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A hip replacement implant 007A court case has begun to assist recipients of a controversial metal-on-metal hip replacement implant say they were guinea pigs for a faulty device that has left thousands of people in constant pain and others with heavy metal poisoning.

On the opening day of a Federal Court class action against the company that designed the metal hips, DePuy, and the product's distributor Johnson & Johnson, the victims of the devices demanded that those responsible be held to account.

"A lot of these people are elderly, they're dying - it's time for this to be settled so they can have compensation," one member of the class action, Janis Boys, said.

"I had nothing but pain for three years. It affected my whole life and my relationship with family and friends.

"My surgeon said it was the Rolls-Royce of hip replacements ... [the companies] knew that wasn't the case." Janis told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

The figure of participants could increase as statistics maintained by the Australian Orthopaedic Association's National Joint Replacement Registry show that, between 2003 and 2009, more than 5000 DePuy ASR implants were surgically implanted across Australia.

In December 2009, Johnson & Johnson withdrew the DePuy ASR hip implants from sale in Australia.

In March 2010, Johnson & Johnson issued a Safety Alert in relation to the DePuy ASR hip implants and in August 2010 it issued a Hazard Alert.

If you have any issues relating to a hip replacement, please contact your doctor and legal council.
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