Depuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has received over 750 complaints over one of its products, a metal-on-metal hip implant. According to the lawsuit, the metal-on-metal hip implant is subject to failure over time. Federal courts across the United States are transferring all cases to Texas’ Northern District court system.
The lawsuit involves the company’s Pinnacle hip implant device. According to documents filed with the court, the device may shred small particles of metal during natural movement of the implant’s ball joint. Since the metal-on-metal joint experiences shearing friction, small bits of metal may rub off. These small particles of metal can pose serious health problems to patients with this implant.
Johnson & Johnson has experienced similar issues with other metal-on-metal hip implants. This class of implants has become a significant target for lawyers and attorneys; many devices that have not been recalled are also being investigated for potential harm.
The ASR hip implant by DePuy was recalled in August of 2010 after reports of unusually high failure rates. According to DePuy, the ASR product line was being pulled from the market "due to the number of patients who required a second hip replacement procedure, called a revision surgery."
Other companies facing metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits include Smith & Nephew and Biomet. Smith & Nephew has many adverse event reports of its hip implants filed in the MAUDE database by the FDA. However, the company has not yet issued a recall. Biomet has faced consolidated personal injury lawsuits for its M2A Magnum metal-on-metal hip implants in an Indiana federal court too.