Witness Says DePuy ASR Hip Design Failed Safety Test

In the first DePuy hip replacement lawsuit to go to trial, a witness testified this week that the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary failed to meet its own safety standard in designing its ASR metal-on-metal hip implant -- and then instead of changing the device’s design, it changed the standard.

According to Bloomberg, George Samaras—a consultant—informed jurors that J&J’s DePuy unit failed the safety standard it created for the ASR hip cup. Samaras testified for plaintiff Loren Kransky, who had his ASR XL hip replaced in 2012 and is now suing J&J for defective design and failure to warn in state court in Los Angeles.

The company rejects Kransky’s claims and says the ASR was designed correctly.

In his testimony, Samaras stated that an internal document found that the ASR shed 16 times more metallic debris – debris containing chromium and cobalt – than a different DePuy product, according to Bloomberg’s report. Under the original review standards for DePuy the ASR should not have passed, said Samaras. The standard called for the ASR to be as good as earlier devices that preceded it but when it failed to meet that test, the company compared it to other devices instead.

Bloomberg reports that Johnson & Johnson recalled as many as 93,000 ASR hip implants in 2010 after it said that 12 percent of the implants failed within a span of five years. Another witness testified during the trial that Australian data showed a 44 percent failure rate after seven years.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by an unsafe medical device such as a metal-on-metal hip replacement, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation and to find out if a product liability lawyer may be able to help you.

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