DePuy ASR Trial Update: Parker Waichman LLP Weighs In on New Trial Details Reported by The New York Times

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The New York Times reports that jurors in the DePuy ASR trial heard testimony from DePuy executive, Andrew Ekdahl, who was promoted to head the orthopedics division in 2011. According to the article, Mr. Ekdahl was told by a top consultant that there were safety concerns about the design of the metal-on-metal hip implant long before it was recalled; details about his involvement may fuel suspicions about whether or not the company acted ethically.

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We feel that this emerging evidence will help support Plaintiff’s claims alleging that the company knew about these dangerous defects and failed to warn the public about them.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is weighing in on DePuy ASR trial details reported by The New York Times. According to the article, jurors in California state court heard part of a videotaped testimony from DePuy executive Andrew Ekdahl yesterday. Ekdahl was promoted to head the Johnson & Johnson’s orthopedics division in 2011 under the premise that it was a fresh start for the company. However, emerging evidence indicates that Ekdahl was in charge of overseeing DePuy’s ASR metal-on-metal hip implant device when it was introduced to the United States. Ekdahl was also told by a top company consultant that there were safety concerns related to the design of the DePuy ASR implant three years before it was recalled.;

“The details about Mr. Ekdahl’s involvement only fuels suspicions that Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy unit failed to act responsibly with regards to the DePuy ASR.” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. “We feel that this emerging evidence will help support Plaintiff’s claims alleging that the company knew about these dangerous defects and failed to warn the public about them.” Parker Waichman has continually offered free legal advice to patients implanted with the DePuy ASR, as well as other types of metal-on-metal hip implants. The firm advises patients implanted with such devices to speak with their orthopedic surgeons if they experience symptoms of complications, including:

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

The New York Times reports that Johnson & Johnson recalled two versions of the DePuy Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR, in 2010 due to a high failure rate. The version used in hip resurfacing procedures was only sold outside the United States. The version used in a traditional total hip replacement was sold both in and outside of the country. When Ekdahl was asked about whether or not the hip was recalled because it was unsafe, he stated that it was recalled “because it did not meet the clinical standards we wanted in the marketplace.”

The NYT article also states that J&J had sought to sell the ASR hip resurfacing system in the United States, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected approval due to concerns about “high concentration of metal ions” in the blood. Johnson & Johnson never told foreign officials about the FDA ruling when it promoted the ASR for sale outside of the United States; at this time Mr. Ekdahl had a senior marketing position with the firm. He also supervised the introduction of the standard ASR to the U.S.

According to The New York Times, Mr. Ekdahl was also informed about safety concerns related to the design of the DePuy ASR long before it was recalled. Prior to the recall, Johnson & Johnson insisted that the implant was performing well. In 2008, however, Dr. William Griffin, a surgeon and top consultant to the company, told Mr. Ekdahl and two other executives that he was worried about the cup component of the implant, believing that it should be “redesigned,” writing, “My thoughts would be that DePuy should at least de-emphasize the A.S.R. cup while the clinical results are studied.” At the time, DePuy was actively marketing the device as an innovative breakthrough for hip replacement patients.

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 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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Gary Falkowitz
Parker Waichman LLP
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