As we have previously reported, DePuy Orthopedic, Inc., a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson, Inc., finally issued a recall in August 2010 for the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System after data suggested that about one out of every eight may fail within only five years. Specifically, the recall targeted individuals who received the implants after July 2003. It has been suggested that a design flaw increases risk complications, such as:

  • Unexplained Hip Pain
  • Thigh Pain or Groin Pain
  • Pain with Walking
  • Pain Rising from a Seated Position
  • Pain with Weight Bearing
  • Swelling around the Hip
  • Memory Loss
  • Hand Tremors
  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing Loss
  • Diminished Coordination

Since the recall in August 2010, a number of lawsuits have been filed in both the federal and state court levels.  The number of lawsuits filed is expected to increase dramatically as more people learn of the recall.

On December 3, 2010, the United States Panel on Multi-District Litigation issued an Order, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, consolidating all federal DePuy hip replacement recall lawsuits and centralizing them in an MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.  The Panel concluded that, “the actions share factual issues as to whether DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular Hip System, a device used in hip replacement surgery, was defectively designed and/or manufactured, and whether DePuy failed to provide adequate warnings concerning the device, which DePuy recalled along with another ASR device, the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, in August 2010.”  The Panel opined that the centralization in the Northern District of Ohio will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation.  Furthermore, the centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings on discovery and other issues, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary. Judge David A. Katz, an experienced transferee judge, will coordinate discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Essentially, the Panel’s ruling means that all lawsuits over recalled DePuy ASR hip replacement systems that are filed in any federal district court throughout the United States will be transferred to U.S. District Judge David A. Katz in Ohio.  However, cases filed in state court will continue in their respective states.

If you have had a hip implant within the past 7 years but are uncertain what type of implant device was used, you should contact your doctor immediately for additional information.