Dozens of cases being taken against the manufacturers of allegedly defective hip replacements may be struck out following a ruling by the High Court.
In what is regarded as a test action with possible implications for a number of Irish cases, Ms Justice Mary Faherty ruled that a claim brought by Ms Randa Murphy against the hip replacement makers required an authorisation from the Personal Assessment Injuries Board (PIAB), now known as injuriesboard.ie, before it could proceed to a court hearing.
Ms Murphy has sued DePuy International Ltd (DPI), owned by Johnson & Johnson. Depuy is subject to thousands of cases worldwide, including several hundred here, arising from its 2010 worldwide recall of faulty hip replacement systems that it sold.
While Ms Murphy has brought parallel proceedings against Depuy where an authorisation has been obtained, it is understood up to 5 cases where no authorisation was obtained may not be able to continue as they are outside the applicable legal time limits.
Ms Murphy, from Ennis, Co Clare, claims she suffered severe ongoing pain and distress following hip replacement surgery in October 2005 when she received a DePuy ASR resurfacing hip implant system. In May 2010, she underwent further surgery on her hip.
The following August, DePuy issued a worldwide recall in respect of two of its hip replacement systems including the one which inserted in Ms Murphy in 2005. She later instructed solicitors to bring a damages action against DePuy for alleged negligence and severe personal injuries.