Each week, more and more plaintiffs have come forward to file claims against DePuy for harm caused by its badly-designed ASR (hip replacement). There have been so many problems with this hip implant that even mainstream media publications such as Bloomburg Business Weekly are focusing on the defective device.
However, the health risks and side effects posed by the DePuy hip replacement defects that include bone loss, soft tissue damage and extreme pain aren't the only thing that victims have to worry about. Now there are concerns that others who are deserving of compensation are putting off taking the necessary steps to protect their legal rights, unknowingly to their own detriment. In states where the applicable statute of limitations is one year, DePuy is likely to argue that any lawsuits filed after this coming July will be barred by statute, as the problems that plague the ASR hip replacement system became publicly known in July of 2010.
As a Virginia medical malpractice attorney I know that joint replacement is big business in this country. In fact, StateHealthFacts.org reports hip replacement ranks among the top five elective hospital procedures for Medicare-eligible adults and ranges in cost from $10,000 to $12,000.
Another potential issue that may affect patients' legal rights is the level of awareness they have regarding their own device. Patients often do not know the model of hip replacement device with which they have been implanted, and it is not apparent to them that the clock could be ticking on the chance to assert their rights against DePuy to remedy the harm they have suffered.
Although Johnson & Johnson has both agreed to cover the medical expenses of those who need to undergo surgery yet, no amount of money can truly compensate the physical, emotional and mental pain victims of DePuy's negligence have incurred. Research findings reveal both DePuy hip replacement devices maintain a 12 to 13 percent failure rate, which is twice that of the industry standard of 6 to 7 percent. Because the DePuy hip replacement recall affects those who received the devices since they first appeared on the market in July 2003, this means about 93,000 people -- or one in every eight recipients of these products -- will find themselves needing revision surgery for a problem they believed previously resolved.