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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DePuy Hip Implants: An Ongoing Saga of Litigation

By: Anna Blood, Intern
The Cochran Firm

DePuy sold and marketed the ASR XL total hip replacement, ASR hip resurfacing system and Pinnacle hip implants as a safe and effective way for patients to maintain an active lifestyle. Today, many patients suffer from severe and life-threatening injuries as a result of DePuy’s negligence in testing and designing of its products.
Since the 2010 recall, thousands of lawsuits have surmounted against DePuy as patients continue to be adversely affected by the ASR hip implant system. Plaintiffs generally claim that the products causes them pain, swelling, infection, damage to bone and tissue and most seriously, chromium and cobalt metal poising, known as “metallosis.”
In 2012, federal judges presiding over multidistrict litigation involving DePuy ordered parties to select cases for bellwether trials to begin in 2013. Courts utilize the bellwether approach when there are a large number of plaintiffs suing for the same claim or theory.
The first bellwether trial for ASR multidistrict litigation began in September 2013, in a federal court in Ohio. Under this suit, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle approximately 7,500 hip law suits by giving an average of $250,000 to each plaintiff that was required to removed or replace their hip implants before August 31, 2013. This suit marked the largest defective medical device settlement in the history of the U.S.
Under the settlement, the payment by Johnson & Johnson was to be divided into two pools, with $2 billion going to basic awards and $475 million covering additional payments to compensate patients who sustained more significant injuries. Additionally, plaintiffs who smoke, are overweight, or are older will see reduced payments. Separately, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay all medical costs and related procedures. Payouts under this settlement began in June of 2014 and will continue in the future.
Also in 2013, Johnson & Johnson settled the claims of three Nevada women who received ASR implants from the same surgeon. These cases were settled in state court for $200,000 each. Additionally, in California the first in a series of law suits against Johnson & Johnson concluded with a jury finding for the plaintiff in the amount of $8.3 million.

More recently, on July 2, 2014 the Oregon Department of Justice reached a $4 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson. Oregon’s single-state settlement is the first government action to resolve allegations that DePuy failed to disclose to physicians and patients that its ASR XL “metal on metal” artificial hip devices had an alarming rate of failure.

Federal bellwether trials for Pinnacle hip implants are scheduled to begin in September 2014. DePuy has refused to recall the Pinnacle Hip even though the metal-on-metal components are similar to the ASR and instead discontinued its use in 2013. Pinnacle hip patients show clear signs of metal poisoning known as “metallosis,” pain, swelling, muscle and bone damage.

posted by The Cochran Firm at 3:04 PM

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The Cochran Firm handles Civil Litigation and Criminal Defense claims for clients throughout the United States of America. The information on this website does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney-client relationship.Please contact The Cochran Firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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