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New DePuy Hip Implant Lawsuit Filed While Bellwether Cases Move Forward

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Chicago, ILA new hip replacement lawsuit has been filed against DePuy Orthopaedics, alleging the company was negligent in the design of its artificial hips and knew about potential hip defects in its metallic hip implant devices. The lawsuit is one of many filed against numerous hip device makers that allege the companies produced hip replacement devices that had high early failure rates and put patients at risk of serious health problems.

The Cook County Record (1/5/16) reports that Danny Dannhorn underwent hip replacement surgery for both his hips in 2009, but learned after the surgery that the devices had failed and required replacement. In addition to the devices failing, Dannhorn reportedly also showed high levels of certain metals in his blood, which is also linked to hip implant failure.

Dannhorn filed a lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics, alleging the company knew about the potential for early failure in the devices, but still allowed the devices to be sold.

Meanwhile, the second bellwether case in the DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits is underway, according to The Legal Examiner (1/27/16). The bellwether case involves five plaintiffs whose actions are moving forward in one lawsuit after Judge Ed Kinkeade issued an order consolidating the matters.

Metal-on-metal hip implants were marketed as being more durable than traditional implants, but plaintiffs allege wear and tear on the devices caused metallic shavings to dislodge from the devices and be absorbed by surrounding tissue. As a result, patients who have metal-on-metal hip implants are reportedly advised to monitor their blood levels for certain metal ions.

Plaintiffs also allege the devices were prone to early failure, requiring revision surgery to replace the hip implant devices.

The Telegraph (1/24/16) reports that DePuy admitted to “an error in the measuring techniques” when manufacturing the metal-on-metal hip implants. That reported admission now has plaintiffs asking when DePuy knew about the error in measuring techniques, and whether patients were adequately warned about that risk. If measurements used in manufacturing the hips were off, that could cause the components of the devices not to fit properly, which could increase the wear-and-tear rate of the hips. According to the same Telegraph article, regulators in the United States were concerned about production processes linked to DePuy hip implant components, but DePuy did not comment on what action, if any, was taken as a result of those concerns.

DePuy has argued that its hip implant devices are safe, but the company faces thousands of lawsuits linked to its metal-on-metal devices.

The Danny Dannhorn lawsuit is Dannhorn v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al, Cook County Circuit Court Case number 2015-L013030.


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