Increasing Number of Lawsuits and Settlements Involving Hip Implants

Not long ago, I described problems with artificial hip implants used in joint replacements. They have had widespread failures, sometimes causing horrible health problems because of bits of metal coming loose and getting into the tissues and blood. Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the DePuy ASR hip replacement unit, is set to pay $4 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits over its recalled implants.

The company will pay an average of $300,000 for each of the replacement surgeries. Many of the defective units were implanted in surgeries in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. It is not too late to make a claim. The settlement does not bar patients whose artificial hips are failing now (or will in the future) from making claims for compensation. The company's own documents show that 37% of the hips failed within 5 years, and Australian studies show a much higher number of failures within 7 years.

Failure leads to a lot of potential problems. They include crunching or popping noises in the hip, difficulty with standing or walking, hip fracture or dislocation, unusual fatigue, muscle inflammation or infection, death of some of the muscle tissue around the implant, heavy metal toxicity, bone loss, immune changes, and possibly cancer. Clearly, these are significant problems.

The Johnson & Johnson DePuy hip implants aren't the only ones with problems. I'm litigating a case for a woman in New Mexico involving a Stryker hip implant. Stryker's Rejuvenate and ABG products are also alleged to be improperly designed, resulting in metal ions being released into the recipients' bodies and causing the same problems. The failure rate in Stryker's product has also been estimated to be very high. This is not the end of the story. Other manufacturer's hip products are having problems, so for your safety, if you have problems after hip implant surgery, see your doctor and maybe your lawyer.

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