Multiple news agencies have reported that during the hearing concerning the first lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson linked to ASR hip implants, a surgeon from California has testified that he, the man who designed Johnson & Johnson’s recalled hip implants, forwarded all complaints concerning the devices to the DePuy marketing department and was unaware of the group that had been designated to investigate into these issues.
According to the news, the surgeon testified before the jury and claimed that he made $3.6 million in royalties on the device that has not been recalled. Since the year 2000, the company paid him $20 million, which included work on other services not fully associated with the ASR hip implant.
The surgeon was the head of the design team in the DePuy unit and reported that, although other employees testified that all complaints were sent to the vigilance and complaint department. According to the testimony, the surgeon reported that the company doesn’t have a vigilance department.
The surgeon also reported that the man who was reportedly the head of this department was not familiar to him. In August 2010, Johnson & Johnson recalled all units of the hip implants when the rate of failure reached 12 percent in the United Kingdom. Reports show that in Australia, the failure rate hit 40 percent.
The company has reported in this trial that it warned the plaintiff of the risks associated with these hip implants and that, in spite of the warnings and the potential health risks, the patient decided to carry on with the surgery. The surgeon reported that he instructed other surgeons on how to properly insert the device, which is made with cobalt and chromium metals. The ball was to be placed atop the femur, which rotated in the metal cup placed in the hip.
According to the surgeon, the biggest issue concerning the insertion of the device was how to get the cup placed in the proper position. The surgeon reported that all cups that failed were not in the right position. The surgeon reported that every time he heard of a revision surgery concerning the hip implants, he would let the marketing department know of the occurrence. The surgeon reported that at this moment, he no longer implants any metal-on-metal hip implants since alternative treatments and devices are now available.
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