Parker Waichman LLP Reviews Closing Arguments of DePuy ASR Trial and Discusses Risks of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant

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On February 28th jurors in Los Angeles Superior Court heard closing arguments in the first DePuy ASR trial to decide whether the recalled metal-on-metal hip implant caused injuries in Plaintiff Loren Kransky. Kransky’s lawsuit was the first of 10,000 to go to trial; he and thousands of others allege that the ASR is defective and causes metal poisoning, pain, early revision surgery and other serious complications.

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They wanted to play Russian roulette with patients. This defendant didn't care about patient safety.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is informing consumers about the closing arguments of the DePuy ASR trial underway in Los Angeles. According to a Bloomberg article published on February 28th, attorneys for Plaintiff Loren Kransky said that DePuy Orthopaedics and parent company Johnson & Johnson defectively designed the ASR and failed to warn patients about its risks. Kransky’s lawsuit was the first of 10,000 to go to trial (Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County).

“Hopefully, the jurors will see that there is an abundance of evidence indicating that Johnson & Johnson defectively designed the ASR and failed to warn about its risks,” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. 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, attorneys for Kransky argued that Johnson & Johnson defectively designed the ASR hip implant and failed to warn about its risks. Among other things, the attorneys said that J&J failed to test the metal-on-metal hip implant before selling it in 2005; they also stated that J&J ignored mounting safety concerns from surgeons who implanted the device. Plaintiff’s lawyers have asked for $5.3 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages as high as $179 million.

The trial began on January 25th in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. Throughout the trial, J&J has consistently claimed that his injuries do not stem from the defects of the implant. Kransky’s attorneys recently produced a document showing that the ASR recall was issued due to defects that could cause health or safety problems; the document was signed by former DePuy president David Floyd. They have also pointed out that Kransky’s cobalt levels are 7 to 8 times higher than the 7 parts per billion recommended by the Medicines Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

In the closing arguments, Kransky’s attorneys stated that Johnson & Johnson knew the ASR was defective long before it was implanted. Brian Panish, one of the lawyers for Kransky, said “They wanted to play Russian roulette with patients. This defendant didn't care about patient safety." according to LA Times. Jurors were told that J&J’s DePuy unit has acted as a “ruthless competitor” that cared more about profits than patient safety. "All they care about is the money," Panish stated. "They aren't looking at patients. They're looking at balance sheets."

J&J’s DePuy unit recalled 93,000 ASR hip worldwide in 2010, stating that the device had failed in 12 percent of patients within five years. In Australia, failure rates have exceeded 40 percent. Kransky’s lawsuit and thousands of others allege that the metal-on-metal design generates a toxic amount of metal ions, which leads to metal poisoning and other complications that lead to revision surgery.

Kransky, a retired corrections office from Montana received the ASR in 2007 and had it revised in February 2012. His attorneys have cited excessively high levels of metal ions, and alleged that his injuries, revision surgery and other complications stem from the defective nature of the all-metal hip replacement. J&J claims that his injuries are unrelated to his implant and have attributed his damages to other factors, including his pre-existing health problems. The company has also blamed the high revision rates of the ASR on surgical techniques, insisting that surgeons implant the cup socket at the wrong angle. Kransky’s attorneys have said that the cup is unsafe at any angle.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently proposed stricter regulations for metal hip makers, proposing that the devices go through premarket approval, rather than the 510(k) process that the devices are currently approved through. The 510(k) allows devices onto the market without clinical testing for safety or efficacy if a manufacturer can argue that the product is similar enough, or “substantially equivalent” to a previous device. The agency has also issued new guidelines for patients implanted with metal-on-metal hip implants, advising physical examinations, diagnostic imaging and metal ion testing as needed.

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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