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Depuy Hip Lawsuits Heating Up in Canada

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Saint John, New BrunswickSeveral DePuy hip replacement victims in New Brunswick are the latest Canadians to join the DePuy Lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The company recalled its ASR series hip implants last August after receiving reports of patients requiring revision surgery shortly after having a DePuy ASR implanted.

Hip replacements should last anywhere from 15–30 years, but a higher than normal number of patients have required revision surgery within a year or so after their implant. One such victim is 37-year-old Zoey Nicoles, who had a hip replacement in late 2009 due to injuries suffered in a car accident. He was shocked to hear about the DePuy recall and surprised to learn of a Canadian class-action lawsuit against the company, alleging the medical device is defective.

(Although the DePuy ASR artificial hip resembles hip replacements that were already on the market in the US, the cup component of the ASR implant was a new model and never approved by the FDA. It is now believed that the defective design causes tissue damage and an above-average loosening of the implant in DePuy hip implant recipients.)

Nicoles, who is listed in the class action as the lead plaintiff in New Brunswick, was sold on the ASR; he was told by doctors that the DePuy was the "Cadillac of hips" and he would get "30-plus years out of it." Instead, just four months after surgery he began to feel pain and his mobility began to worsen again.

DePuy Canada Class Action
Not only does the Canadian class action allege that the DePuy ASR was defectively designed, it also claims that DePuy Orthopaedics was aware of issues with the implant but did not contact patients or their surgeons about the potential risks. Furthermore, the company moved too slowly to recall it. Although the ASR did not become available until January 2006 in Canada, anywhere from 1,500 to 4,000 patients nationwide received the DePuy ASR implant until the recall in August 2010.

It also alleges that the defendants failed to give Health Canada "complete and accurate information about the implants by failing to disclose the risks on a timely basis."

The nationwide class-action lawsuit, which is led by Toronto-based law firm and class-action specialists Stevensons LLP, seeks upward of $40 million for Canadians who surgically received the DePuy ASR.
Meanwhile, Nicoles is facing a second hip replacement—revision surgery.


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