Jury Verdict in First J&J ASR XL Hip Replacement Lawsuit Results in $8 Million Verdict


March 14, 2013

The first trial of the 11,000 pending cases against Johnson and Johnson for injuries caused by its recalled ASR XL hip replacement has resulted in a jury verdict exceeding $8 million dollars in a Los Angeles court.

While the jury found that the plaintiff was entitled to $8 million in damages for pain and suffering and $338,000 for medical expenses, the jury did not find that the drug manufacturer had committed fraud and award punitive damages. The ARS XL hip replacement system was manufactured by the DePuy orthopedic unit of Johnson and Johnson ("J&J").

The plaintiff was a retired Montana prison guard whose case was expedited under California state law because he was suffering from a terminal illness. The Atlanta defective medical product lawyers at Montlick & Associates commented that the verdict bodes well for the thousands of other lawsuits brought by those injured by this hip replacement medical device. One of the firm's senior lawyers also commented, “The jury clearly recognized that the DuPuy hip replacement was defective and caused serious injury in this case. While the jury did not award punitive damages in this case, we expect future cases will include punitive damage awards.”

These DuPuy hip replacements were designed to be more durable than traditional alternatives that use a metal or ceramic ball combined with a plastic socket. The DuPuy ASR XL implant uses both a metal ball and socket, but the devices have a comparably high failure rate. The concern is that the friction caused by the ball rotating in the socket can cause metal debris to shed, potentially causing damage to bone and tissue. Last month, the FDA proposed making companies that market all metal implants furnish additional information establishing that they are safe and effective as a condition for allowing companies to keep this type of artificial hip on the market.

The DePuy ASR XL hip replacement device was recalled in 2010 after it was discovered that they failed at a much higher rate than anticipated. Montlick & Associates believe that punitive damages should be awarded against the manufacturer because the company was aware of the abnormally high failure rate several years before the hip replacement was recalled, but continued to market the artificial hip. Post-marketing studies by DuPuy revealed that the orthopedic hip replacement had a higher revision rate than competing implants three years before the recall, according to newly released internal documents. The company sent “Dear doctor” letters out following the company studies that informed doctors that the device had revision rates of 8-9 percent at three years.

Kransky argued that the ASR XL hip caused him intense pain because heavy metals (cobalt and chromium) sloughed off into his body. J&J defended against these claims by indicating that no medical consensus exists concerning what level of these heavy metals cause complications for patients. The medical device manufacturer also argued that Kransky’s other health problems, which include heart disease, kidney cancer and diabetes were the source of the plaintiff’s pain. There is speculation that the damages in this case are conservative because Kransky was suffering from a terminal illness so his case was not representative of the long-term problems and hardships that will be faced by other DuPuy hip replacement injury victims.

While it is estimated that the DuPuy ASR XL hip replacement was implanted in half a million patients, J&J has budgeted $3 billion to cover the cost of the ASR hip replacement recall.

If you or someone close to you has suffered due to a recalled ASR XL hip replacement system, you may have a right to bring a products liability action seeking financial compensation. The Georgia personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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