blog home defective medical product lawsuits

J&J Hip Trial Testimony Alleges Company Knew of Defects Years before Recall

By Renee Nordstrand on February 15, 2013

x-ray of a failed hip replacent device

The J&J ASR hip replacement defect attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand have been following the first Johnson & Johnson hip device trial that is currently being conducted in Los Angeles. We have learned that J&J may have known about the defects for years, but did nothing to address them.

A J&J DePuy unit bioengineer testified via videotape that he spent three years studying a redesign of the ASR hips to address the known high failure rate of the devices. However, the project (dubbed Project Alpha) went nowhere and no changes to the defective device were made. The project was terminated in 2008. J&J recalled the ASR hip implants in 2010.

Bloomberg News reports that the attorney for the plaintiff seeking damages against J&J pointed to an email the engineer sent to his superiors in April, 2008. In it he wrote, “a small improvement to geometry could represent a large improvement for many patients.” He then wrote that by simply removing a groove, wear on the cup of the device “is approximately threefold less than the original design with the groove.”

That same day he wrote an email to his superiors complaining that he was receiving “absolutely no direction” from them concerning his findings.

The plaintiff’s attorney claims his client was sickened by metal ions that had been released into his bloodstream due to the defective design of the ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement. Other patients have complained of pain, joint dislocations, bone fractures, and infections. Currently, there are some 10,000 lawsuits that have been filed concerning the recalled hip implants.

The Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand will be keeping a close eye on the outcome of this bellwether trial. If you believe you’ve suffered an injury due to a defective J&J ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement, call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530. We can also be contacted online. Arrange for your free consultation today.