Hip replacement surgical implant leads to suit against Johnson & Johnson

By Jon Campisi | Oct 28, 2011

A York, Pa. man who claims that he sustained injuries after having a double hip replacement is suing the manufacturers of the surgically implanted product, alleging that its faulty nature caused him great harm.

Lancaster, Pa. attorneys Dan M. Brookhart and Edward R. Kennett, of the firm Atlee, Hall & Brookhart, LLP, filed the product liability complaint Oct. 27 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Charles E. Youcheff, and his wife, Kathleen A. Youcheff.

The defendants named in the civil suit are Indiana-based DePuy Orthopedics, DePuy Inc. and Johnson & Johnson International.

According to the complaint, Charles E. Youcheff underwent right hip replacement surgery back on July 9, 2007, followed by a left hip replacement procedure exactly two years later to the date.

The lawsuit claims that the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System, which won approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2005, experienced problems following surgery, and required the plaintiff to have one of the procedures done for a second time.

The lawsuit claims that the ASR device has experienced widespread problems since it started being used in hip replacement surgeries.

The product, the suit contends, is prone to premature failure, “unacceptably high failure rates when compared with other metal-on-metal prostheses, and causes severe injuries to patients due to metal debris that is released in the patient.”

The product produces larges amounts of metallic debris as the metal components wear, the suit claims, and the debris has been known to cause damage to the muscles, tendons and other soft tissue.

“The defects also interfere with the intended bone growth and results in high levels of metal in the patients’ blood,” the suit continues. “ASR devices have a significantly higher failure rate than they should due to defects which concentrate the forces in a manner to lead to premature wear, loosening of the prosthesis and metal release.”

Patients who undergo hip replacement surgery using the product often have to have the ASR removed and or revised, and typically experience other injuries related to the product, the lawsuit claims.

In Charles Youcheff’s case, he later had to undergo a revision surgery that was “more complicated, more invasive and less successful than would have been had the ASR not been defective,” the suit claims.

Youcheff also sustained metal poisoning and metalosis due to metal debris from the defective ASR; extreme pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, embarrassment, humiliation and the loss of the enjoyment of life’s pleasures; medical expenses; lost wages and future earning capacity; and the possibility of being at risk for future medical complications, the lawsuit states.

The complaint contains counts of strict liability, negligence, and breach of express and implied warranties.

The suit also contains a loss of consortium count in which Youcheff’s wife claims she has been deprived of her husband’s companionship.

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

A jury trial is being demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-06718-JCJ.

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