Last week, the litigation involving the DePuy ASR hip implants began in earnest as lawyers for claimants and Johnson and Johnson argued whether the federal lawsuits should be coordinated between one judge, and if so, who that judge should be. Going in to the hearing, both sides appeared to agree that the federal suits should be consolidated , but the real fight was where. DePuy was asking that the cases be consolidated in a court near its headquarters in Warsaw, Indiana.
These hip implants have two big problems. First, they wear sooner than they should. The recall was issued after European studies found that a high percentage of implant patients had to undergo revision surgery within five years of the original implant. These implants should last fifteen or so years.
A perhaps bigger problem is that the implants have been shown to release metal debris and shards, including cobalt and chromium, into the tissue surrounding the implant. In the past, these metals have been shown to be dangerous to the liver, kidneys, and the brain. It is currently unclear whether these problems will arise from the defective hips, but it is a risk that is being evaluated.
Because of the serious nature of the recall, patients having a DePuy hip implant should seek medical care and legal assistance as soon as possible.
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