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Shezad Malik MD JD
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Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR Hip Implant Settlement Explained

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For the folks who have been injured or severely maimed by the defective Depuy ASR metal on metal hip implant, relief is around the corner. According to unnamed sources, Bloomberg News and the New York Times, a mammoth settlement is pending release in open federal court on Tuesday November 19th.

The proposed settlement is going to be presented in federal court and will need the blessing of the federal judge overseeing the DePuy ASR litigation, which at last count has passed the 12,000 mark for folks afflicted by the allegedly faulty hip implant.

The settlement, is the culmination of hard work of countless plaintiffs and their attorneys who brought the fight to Johnson and Johnson, the parent of DePuy which manufactured the metal hips. The relentless pressure over the past 4 years, finally brought J&J to the settlement table and they hammered out the accord.

Settlement North of $4 Billion

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.

However it is a drop in the bucket for the pharmaceutical giant, which last quarter generated almost $18 billion in revenue and over $3 billion in net income. Not bad pay day for a company which some experts believe earned over $20 billion from the sale of its metal on metal hip line, which according to court documents they knew or should have know was defective, inadequately tested and foisted upon the unsuspecting doctors and their vulnerable patients.

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.

Details: $300,000 Average Case Settlement

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will formally announce on Nov. 19 a settlement of more than $4 billion aimed at resolving thousands of lawsuits over its recalled hip implants.

U.S. District Judge David Katz in Toledo, Ohio, will hear the settlement’s terms presented by attorneys for artificial-hip recipients and J&J, the world’s largest maker of medical products.

The settlement also provides more money in damages to folks who suffered “extreme injuries” from the device’s failure, or had long hospital stays after removal surgeries. Under the accord’s terms, 94 percent of eligible claimants must sign up for the settlement or J&J can withdraw from the deal.

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. According to experts, the final tally for payouts may exceed $6 billion, making this one of the largest medical device settlements.

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.

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).

 

3 Comments

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  1. RICK says:
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    GREAT ARTICLE
    THANK YOU FOR BEING SO IMFORMATIVE

  2. thomas says:
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    I feel this amount is way to low.. it does nothing to make j n j or any other company from making devices just for profit, and knowing that they will not get severely punished for it.. this sends a direct message to companies that profit over life is OK.. I am still going through pain management almost three years after my revision surgery.. you can’t tell me that the hospitals didn’t know in advance also.. it was all about profit for the also.. so where is there the punishment to them? I just turned 50, this all started when I was 44.. I have lost my high paying jib, and now am disabled.. I have to still go to pt, and have to take high amounts of pain meds just to move around now.. this amount is bull crap.. and I sure hope that atty fees are on top of this amount.. seeing how there is little to no work on our attys part in the mdl cases..

  3. edward anderson says:
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    I had both hips replaced 5 years ago with the ASR. Doctor wanted me to have them replaced but I refused because I couldnt afford to take off work because 3 kids going to college. My metal counts are high but I have no real problems with hips. My lawyer keeps pushing me to have them relaced. 2 major sugeries, I dont think so. Well now that the settlement is done I will get nothing unless I go under the knife. What a joke, I have to worry about mettalosis for as long as I have these hips in. To think if I would of had only one replaced at the cost of JandJ I would be a rich man but because I decided to live with the problem I get nothing. Real fair, what a great settlement we got.