Hip Replacement Implant Recall Lawsuit Settlement News

In the first trial over its recalled ASR hip, Johnson & Johnson lost an $8.3 million verdict. The California jury awarded damages to a Montana prison guard and ruled that J&J’s DePuy Orthopedics division designed of the device was defective.
Now, Bloomberg reports that Johnson & Johnson is in discussions over paying more than $3 billion to settle lawsuits over its recalled hip implants. Facing as many as 11,500 lawsuits in the U.S. the company is reportedly considering paying more than $300,000 per case.
A settlement this large would dwarf a previous $1 billion settlement Sulzer AG, a Swiss-based pump maker reached with patients who had received the company’s defective knee and hip implants.
It is suspected however, that any settlements will likely be framed by the outcome of seven A.S.R. product-liability trials scheduled between September and January.
The first trial involves Ann McCracken, 58, of Rochester, New York, who needed two revision surgeries after the failure of her A.S.R. implant. The trial is one of 8,000 cases consolidated on the federal court in Cleveland. Another 2000 cases are pending in the California Judicial Council in Cleveland.
Trials also are scheduled in state courts in San Francisco in October; in Hackensack, New Jersey, in October and January; in West Palm Beach, Florida, in November; in Chicago in December; and in Los Angeles in January.
While Depuy continues to insist that the company acted appropriately and responsibly, and also claims that the A.S.R. hip system was properly designed – any consideration of a settlement would seem to indicate that the company is finally willing to accept responsibility for its role in the largest medical device failure in history.
If Johnson & Johnson does accept responsibility for the pain and suffering caused by the faulty implants, it will be welcome news to the thousands of people affected by their negligence. It should also be a reminder to the company that their first responsibility is not to the shareholders, but to the patients they serve.
The DePuy A.S.R. is part of the biggest medical device failures in decades and it was the first to be recalled in 2010. Since then the Smith & Nephew R3 and the Zimmer Durom Cup have also been recalled. The Stryker Rejuvenate was recalled in 2012 for metal contamination as well but in that case the metal was leaching from the modular neck joint. Metal-on-metal joints still on the market such as the Biomet Magnum, the Encore and the Wright Profemur Converse, Dynasty, and Lineage are also failing at unacceptably high rates.