November 13, 2013 – Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to pay over $4 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits filed in courthouses around the country over its DePuy hip replacement devices. In what goes down as the largest settlement of U.S. legal claims for a medical device, the accord will resolve more than 7,500 lawsuits in federal and state courts against J&J’s DePuy unit. All of the claims involve similar allegations that DePuy hip implants were defectively designed, resulting in adverse health complications including tissue damage, corrosion, metal ion poisoning (metallosis), and premature failure requiring the need for revision surgery.
Free DePuy Hip Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury after being implanted with a Depuy hip replacement system, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the DePuy hip and we can help.
What’s the Problem?
Johnson & Johnson will reportedly pay an average of $300,000 or more for each plaintiff who underwent a hip replacement surgery with the company’s ASR XL Acetabular or ASR Hip Resurfacing System. However, the agreement doesn’t bar patients whose DePuy hips fail in the future from filing lawsuits. This means that the settlement is uncapped in terms of total potential value, according to anonymous sources familiar with the deal. The settlement is scheduled to be announced next week in federal court in Toledo, Ohio.
The agreement marks the second massive settlement for J&J this month. On Nov. 4, the company announced that it would pay more than $2 billion to resolve criminal and civil investigations into the marketing of its highly-profitable antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone) and other medicines.
Under the terms of the new DePuy hip lawsuit settlement, 94% of eligible claimants must sign up for the settlement or J&J can withdraw from the deal.
“It’s certainly a lot of money, but there are whole bunch of people who contend these hips caused grievous injuries,” said Carl Tobias, who teaches product liability law at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “So some of them may feel like this isn’t enough compensation for what they’ve gone through.”
DePuy Hip Recall
In August 2012, DePuy recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants worldwide after the company claimed that approximately 12% of the devices failed within five years of being implanted. However, internal documents revealed that 37% of DePuy ASR hips failed after just 4.6 years. The failure rate reported in Australia was 44% within seven years.
When DePuy ASR hip implants first hit the market in 2005, the company marketed the devices as a revolutionary design that would last 20 years or more and offer greater range of motion than traditional models. However, in the years that followed, patients complained that the metal-on-metal implants caused dislocations, severe pain, and premature failure requiring the need for revision surgery. Others claimed that toxic metal debris shed by the devices caused tissue death and metal ion poisoning (metallosis).
Federal DePuy Hip Lawsuits
J&J is currently facing approximately 12,000 DePuy hip lawsuits filed in federal and state courts in Ohio, California, and New Jersey. U.S. District Judge David Katz is overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Toledo, and the settlement will require his approval. Allegations in the remaining lawsuits, filed on behalf patients who fear they will require revision surgery in the future, would reportedly be handled in a 2nd round of settlements. 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).
The $4 billion settlement will provide monetary compensation to injured parties based on age, extent of injuries, and whether or not they required revision surgery. The agreement also provides additional monies for hip recipients who suffered “extreme injuries” due to DePuy hip failure, or endured long hospital stays after revision surgery. Additionally, J&J has set aside funds to reimburse Medicare and other insurance companies for claims paid on behalf of DePuy hip implant recipients, which could potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the value of the settlement.
Do I Have a DePuy Hip Lawsuit?
The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in DePuy hip lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new DePuy hip complications cases in all 50 states.
Free DePuy Hip Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury after being implanted with a DePuy hip replacement device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a DePuy hip suit and we can help.