Many West Virginia residents with metal-on-metal hip replacement systems have suffered serious health problems, including pain, swelling, limited mobility, dislocation and metallosis (which can lead to problems involving the cardiovascular, renal and neurological systems, the thyroid and soft tissue, muscle and bone loss), due to problems with design of those devices.
We also know that to date, approximately 3,000 of the 37,000 Americans who received DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implants prior to the company's voluntary recall of these dangerous medical devices in Aug. 2010 have filed lawsuits against DePuy and its parent corporation, Johnson & Johnson -- and that J&J has reportedly already set aside $3 billion to settle the ASR lawsuits.
If the ASR line was the only metal-on-metal joint replacement product line manufactured and marketed by DePuy, that might be the end of the story. As it turns out, DePuy's Pinnacle line includes some metal-on-metal joint replacement products that have been implanted in about 150,000 patients (more than times as many as the ASR line).
Unfortunately, a significant number of patients who received metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip replacement products have experienced the types of serious health problems as those with the ASR system. Thus far, approximately 1,600 of those patients have filed lawsuits against DePuy and J&J that remain pending in jurisdictions throughout the U.S.
Based on the number of people who received the Pinnacle metal-on-metal product, most observers feel the 1,600 lawsuits is just the tip of the litigation iceberg and expect thousands of similar defective medical device claims in the not too distant future.
Thus far, DePuy and J&J have consistently and vigorously denied that the Pinnacle product line is defective and appear, at least initially to be taking a much tougher stance on pending litigation than with the ASR lawsuits.
Source: Reuters, "As lawsuits climb, J&J may have new hip trauma," July 12, 2012