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Following Hip Replacement Recall, DePuy Names New President

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Warsaw, INDePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson that has been heavily scrutinized and hit with substantial legal action over its hip replacement recall, recently named Andrew Ekdahl as its new president.

According to a release from the company, Ekdahl will be charged with heading up the company's orthopaedic business and will serve on the firm's management board.

Ekdahl, who has held a variety of positions with DePuy and Johnson & Johnson throughout his tenure of more than 20 years, most recently served as franchise vice president of DePuy Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Bloomberg reports that the appointment of Ekdahl as the company's new president comes after the resignation of former president David Floyd in March, who said he was leaving to pursue other interests.

The new president also takes over as DePuy continues to face legal troubles over its August 2010 recall of its ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hip replacement system. The Greater Milwaukee Business Journal reports that to date, 80 lawsuits have been filed on behalf of injured Wisconsin residents and their families against DePuy, claiming the devices caused them serious physical harm.

"This DePuy Hip Replacement System has been used in tens of thousands of patients across the country and approximately 93,000 patients worldwide," said an attorney representing some of the plaintiffs. "The failure of this recalled hip replacement system has created the potential for a lifetime of negative consequences for patients and their families, instead of creating the lifetime of mobility and activity that they had bargained for."

The news source reports that the recall of the device followed research indicating that the five-year failure rate of the products was higher than 13 percent. Additionally, patients reported a number of health issues as a result of the devices including increased metal ion levels in their blood, and damage to tissues, nerves and muscles, according to the news source.

The latest DePuy lawsuits are not limited to Wisconsin, however, as a Louisiana woman recently sued the company along with Ochsner Baptist Medical Center, claiming she received a defective hip replacement, according to the Louisiana Record.

The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Jefferson Parish resident Norma Scales in district court, claims the company was aware of the dangers posed by the faulty devices "but failed to convey this information to the public including plaintiff."

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