Metal-on-metal artificial hips are producing complications and injuries not seen with their plastic or ceramic predecessors. The Walkup firm is at the forefront of litigation in these cases and has tried the first successful court case against DePuy Inc. for this awful device. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drew attention to the problems of these specific prostheses.
Total hip replacement systems consist of a ball and socket just like an organic hip. When both the ball and cup are made of metal, in the course of normal movements such as walking or running, the metal ball and metal cup slide against each other. If the design is imperfect, complications can arise. Excessive friction, excessive looseness and misplaced components all can cause pain, metal ion release, pseudo tumors and lymphocytic inflammation.
With catching and grinding, friction can cause small metal particles to separate from the implant. These metal particles may remain in the space between the ball and cup, causing inflammation and soft tissue injury, or metal ions may enter the bloodstream.
Representing Patients With Unrevised and Recently Revised ASR Hip Implants
In November of 2013, attorneys from the Walkup Law Firm, together with plaintiff’s attorneys from across the country, arrived at an agreement with Johnson & Johnson and DePuy, Inc. on a settlement program relating to ASR Hip patients who had undergone revision of their defective artificial hips before August 31, 2013. The first step in the settlement process was for the attorneys representing ASR patients, and ASR patients who were not represented by counsel, to register with the ASR settlement program at www.usasrhipsettlement.com.
As of January 22, 2014, a total of 13,253 patients had completed the registration process. Included among this number were more than 95% of the patients who had filed legal actions in California. The 13,000 – plus registrants accounted for 14,596 ASR hips. The number of hips exceeded the number of claimants because roughly 1,200 persons received bilateral ASRs.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, only those patients who underwent a revision of their defective hip before August 31, 2013 are eligible to participate. 7,334 of the registered claimants fit within this requirement.
The remainder of the registrants have either not yet been revised, or, were revised after August 31, 2013. The Walkup Law Firm continues to represent many of these unrevised patients whose doctors are monitoring their condition for elevated levels of cobalt and chromium, pseudotumor formation, pain, instability, and inflammation.
The decision to have a revision must be based upon appropriate medical indications taking into account the patient’s individual circumstance, health, pain level, risks and suitability for surgery. For our clients who have not yet been revised, whose doctors continue to monitor them, we are continuing to prosecute their claims.
For those clients who desire to enroll in the settlement, and whose surgery predated Aug. 31, 2013, we are in the process of completing the “Part A” base award claim forms, and gathering the necessary medical records to support their claims for “extraordinary injury” (Part B claims) once those claims forms become available.
We continue to speak with new clients every week whose doctors have found that their ASR hips need to be removed for medical reasons. Many of these new clients had their hip replacement surgeries done in 2009 and 2010. Given that the majority of ASR failures due to metal wear seem to occur between 3-5 years after implant, the failure of hips implanted in 2009-2010 is occurring right on schedule.
The Walkup firm represents clients from all across the country in the prosecution of ASR claims. Walkup partners Michael Kelly, Matthew Davis and Khaldoun Baghdadi have been intimately involved in all phases of the litigation, including trial of the only case which resulted in a plaintiff’s verdict ( Kransky v. DePuy, Los Angeles Superior Court ). They have also been involved in the negotiations which have led to the global settlement offer.
For information, advice or representation in an ASR claim, ASR patients should call (415) 981-7210.
Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacements Like ASR And Rejuvenate Pose Serious Risks
Metal ions in the blood are not normal. The consequences of these particles vary from one patient to the next. In some cases, low concentrations of metal ions can affect a patient’s nervous system, heart or thyroid gland. In other cases, concentrations of cobalt and chromium particles may cause hip or groin pain, collateral damage, swelling and numbness, ultimately leaving an individual unable to walk.
For anyone with a DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, it is important to understand these risks and to pay attention to signs that the device may be malfunctioning. Specialized MRI imaging and blood testing are required.
An appropriate course of action will depend on the individual circumstances. If you experience these symptoms and have a metal-on-metal hip implant, make an appointment with your orthopedic surgeon to evaluate the implant. In severe cases, you may need to have the hip implant replaced.
For those who have suffered adverse reactions to these devices, there is legal recourse. Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed in California State Court on behalf of patients nationwide. If you have suffered harm as the result of a hip implant, you should speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your potential legal claims.
For a free consultation about your case, call us at (415) 981-7210 or contact the Walkup firm online.