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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) the parent of DePuy Orthopedics, faces its first personal injury and product liability claim in trial. The plaintiff claims that their artificial hip devices injured some patients and led to earlier hip replacement surgery and costly painful revisions.

Maryland DePuy ASR Trial Over Metal on Metal Hip Claims

Moira Jackson, was a professional dancer who received two artificial hips, and she alleges that J&J’s DePuy unit didn’t properly warn her or her doctors about the implants’ risks.

The jury will hear damaging facts about her case this week in state court in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Jackson claims that DePuy’s defective ASR hips caused her “severe physical distress and injury” and left her unable “to lead a normal life.” Jackson’s lawsuit was set for trial after mediation attempt to resolve the case last year fell through.

By 2006, arthritis in the former dancer’s hips “had become debilitating” she had her left hip replaced with an ASR implant in August 2006 and her right hip later in 2006.

In 2009, the metal hip device in her left hip loosened and Jackson had it replaced. She had a similar revision surgery on her right hip in 2010.

DePuy ASR Worldwide Recall

J&J in August 2010 recalled its 93,000 ASR hips worldwide, including 37,000 in the U.S., after experts noted that more than 12 percent of them failed within five years.

Patients suing New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J allege that metal particles from the cobalt and chromium alloy hips, causes tissue (hip and muscle death) around the joint and may lead to increased cobalt and chromium in the bloodstream to harmful levels. This is known as metallosis.

Federal Consolidated Suit Trials 2013

Many of the ASR hip suits have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Katz in Ohio and the court has set the first of those cases to go to trial in May 2013. The second trial is set for July 2013.

The consolidated federal case is In re DePuy Orthopedics Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 10-MD-2197, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (Toledo).

The Maryland case is Jackson v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., CAL 10-32147, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland (Upper Marlboro).

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