As the population ages, more people have been getting hip replacements in the U.S. With hip replacements being more common and necessary in society, Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary DePuy started manufacturing all-metal hip replacements.
Unfortunately, all-metal hip implants were later found to be dangerous to patients but that didn't stop DePuy from still manufacturing and letting surgeons implant the defective medical product into thousands of patients. Reports show that roughly 93,000 patients received the all-metal DePuy hip implants despite the fact that all-metal hip implants can shed their metallic debris into the patient, causing damage to a patient's tissue and bone.
After many DePuy hip implants began to fail or cause serious health issues in patients, Johnson & Johnson was accused of not notifying patients or the public about the dangers of getting a DePuy all-metal hip implant. Johnson & Johnson later recalled the all-metal hip implants in 2010, but because they kept the defective product on the market for so long, thousands of patients had already received the defective hip implants.
Medical device manufacturers, like Johnson & Johnson, are supposed to study and monitor the performance of their devices to make sure they are not harmful or dangerous to patients. If products are found to be dangerous, the company is supposed to recall the device to keep patients from being harmed. However, not all companies issue recalls immediately after a device is found to be unsafe, like this case shows.
The faulty hip implants have lead to thousands of patients filing product liability lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy, showing the legal action patients can take if they suffer complications from defective medical devices. Patients who have suffered injuries or complications due to a defective hip implant or other medical device should consult a product liability attorney to discuss what legal options may be available.
Source: USA Today, "Hip replacement throws Johnson & Johnson: Our view," March 24, 2013