[This is part of an ongoing series of articles we've reported on for the Depuy Hip Replacement Failure. Bisnar|Chase has filed and is currently litigating these types of hip replacement failure lawsuits.]
A witness for Johnson & Johnson miscalculated when he testified that Loren Kransky’s metal hip replacement device failed because of the angle at which it was implanted, the plaintiff’s attorney said in cross-examination during the trial in Los Angeles.
According to a Bloomberg News report, expert Avram Edidin testified during the trial involving a product liability lawsuit filed by Loren Kransky, which claims that J & J defectively designed his metal hip device and failed to warn consumers about the risks. Kransky’s lawsuit is the first of 10,000 DePuy ASR hip device lawsuits to go to trial.
Discrepancy in Measuring Implant Angle
Edidin, a professor at Drexel University’s School of Biomedical Engineering in Philadelphia, testified that the ideal angle of the device’s placement is 45 degrees. He told jurors that Kransky’s surgeon placed the cup of the device at a 63- to 65-degree angle causing the metal to wear and cause complications. Edidin’s testimony was meant to convince jurors that the implant failure was the fault of the surgeon and not J & J.
However, Kransky’s lawyer on cross-examination showed jurors an X-ray on which Edidin had drawn the angle. The actual angle was 57.5 degrees, not 65 degrees as calculated by Edidin. The professor said he knew he could have bought a protractor to correctly measure the angle at Walgreens, but did not offer an explanation for his miscalculation. On re-direct testimony, however, he said that he reviewed several images before the revision surgery, re-measured that angle and determined that was 63 degrees.
Questions about Testing
Edidin also told the jury that DePuy had done an “extraordinary amount” of testing before selling the metal hip implants in the United States in 2005. J & J recalled the hips when their failure rate hit 12 percent in the United Kingdom. Those rates skyrocketed in 40 percent in Australia. In this particular case, Kransky’s hip was implanted in December 2007 and removed, or revised, in February 2012.
Edidin told jurors that because of the steep angle of the implantation, Kransky’s metal hip was “sub-luxing” or dislocating slightly as he walked. Edidin said there was no test that could predict revision rates and that such a determination will be possible only through clinical trials.
It is apparent that J & J is trying to pin the blame on the surgeon diverting the attention away from the defective hip implants. Study after study has shown that the metal hip implants caused serious complications among those who received them including lack of mobility, metal toxicity and loosening of the implant. It would be interesting to see how the jury analyzes this case and the evidence before them.