When a product is recalled, the manufacturer is under an obligation to replace the defective item and reimburse the customer. However, when a medical device is recalled, providing fair compensation becomes much more complicated. For example, an artificial hip requires surgical implantation and weeks of recovery—and for tens of thousands of patients, the question becomes whether or not to exchange the device.
The DePuy ASR® and ASR® XL Acetabular Hip Systems were recalled several years ago as a result of high failure rates, particularly implant loosening, which causes severe pain and limits motion. Unfortunately, researchers found that this was only one complication of the defective devices, which has been linked to other serious side effects such as:
- Metallosis, or metal poisoning, that occurs when metal components rub against each other and release microscopic particles into the bloodstream
- A buildup of tissue at the implant site, known as pseudotumors
- Pain, swelling, and inflammation in the hip
- Inability to maintain balance or walk without limping
- Sudden device failure that causes other injuries, and
- Revision surgery to remove and replace the defective hip
Not only are these devices known to cause injury, there is evidence that suggests the manufacturer was aware of risks to patients. DePuy Orthopaedics sent a letter to doctors in 2010, warning them of the high early failure rate of the ASR model—a notice that came only months before the recall. In addition, DePuy has been accused of paying surgeons to help them recover implants that have been removed from patients. This allows the company to suppress important evidence that could support a patient's product defect claim.
If you were forced to undergo a second surgery as a result of a defective metal hip implant, contact our experienced legal team to learn more about your options for recovery. Call us today to get started on your claim.