Monday, March 4, 2013

Jury hears closing arguments in Depuy hip implant case.

The Los Angeles Times (2/28, Terhune, 692K) reports, "Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson played 'Russian roulette' with patient safety by ignoring high failure rates and surgeons' complaints about its once-popular artificial hip, a Los Angeles jury was told during closing arguments at a high-stakes medical trial for the company." The Times continues, "Jurors heard arguments from both sides Thursday in a case that pits the world's biggest seller of medical products against Loren Kransky, a 65-year-old former prison guard in Montana who claims he suffered metal poisoning and other health problems from the company's ASR XL hip implant he received in 2007. The company 'knew this hip was defective long before Mr. Kransky got it,' Brian Panish, one of Kransky's attorneys, told the 12 jurors and one alternate. J&J has denied Kransky's claims that it designed a defective hip implant and failed to warn patients about the risks. Attorneys for J&J have said that Kransky's ailing health was due to his diabetes, kidney cancer and other long-standing medical problems."

        Bloomberg News (3/1, Possley, Voreacos) reports, "J&J, the world's largest seller of health-care products, failed patients before recalling 93,000 ASR hips in August 2010, Panish said. At the time, J&J's DePuy unit said 12 percent failed within in five years, requiring follow-up revision surgeries. The Australian rate hit 44 percent in 2012, he said. 'That design was defective from the first day they put it out,' Panish argued to the state court jury at a trial that began Jan. 25. 'It was beyond what any hip had ever done to anyone in the history of the world. It's not even close.'"

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