DePuy ASR Hip Lawsuit Filings in MDL Continue to Mount

More than 2,600 people have filed a DePuy ASR hip lawsuit in federal court alleging they experienced problems with their recalled artificial hip implant, and an average of 20 new cases are being filed every day, according to recent court documents.

An estimated 37,000 people in the United States received a DePuy ASR hip implant before the system was recalled in August 2010, amid a high failure rate, often resulting in the need for revision surgery.

All suits filed in federal district courts throughout the country over problems with the DePuy ASR hip have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

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According to a Motion for Entry of a Common Benefit Order filed last week by lawyers representing plaintiffs in the litigation, cases are continuing to pour in, nearly one year after the MDL was established.

The complaints allege that DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, designed and sold a defective product without adequately warning consumers about the risk of catastrophic failure and metal poisoning caused by cobalt and chromium shavings that are shed into the body as the metal parts rub against each other.

A DePuy ASR hip recall was issued last August, after the manufacturer indicated that data suggests about 12% to 13% of these hips could fail within five years. However, more recent estimates suggest the failure rate for the DePuy ASR hip will be substantially higher, with some experts suggesting that nearly half could fail within six years of the original surgery.

In January 2011, nearly three dozen DePuy ASR attorneys were appointed to leadership roles in the MDL, designated to perform various functions during pretrial litigation that will benefit all plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit.

The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee is now seeking the creation of common benefit funds. If approved, these funds would receive a percentage of all recoveries in every federal case and participating state court cases, disbursing funds to attorneys who performed work or incurred costs that benefit all plaintiffs.

Although many individuals who received one of the recalled artificial hip implants held off on filing a lawsuit in hopes that they would receive a DePuy ASR settlement offer without hiring an attorney, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy have failed to make reasonable attempts to compensate individuals, leading many to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit.

As DePuy ASR recall attorneys continue to review and file lawsuits in federal district courts throughout the United States, the number of cases consolidated in the MDL is expected to continue to mount.


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