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Shezad Malik MD JD
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J&J DePuy ASR Failed Metal Hip Trial in Jury Hands

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According to the plaintiff's attorney, Denman Heard, "Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)’s DePuy unit defectively designed a metal-on-metal hip implant and the jury should award monetary damages for harm caused by her device’s failure."
Furthermore, "DePuy knowingly sold defective ASR hips before J&J, recalled all 93,000 of the metal-on-metal implants in August 2010."

The plaintiff, Carol Strum's lawsuit is the second of 11,000 around the U.S. to go to trial. On March 8, J&J was ordered to pay $8.3 million in compensatory damages. In that case, the Los Angeles jury found the design was defective and DePuy failed to warn of the risks. According to experts, the defective hip cases could cost J&J billions of dollars.

Defective DePuy Hip Allegations

Strum’s ASR XL, was alleged to be of a defective design, was implanted in January 2008 and replaced with a different device three years later. Evidence was presented during trial of blackened hip and muscle tissue and the elevated levels of Cobalt and Chromium metal ions in her bloodstream. This was proof that the DePuy metal hip device implanted in Strum was shedding metallic debris into her body and proof of a bad design.

Heard said, "At least one study showed 47 percent of the ASR implants failed after seven years, while another report showed a 37 percent failure rate after four years."

J&J Liability Exposure

J&J faces more than 10,750 ASR lawsuits. About 500 are in state court in Illinois. About 75% were consolidated in federal court in Toledo, Ohio. More than 2,000 are in state court in California. Others are in state courts around the U.S. The next trial is scheduled in federal court in Ohio in May 2013.

Heard called the ASR XL, “the biggest public catastrophe of any hip implant ever put on the market” in the U.S., and “a public health disaster.”

The case is Strum v. DePuy, 2011-L-9352, Circuit Court of Cook County (Chicago).