J&J Defective DePuy ASR Hip Manufacturer Under Seige
Shezad Malik MD JDJanuary 19, 2013 2:45 PM
I have written extensively about the problems and injuries suffered by folks who have had metal on metal hips implanted. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and its subsidiary DePuy, are under fire with more than 10,000 lawsuits over its recalled metal on metal hip ASR implants. According to unsubstantiated sources, Johnson and Johnson is looking to resolve these cases and may be negotiating a potential settlement with patients that may eventually total more than $2 billion.
According to sources, J&J, a pharmaceutical and medical device giant, has offered to pay more than $200,000 a case, a deal which could exceed $2 billion. As a Dallas DePuy ASR defective metal on metal hip attorney representing many injured and impaired plaintiffs, my advice would be to reject that low ball offer. Many of my injured clients are facing a lifetime of pain, need for early revision surgery and expensive medical monitoring and physical rehabilitation.
Metal on Metal Hip Nightmare
In 2010, J&J acknowledged that more than 12 percent of the DePuy ASR hip devices failed within five years, this admission led to a worldwide recall of 93,000 all-metal hips including 37,000 in the U.S. Patients who filed claims alleged that they suffer pain, are immobilized by joint dislocations, infections and succumbed to bone fractures. Plaintiffs also alleged metal debris from the hips causes tissue death around the joints.
Johnson and Johnson Under Seige
J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, revealed in a November filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it increased reserves “due to anticipated product liability litigation and costs associated with” the ASR hips. According to the company it had spent about $800 million on hip recalls during the prior two years.
Magnitude of the Metal on Metal Hip Debacle
J&J faces at least 10,100 suits over the hips through September. The majority of cases are consolidated in federal court in Toledo, Ohio, where 7,240 lawsuits are pending, and California state court in San Francisco, where more than 2,000 cases are filed. Attorneys involved in the litigation have reviewed more than 50 million pages of documents and have deposed more than 50 witnesses.
3 DePuy ASR Cases Ready for Trial
The three defective hip cases going to trial in the next few months, the first proceeding starts Jan. 23 in state court in Los Angeles; the second begins next month in state court in Chicago; and a third is scheduled for May in federal court in Toledo, Ohio.
The Los Angeles case is Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, Superior Court of the State of California (Los Angeles). 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).
What is the problem with DePuy ASR?
The J&J hips were made from a cobalt and chromium alloy used in two related models of hips -- the ASR XL Acetabular System, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System. In announcing its recall, J&J cited unpublished data from the U.K. showing that within five years, 13 percent of ASR XL hips failed and needed to be replaced, and 12 percent of the ASR Hip Resurfacing System failed.
2011 British Data
In March 2011, the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Society said preliminary data put the ASR XL’s failure rate in the U.K. as high as 49 percent after six years.
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