A surgeon who was employed by DePuy as a lead designer of its ASR metal-on-metal hip implant admitted in court in the second DePuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit that he would not fit his own patients with the hip devices.
93,000 of the DePuy ASR hip replacements were recalled in the summer of 2010 having been sold all over the world. DePuy, which is the orthopaedic arm of the world’s leading healthcare product manufacture Johnson & Johnson, put forward Dr Thomas Schmalzried as their first defence witness at the second trial relating to the ASR hip devices. The plaintiff claims that her current health problems result from the flawed design of the hip replacement itself. As the metal parts of the device rub together, toxic metallic debris is released inside the body which can cause pain, swelling, blood poisoning and even tumours.
During his testimony, Dr Schmalzried admitted that he had implanted 66 patients with the ASR hip devices of which 15 had required revision surgeries. He claims that it is this high failure rate which would prevent him from using this particular hip replacement device again. However, whilst he admitted that the failure rate was unacceptable, he refused to accept that it was because the product was badly designed .
Dr Schmalzried played a lead role designing the Depuy ASR XL hip replacement device which along with a similar ASFR device was subject to a global recall issued in August 2010.
Lawyers predict that J & J could end up losing billions of dollars due to damages payouts. The company has already paid $8.3 million to the victorious plaintiff from the first ASR trial in the US. The California jury in that case concluded that the company had been negligent and that the product was defective. Many more trials are expected worldwide, not just in the United States.
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