DePuy President Met With Hip Surgeon Months Before ASR Recall

The first DePuy hip implant trial is currently underway and is revealing damaging information about the company’s actions concerning the metal-on-metal hip implant system which resulted in the 2010 recall of nearly 100,000 units. Recent testimony showed that DePuy’s president met with a California hip surgeon just months before the recall but never told the hip surgeon about known high failure rates.

Failure To Warn Blanketed In Secrecy

Secrecy surrounding a lunch meeting between DePuy’s president and high-profile hip implant surgeon Dr. Craig Swenson is creating a buzz about what DePuy knew about the company’s ASR high failure rates and when it knew it. According to a recent article in Bloomberg News, the California hip surgeon had implanted hundreds of people with DePuy’s ASR XL hip replacements. However, he was beginning to doubt whether the product was as good as its claims as an increasing number of patients were reporting pain and high levels of metal ions from wear on the device’s cobalt and chromium components.

When he had lunch with DePuy’s then-president David Floyd to discuss the issue, he was only told that the product might be discontinued. According to Swenson’s testimony, “He informed me that they were going to discontinue sales of the ASR, [but] he didn’t give me a reason why…. He said they were going to stop supporting it…. There was no part of the conversation that there was any significant problem or that patients needed any special care.” DePuy issued a worldwide recall of approximately 93,000 ASR hip implants only months later and is now embroiled in litigation surrounding product defects and issues of metal toxicity.

Metal Staining Not An Issue? “You’ve Got To Be Kidding!”

That was Dr. Swenson’s reaction to Johnson & Johnson’s attorney’s opening remarks telling jurors that the metal “staining” (caused by metallosis, a toxic condition from the buildup of chromium and cobalt debris in the bloodstream) in the plaintiff’s hip “did not damage [the plaintiff’s] tissue or create the need for the revision” surgery. Swenson commented that the staining did in fact damage the plaintiff’s tissue and said, “We take those tissues out because they are non-functional.”

DePuy Hip Injury Trial Continues

The first DePuy hip injury lawsuit continues – with 10,000 others to follow. If you’ve been injured or fear that you might develop metallosis, contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, for a free consultation to determine whether you might have cause for legal action.

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