Faulty hip replacement patients launch legal action

  • Breaking
  • 14/03/2012

By Rachel Morton

A large group of New Zealand patients are launching legal action against Johnson and Johnson over hip operations that went wrong.

The patients were given metal on metal hip joints which began to disintegrate.

The New Zealand patients are among thousands affected around the world.

At just 42 Bevan Sanson is about to have his second hip replacement. It has been just two and a half years since his first one but he has to have it redone because it was faulty. 

“You're told that you'll be able to do certain activities like run and do social sport, and when those clearly aren't an option because of the pain you're suffering then the alarm bells start to ring,” says Mr Sanson.

He is one of about 500 New Zealanders with the metal on metal hip replacement before manufacturer DePuy, a division of Johnson and Johnson, recalled them.

Patients have suffered constant pain and the effects of the metal disintegrating. Despite that nobody told Mr Sanson they had been recalled. 

“At no stage was I told by my surgeon, the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association, Johnson and Johnson, or anyone, that I had this in me and that they were recalling it,” he says.

Now he and at least 30 others who received the replacement in New Zealand will take legal action with the help of Hugh Preston, a barrister from Britain.

While Johnson and Johnson are paying medical costs, the victims say they deserve more.

“They're claiming compensation for the pain and suffering and for the financial losses, which could be loss of earnings or care,” says Mr Preston. “Some people have been left with lifetime permanent disabilities.”

Johnson and Johnson say they “also pay for reasonable expenses related to receiving care, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs and travel expenses”.

The group is encouraging anyone else who had a faulty hip replacement and had side effects to join their legal action.

They also plan to make complaints about how they were treated to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

3 News

Read the full statement by Johnson and Johnson:

Our first priority remains for the care and wellbeing of ASR patients and their families.  We are currently providing information, support and assistance to over 4,000 patients in Australia and New Zealand and seek to do the same with any ASR patients who have not yet registered through the ASR Helpline.  DePuy is committed to addressing reasonable and customary costs of testing and treatment for reasons related to the recall, including revision surgery if necessary.  We also pay for reasonable expenses related to receiving care, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs and travel expenses.

We are encouraging all patients to contact our ASR Helpline on 0800 660 026  in New Zealand to register and have their questions answered.  Further detailed recall information is also available at asrrecall.depuy.com.  I would very much appreciate you including this important information, particularly the ASR Helpline number, in any story you may air (either TV or electronic) and also provide the number to any patients you may speak with.  We want to assure patients that registering with the ASR Helpline does not waive any of their legal rights.

source: newshub archive