In January 2013, the FDA proposed a new rule requiring manufacturers to demonstrate the safety of all-metal hip implants before they could continue to sell these medical devices. This proposal attempted to close a loophole that has allowed manufacturers to sell medical devices without first testing them; heretofore, manufacturers merely had to prove that a similar device was already on the market.
Marketed as more durable than earlier-generation artificial implants using ceramic, plastic, and other materials, medical device manufacturers rarely tested in all-metal hip implants in patients before aggressively marketing them. Traditional hip replacements typically last 15 years before wearing out. Unfortunately, many all-metal hips have failed at substantially higher rates than ceramic and plastic implants. For example, researchers in the United Kingdom reported that a metal implant manufactured by DePuy, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, was failing at a rate of 50% within six years of implantation.
Studies have shown that tiny particles of metallic debris are released as the artificial metal joints move, causing severe tissue and bone damage in hundreds of patients and leaving some of them disabled and necessitating often-painful revision surgery.
In response to the FDA’s new rule, DePuy informed the FDA in May that it was taking all of its metal hip implants off the market. DePuy, however, continues to deny any legal responsibility to thousands of patients who received its ASR metal implant, recalled in 2010, and for whom the implant failed prematurely.
Lieff Cabraser has successfully represented patients injured by faulty and defective medical devices for years. We are currently representing patients who received defective metal hip implants from DePuy, Stryker and Wright Medical. We also have numerous videos concerning each of these hip recall injury cases available for viewing.