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DePuy Hip Replacement Prompts Lawsuit in UK

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Merseyside, EnglandMore than 100 people are suing a medical device company over the side effects of allegedly faulty DePuy hip replacement implants that were withdrawn a year ago, according to the BBC.

The news source reported that patients complained about pain and swelling, nerve, muscle and bone damage, and blood poisoning, according to a statement from their attorneys.

The implant manufacturers DePuy have denied any liability in the case after voluntarily recalling the products in August 2010, but noted that it was not over safety concerns.

According to the BBC, the company's ASR implant, released in 2003, used a metal cup and socket instead of a ceramic or plastic cup to replace a hip joint. This type of fixture led to reports from patients over problems with the cup and socket becoming loose.

Stephen Ellis, 57, a Liverpool resident who had a hip replacement in 2005, fears the loosening may have led to the poisoning of his bone and muscle.

"I woke up one morning and I was in agony. And, I felt sick, really sick with the pain," Ellis told the news source. "I feel like an old man—that's what I feel like—an old man in his eighties. And I feel robbed of my life."

A number of other individuals in England have reported similar problems with the devices, and specific cases have targeted other side effects. One of the lead lawyers for the group of more than 100 people involved in the lawsuit noted that psychological side effects have also been present.

"It's had a terrible effect on my clients psychologically. It's broken up relationships," the lawyer told the news source. "And they've been told that they can't find any clinical reason for the problem, initially, and that the pain was in their head."

The problematic hip replacements have also been a target of legal action in the US, including a lawsuit by a Gaylesville, Alabama couple that was filed to seek damages stemming from the implants, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

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