Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Considering $3 Billion Settlement Involving Hip Implants
Our Georgia Defective Medical Device Attorneys at Montlick and Associates welcome the news of a possible agreement reached by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) settling personal injury claims related to defective hip implants manufactured by J&J's DePuy Orthopedics subsidiary. There have been well over 10,000 lawsuits filed against the medical device manufacturer related to the hip replacement device related to concerns over an abnormally high failure rate and elevated levels of the heavy metals chromium and cobalt. J&J is rumored to have agreed to a settlement of as many of 11,500 lawsuits for in excess of $3 billion, which amounts to approximately $300,000 per claim according to a Bloomberg report.
J&J's DePuy unit recalled 93,000 Articular Surface Replacement ™ (A.S.R.) hip implants in 2010 which included 37,000 in the U.S. Many patients who received the implant needed painful reversionary surgery after the device failed and needed to be replaced. The device needed to be replace in twelve percent of patients within five years, which is abnormally high. The hip replacement device is comprised of a metal ball and metal cup. The device may fall out of place or shed metal particles from wear as the ball rotates within the metallic cup. This can result in intense pain, limited range of motion, tissue damage, crippling injuries and corrective surgery.
The settlement being considered comes in the wake of an $8.3 million verdict against J&J in the first ASR hip replacement trial earlier this year. The jury in that case found that the medical device was defectively designed and that the company failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with implantation of the ASR hip replacement. Although J&J is appealing that verdict, J&J's consideration of the massive settlement of many of the pending ASR product liability lawsuits has come a short-time after the verdict.
Although the $8.3 million dollar verdict did not include a punitive damage award, internal company documents produced during the trial revealed that DePuy officials were aware of the problems with the hip implant and the unusually high failure rate long before removing the device from the market. Although hip implant devices typically are designed to last fifteen years or longer, officials within DePuy estimated that the medical devices would fail in forty percent of patients within five years of implantation. In other words, the company's own documents revealed that the device failed eight times more rapidly than similar hip replacement systems.
If the proposed settlement moves forward, it will resolve many of the claims arising from injuries caused by the ASR hip replacement implants, but there are thousands of other lawsuits pending against DePuy involving another hip replacement device called Pinnacle™ that also is no longer being marketed by the company.
If you or someone close to you has experienced severe pain, loss of motion or reversionary surgery after receiving a hip implant, our Georgia personal injury lawyers have been representing injury victims for over thirty years 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.