During Trial, New Details Emerge About Hip Maker
When Johnson & Johnson announced the appointment in 2011 of an executive to head the troubled orthopedics division whose badly flawed artificial hip had been recalled, the company billed the move as a fresh start.
But that same executive, it turns out, had supervised the implant’s introduction in the United States and had been told by a top company consultant three years before the device was recalled that it was faulty.
In addition, the executive also held a senior marketing position at a time when Johnson & Johnson decided not to tell officials outside the United States that American regulators had refused to allow sale of a version of the artificial hip in this country.
The details about the involvement of the executive, Andrew Ekdahl, with the all-metal hip implant emerged Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court during the trial of a patient lawsuit against the DePuy Orthopaedics division of Johnson & Johnson. More than 10,000 lawsuits have been filed against DePuy in connection with the device — the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R. — and the Los Angeles case is the first to go to trial.
The information about the depth of Mr. Ekdahl’s involvement with the implant may raise questions about DePuy’s ability to put the A.S.R. episode behind it.