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Defective hip implant litigation cases continue

Bank in March, DePuy of Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a court to pay $8.3 million to a Montana man concerning a defective hip implant device. Ongoing litigation regarding a number of other cases is taking place as well concerning these devices.

There are currently 7,860 federal lawsuits that have been filed against Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics unit concerning the implant devices. The metal cup and metal ball contained in the devices allegedly rub against each other when a patient moves, and the friction is said to release metal debris into the patient's tissue. According to various attorneys trying these cases, this can lead to metal poisoning and result in tissue and bone damage.

A complaint in one lawsuit against the company asserts that the DePuy implant can fail in a short period of time while releasing toxic particles to the blood stream. DePuy is blamed for not warning about the defective product and for failing to adequately test the implants before being placed on the market. The company is also accused of continuing to sell the products after these problems were discovered.

There will be obvious concerns about any device placed inside of the human body that turns out to be defective. While patients have already endured surgical procedures to have these implants placed, it is now likely they will have to undergo more surgical procedures to have them removed. It seems that all of this unnecessary suffering could have been avoided had the company abided by quality standards in manufacturing and designing of the implants.

We cannot allow companies to fail to take the extra steps to insure product safety simply because the company wanted to get a product to the market sooner. These companies need to be held accountable. However, proving up claims against manufacturers is difficult. Usually only attorneys experienced in dealing with large corporations understand what it takes to successfully sue regarding defective products.

Source: Drug watch, "Ohio Judge Again Delays First Federal ASR Hip Trial," Sep. 23, 2013

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