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Johnson & Johnson Phasing Out of All Metal Hip Devices

The orthopedic unit of Johnson & Johnson recently announced that it was phasing out production of all-metal hip replacement, a move reflecting an industry wide trend to abandon the once widely used implants because of high early failure rates.

In 2010, the company, DePuy Orthopaedics, recalled an all-metal model known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., because it was failing just a few years after implant. Typically, artificial hips made from materials like plastic and metal last 15 years or more before they wear out and need to be replaced.

After that recall, DePuy continued to sell an all-metal version of a popular hip model called the Pinnacle insisting that the all-metal Pinnacle was safe and performing on par with other hip replacements.

It is estimated that all-metal replacement hips - in which both the cup and ball of a device are made from metal - once accounted for about one in three hip implants used in the United States. However, the metal components rubbed against each other as a patient moved, creating tiny particles that could damage tissue, muscle, and bone.

Johnson & Johnson is facing a wave of lawsuits from patients who say they were injured when its all-metal implants failed. According to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it faces over 10,000 cases related to the A.S.R. and 3,300 cases related to the all-metal Pinnacle.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or 1-800-594-4884.

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