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California Products Liability: Defective Hip Implant Devices Continue Causing Injuries

December 31, 1969

As our Orange County, California defective medical device law firm mentioned in a previous blog post, Howard Law, PC, represent clients in Southern California that were been injured or have had to undergo revision surgery because the hip implant device that they were given proved faulty. Already, over 5,000 products liability lawsuits have been submitted the US by patients seeking to recover compensation. Most of the cases involve DePuy hip implant devices from Johnson & Johnson that were recalled last year. DePuy is also being sued over its line of Pinnacle hip implants.

However, as evidenced by a recent US Food and Drug Administration-commissioned study, Johnson & Johnson is not the only manufacturer making faulty hip implants. The study examined the outcomes of 830,000 hip implant procedures. 18 other studies involving more than 3,000 patients were also evaluated.

Per the FDA commissioned-study, the newer ceramic-on-ceramic and metal-on-metal implants don't exhibit a lot more benefits than their older counterparts, which are made of metal-on-polyethylene and ceramic-on-polyethylene. Patients implanted with devices made of all-metal seem also seemed more like to undergo revision surgery to have an implant replaced.

"Getting a hip implant is a stressful surgical procedure to begin with," said Howard Law, PC partner and Anaheim defective medical device attorney Vincent Howard. "For a patient to have to undergo a second surgery because an implant failed or proved toxic is unacceptable."

In addition to earlier than acceptable failure rates, there are concerns that some of the defective devices are shedding metal debris inside their recipients. The debris is dangerous because after the combined with the scavenger cells released by the body to neutralize them, the human tissue and muscle can become damaged, potentially to crippling effect.

It wasn't too long ago that the FDA sent out notices to the makers of all-metal hip devices telling them to conduct studies to figure out whether their products were shedding toxic levels of metals. Stryker, Biomet, Zimmer, Wright Medical, and DePuy are among the companies that receive this notice.

Per medical and legal experts, hip failures could end up costing billions of dollars. Tens of thousands of people in this country alone may have to undergo revision surgery in the next decade.

"Considering that many of the patients who undergo hip implant procedures are elderly seniors, the trauma of not just one replacement surgery but two can take their physical and emotional toll," said Orange County, California defective hip implant device lawyer Vincent Howard.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Offer No Advantages over Older Versions, FDA Study Finds, News Inferno, November 30, 2011

The High Cost of Failing Artificial Hips, New York Times, December 27, 2011

More Blog Posts:
California Products Liability?: FDA Warns that Lap-Band Ads are Misleading, California Injury Lawyers, December 14, 2011

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits Raise Questions About FDA's Medical Device Review Process, California Injury Lawyers, October 20, 2011

California Defective Medical Device Cases: Lawsuits Filed by Patients Injured by Recalled DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Systems, California Injury Lawyers, August 22, 2011

To schedule your free consultation, contact Howard Law, PC and ask to speak with Anaheim products liability attorney Vincent Howard. We represent California defective medical device clients in San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, and Orange County.