What should you do when you've become the victim of a medical company's desire to put profits ahead of patients? That's the question facing thousands of patients who received the Pinnacle and ASR hip implants that were developed by New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopedics unit.
Originally marketed toward younger, more active patients, the hip implants were supposed to eliminate the failures associated with other hip implants due to overuse. It's metal-on-metal construction was supposed to be innovative and last longer than ceramic or plastic versions.
Instead, inherent design flaws led to increased failure rates, infection, immobility and disability. Some patients experienced a syndrome known as metallosis, where tiny particles of metal were released into the surrounding tissues and blood stream, eventually leading to toxic conditions that can cause neurological damage, cardiac damage or death.
True failure rates of the metal-on-metal hip implants are in dispute, but they may be as high as 40 percent—and DePuy may very well have been aware of the problem. While it recalled some of its hip systems, it just quietly discontinued the use of its metal-on-metal system without ever warning doctors or patients of the dangers.
If you've had a metal-on-metal hip implant you may have already started to experience problems or you may be waiting to develop them. Revision surgery, to replace the hip joint, means more expense and more time spent recovering in a physical therapy setting or nursing home. Plus, damage from toxic metals in your system may take some time to fully develop, leaving you with an uncertain future.
Victims of this type of medical malpractice have two avenues of attack that they can use when pursuing compensation. Medical malpractice, in this case, alleges that the company violated a standard of care owed to both doctors and patients by not warning them that the hip replacements were failing and causing other problems. Product liability laws may give victims a second avenue of attack, because the product itself is defective and doesn't do what it is supposed to do. It's also inherently dangerous to those who are using it.
If you have a metal-on-metal hip implant, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney whether or not you have already developed symptoms that indicate there's a problem. Please visit our page for more information on how we approach our claims.