$2.5 Million Awarded to Woman Injured by Metal-on-Metal Hip

$2.5 Million Awarded to Woman Injured by Metal-on-Metal HipFebruary 12, 2015 — A jury in Oklahoma has awarded $2.5 million to a woman who had metallosis (metal poisoning) and needed revision surgery after two DePuy ASR hip implants failed prematurely.

The lawsuit was filed against DePuy Orthopedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, by Andrea Smith in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

The DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System, a metal-on-metal hip implant, was implanted in her right hip in October 2006. Another ASR XL was implanted in her left hip in February 2007. Unfortunately, both of the implants failed and she required revision surgery in 2011 and 2012.

She claims the implant caused her to suffer from blood poisoning due to elevated metal ion levels, dislocations, pain, fracture, abnormal noises in the joint, pseudo-tumors (soft-tissue growths), and problems getting around.

Smith accuses DePuy of negligence for failing to warn about the increased risks associated with the metal-on-metal design. When DePuy pulled the implant off the market in 2010, they claimed 12% would fail within five years. More recent data suggests up to 45% fail within five years.

DePuy has been hit with more than 12,000 lawsuits from people who were injured by the ASR. They claim it is defective because the metal parts can grind together and shed toxic particles of chromium and cobalt into the patient’s hip, blood, and other areas of the body.

In November 2013, DePuy agreed to pay at least $2.5 billion to resolve about 8,000 ASR lawsuits, including $250,000 for each surgery to replace the hip and additional compensation to cover systemic injuries, such as strokes, heart attacks, or multiple surgeries.

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