Over a dozen individual and class action lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts across America over DePuy’s defective recalled hip replacement systems. Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed a motion in September 2010 to consolidate the lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation in a New Jersey Federal Court. Depuy attorneys filed an objection to the motion, preferring to stage the trials closer to company headquarters in Indiana, a Wisconsin Law Journal website reports.
The number of plaintiffs filing claims and/or joining class action lawsuits continues to rise as the recall gains more press coverage. Patients are finding out that they may suffer toxic metal poisoning even if their implant has not yet presented any difficulties. All patients with the DePuy hip replacements implanted between 2003 and 2010 are urged to contact their physician and an attorney to discuss their rights.
According to the Spark, DePuy pulled the hip replacement implants off the market near the end of 2009. “The company had stated that their actions were attributed to declining sales, and that they were not recalling the systems,” the article reports. However, in August of 2010, DePuy announced a full recall. The devices have demonstrated a failure rate of about 13%. Plaintiffs in many cases allege that DePuy and the FDA knew about the device’s defects long before the recall, but they failed to warn patients and continued selling the device.
The motion to consolidate the cases into multidistrict legislation is scheduled to hear arguments from both sides on November 18, 2010. If the motion is granted, patients will be allowed to either accept a settlement agreement amount if one is reached. If they choose not to accept the settlement, they still retain the right to have their case tried in the original court in which it was filed.
Hensley, Scott. (August 27, 2010) “Johnson & Johnson Recalls Failure-Prone Hip Implants.” Retrieved on October 21, 2010 from the NPR web site.
The Spark Staff. (October 20, 2010) “Depuy Hip Recall.” Retrieved on October 21, 2010 from the Spark web site.
Zemlicka, Jack. (October 15, 2010) “Hip replacement lawsuits build.” Retrieved on October 21, 2010 from the Wisconsin Law Journal web site.