implants are dangerous as a class of medical devices.

Parker Waichman LLP has continued to offer free legal advice to patients implanted with such devices, and advises patients to speak with their doctors if they experience any symptoms of complications, such as:

  • Metallosis, high levels of metal ions in the bloodstream
  • Early failure, need for revision surgery
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty walking, or a change in your ability to walk

Carol Strum’s lawsuit is the second of 10,000 to go to trial. She alleged that the ASR released high levels of metal ions into her bloodstream, causing severe pain and revision surgery within three years. According to Mass Device, Dr. Schmalzried testified that he needed to revise 15 out of 66 ASR hip implants himself, and told jurors that such a revision rate was unacceptable for hip implants. "I would not implant the ASR XL today," he stated. Schmalzried also testified that he had not used a metal-on-metal hip implant for some time, and agreed with the assertion that the benefits of the device do not outweigh its risks.

In 2010, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, DePuy, recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants due to a high rate of revision. At the time, the company said the device failed in 13 percent of patients within five years. Data from an Australian registry indicates that the hips fail more than 40 percent of the time within seven years.

The first DePuy ASR trial ended in an $8.3 million verdict in favor of the Plaintiff (Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County (Los Angeles)). Jurors in Los Angeles ruled that the hip was defective and that Johnson & Johnson was negligent with regards to the implant.

Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of the DePuy ASR and other 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 recalled DePuy ASR Hip Implant or other metal-on-metal hip implant, please contact their office by visiting the firm's DePuy ASR hip implant injury page at Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney
(800) LAW-INFO
(800) 529-4636

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