Time may be running out to bring a claim against DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent, Johnson & Johnson, for persons residing in states that have two-year statutes of limitation. It’s possible that the two-year statutes of limitations will run this August for recipients of DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular System or an ASR Hip Resurfacing System.
For our non-lawyer readers, statutes of limitations are designed to ensure that claims are filed promptly and that parties do not have to litigate issues based on old documents and potentially faulty memories. Because personal injury cases proceed in state courts and are governed by state law, statutes of limitations differ state-by-state. Many states provide for a two-year statute of limitation in personal injury/product liability cases. Failure to file suit within the prescribed time frame is disastrous.
The date on which the statute of limitations begins to run is often either the date of injury or the date when the Plaintiff knew or should have discovered that the injury occurred. In the ASR litigation, DePuy will likely argue that the limitations period began on the date of the recall, August 24, 2010, because that is when most recipients should have realized that they might have been injured. Based on the recall date, potential plaintiffs in states with a two-year statute will have until August 23, 2012 to file their hip replacement lawsuits. After that, DePuy may move to dismiss any lawsuits in those two-year statute of limitations states. The result of having a hip replacement lawsuit dismissed because the statute of limitations expired is that the Plaintiff will have to accept whatever DePuy offers via its recall reimbursement program operated by Broadspire, Inc.
Additionally, manufacturers may also attempt to use the August 2010 ASR recall date as a measure in other metal-on-metal hip litigation. As a result, potential Plaintiffs implanted with a DePuy Pinnacle, Wright Conserve or Biomet M2A-Magnum may be completely barred from relief after August 23, 2012. Expired statutes of limitations will completely bar relief in non-ASR lawsuits because DePuy’s reimbursement program compensates ASR recipients only.
Consequently, anyone implanted with a metal-on-metal hip device should consult a hip replacement lawyer as soon as possible, even if their device has not caused them any problems. Based on recent studies concerning metal-on-metal hip implants, there is a grave possibility that most ASR recipients will eventually experience complications from the all-metal device.
Anyone implanted with a metal-on-metal hip implant should have his or her case investigated to determine its merits. If you need more information, contact Navan Ward, a lawyer in our firm who is heavily involved in this litigation, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Navan.Ward@beasleyallen.com.
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