A pair of class action lawsuits were filed this month in Canada against the manufacturers of defective hip replacement systems that were recalled in the United States in recent years.
One of the complaints, which was filed in Quebec Superior Court, is a DePuy ASR class action lawsuit seeking to represent all Canadians who received the metal-on-metal hip replacement system that was recalled this summer due to high failure rates. The lawsuit was filed against DePuy Orthopaedics and it’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson.
The other hip replacement class action lawsuit was filed in Calgary, Halifax and Montreal against DePuy, as well as Zimmer and Stryker. That lawsuit alleges that all three companies released defective hip replacement systems that later had to be recalled.
In total, five models of hip implants have been targeted by the lawsuits. Both of the class action suits claim that thousands of Canadians suffered pain, discomfort, disability and had to often undergo painful and debilitating revision surgery due to the implants.
The implants named in the lawsuits include the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip System, the Zimmer Durom Cup, the Stryker Trident Acetabular PSL Cup and the Stryker Trident Hemispherical Cup.
In August, DePuy recalled the ASR XL Acetabular Systems, saying that the metal-on-metal hip implant had a 13% failure rate. They also recalled the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which had a 12% failure rate. Approximately 93,000 of the ASR hip replacements were sold prior to the recall, meaning that thousands of people worldwide are likely to experience problems with the DePuy hip replacement within a few years after the implant.
The DePuy ASR is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system developed in 2005. Health care professionals have increasingly been warning about problems with metal-on-metal hip implants, which can shed metal particles into the body. The particles can damage soft tissue, cause inflammatory reactions and lead to bone loss. The DePuy ASR hip failures appear to be linked to a defective design of the acetabular cup, which is shallower than acetabular cups made by other companies, making it prone to problems.
In the United States, a growing number of individuals have filed a DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuit after experiencing problems from the defective implant. All of the claims involve similar allegations of design defect, which caused the plaintiffs to incur additional medical expenses, suffer pain and, in some cases, require additional surgery to revise or replace the hip implant. The complaints allege that DePuy failed to adequately test the metal-on-metal hip system and failed to immediately issue a recall when it became apparent that that the DePuy ASR was linked to a high failure rate.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard oral arguments about whether to consolidate the DePuy ASR recall litigation. It is expected that all federal lawsuits filed throughout the United States will be centralized before one judge for pretrial proceedings. While the cases would be handled in a manner similar to how a Depuy hip replacement class action lawsuit would be managed, the claims would remain individual cases.
The Zimmer Durom Cup hip implant was designed as a more advanced form of a hip resurfacing system. The device is designed out of a single piece of material and is supposed to avoid problems associated with traditional hip replacement components, such as instability, limited range of motion and wear of the bearing.
Shortly after Zimmer introduced the Durom Cup in the United States, concerns emerged about a high number of hip replacement failures involving the hip implant, where the component loosened and required revision surgery. A temporary Zimmer Durom Cup recall was issued in the United States in July 2008, so that modifications could be made to the product’s warnings and instructions to ensure that doctors were properly trained on the surgical techniques needed to implant the artificial hip correctly. However, in Canada, sales were allowed to continue and Zimmer did not issue a safety notice in Canada until November 15, 2009, more than a year later.
While Zimmer’s own estimates in 2008 suggested that some doctors in the United States experienced failure rates as high as 5.7%, more recent claims made in Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuits suggest that the artificial hip failure rate is between 20% and 30%.
Last month, another Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement class action lawsuit was filed in Canada by a man who received the implant in October 2008, following the temporary suspension of sales in the United States.
In the United States, the federal Zimmer Durom Cup recall litigation has been consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). As of June, there were 45 cases filed in federal courts throughout the U.S., but as additional cases are filed by Zimmer Durom Cup lawyers in federal court, they will be transferred to New Jersey for coordinated handling.
The Stryker Trident Cup is a ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacement system. A Stryker Trident recall was issued in January 2008, after it was discovered that manufacturing problems may have resulted in some parts not meeting the proper standards for sterility. A number of individuals who received the artificial hip have complained about problems following a Stryker Trident hip replacement, including reports of squeaking of the implant and loosening of the parts, sometimes resulting in hip revision surgery.
Tags: DePuy, DePuy ASR, Depuy ASR Hip, Durom Cup, Hip Implant, Hip Replacement, Johnson & Johnson, Metal Hip Replacement, Metal-on-Metal Hip, Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement, Stryker, Trident, Trident Hip, Zimmer, Zimmer Durom Cup, Zimmer Hip Replacement