DePuy Hip Lawsuits Mount Over Faulty ASR Cup Implant

Three new DePuy hip lawsuits have been filed in California by individuals who claim that metal-on-metal ASR Cup hip implants they received were defective and detached from their sockets after being implanted. 

The product liability lawsuits were filed in California Superior Court in San Francisco by Cynthia Magowan, Harold Schoening and Katherin Balestra-Walter. All three plaintiffs claim they required additional surgeries because of problems with DePuy ASR Cup hip replacements that came loose from their hip sockets.

The Depuy hip replacement lawsuits allege that the metal-on-metal implants are defective and say the company failed to warn patients about the high risk of failures associated with the ASR Cup. The complaints are the latest in a growing number of lawsuits filed against DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

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The DePuy ASR Cup system was developed in 2005, involving a metal-on-metal design. Health care professionals have increasingly been warning about problems with 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, which can cause loosening or failure of the device.

Between 2007 and 2009, reports of complications with the DePuy ASR hip began to spike, with nearly 100 recipients reporting problems in 2007, more than 200 reporting problems in 2008, and more than 300 reporting problems in 2009. Last year, U.K. researchers studied 660 patients who received metal hip implants from DePuy Orthopaedics and found that 3.4 percent suffered from adverse reactions to metal debris.

DePuy ceased production of the ASR hip implant and is phasing the product off of the market. Although the company denies that it has issued a DePuy ASR recall for the implants due to safety problems, many speculate that problems with the design caused many physicians to avoid using the hip implant.

In March, the same month DePuy announced that the device would be phased out, the company sent a warning letter to doctors noting that the ASR Cup implants had a high failure rate, particularly in smaller individuals.

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