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An Arizona woman has filed a lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson, alleging that design problems with a DePuy Sigma knee caused her to suffer painful complications just months after she received the knee replacement.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Janet Smith in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on January 8, raising claims for product liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
According to the lawsuit, Smith underwent total right knee arthroplasty on January 31, 2013, due to right-knee osteoarthritis, bone-on-bone grinding, and a deformity of the right knee.
A DePuy Sigma knee replacement system was used during her surgery, which was affixed using DePuy Cement. However, by May of the same year, she began complaining of extreme pain down her right knee, for which she was treated and observed until November 2013. At that point, the pain had continued, and she had developed a creaking sensation in her knee. Other problems, such as swelling, developed, until doctors determined that the DePuy Sigma had failed, and recommended she undergo revision surgery in November 2015.
“The prosthetic knee components used in Plaintiffs’ knee replacement surgery on January 31, 2013 failed to perform as designed, and such failure was caused by the defect of the product,” Smith’s lawsuit states. “Despite full knowledge of these defects and the knowledge that their failure to take any steps to fully advise physicians and patients would certainly cause injury to patients, the Defendants negligently took no action.”
Smith is seeking both punitive and compensatory damages.
The lawsuit comes as a growing number of knee replacement lawsuits are being pursued against DePuy and other manufacturers, raising similar allegations that design defects have caused high failure rates. In addition to the Sigma knee, reports of tibial failures have been reported by a number of individuals now pursuing potential DePuy Attune knee lawsuits, as well as complaints over the Exactech Optetrak Total Knee Replacement System, and the Arthrex iBalance knee system.