LIMERICK patients caught up in the DePuy hip implant recall have until August 2013 to initiate legal action, according to a lawyer handling hundreds of cases.
Peter McDonnell was speaking after hosting an information meeting on the affair at the Clarion Hotel.
DePuy issued a global recall of two hip replacement products in August 2010 after doctors observed high failure rates and medical complications.
Around 3500 Irish patients received the implants, including 56 who had surgery at Croom Hospital. Six people have had corrective surgery in Croom while seven people are taking legal action against the HSE for operations carried out at the County Limerick hospital.
“There are thousands of people across the country whose lives have been destroyed by this corporate medical catastrophe and, as a direct result, have suffered with debilitating, chronic pain and, in many cases severe levels of ill-health,” Mr McDonnell said.
“Consequently, they deserve to be recompensed for having endured such trauma at the hands of a company which they should have been able to trust implicitly.”
While DePuy has agreed to cover patients for diagnostic tests, corrective procedures and out-of-pocket expenses, Mr McDonnell said no liability had been admitted to date that would cover patients for ongoing health problems and loss of earnings through reduced mobility.
“Prior to coming here today, I had already been contacted by hundreds of patients from Limerick and surrounding counties who feel justifiably aggrieved as a result of this appalling corporate and medical catastrophe but are under the false impression that it is too late for them to submit a claim against DePuy. I am keen to stress that this is not the case,” he said.
There was a three-year period in which plaintiffs could take a product liability case, meaning patients had until August to make a claim.