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According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit over problems following a total hip replacement, the Depuy Limb Preservation System (LPS) is defectively designed, which can result in the femoral stem shattering unexpectedly.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Judy Stiles in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on November 5, pursuing damages against Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics and DePuy Synthes, Inc. subsidiaries.
Stiles indicates that she underwent right total hip replacement in November 2015, at which time she received a DePuy LPS, which included proximal femoral body replacement components, segmental components, and stem extension components.
Two years later, in November 2017, she tried to stand and felt a pop in her right leg, and fell. She was taken to Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas.
“In the emergency room at Christus-GSMC, Judy told the doctors that her leg felt ‘not connected.’ On examination, Judy’s right leg looked deformed and was swollen,” the lawsuit states. “The x-rays taken at Christus-GSMC showed that the stem extension component part of the LPS Components had fractured at the ‘level of the proximal femoral shaft’ that resulted in ‘moderate angulation and foreshortening.’”
Doctors diagnosed Stiles with periprosthetic fracture of the DePuy LPS femur component, resulting in the need for hip revision surgery.
The lawsuit claims the femoral component was defectively designed, with a high propensity to fracture following hip replacement. In addition, the lawsuit indicates the components were inadequately tested, and then marketed in a way that it misleads consumers about their safety and effectiveness.
The lawsuit presents claims of strict liability, manufacturing defect, design defect, marketing defects, negligence, and breach of warranty. Stiles seeks compensatory damages.
Johnson & Johnson and it’s Depuy unit have faced a number of hip replacement failure lawsuits in recent years, involving allegations that certain implant designs were unreasonably dangerous and prone to early failure. Similar allegations were raised in DePuy ASR hip lawsuits and DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits, involving metal-on-metal designs, that may shed microscopic metallic debris that causes loosening and failure as the components rub against each other during normal daily activities.