Since DePuy Orthopedics announced a recall of one of its popular hip implant models last August, lawsuits have piled up against the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. Most recently, it looks like a large number of these DePuy hip implant lawsuits are coming to San Francisco, as Superior Court Complex Litigation Judge Richard Kramer said San Francisco would be the best setting for state lawsuits against DePuy, reports the San Francisco Daily Journal. On favoring San Francisco over the larger Los Angeles court system, Kramer said “I wouldn’t assign something to San Francisco if I thought I couldn’t do it.”
DePuy marketed the ASR Hip Implant model to a younger audience, saying that its metal construction was more durable and would last longer. In reality, a number of studies found that the alarmingly high number of revision surgeries were the result of pain and metal fragments in the blood stream directly related to the metal-on-metal device. Later, safety investigators learned that the DePuy hip implant model benefited from a shortened FDA inspection period. Since it was similar to another hip implant model already on the market, the FDA gave only a cursory look to the product. The medical devices industry champions this abbreviated process, saying it would be too costly to give every product a thorough investigation. But the ASR-related injuries and DePuy hip implant lawsuits show that everyone benefits from sufficient regulation.
Kramer’s ruling is not final, and still has to be approved by California’s judicial council. But a final decision is likely to come soon, since the oldest DePuy hip implant lawsuit is expected as early as September. In the meantime, state and federal lawsuits against DePuy will continue to pile on, as more patients with ASR hip implants report pain or discover that they have abnormal levels of chromium and cobalt in their blood.
We’ll keep you updated on all information related to DePuy’s hip implant lawsuits.