CRESSKILL, N.J., Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The first three lawsuits over the failure of DePuy Orthopedic, Inc.'s ASR hip implants have been settled for $600,000, but the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary faces more than 8,000 additional suits. Plaintiffs in the litigation, facing huge medical bills to remedy the side effects of the devices' failure, will be offered post-settlement lawsuit financing by RD Legal Funding, LLC ("RD Legal") as soon as their settlement amounts are determined.
The lawsuits contend DePuy put the ASR™ XL Acetabular System, a hip socket used in total hip replacement surgeries, and ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that installs a metal cap on the ball of the femur to preserve the bone, on the market without properly testing their side effects. DePuy ASR's artificial hip was on the market for eight years and was used in an estimated 93,000 people globally, including 37,000 in the U.S.
Hip replacement systems are expected to last 15 years. The ASR metal-on-metal joint systems were often chosen for younger patients because they were believed to last longer than systems using ceramic or metal-on-plastic. However a March 2012 study in the British journal, The Lancet, reviewing hip replacement statistics from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales (the world's largest joint replacement registry) revealed that depending on patient age and implant head size, the five-year revision rate for all-metal hips was three to four times higher in women and two to three times higher in men compared with other implants.
Patients whose devices failed suffered from dislocated hips, followed by painful and expensive replacement surgery which was made more difficult by damaged or dead tissue and loss of bone around the joint. Patients also developed side effects which are believed to be the result of metal shavings rubbing off the devices and entering the blood stream, including metal poisoning; increased levels of chromium and cobalt in the blood stream; kidney and bladder cancers; pseudo tumors around the hip implant; and degenerative heart disease or cardiomyopathy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration received some 400 complaints from patients whose DePuy devices failed between 2008 and the devices' recall on August 26, 2010. In the fall of 2009, DePuy began phasing out the devices, not for safety reasons but because of declining sales, according to company officials. They claimed that the device was safe and that their own internal studies proved that the European complaints about device failure were due to incorrect installations by untrained physicians. DePuy announced a worldwide recall of the two hip implant systems on August 26, 2010. Documents have emerged during the trials showing that a year before the recall, the company's own studies showed that the device had failed prematurely, requiring repeat surgeries.
Attorneys representing plaintiffs in the DePuy cases, as well as plaintiffs themselves, should contact RD Legal at 1-800-565-5177 for more information about immediate settlement funding. Founded in 1997, RD Legal has established itself as one of the nation's leading providers of post-settlement funding to attorneys and plaintiffs. For more information about RD Legal, please visit http://www.legalfunding.com.
SOURCE RD Legal Funding, LLC