During the first DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuit trial, court documents revealed the Johnson & Johnson may have known for years that the ASR suffered from a design flaw that caused it to wear and shed large quantities of metal debris.
“It’s about time these documents were made public. They are just further evidence that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy did not do enough to protect patients from these dangerous hip implants,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing the victims of defective drugs and medical devices.
In 2007, testing revealed that the rate of wear did not meet the set acceptance criteria. The company considered a redesign, but decided to forego that decision, probably because tens of thousands of patients were receiving the implants and profits would have been significantly affected. By mid-2008, the redesign project was totally scrapped. This was the decision, in the face of known dangers, of a company whose website front page reads:
“where we are inspired to deliver solutions that help people return to active and fulfilling lives,”
“we are ready to advance patient care by delivering total solutions that go beyond the products themselves to help improve people’s lives.”
It wasn’t until 2009, when the Food and Drug Administration cited a “high concentration of metal ions” in the blood of patients who received the ASR, that the company suspended sales. So, at that time, the company confessed to manufacturing a defective product, right? Wrong! Did the company issue a recall of the hip replacement product? No! DePuy chose to sweep it under the rug to protect profits. It wasn’t until 18 months after the first lawsuit was filed that DePuy issued a voluntary recall. DePuy put safety last; it ignored obvious risks to its hip replacement patients.
The company was willing to take a calculated gamble that only small numbers would be seriously injured and only a few of those would file a lawsuit. If someone was injured and did sue, the cost of litigation and compensation would be far less than the cost of correcting the problem. It all came down to corporate profits and corporate greed over patient/customer safety. Now DePuy faces more than 10,000 lawsuits in the U.S. and must be held accountable for its callous disregard for safety.
All of this could have been avoided if DePuy would have just come clean and corrected the problem back in 2007. The cover up is always worse than the crime. After this type of despicable conduct, these billionaires then run to the nearest legislator and whine about the cost of liability and the big bad trial lawyers. Conservative legislators at the state and federal levels need to stop protecting these corporate wrongdoers.
Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Experienced attorney, lawsuit funding expert, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series. The series features super-trial lawyer Zachary Blake handling "ripped from the headlines" legal and political issues of the day. The series currently consists of Betrayal of Faith, Betrayal of Justice, Betrayal in Blue, Betrayal in Black, and Betrayal High, with a sixth Zachary Blake novel due out later this year. To learn more about these topical social justice legal thrillers. please visit markmbello.com. Mark is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.