DePuy ASR Trial Update: DePuy Surgeon and ASR Designer Testifies about Metal Hip Complaints, Parker Waichman LLP Recounts

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Thomas Schmalzried, a California surgeon who designed the recalled DePuy ASR hip implant, testified in Los Angeles state court on Friday that he gave complaints about the metal-on-metal hip implant to the marketing department and was unaware of the group responsible for investigating these injuries. Bloomberg.com reports that, out of the 66 ASR hips Schmalzried has surgically implanted, at least 15 required replacement, representing a 23 percent failure rate. Schmalzried testified that this number is likely to go up.

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Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is commenting on a Bloomberg.com article published on February 22nd that states Johnson & Johnson hip designer, Thomas Schmalzried, testified in the case of Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. According to Bloomberg.com, the surgeon-designer testified that he gave complaints about the now-recalled metal-on-metal hips to the company’s marketing department. Schmalzried further testified that he had no knowledge about the group designated to handle such matters. Schmalzried, who has seen a 23 percent failure rate in the ASR hips he has implanted, said that his revision rates are likely to worsen.

“This testimony further indicates that Johnson & Johnson did not handle matters effectively when DePuy ASR patients began reporting injuries,” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. “Even the surgeon who designed the ASR has experienced a high failure rate among his own patients." Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to hip replacement patients implanted with the DePuy ASR, as well as patients implanted 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.com, Thomas Schmalzried testified on Friday that he gave complaints about the ASR to DePuy’s marketing department. The surgeon, who says he made $3.6 million in royalties from the ASR, testified that he was not aware of the group designated to investigating these claims. Earlier in the trial, DePuy employees had testified that complaints were supposed to be sent to the company’s vigilance and complaint department. When asked about whether or not he ever sent hip complaints to that department, Schmalzried stated that, “They don’t have a vigilance department.”

Schmalzried is testifying in the trial of Loren Kransky, who alleges that the DePuy ASR caused metal ion poisoning and other complications leading to his having to undergo revision surgery. Kransky’s lawsuit is the first of 10,000 to go to trial. According to Bloomberg.com, Schmalzried testified that he has replaced at least 15 out of 66 ASR hip implants, translating to a failure rate of 23 percent. He stated that these revision rates were likely to increase when questioned by Kransky’s attorneys. He stated that he no longer implants metal-on-metal hips due to “the evolution of available alternatives.”

Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants in 2010 due to a reported failure rate of 12 percent in five years. Now, data from an Australian registry indicates a failure rate higher than 40 percent. According to Bloomberg.com, analysts say that the litigation over the recalled device could cost J&J billions.

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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