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Johnson & Johnson Knowingly Marketed Faulty Hip

Johnson & Johnson Knowingly Marketed Faulty Hip

On January 25th, Los Angeles jurors heard opening statements in a lawsuit accusing Johnson & Johnson of knowingly marketing a faulty hip implant; plaintiff lawyers say the implants left thousands of people with crippling problems, or in need of replacement surgeries. The suit, alleging fraud and negligence, is the first of thousands going to trial in the U.S; all are related to the “all-metal ball-and-socket hip joint” manufactured by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, DePuy Orthopedics Inc.

The product was pulled from the market in August of 2010, after data from the United Kingdom demonstrated that more than 12% of the devices had failed inside five years. This first lawsuit (of nearly ten thousand) was brought by Loren Kransky, a “retired prison guard who got an ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) XL hip implant in 2007, sued in state court in 2011 and had the device replaced last year” (Bloomberg news).

Kransky’s lawyer, Michael Kelly, told the jury in his opening statement that DePuy Orthopaedics “knew the ASR hips were failing and never told doctors.” Kelly also argued that debris released from the metal ball and socket joint caused heavy metal ions to enter Kransky’s bloodstream. In October 2011, Kransky’s body had seven times the normal level of cobalt, a heavy metal that kills human cells.

This appears to be a case of company executives putting profits before patient safety; DePuy never told physicians that ASR had failed an internal test against a different hip product they also manufactured. Instead, company officials “changed the test and tested it against other things until they found one it could beat.” Executives at DePuy Orthopaedics continue to sell the ASR, even as it was being rejected by surgeons who worked as consultants for the company.

Kransky’s lawyers plan to call to the stand doctors who treated Kransky, to testify that the former prison guard (and Vietnam vet) was “poisoned by the chromium and cobalt” released by the artificial hip. It’s estimated that 93,000 patients worldwide received an ASR, and about one-third of them in the United States; just before the trial opened, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal asking companies which make all-metal hip replacements to offer additional information which proves they are safe and effective, before being allowed to continue selling them.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact Mike Agruss Law, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. We are a Chicago personal injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.

Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.

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