Defective Hip Implants & DePuy

We represent a number of clients who have had issues with their DePuy Hip Implants, and if you would like to discuss your own situation with one of our medical negligence solicitors please contact us at (1800)844 104 or email [email protected] to discuss further.

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To discuss your case in detail, contact us today or request a callback from our experienced team.

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DePuy High Court Litigation in Ireland

In Ireland, in 2015, High Court Judge Mr. Justice Kevin Cross urged all those involved in legal actions over defective DePuy hip implants to find “innovative ways” to resolve them.

At the time there were 73 cases pending hearing out of an estimated 1,000 cases in the Irish legal system and the concerns were that such cases would take up a significant portion of the Courts time if each were to be resolved individually at Trial.

In response to this DePuy set up an Alternative Dispute Resolution process which involved evaluations being made by independent evaluators.

If either DePuy or the Claimant rejects the evaluation within 45 days, the Claimant may continue with their existing proceedings through the Courts.

At Coleman Legal, we have been instructed by a multitude of claimants who have had faulty or defective implants inserted and we have achieved significant settlements on behalf of our clients.

As a result, we are alive to the complicated and important factors that must be considered in each case in the early course. Our experience in this area means that we understand the catastrophic effects such defects can have on the operation of the implant and the potential harmful domino effect they can have on people’s lives.

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Depuy hip implant recall in Ireland

Defective Hip Implants & DePuy: A Synopsis

DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, announced in August 2010 that it was recalling two specific hip replacement implant products, having already sold some 95,000 units worldwide.

The recall was issued after research released by the National Joint Registry (NJR) found high rates of hip replacement failure for the ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing systems: 12% for ASR Hip Resurfacing System and 13% for ASR XL Acetabular System. These compare to revision rates of between 3 and 6%, which were previously recorded.

The ASRXL and ASR Hip Implants were metal-on-metal components and since their arrival on the orthopedic scene nearly 20 years ago, they were marketed as the latest advance in hip replacement and were targeted at young active patients who needed a hip that would last a whole lifetime.

People who had these implants suffered early wearing and loosening of the components of the implant, resulting in soft tissue damage and increased levels of Cobalt and Chromium ion levels in their blood.

Such metal ions can damage the bone and soft tissues around the hip replacement resulting in:

  1. Fluid retention is often under high pressure causes pain
  2. Tendon rupture causing hip dislocation
  3. Bone death resulting in fractures around the implant

Multiple studies and research organisations have warned about the harmful potential of metal-on-metal hips and uncertainty surrounds the toxicology of metal ions in the body. It is arguable that such a level of uncertainty would not be acceptable in drug regulation.

Instead of alerting regulators and patients to their concerns, it seems that companies tweaked the design of their total hip implants. In 2004, in an effort to rationalise their product range and increase usage of their implants, they shortened the trunnion (or taper)—the part of the stem that inserts into the head—to allow a few degrees greater motion and added grooves so surgeons could use them with both ceramic and metal heads.

But these changes, coupled with bigger and bigger heads, had unforeseen consequences; namely,  increased wear, high levels of metal ions in the tissues and blood, and higher rates of joint failure. Research shows that even a small change in design can have a substantial effect on long-term outcomes.

While this was a worldwide recall, about 3,300 Irish patients received these implants in Ireland, across 16 public and 14 private hospital sites nationwide since 2003.

How we can help?

We represent a number of clients who have had issues with their DePuy Hip Implants, and if you would like to discuss your own situation with one of our medical negligence solicitors please contact us at (1800)844 104 or email [email protected] to discuss further.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.