Many lawsuits currently underway against DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, allege that the pharmaceutical giant knew of the DePuy hip replacement defects long before the recall of the products began in August 2010. The company has made recent attempts to get patients to sign over access to their medical records and to give the recalled devices back to the company. Lawyers have advised clients not to do so, as the devices may be treated as evidence in court.
A Mass Device article reported that DePuy was facing more than a few lawsuits before the recall began. The company phased out the defective products in March, about six months before the beginning of the recall. Dr. Stephen Graves of the Australian medical device registry and Thomas Schmalzreid, a co-developer of the hip implants, both assert that the company knew of difficulties with the devices and should have pulled them from the market earlier, the article said.
The lawsuits further argue that the devices were not tested thoroughly enough before being sold and implanted into patients, and that the products were marketed by DePuy after the company had gained full knowledge of the defects inherent to the devices.
A News Inferno article reported that, “DePuy Orthopaedics has confirmed that payment for doctor’s costs, X-rays and any repair surgery is conditional on the patient agreeing to provide DePuy with all medical records, as well as the faulty hip implant. Patients must agree to sign a consent form to this effect.” Some law firms have asserted that DePuy’s conditions are inappropriate as the devices and medical records must be admitted as evidence during court proceedings.
Some lawyers and patients are worried that the patient consent forms that DePuy asked them to sign might forfeit their rights to compensation and legal action, the article said. A law firm in Ireland advised all patients with the hip implants to not sign any release form nor allow the recalled implants to be returned to DePuy before legal action has been completed.
If you or a loved one has required secondary surgeries or experienced serious side effects or health complications from DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with defective medical equipment. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Mass Device Staff. (September 1, 2010) “Lawsuits allege DePuy Orthopedics knew of ASR hip implant defects.” Retrieved on September 14, 2010 from the Mass Device web site.
News Inferno Staff. (September 9, 2010) “Recalled Hip Implant Maker Setting Conditions for Repairs.” Retrieved on September 14, 2010 from the News Inferno web site.