Friday, March 1, 2013

At trial this week, Johnson & Johnson claims that their recalled ASR hip replacements are not defective and blames surgeons for their extreme failure rate.

Maglio Christopher & Toale

In a California court this week, Johnson & Johnson claimed that their recalled DePuy ASR hip replacements are not defective and blamed surgeons for the hip replacement’s high failure rate, according to news reports in The article went on to say that an expert witness for Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Avram Edidin, testified at trial that there are no design flaws in the DePuy ASR hip implant, even though the company itself determined that the hip replacement was defective. In his testimony, Johnson & Johnson’s expert witness blamed the ASR failures on surgeon placement rather than on a poorly designed hip product. “Dr. Edidin was supposed to bolster J&J’s position in the case as an expert in the engineering of orthopedic devices, but his testimony will undoubtedly backfire for J&J as surgeons become outraged at being blamed for these failures,” says attorney Altom Maglio, who represents hip recall patients across the U.S. in litigation against DePuy.

Michael Kelly’s cross examination of Dr. Edidin “provided moments straight out of a television court drama,” says Maglio. reports that Edidin testified that x-rays show the surgeon in this case implanted the hip cup at a 63 to 65 degree angle. He blamed this 65 degree inclination angle on the high metal wear experienced by the patient. News reports describe how Plaintiff’s attorney, Michael Kelley, placed a simple plastic protractor over the X-ray in question and showed the angle of the hip cup was actually 57.5 degrees. Kelly then asked Edidin, “You are aware you can find a protractor at Walgreens, are you not?” Edidin did not explain the discrepancy. It was a moment of courtroom theatrics that lawyers dream about, comments Maglio

Dr. Edidin, who testified at trial that he spent most of his career focused on spines, not hips, stood firmly behind the DePuy ASR while on the witness stand. He told the jury that he saw no flaws or defects with the implant when he reviewed the design plans, reported However, attorney Michael Kelly followed up Edidin’s courtroom testimony by showing the jury an internal DePuy document labeling the ASR as a “defective product that would affect product performance and/or could cause health problems.” Asked by Kelly in his cross examination if Edidin knew more about the design of the ASR hip than the DePuy President whose signature appeared on the report, Edidin testified, “yes.” quotes Kelly’s followed up question when he asked, “have you called them and asked them to put it back on the market?” Edidin’s testimony was, “no.”


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