Counsel in DePuy ASR Multi-District Litigation Notified of Scheduled Deposition of Surgeon

Defense attorneys in the DePuy ASR MDL case, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio have filed a notice of their scheduled deposition of orthopedic surgeon, Thomas Vail, M.D., a frequently named defendant in California cases.

Following the release of two British surgeons’ studies, predicting that approximately 32 to 49 percent of patients implanted with the DePuy ASR hip replacement device will need to undergo painful revision surgery within six years of their initial operation, attorneys are obtaining court-ordered depositions from DePuy employees.

The DePuy ASR hip replacement device was recalled on August 24, 2010.  It is known that approximately 33,000 devices have been implanted in patients in the United States between late 2005 up until the date of recall.  As of today, at least 1,500 individual lawsuits have been filed in California. The reason is that California courts have jurisdiction over any case involving a patient in the U.S., no matter where that patient resides, because two of the physicians responsible for the design and marketing of the ASR are both California residents. Dr. Thomas Schmalzried is affiliated with the Joint Research Institute of Los Angeles, and Dr. Thomas (“Tad”) Vail is UCSF Chairman of Orthopedics.

There have recently been articles printed in medical journals identifying possible systemic health risks beyond the hip joint, which may be associated with high levels of chromium particles and ions, the type of metal debris resulting from a defective hip implant’s design.  Ongoing investigations are being conducted to determine what, if any, long-term problems may arise from the increased metal/blood levels.

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