Lawyers representing injured plaintiffs recently wrote a letter to federal officials alleging that DePuy Orthopaedics broke federal law by hiding expert opinions that its metal-on-metal hip implants are defective.
Attorneys from the San Francisco law firm of Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger recently sent the letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calling for an official investigation into the medical device maker’s behavior.
Damaging evidence against DePuy became public when Walkup Law Firm sued the company on behalf of hundreds of injured DePuy hip implant patients. In March, a California jury ordered the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary to pay $8.3 million to a retired prison guard represented by Walkup. This verdict was upheld in post-trial motions.
Evidence indicates that DePuy’s ASR hip implants were rushed to the marketplace without adequate testing. Court documents also indicate that DePuy dragged its heels when complaints of severely high hip implant failure rates began pouring in and several European companies began banning the devices.
All-metal hip implants like the ASR XL have been called one of the “biggest medical device failures” in recent memory. The metal hip implant parts grind together and release dangerous metal ions into patients’ bodies.
There were more than 33,000 ASR XL hip implants sold before DePuy announced a massive recall. Some estimates place DePuy hip implant failure rates as high as 60 percent, making them significantly more dangerous than traditional metal and plastic hip devices. Premature failure in DePuy hip implants has been associated with tissue death, mobility problems and severe pain.
“We believe almost all of these injuries would have been avoided had DePuy complied with the reporting requirements and informed your agency about the adverse events and concerns about the safety of the ASR which came to the company’s attention,” Walkup attorneys wrote to the FDA.
There is evidence that DePuy’s own engineers told the company that the hip implants needed a redesign back in 2007. There is also significant evidence that a marketing company covered up a scathing 2006 surgeon’s letter detailing ASR XL failures in clinical trials.
“DePuy did not share these complaints with the surgical community and we do not believe DePuy reported them to the FDA,” Walkup lawyers say.
The legal team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger has been at the forefront of defective hip implant litigation and represents clients across the country. If you or a loved one has a failed metal artificial hip implant, contact the Walkup firm by calling 415-981-7210 or contact us online.