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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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DePuy Litigation Gaining Momentum Over Recalled ASR Hips

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Not a day goes by, before more bad news regarding the DePuy ASR and Pinnacle Hip Replacement and Recall issues percolate to the surface. As folks who have been following this story, the DePuy saga continues unabated. This week, our firm filed 3 DePuy ASR lawsuits, in the federal court MDL in Ohio. This is the federal court where the federal filed cases have been consolidated, for pretrial workup. And we are evaluating many more cases of DePuy ASR failures and metallosis.

On a more interesting note, this month Johnson & Johnson's Third Quarter Earnings Report was published. The quarterly earnings report outlines the various legal proceedings the Company is currently defending.

The report states that "[m]ultiple products of the Company's subsidiaries are subject to product liability claims and lawsuits in which claimants seek substantial compensatory and, where available, punitive damages." This material appears on page 18 of the 10K Report.

The report highlights lawsuits relating to the DePuy ASR hip replacements and the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements. According to the 10-Q Report, as of October 2, 2011, there were approximately 3,500 pending lawsuits related to the ASR hip implants and 560 related to the Pinnacle hip systems. The 10-Q reports that litigation expenses and additional DePuy ASR hip recall costs of $223 million were recorded in the fiscal nine months of 2011.

The DePuy ASR hip implants and the Pinnacle hip replacements were manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The lawsuits are filed In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation ("MDL No. 2197"), which is currently underway in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; and In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation ("MDL No. 2244"), which is currently underway in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Johnson & Johnson Anticipates Increasing Litigation Over Recalled ASR Hips
The report also provides details regarding the impact of the ASR artificial hip recall, which was initiated in August 2010. The report states that "the number of pending lawsuits continues to increase. The Company continues to receive information with respect to potential costs associated with this recall" and has since established a "product liability accrual" in anticipation of product liability litigation settlements and costs associated with the ASR hip recall.