In testimony before the jury in the ongoing DePuy ASR hip implant trial, a man testified about how Johnson & Johnson addressed concerns of a marketing executive who had suggested a recall of the metal hips months before the company finally issued the massive recall.
The marketing exec sent a series of emails five months before the recall was officially announced voicing concern over the safety of the ASR device. The man said he had an obligation to express his concerns and did not feel comfortable with the device. The man’s boss testified that he received the emails and discussed his concerns before handing the emails over to his superior, the then president of DePuy. The testimony was meant to serve as proof that J&J took action when complaints were raised and that problems about the device were taken seriously. Whether the jury agrees has yet to be seen.
The testimony was given during the current trial initiated by Loren Kransky, a 65-year-old who claims DePuy defectively designed the hip implant and failed to warn patients of its risks. Kransky’s legal team is attempting to demonstrate how the company was aware of safety problems, including high revision rates, years before they issued a recall.
Given the ongoing trial, J&J couldn’t have been happy about having to announce just yesterday that it had informed doctors outside the U.S. to stop using another of its hip implants. This time the trouble revolves around an implant known as Adept. The warnings come after a British study showed the Adept hip implants have a 12 percent revision rate in patients, much higher than it should be. Just under 10,000 of the hips were distributed around the world, though thankfully none in the U.S. While the warnings don’t directly relate to the DePuy ASR implant, the news certainly isn’t good and helps paint a picture of a company struggling to manufacture safe medical devices.
In yet another bit of bad news for Johnson & Johnson and it’s DePuy unit, prosecutors in Greece have announced criminal charges that will be brought against officials with the medical device company for bribes they allege the company paid to doctors to help promote DePuy products. Greek prosecutors say the company officials paid out more than $21 million in bribes to Greek doctors to help sell their medical devices.
Experts believe that the Kransky case, which concerns the recall of 93,000 DePuy ASR implants, could end up costing Johnson & Johnson over a billion dollars. For the 500,000 Americans and more than 1,000,000 people around the world with metal hip implants, the verdict in the Kransky case will be closely watched. If you or someone you know have been injured by a defective product and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact the Georgia product liability litigation attorneys at Pope McGlamry P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.
Source: “J&J Addressed Marketer’s Concern Over Hips, Jury Told,” by Maurice Possley, published at Businessweek.com.
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