Johnson & Johnson's History of Knee Replacement Recalls

DePuy Knee Lawsuit News

Johnson & Johnson knee replacement systems have had numerous problems that have resulted in the recall of the product

Monday, July 31, 2017 - When you earn close to 100 billion dollars per year, year in and year out, settling a lawsuit for one or two billion dollars is merely a cost of doing business. The only priority of Johnson & Johnson is protecting their profit stream and the company will go to any legal measure to ensure that their cash flow continues uninterrupted. When one of their products fails consumers, such as the knee replacements systems manufactured and distributed by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Depuy Synthes, the company will continue to sell the product until they are economically or legally forced to stop doing so. It doesn't matter that 67.6% of patients suffered DePuy knee device failure within five years of implantation, a multiple of more than 10 fold over the expected early failure rate. Johnson & Johnson has continued to sell the knee replacements for years after learning of the product's defects. Only when faced with large-scale, multi-district litigation resulting in a $2.5 billion settlement did the company initiate a voluntary recall of the Attune knee replacement system. Only when faced with the probability of future law suits and massive punitive damages did the company make the business decision to recall the product. Once a recall is complete the company addresses the minimum issues needed to get the product right back on the market. This is evidenced by a series of knee replacement recalls over the past two decades.

The first of a series of recalls started in 2001 when the British Medical Devices Agency recalled the system because a component of the knee replacement called the Hyamer liners was subject to oxidize resulting from insufficient sterilization. In 2008, the product was again recalled because one of its key components, the meniscal bearing insert, was mislabeled and doctors tended to implant the wrong size knee replacement in patients. In yet the sternest recall, the company was forced in 2013 to recall the product due to its tendency to break at the point of bone insertion into the product. Surgeons were warned in a Class I recall to immediately cease using the knee replacement system. For years leading up to this point, patients were reporting the adverse consequences of the knee replacement of serious, life-threatening infections, instability of the joint, nerve damage and incredibly, the inability to walk. In an extreme number of cases, revision surgery was necessary to temporarily correct the problem.

Defects reported to the FDA regarding the Depuy knee replacement system are instability and loosening at the point of insertion of the tibia and the associated infections, swelling, redness, and chronic pain. Metal shavings from the metal on metal contact of the ball joint further inhibit the optimal working of the product and these metal shaving can cause irritation and infection in the surrounding tissues.

It is not normal to experience pain after having a Depuy knee replacement and if you do you need to contact your doctor immediately. Because of the product's propensity to cause infection your life could be in danger as infections left unattended can spread throughout the body and result in death. If you have pain and have to have revisionary surgery, you can file a lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson for compensation for medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call the Onder Law firm for a free legal consultation.

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Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm won $197 million in three talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis in 2016 and other law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.