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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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J&J DePuy ASR Settles Metal Hip Lawsuits for $4 Billion

6 comments

According to Bloomberg News, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will pay more than $4 billion to resolve the product liability lawsuits over its recalled hip implants. This massive settlement is the largest of U.S. lawsuit claims over an allegedly defective medical device, and affects thousands of patients who have been injured by the metal on metal hip implant.

Settlement Impacts Thousands of Patients

The settlement will resolve more than 7,500 lawsuits in federal and state courts against J&J’s subsidiary DePuy unit.

August 2010 World Wide Recall

Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit recalled 93,000 hip implants in 2010, including 37,000 in the U.S., after reports of high failure rates within five years.

$300,000 Average Case Settlement

The company will pay an average of $300,000 for each of those failed devices. The agreement doesn’t prevent patients whose hips fail in the future from seeking compensation from J&J.

Metal Ball, Metal Cup and Metallosis

The J&J hips were made from a cobalt-and-chromium alloy used in two related models, the ASR XL Acetabular System, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System.

Plaintiffs claimed metallic debris was released by the artificial hip’s metal ball grinding against a metal cup. This metallic debris caused tissue death around the hip joint, and increased the amount of chromium and cobalt metal ions in the bloodstream to harmful levels.

12,000 DePuy ASR Lawsuits and Climbing

The company is facing a total of about 12,000 suits over the DePuy hips filed in courts in Ohio, California and New Jersey.

J&J Trial Verdicts

J&J lost an $8.3 million verdict in the first trial over the hip device and won the second. The jury panel found that the device was defectively designed and DePuy was negligent.

J&J was exposed to seven trials over the next six months, on claims the defective hips injured patients, including the first federal trial set for Cleveland in September. The company settled that case and another set for trial in state court in California in October for undisclosed sums.

The consolidated federal case is In re DePuy Orthopedics Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 10-MD-2197, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (Toledo).

6 Comments

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  1. RICK says:
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    How will this effect people that can not have revision surgery .due to severe heart condition plus age . almost 80 years old, after initial hip implant I went in chronic afib 2nd day out of surgery thanks for opinions

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      We firmly believe that all folks who have had a DePuy ASR hip implanted, would be eligible for settlement, even though they have not had a revision, for some reason or another. Please call us, we would be happy to discuss your case with you.

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    Excellent article on this important topic.

  3. ed anderson says:
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    I have 2 and my doctor originally told me I should have them replaced when the recall came. I declined because I had a job and 2 kids in college and couldnt be out of work. Have had numerous blood tests with my cobalt and cromium on the high side and am monitored continously . So I guess because I didnt have the 2 replaced and have high metal readings I get nothing. What a joke, if only I had 1 replaced which was paid for by J and J, I would be 350000 richer. Well I guess I lose. I only have to worry about metallosis from 2 bad hip replacements for the next number of years or until they stay in my body without any compensation. Is this settlement really fair, I dont think so.

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      Ed:
      Thank for your comments. We are encouraging all folks who have been implanted with DePuy ASR metal on metal hips, to get into touch with a defective hip product liability attorney, to preserve your valuable legal rights. Even if folks have not had a revision, we believe that they are entitled to recovery because of the metallosis (which you appear to have) and the fact that in some cases we have seen a 50% failure rate at 5 years, which means that sooner rather than later, folks will need a new hip. I would be happy to discuss your case with you. Remember it is not too late to file a DePuy lawsuit, even if one has not had a revision or replacement.