When the DePuy ASR trials that are part of the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) begin in 2013, executives from DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, will be required to testify.
According to a story that appeared on the medical device industry Web site, MassDevice.com, the executives will give testimony in the first bellwether trials that are expected to start in May of next year. Currently, there are approximately 4,700 lawsuits pending in the DePuy ASR MDL in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Ohio, presided over by U.S. District Judge David A. Katz.
Executives Will Explain the Workings of Metal-on-Metal Hip ReplacementsDePuy executives David Floyd, Andrew Ekdahl, Tom Camino, Rodrigo Diaz, Paul Kurring, Matt Reimink, Mary Stewart, and Paul Voorhorst will be presenting outlines, notes, documents, testimonies and proposals to the court, as related to the metal-on-metal hip replacement device.
Earlier this year, a report by the New York Times stated that Mr. Ekdahl had knowledge a year before the recall about the premature failure rates of the DePuy ASR device, though he claimed the recall was based on a business decision and not a safety issue.
DePuy Orthopaedics recalled 93,000 ASR metal-on-metal hip devices in 2010, because of high premature failure rates. Since then, however, studies have found that the metal parts of the devices can grind, shedding metal debris into the blood stream and surrounding tissue. Researchers believe that the metal shedding can cause a blood disorder known as metallosis, which is diagnosed by elevated levels of chromium and cobalt in the blood. Metallosis can lead to certain cancers, along with heart and kidney issues if left untreated. Other symptoms associated with ASR device failure include pain, swelling and mobility issues. The typical lifespan of a successful hip replacement is about 15-20 years.