A jury has awarded an Oklahoma woman $2.5 million for damages she sustained from a defective Depuy hip implant which gave her metal blood poisoning. The jury found that the device was unreasonably dangerous. The lawsuit was filed by Andrea Smith, who got her metal-on-metal ASR hip implants on each side in October 2006 and February 2007. She had to undergo revision surgery to have the implants removed in 2011 and 2012, after high levels of metal ions were found in her blood.
More than 12,000 similar DePuy ASR hip lawsuits have been filed by individuals throughout the United States, following a 2010 recall that was issued due to the high risk of premature failure.
The hip replacement system was removed from the market after data suggested that about one out of every eight would fail within five years. However, more recent data has suggested that the DePuy hip failure rate may ultimately be substantially higher, likely ending up in the 35% to 45% range.
All of the complaints involve similar allegations that DePuy designed and sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous hip implant. The metal-on-metal design causes the release of metallic debris into the body as the metal parts rub against each other during normal wear and tear, according to claims presented by individuals who experienced catastrophic failure of their implant.
DePuy had agreed to settle thousands of cases but for approximately $250 for each defective hip implant. Some who had the bad implants elected not to participate in the settlement program and are continuing to pursue their claims individually.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers