New testimony from the 2nd personal injury lawsuit to go to trial against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics mirrored an earlier case in delivering suggesting that the company may have known about potential defects in its metal-on-metal hip implants long before issuing a recall.
Testimony offered last week by former DePuy marketing director Paul Berman claimed that internal emails sent more than a year prior to the initial recall of the ASR XL metal hip implants warned that the product might be defective in design.
The lawsuit is the 2nd of around 10,000 such cases in which patients have claimed that DePuy is liable for injuries related to the ASR XL hips, which DePuy pulled off of the market in August 2010.
The 1st such lawsuit closed earlier this month with a California jury ordering DePuy to pay $8.3 million in compensatory damages after ruling that the hip implant was defectively designed.
Documents unveiled during that 1st lawsuit claimed that there may have been red flags as far back as 2005 to suggest that the ASR designs failed faster than other hip implants.
DePuy’s attorney’s maintained during opening arguments that the ASR implants had performed well in patients in the years and that "DePuy acted as an extremely responsible manufacturer."
The medical device maker has said in the past that when it began phasing out the ASR devices in 2009 it did so because interest in the product was waning, not due to warnings from physicians.
Documents revealed during the 1st trial showed that DePuy consultants began raising concerns years earlier. One doctor wrote the company that she was "quite concerned" about the failure rate of the hip implants after receiving reports from the Middle East and Spain, according to a June 2005 email.
The 2nd DePuy trial is proceeding before Judge Deborah Dooling in Chicago’s Circuit Court of Cook County, where jurors were projected to separate and reconvene over the weekend.
In a larger multi-district case proceeding against DePuy in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Judge David Katz ordered all plaintiffs in the trial to provide specific information on their hip implants and revision surgeries. More than 6,000 lawsuits were consolidated under Judge Katz, and several top DePuy Orthopaedics execs, including former president David Floyd and current president Andrew Ekdahl, promoted to replace Floyd, have been called on to file depositions in the case.