Preservation Order Issued For Removed DePuy ASR Hip Replacements

A federal judge has ordered all parties involved in the DePuy ASR recall litigation to preserve any of the removed hip replacements so that they may be used as evidence in the lawsuits. 

The evidence preservation order was handed down on April 6, by U.S. District Judge David A. Katz, who is overseeing the growing number of DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuits that have been centralized and consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Judge Katz ordered that all removed DePuy ASR hip replacements must be preserved and examined in a way that does no additional damage to the evidence.

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There are now more than 300 complaints that have been filed since a DePuy ASR hip recall was issued in August 2010, after the metal-on-metal hip replacement system was found to have a higher-than-expected failure rate, often resulting in revision surgery to remove the DePuy ASR hip.

After the recall was first announced, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. attempted to get orthopedic surgeons and patients to return any of the removed hip implants to the company. They also attempted get doctors to have patients sign releases authorizing the device manufacturer to obtain copies of their medical records.

DePuy ASR hip lawyers representing individuals who received one of the defective implants decried the move, pointing out that hip patients may be giving up important evidence, as there were no guarantees the devices would be properly preserved.

More than 90,000 DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Systems and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems were sold before the hip replacements were recalled. The manufacturers have acknowledged that data so far has shown that about 12% to 13% of these hips will fail within five years. However, as individuals with one of the recalled hip replacements continue to be monitored by their doctors, it is expected that the rate of DePuy ASR hip replacement problems will ultimately be much higher. More recent estimates have suggested that half of the people who received a the recalled hip may experiencing loosening within six years, with may requiring their DePuy ASR hip be removed.


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