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

Federal DePuy Hip Implant Lawsuit Remanded to FL State Court

DePuy ASR Hip Implant

According to the federal district court judge in Florida who is presiding over a DePuy hip implant lawsuit, the case must be sent back to the state court because it includes a non-diverse defendant. Earlier this month, Judge Moody of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled that the plaintiffs had not fraudulently joined a Florida resident to the case so the federal court has no jurisdiction.

The plaintiff filed his lawsuit in the Sarasota County Circuit Court. The complaint names DePuy Orthotics Inc., DePuy International Limited, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., and Bayside Orthopaedics Inc. as defendants. The plaintiff claims that he was injured after being implanted with the DePuy XL artificial hip. The allegations include negligence, failure to warn, strict liability claims, and breaches of express and implied warranty.

No federal diversity in DePuy hip implant lawsuit

Oftentimes a plaintiff has the option to file a case in either a state or a federal court. In order to file in the federal court, the plaintiff must prove certain jurisdiction requirements. One of the requirements is that no one of the plaintiffs may be a resident of the same state as any one of the defendants. For purposes of diversity, companies are considered residents of the states in which they are incorporated or where their company leaders carry out its business.

In the Florida DePuy hip implant lawsuit, the plaintiff filed his complaint in the states court but the manufacturers attempted to have the case removed to the federal court. Because one of the named defendants, Bayside Orthopaedics Inc., is a Florida resident, there was a lack of diversity. The manufacturers filed a motion alleging that the plaintiff fraudulently joined Bayside to the case in order to destroy diversity, keeping the case in the state court. Judge Moody, however, disagreed and sent the case back to the state court.

The defendants argued that the plaintiff’s claims against Bayside were preempted under certain federal cases that centered on a generic drug manufacturer’s duty to warn of safety issues. But Judge Moody doubted that these cases applied to the DePuy hip lawsuit claims. He also pointed out that the claims against Bayside can likely be resolved under Florida state law, so the case rightfully belonged in the state court.

DePuy ASR litigation

DePuy is a division of Johnson & Johnson and it has released a series of metal-on-metal hip systems since 2000. Unfortunately, metal-on-metal hip components have since been discovered to contribute to a variety of injuries so serious that many recipients ultimately require painful revision surgery to remove the implant.

Three of DePuy’s metal hip designs have been tied to high failure rates:

  • Pinnacle Hip Replacement System
  • ASR XL Acetabular System – recalled after studies showed that around 13% of recipients require revision surgery within five years
  • ASR Hip Resurfacing System – recalled after studies showed that around 12% of recipients require revision surgery within five years

Some of the resulting metal hip injuries include pain and inflammation, metal contamination of surrounding tissues when hip component particles migrate into the patient’s body, tumors, allergic reactions, metal poisoning, and full systemic reactions that include neurological impairment, endocrine problems, and psychological changes.

The recalled DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System is the product at the center of the Florida litigation.

  1. HarrisMartin Publishing, Fla. Federal Judge Remands DePuy Hip Case, Rules Nondiverse Defendant Was Not Fraudulently Joined,

  2. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Recalls: Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants,