DePuy ASR Trial Update: J&J Marketing Director Expressed Safety Concerns Prior to Recall, Parker Waichman LLP Recounts

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Bloomberg News reports that a top marketing executive had emailed his concerns about the safety of the DePuy ASR nearly a year before 93,000 implants were recalled. Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to patients implanted with the DePuy ASR as well as other types of metal-on-metal hip implants.

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“These emails, along with the other evidence that has come to light during this trial, suggest that Johnson & Johnson knew there were safety problems with the DePuy ASR long before it was recalled,” said Daniel C. Burke of 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 monitor the latest developments of the DePuy ASR trial currently underway in Los Angeles state court. According to a Bloomberg News article published on February 12th, a top marketing executive at Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit said that the company should consider recalling the ASR a year before the metal-on-metal hip implants were recalled.

“These emails, along with the other evidence that has come to light during this trial, suggest that Johnson & Johnson knew there were safety problems with the DePuy ASR long before it was recalled,” 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 News, this week jurors saw several emails from DePuy marketers during the trial of Loren Kransky, a 65-year old retired corrections officer who is suing over his allegedly defective DePuy ASR hip. Kransky’s lawsuit is the first of 10,000 to go to trial (Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County). Bloomberg News reports that Paul Berman, director of marketing at DePuy, wrote in September 2009 that he wanted to “reiterate my concerns” over the safety of the ASR hip implant in light of an increasingly high failure rate. He advised that the company “discontinue the product from all but 10 surgeons because of failure rates with the broader universe... If the company feels the safety profile of the platform is not acceptable among the majority of surgeons it seems we should consider recalling it altogether.”

Berman wrote that “With growing chatter in the market and commentary… I still remain concerned with the safety of this product,” Bloomberg News reports. He also stated in the email that “As a marketing professional, I do not make product safety decisions, but I do have an obligation as an employee of J&J and DePuy to make it known when I do not feel comfortable.”

Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants worldwide in August 2010. At the time, the company cited a failure rate of 12 percent within five years. More recent data from an Australian national registry suggested a failure rate upwards of 40 percent. Kransky’s lawsuit, along with thousands of others, alleges that the all-metal hip implant caused injuries by releasing high levels of cobalt and chromium ions. According to Bloomberg News, Kransky was implanted with the ASR in 2007 and underwent revision surgery last February to remove the device. Dr. Thomas Trotsky, who is Kransky’s physician, testified that “I was convinced that Mr. Kransky would die from toxicity if the hip weren’t removed,”

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 for patients who experienced symptoms of complications. The FDA also advised physical examinations and diagnostic imaging.

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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