DePuy Elbow Implant Lawsuit

On December 30, 2016, DePuy Orthopaedics issued a Class I Recall of its Synthes Radial Head Prosthesis System—an elbow implant that can cause serious complications and injuries for patients who have received it.

Class I is the most serious kind of recall by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. The FDA defines Class I as “a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

Due to the debilitating nature of these side effects, the possibility of revision surgeries, and Johnson & Johnson’s inability to pinpoint the cause of the problems, many patients will file lawsuits against J&J to recover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to their faulty elbow implants.

If you have had a DePuy Synthes Radial Head Prosthesis System implanted at any point since December 2013, and you required or require a revision surgery on that joint replacement, you may be eligible for a lawsuit.

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DePuy Elbow Implant Side Effects

The official recall states that the loosening of the prostheses’ radial stems can cause serious and painful side effects, including the following:

  • Device loosening
  • Osteolysis (the destruction or disappearance of bone tissue)
  • Poor joint mechanics
  • Pain
  • Post-operative bone fracture
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Soft tissue irritation

Unfortunately, many patients with these elbow implants will need revision surgeries to correct these problems. Thankfully, they may be able to force Johnson & Johnson to pay for these surgeries through a lawsuit.

Notable Joint Implant Recalls and Lawsuits

There is a strong precedent for settlement and awards in joint replacement lawsuits.

In 2015 Stryker recalled 17,000 elbow replacements—but that recall was over damage to the implants that may have occurred during shipping. Moreover, it was a less severe Class II Recall, which denotes “a situation in which use of or exposure to a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.”

Generally speaking, joint implant recalls and lawsuits involve knee or hip replacements, not elbow. As seen below, there is a strong precedent for settlement and awards in hip replacement lawsuits.

Stryker’s Rejuvenate & ABG II Hip Stems

Stryker recalled the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stems in 2012. These hip stems generated a flood of lawsuits filed by patients who suffered complications after their hip replacement surgeries. Many would need a second (or revision) hip surgery.

In the fall of 2014, Stryker agreed to pay $1.43 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits concerning its ABG II and Rejuvenate hip stems. Under the settlement, each plaintiff could receive as much as $600,000 in damages.

Johnson & Johnson/DePuy’s ASR Hip Implants

In August 2010, Johnson & Johnson’s Depuy Orthopaedics announced it was recalling two hip replacement systems, the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System due to unwanted side effects like metal poisoning.

The National Joint Registry of England and Wales claimed that within five years, one in eight patients who received the recalled hip implants would require revision surgery. DePuy itself estimated that roughly 10,000 patients would need revision surgery.

These hip issues led to thousands of lawsuits filed by affected patients. In November 2013, J&J announced it would pay $2.5 billion to resolve about 8,000 ASR lawsuits. That settlement sum included $250,000 for each patient to cover a revision surgery.

Johnson & Johnson/DePuy’s Pinnacle Hip Implants

DePuy’s Pinnacle hip implants have not yet been recalled, but they have caused similar side effects to the ASR models and generated thousands of lawsuits by affected patients.

In March 2016, a jury in Dallas, Texas awarded $502 million to patients who said their failed Pinnacle devices had caused pain and would require (or had required) revision surgeries. (A judge later reduced this award to $150 million.)

In another bellwether trial that came to a close in December 2016, a Texas jury awarded $1 billion to six plaintiffs who needed revision surgeries because of painful side effects caused by their Pinnacle hip implants. According to Reuters, these side effects included tissue death and bone erosion. (A judge later cut this award in half.)

There are still about 8,400 more Pinnacle cases currently on trial in North Texas courts as an MDL (multi-district litigation). This is a bellwether trial for Pinnacle, which means its outcome will influence other Pinnacle lawsuits and perhaps persuade J&J to settle future cases.

Elbow Implant Lawsuit Eligibility

If you have a DePuy Synthes Radial Head Prosthesis System, you might qualify for a lawsuit that would help you recover damages related to your implant. But you must meet the following criteria:

  • Had the DePuy Synthes elbow prosthesis implanted after (or in) December 2013
  • Require(d) a revision surgery to correct problems with the joint replacement

If you meet the above criteria, please contact us today to learn your rights. Don’t wait; these cases are time-sensitive, and you could be entitled to compensation.

(Note: At this time we are only interested in pursuing cases about elbow implants manufactured by DePuy, not other manufacturers.)

Elbow Implant Lawsuit Compensation

An elbow implant lawsuit could help you recover compensation to cover the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other expenses related to your device’s unforeseen side effects

Hold Johnson & Johnson/DePuy Accountable

If you or a loved one has experienced pain, soft tissue damage or irritation, poor joint mechanics, or broken bones because of a faulty elbow implant—and require(d) revision surgery as a result of these side effects—please contact us today to learn your rights and potentially pursue a lawsuit.

Our attorneys have recovered more than $2 billion for our clients. We can help you obtain justice and hold Johnson & Johnson/DePuy accountable.