Jury selection was scheduled to begin this week in Prince George's County, Maryland, over claims that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn a former professional dancer and her doctors about risks with two DuPuy ASR™ hip implants she received. Moira Jackson, who says the implants caused “severe physical distress and injury” until she was “unable to lead a normal life,” is seeking at least $15 million in damages, according to Bloomberg.com.
The Jackson case is the first jury trial over the DuPuy implants. Johnson & Johnson is facing more than 10,000 other lawsuits over the recalled hip implants, many of which were consolidated into a federal case in U.S. District Court in Ohio. The first of the consolidated cases is set to go to trial in May with a second in July.
Patients claim the hip implants, which are made from a cobalt and chromium alloy, killed tissue around the artificial joint and may have increased metal ions in their blood up to harmful levels. Johnson & Johnson recalled all 93,000 ASR hip implants worldwide in 2010 because more than 12 percent failed within five years.
Johnson & Johnson has said in court filings that the ASR hips were federally approved and that doctors and patients were properly informed about the risks of failure, according to Bloomberg.com. Four months ago, the company agreed to pay about $600,000 to settle three lawsuits that had been set to go to trial in Las Vegas late last year.