Lawsuit filed against manufacturers of hip replacement device

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 11, 2011, 12:19pm

MARSHALL - A Texas woman has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of her hip replacement devices after she suffered from extensive problems and ultimately, had to have the hip replacement devices replaced.

Claiming the products were misrepresented, Judy Walters and Boyd Walters filed suit against Depuy Orthopedics Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Inc. on July 7 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Judy Walters underwent hip replacement surgery in July 2009 and had an ASR XL Acetabular System implanted in her right hip. She underwent left hip replacement surgery in February 2010.

She states that since her surgeries she has suffered from cracking of her bones, metal shavings in muscles, muscle damage, intense pain and problems standing and sitting. She claims she was forced to have both implants replaced.

Walters argues that if she had known of the failure of the Acetabular System, she would not have had the device implanted.

According to the lawsuit, there is a high failure rate of the medical device due to the design of the Acetabular metal cup which is shallower than other similar devices. The cups include a beveled edge which reduces the surface arc that contacts with the femoral head.

Walters states these characteristics can cause edge loading, metal debris, loosening of the device, malalignment of the device, and fracture of the device from the bone.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include negligence, strict product liability, design defect, failure to warn and manufacturing defect, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act and loss of consortium.

Judy Walters and Boyd Walters are seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain and mental anguish, physical impairment disfigurement, loss of earning capacity, loss of companionship and consortium, loss of household services, punitive damages, attorney's fees and costs and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by M. Raymond Hatcher and Alan J. Robertson of Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm in Longview.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00313

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