Update on hip scandal trial: Johnson & Johnson president told me nothing about safety issue says hip surgeon

The first trial hip implant recall involving Johnson and Johnson – the parent company of DePuy which recalled thousands of hip implants in 2010 – is well underway and damaging allegations about the company’s orthopaedics president have already emerged.

California hip surgeon Dr Craig Swenson testified that Johnson & Johnson’s David Floyd visited him prior to the recall but failed to mention the full extent of the problems associated with the malfunctioning ASR metal-on-metal hip implants. Dr Swenson claimed that whilst Floyd mentioned that sales of the product would be halted, the health risks posed by the implants were not communicated to him. Nor, he says, was information about the number of complaints from medical professionals and hip implant patients which led DePuy to consider redesigning its ASR product completely.

Dr Swenson’s testimony forms part of the prosecution’s case against Johnson and Johnson in what is thought to be the first of close to 10,000 lawsuits brought against the company. However, the defence believe that they have evidence which shows that the health problems suffered by the claimant, sixty-five year old Loren Kransky, were not necessarily caused by fragmentation of the metal parts of the ASR device.

DePuy recalled over 90,000 ASR devices in 2010 following widespread failure of the implants and a high volume of complaints from recipients. Figures released by the company suggested that 12% of the implants failed within five years, however an alternative set of statistics from Australian authorities reveal that close to 2 in 4 implants may have failed

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