$2.5 Million Awarded to Plaintiff in DePuy Case


Last week, on February 3, a jury in Tulsa County, Oklahoma returned a $2.5 million compensatory damage verdict in favor of Plaintiff Andrea Smith against Defendants DePuy Orthopaedics and DePuy International following implantation and subsequent revision surgery of a defective DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement device(Smith v. DePuy, CJ-2011-5804, District Court, Tulsa County, Oklahoma)

Mrs. Smith was represented at trial by Joe White and Charles Weddle of White & Weddle (Oklahoma City) and Derek Burch of Burch, George & Germany (Oklahoma City) who put on a highly effective case.  They received support and assistance from attorneys in the MDL, the California JCCP, and the Illinois consolidated cases.

About The Plaintiff

Mrs. Smith was implanted with bilateral DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacements in both her left and right hip.  The first implant surgery was in October 2006 and the second in February 2007.  She underwent revision surgeries to remove and replace the defective ASR devices in 2011 and 2012.

Smith had significantly elevated cobalt and chromium metal ion levels before the revision surgeries.  DePuy contended at trial that the devices were not defective and that she needed to have revision surgeries because of a gait issue on one side and a frayed medical cable (used to repair a fractured femur) on the other.

DePuy ASR Case Details

The jury found in favor of Plaintiff in her claim that the ASR metal-on-metal implant was defectively designed.  The jury found for DePuy, however, on the claims for negligence and failure to warn.  The jury did not award punitive damages against DePuy.

Tulsa County District Court Judge Linda G. Morrissey presided over the trial.  The Court permitted DePuy to present limited evidence pertaining to the FDA, and she permitted counsel for Plaintiff to present evidence about the recall and about events that occurred after the date of Plaintiff’s original implant surgeries.  The trial lasted three weeks and jurors deliberated nearly 7 hours before reaching their decision.

This is the second verdict in favor of an ASR Plaintiff.  In the first DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant trial, a Los Angeles Jury in March 2013 awarded the Plaintiff more than $8 million in damages.  (Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County) In both the Los Angeles case and this most recent Oklahoma case, the Plaintiffs prevailed on their claim that the device was defective, but lost on their negligence claim.  Notably, some jurisdictions do not recognize strict liability for defective medical devices.  Neither jury awarded punitive damages.  A third DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant case went to trial in Chicago in 2013 and resulted in a defense verdict. (Strum v. DePuy, 2011-L-9352, Circuit Court of Cook County)

DePuy ASR Recall

On Aug. 24, 2010, there was a voluntary recall of nearly 93,000 defective DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant devices because of new, unpublished data from international joint registries indicating the revision rates within 5 years were approximately 13% or more.

In November 2013, DePuy and Johnson & Johnson offered a settlement to patients who underwent revision surgery of the defective DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement on or before August 31, 2013.

Contact a DePuy ASR Lawyer

If you have experienced undue pain and complications with your DePuy ASR hip replacement implant, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Pope McGlamry by submitting a free a case evaluation online or call our team.

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