Yet another patient is suing Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) for health problems he says were caused by one of the company's metal-on-metal hip implants, adding to the thousands of lawsuits filed previously in the matter.
The law firm Parker Waichman disclosed it filed a lawsuit on behalf of an unnamed patient who claims to have faced pain and weakness in left hip and leg after getting an ASR hip implant there in July 2007. Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics division manufactured the implant before launching a global recall in 2010 after escalating safety concerns, affecting more than 100,000 of the devices. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio more than two years later, illustrates that legal problems regarding the implants will likely drag on for J&J for some time to come.
About 37,000 U.S. patients received the ASR implant, according to report, after it failed in as many as one in 8 patients over 5 years. J&J has prepared for this, however, having put $3 billion aside to settle 3,000-plus lawsuits over the product's safety.
Subsequent research has reinforced the belief that metal hips fail much more frequently than other hip replacements, as the plaintiff's attorneys noted. The FDA is scrutinizing metal hip safety data from a variety of manufacturers, and J&J itself is dealing with a second controversy over its Pinnacle all-metal hip implant. More than 150,000 patients in the U.S. received the device, and nearly 1,600 of them have filed lawsuits claiming the implant caused everything from post-implant fractures and pain, to swelling and high levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood.
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