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As a Dallas Defective DePuy ASR attorney, I am providing this report of the first day of the Los Angeles DePuy ASR product liability trial currently underway.

In opening day statements, plaintiff attorneys alleged that Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and its DePuy Orthpedics hip manufacturing subsidiary, failed to warn doctors and patients of the risks of defective metal hip implants. Furthermore the plaintiff's attorney told the Los Angeles jury in the first of 10,000 product liability lawsuits over the metal hip to go to trial, that the DePuy ASR hip implant was never properly tested.

The plaintiff is Loren Kransky, a retired prison guard from North Dakota and he got an ASR XL hip implant in 2007. He filed a lawsuit in California state court in 2011 and had the device replaced in 2012. Kransky suffers from terminal cancer and his case was fast tracked for early trial setting.

According to Kransky’s lawyer, “the ASR XL was dangerous and it was defective in design and we will prove it,…“this hip, this medical implant, incorporated dangers to an extent beyond what any reasonable doctor would have anticipated or expected.”

Kransky’s lawyer alleged that metal debris flaking off from the metal ball grinding against the metal cup caused metal ions to enter Kransky’s bloodstream, (a condition known as metallosis) and one of his doctors said the poison would kill him without replacement surgery.

10,000 DePuy ASR Lawsuits and Climbing

As of September 2012, J&J faced 10,100 lawsuits according to the court docket. All federal lawsuits are consolidated in Toledo, Ohio, where 7,240 cases are pending, and California state court in San Francisco, where more than 2,000 cases are pending.

The Design Problem with DePuy ASR

Plaintiffs allege that DePuy designed a metal cup that was supposed to stay in the hip socket and not release metal debris flakes into the body. The design failed catastrophically; releasing cobalt and chromium debris into patients as the cup loosened. Adding further insult, it is alleged that according to hip experts DePuy did limited testing in machines and not people.

DePuy Problems Started in 2005

According to opening statements, DePuy, began getting reports of problems as early as January 2005. And in June 2006 a doctor in the Netherlands who was considered a “key opinion leader” and who conducted a study that found “significant failure for the ASR.”

Cobalt and Chromium Metallosis

Kransky’s lawyers are planning to call doctors who treated him to testify the former guard was “poisoned by the chromium and cobalt” released by the artificial hip.

The Kransky case is Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County (Los Angeles). 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).

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