A Jury in the United States has awarded $2.5 million dollars in compensatory damages to Ms Andrea Smith who underwent surgery to implant a DePuy ASR TM Acetabular system in her right hip in October 2006. In February 2007 Ms Smith had the same model device implanted in her left hip.
After the devices were implanted she began suffering pain in both hips and tests later revealed that she had significantly elevated levels of metal ions in her blood and it was determined that both implants had failed.
Ms Smith suffered multiple complications including medical poisoning and damage to her surrounding nerve tissue and muscles. She underwent revision surgeries to have the devices explanted and new ones implanted. Her health improved greatly after the ASR XL implants were removed although she continued to suffer pain in both hips.
The DePuy ASR implant device was recalled in 2010 because of the high risk of premature failure. Ms Smith and her Husband sued DePuy International Limited which designed, engineered and manufactured the ASR XL implant and DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. the company responsible for the implants design, manufacturing, labelling, distribution marketing and same in the United States. The Plaintiff’s alleged that the implants metal-on-metal design was defective in that the friction between components caused metal debris to be released in to the patient’s body.
Speaking about the latest decision involving the DePuy ASR hip implant device Liam Moloney, Personal Injury Solicitor whose Firm are acting on behalf of many people who received the DePuy ASR device commented on this Court Judgement “this is a very important decision of the U.S Courts as it is one of the first cases reported which involved metal ion poisoning. In this case the Plaintiff, like many other Plaintiff’s in Ireland claimed that the metal-on-metal hips design was defective in that the friction between components caused metal debris to be released in to her body. She introduced evidence that after her left implant was removed first and that after its removal, her chromium and cobalt levels decreased dramatically”. This clearly showed the link between the defective devices and the increased level of chromium and cobalt in her body.