For more information or confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

A Plaintiff Alleges the Design of the DePuy ASR Hip Caused His Complications and Need For Revision Surgery

In his complaint against DePuy ASR, Iowa resident Gary Starkweather alleges complications from the ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System. The case was filed by his DePuy hip lawyer on July 9, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District Court for the District of new Jersey.

Starkweather joins other plaintiffs across the country seeking compensation for problems with DePuy implants.

The DePuy hip implant generated more than $5.4 billion in 2009

DePuy’s ASR implant is a metal-on-metal device, utilizing a metal acetabular cup instead of one made of polyethylene plastic. According to plaintiff Starkweather, the use of a metal acetabular cup and metal femoral ball “forces metal to rub against metal with the full weight and pressure of the human body,” therefore creating complications such as pain, swelling, and DePuy metallosis, a form of heavy metal poisoning.

By 2007, DePuy had received over 100 reports of hip complications and failure. By the end of 2008, the number had ballooned to more than 300 complaints. However, the defendants continued selling their hip implant, for reasons Starkweather’s lawsuit claims were solely for profit—DePuy generated more than $5.4 billion in 2009.

Hundreds of lawsuits are filed following a DePuy initiated recall of the ASR hip implant

Starkweather received an ASR implant on July 8, 2009. Soon after, he began suffering pain in his left hip and blood samples revealed that he had elevated cobalt levels. Elevated cobalt levels is a sign of metal poisoning known as metallosis. Because of his complications, Starkweather requires revision surgery, a painful and complex surgery that entails more risk than procedure.

His complaint alleges that the he has sustained and continues to suffer economic damages (including lost wages, medical expenses, and hospital expenses), severe and possibly permanent injuries, pain, suffering, and emotional distress. He brings count of product liability, failure to warn, defective design, breach of express and implied warranties and negligence, and requests related damages.

In August 2010, DePuy initiated a recall of the ASR hip implant. Publicity from the recall made the public aware of the problem, and as a result hundreds of lawsuits were filed. Federal multidistrict litigation has been formed in Ohio, and it is possible that the manufacturers will elect to resolve some complaints with settlements, instead of going to trial.

The ASR implant design is called “unorthodox”

Starkweather alleges that the ASR implant design is “unorthodox,” and not sufficiently tested. Furthermore, the case states that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved DePuy’s ASR implant as being safe or effective for its intended purpose.

One of the principal allegations of his lawsuit is that the defendants purposely bypassed the FDA approval process. Instead of seeking approval for their ASR implant’s intended use—articular surface replacement—they presented the device as “substantially equivalent” to other hip products on the market. Therefore, the ASR hip implant was approved for use “in an application for which it was not designed, a total hip replacement.”

[SmartLink depuyhiplawsuit]