In September, we reported on Gulf War veteran Scott Almhjell. Almhjell was one of 93,000 people who had undergone hip replacement surgery to have a DePuy hip device implanted. Shortly after surgery he began suffering agonizing pains. He discovered in August that the hip device he was implanted with was recalled by DePuy for a high rate of failure. DePuy responded to his request for reimbursement by telling him he was responsible for his own injuries and denying his claim.
Now, Almhjell has joined many others in filing a lawsuit against DePuy for not warning surgeons or patients about the defective devices, long after the company had documented evidence of the device faults. Not only have thousands of patients had to suffer unimaginable pain from the device, “But the subsequent problem, according to a growing number of lawsuits filed by patients who have the implants, accuse the device maker of shirking its responsibility,” an NBC Chicago article reports.
Another patient, Scotty MacGregor received the implant and had to undergo a revision surgery to have the device replaced after she suffered severe pains from the DePuy replacement. After MacGregor filed a lawsuit against DePuy, she received the same answers from the company that Almhjell did. Namely, that MacGregor had caused the injuries herself. NBC quoted DePuy’s reply telling her she “was negligent, careless and at fault and conducted herself so as to contribute substantially to her alleged injuries and damages.”
The article quotes the response they received from DePuy when asked for comments about the pending lawsuits. The company sent a copy of a document that appears on their website, It states, “However, recent data from the UK National Joint Registry showed that approximately 12% of patients who received an ASR hip required revision surgery within five years of implantation. After reviewing this data, DePuy concluded that it was in the best interests of patients to conduct a recall.”
Newsome Law Firm Staff Writer. (September 21, 2010) “Gulf war veteran, others file lawsuits against DePuy over faulty hip replacements.” Retrieved on November 9, 2010 from the Newsome Law Firm.
Parker, Lisa. (October 28, 2010) “Despite Recall, Company Says Patients Liable for Revision Surgeries.” Retrieved on November 5, 2010 from NBC Chicago.