Lawsuit alleges hip replacement device caused elevated metal in blood

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 28, 2011, 9:47am

TYLER - A Texas resident has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of his hip replacement device, stating that if he had known of the defects he would have refused to have the device implanted.

Claiming he now has elevated levels of metal ions in his blood, Richard Dykes filed suit against Depuy Orthopedics Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Inc. on March 18 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. His wife, Debra, is also a plaintiff in the suit.

Dykes underwent hip replacement surgery in 2008 and had an ASR XL Acetabular System with an AML femoral stem implanted in his left hip. He alleges that since implantation, he has experienced problems sitting and standing, severe pain and elevated levels of metal ions in his blood. Dykes states that these complications will result in future surgery.

Within the lawsuit, Dykes alleges that the hip replacement device, the ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing Platform, are prone to failure within approximately two years of implantation. The lawsuit claims the implant's metal ball and socket bearings generate metal debris from wear and tear and that debris can spread through the patient's bone and tissue.

Other alleged complications from the defective medical device can include lack of mobility, inflammation causing damages or death to surrounding tissue and bone, difficult revision surgery to replace the faulty device, prolonged recovery time, increased risks of complications and death from surgery, according to the suit.

Dykes argues the products should have been recalled in 2008 after complaints were made to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the defects of the product.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include negligence, construction or composition defect, design defect, strict products liability, inadequate warning and breach of express warranty.

The plaintiff is seeking compensation for economic and non-economic losses including medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of earning capacity, loss of companionship and consortium and loss of household services, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and costs and interest.

Dykes is represented by John David Hart of the Law Offices of John David Hart in Fort Worth. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:11-cv-00129

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