DePuy has issued a recall for its ASR hip implants that will affect thousands of patients. If you've been harmed by a DePuy ASR metal hip replacement, filing a defective device lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries is your legal right.
ASR hip replacement systems are the subject of a recall by manufacturer DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of medical industry giant Johnson & Johnson. DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacements have had an unusually high failure rate, and many people who have received the devices have had to undergo multiple, painful surgeries to revise, replace, or remove the defective hip implant.
Multiple patients have also developed symptoms of cobalt toxicity from the metal in the implant flaking off and entering the bloodstream, causing neuropathy and other damage to the nervous system. As a result, hip replacement patients may be experiencing symptoms which they may not even suspect are related to their DePuy hip replacement - such as vision impairment or hearing loss.
DePuy hip implant lawsuits have been consolidated into what’s known as multidistrict litigation, In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products, MDL Docket No. 1:10 md 2197. MDL 2197 was consolidated before Judge Katz in the United States Court for the Northern District of Ohio. One feature of an MDL is a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee leads the litigation on behalf of all participants, handling discovery, hearings, trial preparation, and procedural motions on issues common to all plaintiffs. Ed Blizzard, Partner at Blizzard & Nabers, serves on the DePuy Hip Replacement MDL Steering Committee.
What Should I Know Before I Have my Defective Implant Removed?
If you know that you have a defective DePuy hip implant and are intending to have it operated on, there are two very important things to know before having it removed:
- Don’t let yourself be intimidated by DePuy.
DePuy has been acting aggressively to protect its interests, approaching patients with recalled hip replacements and attempting to persuade them to forego lawsuits in exchange for payment of their medical expenses. DePuy is acting solely in their best interests, not yours. To protect yourself, do not speak with a DePuy representative without an attorney present.
- Your implant is evidence, do not allow DePuy to take it.
Your hip implant is an important piece of evidence. It’s also your property. A representative from DePuy may attempt to obtain your defective hip implant after its removal. Before you undergo subsequent hip replacement surgery, be sure to notify both the surgeon and the hospital that the removed implant is to be properly preserved for you, not given to DePuy.
- Do not allow DePuy to take photographs during the surgery.
A DePuy representative may attempt to be present during the implant removal surgery itself. Be sure to ask your surgeon if the DePuy representative’s presence is absolutely necessary. You also have the right to request that the representative not be allowed to take photographs or videos during the surgery.
What should I do if I receive a letter from Broadspire?
In October 2010, Johnson & Johnson and Depuy Orthopaedics announced the retainer of Broadspire, a subsidiary of Crawford & Crawford, to administer funds to patients implanted with the recalled DePuy ASR to cover their out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages. Broadspire has contacted thousands of ASR hip implant victims requesting that they sign medical authorization forms to obtain medical records that may then be turned over to DePuy.
If you receive a letter from Broadspire, it is imperative that you contact an experienced hip implant attorney and that you not sign any documents. By signing a medical authorization, you are allowing Broadspire and DePuy to have access to all your medical records and waiving your right to medical privacy. Any medical records released to DePuy may be utilized during trial. If you are represented by an attorney, DePuy may only access your medical records through your attorney.
If you have already signed a medical authorization from Broadspire, you should contact an attorney immediately to ensure that your right to medical privacy is preserved. An experienced DePuy hip implant attorney can make certain that all communication with Broadspire is conducted through the attorney.
Hiring an attorney will not reduce the amount of damages that you may be entitled to as an ASR hip implant victim. In fact, by hiring an attorney to negotiate on your behalf, you will very likely obtain greater compensation.
If you have received a defective DePuy ASR hip replacement, the law firm of Blizzard & Nabers can help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. For more than 30 years, our attorneys have successfully represented our clients and stood up for the rights of people harmed by defective medical devices. Our firm has successfully handled cases across the country. We handle all hip replacement related injury cases on a contingency basis. To learn more, or for a free consultation with an experienced hip replacement attorney, please contact us by email or call us at 1-800-349-0127.