As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I think most people will be surprised to find out that DePuy Orthopaedics was aware of their defective long before taking any action. On August 26th, DePuy Orthopaedics announced a global product recall for their ASR hip replacement implants on the basis that they were failing at an unacceptably high rate within the first five years. However, light was shed on the issue long before the actual recall was announced. The product was initially released onto the market in 2005 and it was done so with a 510(k) clearance from the FDA which allowed them to proceed without proper clinical testing. This clearance was granted because DePuy claimed the product was strikingly similar to their other product, the Pinnacle, that was already on the market.
In 2008, over 400 patients had experienced early failure and the FDA alerted DePuy about the alarming reports. Even these early reports indicated that up to 13% of patients had failed implants and required a revision surgery. In 2010, DePuy decided to pull their defective products from the market, claiming that their decision was based upon poor sales. Though in a letter to surgeons, they cited data from the Australian Medical Registry which indicated the high failure rate.
In spring of 2010, the company came under fire in articles published in the New York Times and the London Times. The London Times announced that 40,000 implants were under review for releasing metal ions into the body which were linked to non-cancerous tumors. More than two months before the recall was issued, a Florida woman brought the first lawsuit against DePuy after her hip implant failed in less than a year’s time.
As a DePuy hip recall lawyer, i’m always disheartened that the majority of companies don’t take action to recall their defective products until they receive intense pressure from government agencies or the media. DePuy Orthopaedics tried to claim that surgeons were improperly installing the implants which caused the high failure rate. You can see that the company doesn’t have your best interests in mind which is why it’s incredibly important to have an ASR hip recall lawyer on your side to protect your legal rights.