Lawsuits allege DePuy Orthopedics knew of ASR hip implant defects

September 1, 2010 by MassDevice staff

Lawsuits continue to pile up for Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics division over its ASR hip implant, with the latest accusing the company of knowingly selling a defective product.

DePuy logo

Less than a week after its recall of a pair of hip implants, DePuy Orthopaedics was hit with another series of lawsuits over the devices, this time alleging that the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary knowingly sold defective products.

Warsaw, Ind.-based DePuy pulled its ASR hip replacement system off the market last week after receiving reports that a higher-than-normal number of patients required surgeries to correct or remove defective implants.

The recall of the ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing systems was prompted by new data showing "a five-year revision rate of approximately 12 percent for the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and approximately 13 percent for the ASR XL Acetabular System," according to a DePuy press release announcing the recall.

The ASR devices had already generated a slew of lawsuits even before the recall. DePuy discontinued the cup and had phased it out by March of this year, sending a letter to doctors that month warning that data from the Australian medical device registry showed a "higher-than-expected" failure rate in traditional hip replacements, especially in smaller patients or those with weak bones.