Multi-state plaintiffs file suit over DePuy hip replacement in Madison County

Kelly Holleran Jul. 11, 2012, 2:00am


Residents from a variety of states have filed suit against the manufacturers of a hip replacement device, alleging the device malfunctioned and caused them injuries.

Lead plaintiff Robert Ball and 20 other people claim they had their hips replaced with products manufactured by defendant Johnson and Johnson Services. However, following the surgery, the hip replacement device malfunctioned and injured the plaintiffs, according to the complaint filed June 29 in Madison County Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs, who hail from Illinois, Missouri, California and Indiana, say the hip replacement products caused them to experience a variety of injuries, including bone loss, tissue loss, metal ion release, neurological injuries, cancer, liver damage and kidney damage.

Because of their injuries, the plaintiffs claim they suffered severe emotional distress.

In addition to Johnson and Johnson, the plaintiffs name hip replacement sellers and marketers Depuy Orthopedics, Depuy International Limited and Premier Orthopedic Sales as defendants. They also name the doctors who promoted the device as defendants. Doctor defendants include Thomas P. Schmalzried and Thomas Park Vail.

All of the defendants allegedly negligently failed to provide proper warnings about the dangers of the hip replacement devices and failed to examine the products to determine their dangerous and unsafe nature, the suit states.

"Defendants were aware of the probable consequences of the hip replacement products," the complaint says. "Defendants knew or should have known that the hip replacement products would cause serious injury; they failed to disclose the known or knowable risks associated with the hip replacement products."

In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress against all the defendants.

They also allege breach of implied warranty against Depuy Orthopedics, saying it sold hip replacement products that were not suitable for sale.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $350,000, plus attorney's fees, pre-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by David R. Jones of the Law Office of David R. Jones in Edwardsville, Robert G. Jones of The Jones Law Firm in Belleville and William S. Beatty of Beatty and Motil in Glen Carbon.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-922.

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