Jon Campisi Aug. 23, 2012, 11:12am

A south-central Pennsylvania couple has brought a product liability lawsuit against the

makers of an artificial hip replacement device, alleging the husband sustained injuries as a result of having had the since-recalled product surgically implanted into his body.

William and Dolly Hensel, of York, Pa., are suing DePuy Orthopedics Inc., DePuy Inc. and Johnson & Johnson over claims that William Hensel’s ASR Acetabular System hip replacement device experienced problems after it was implanted in his body back on May 29, 2006.

Hensel was scheduled to undergo a replacement surgery on Aug. 23 to replace the defective DePuy product, according to the complaint, which was filed in federal court in Philadelphia Aug. 20 by Lancaster, Pa. attorney Jaime D. Jackson, of the law firm Atlee Hall LLP.

The lawsuit states that the artificial hip device was recalled on Aug. 24, 2010, due to an “unacceptably high failure rate,” and because the device was known to cause severe injuries to those who received it.

According to the complaint, the ASR device, which is a metal-on-metal device that consists of a femoral stem, a femoral head (ball) and an acetabular cup (socket), received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration in early August 2005.

The device was marketed as having several advantages over other hip replacement systems, the suit states.

Contrary to those representations, however, the device was actually fraught with problems, the lawsuit claims, namely, it experiences high failure rates when compared with other metal-on-metal prostheses and causes severe injuries to patients due to metal debris that is released into the patient.

The debris can cause damage to muscles, tendons and other soft tissue, the lawsuit claims, and the defects also interfere with intended bone growth and can result in high levels of metal in a patient’s bloodstream.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of failing to adequately test the device before marketing the product, saying the makers of the ASR device should have known prior to its recall that it was defective and should not be implanted into patients.

In the current case, Hensel claims the conduct of the defendants was a legal cause of his injuries.

The suit claims the plaintiff will need to undergo a future revision surgery that will be more complicated and invasive than the first.

It also claims that Hensel experienced metal poisoning and metalosis due to metal debris from the ASR device being released into his body.

Hensel has allegedly incurred lost wages and lost future earning capacity, as well as medical expenses, he has experienced extreme pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, embarrassment, humiliation and the loss of the enjoyment of life’s pleasures, and he is at risk for future medical complications.

The suit contains counts of strict liability, negligence, breach of implied and express warranties and loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs seek judgment in excess of $75,000, together with prejudgment interest, delay damages and punitive damages.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-04758-TON. 

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