Recently, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit recalled their ASR Total Hip System due to serious issues that have caused thousands of individuals serious problems. The company said it will pay any medical expenses related to having the hip implant device; however, the patients have had to agree to certain conditions in order to receive such compensation. Many analysts warn that agreeing to such conditions may hurt individual’s legal rights and that the company is attempting to protect themselves from further legal trouble instead of protecting the people they have hurt.
The DePuy ASR hip implant became available initially in July 2003, and, from 2003-2010, over 95,000 individuals worldwide have received the implant. However, serious complications have been found after having such implantation. First, the device has been found to become loose, causing bone fractures and even bones breakage. Further, the metal on metal piece creates friction when the individual simply walks, causing soft tissue damage surrounding the device. One out of 8 individuals had to receive a second corrective surgery in order to completely remove the DePuy device, however, many remain in pain and discomfort, unable to do daily tasks that were once second nature.
The company has listed on their website a list of steps individuals should take if they have had such an operation. First, the individual is asked to, if they have had any hip implant since 2003, go to their doctor and/or hospital and receive documentation of such procedure, with proof they have had a DePuy implant. This alone is not problematic; however, the company continues to say that they will, “cover all reasonable and customary costs of testing and treatment, including revision surgery if it is necessary, and associated with the ASR recall.” This single phrase alone has a lot of indefinite terms — they “may” cover, and “reasonable,” what do they consider reasonable? How are they defining such terms? What is more troubling is the fact that patients are required to provide DePuy with their medical records, as well as the faulty hip implant. This is in addition to signing a consent form, without such signature the company stipulates that “it is unlikely that we will be able to consider the patient’s claims for reimbursement and prompt resolution of their claim may not be possible.” Thus, this forces individual’s to sign a consent form, without legal representation, and places them in a vulnerable position that may hurt their chances at receiving just compensation in the future.
If you are going through the process of dealing with DePuy, obtaining legal representation would protect your rights, your interest, and would be an effective way to get what you deserve. If you need help and are in need of advice, counsel, and expertise, please call Toll Free The Berniard Law Firm at 1-866-574-8005. Our attorneys can defend your rights every step of the way.