Johnson and Johnson look set to lose billions of dollars in payouts to patients who received malfunctioning ASR hip replacements from DePuy (a Johnson and Johnson subsidiary) as the court at the first hip replacement recall trial was told that the products were designed defectively.
Did Johnson & Johnson know of the likely failure rate?
More than 90,000 metal Depuy hip implants were subject to a recall in 2010 and Dennis Bobyn, a biomedical engineering university professor, told the jury court that the hip implants were doomed to failure due to multiple design flaws. In the first of an expected 10,000 court cases, Mr McGill stated that these design flaws caused the ASR hip implants to fail at an accelerated rate – far faster than any other similar products on the market would deteriorate.
12% of these Johnson and Johnson hip implants were found to have failed with 5 years of the initial surgery, therefore requiring corrective surgical procedures. Unfortunate recipients of the defective implants have suffered as a result of metallic debris breaking off the device and lodging itself in body tissue around the joint.
Bobyn claimed that the flaws in the design meant that implantation of the ASR devices placed patients at an unacceptably high level of risk. The ASR device was so poorly designed that it was actually 6 times more likely to fail than old DePuy hip replacements such as Duraloc. In Australia, 2 in 5 of the implants failed and the statistics for Finland and the UK are not much better.
Considering that this has emerged in the first trial of a potential 10,000 following the hip recall scandal, it would appear that there will be many more shocking revelations for Johnson and Johnson.
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