Metal-on-metal hip implant lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm recently reported on a pending settlement for patients implanted with Johnson & Johnson’s ASR hip devices. We are happy to announce that the settlement was just confirmed by the U.S. District Court in the amount of $2.47 billion.
The settlement will be divided among over 7,500 plaintiffs, all of whom have medical records confirming they had to undergo additional revision surgeries. According to a report by Bloomberg, the settlement may be worth much more than the preliminary $2.47 billion. Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson reportedly told the District judge that the amount may reach $4 billion as more and more patients require remedial surgeries.
At present, this averages out to about $250,000 per ASR plaintiff, to cover medical bills and surgery costs, including lost wages. Johnson & Johnson has already spent an estimated $993 million on costs related to its recall of the ASR devices, which occurred in 2010. The healthcare giant recalled over 93,000 of its hip implants after reports of high rates of failure. J&J’s own internal documents show that 37% of the devices failed within less than five years of implantation.
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The agreement terms require that settlement recipients had the ASR implanted in the United States and removed on or before August 31, 2013. Eligible patients must have had the device for at least 180 days (six months) before removal. As stated, this amounts to about 7,500 plaintiffs at present, and another 4,500 who have not yet had revisions but have filed claims. Importantly, future patients who require their ASR to be removed due to failure could also be able to partake in the settlement (hence the $4 billion potential projection).
Though each plaintiff will receive a base $250,000 payment, the number is subject to change if the patient suffered any extraordinary injuries related to the ASR devices. This could include anything from bone or muscle loss to metallosis, or blood metal toxicity from the release of chromium and cobalt ions into the bloodstream.
The high rate of failure is so critical because J&J very aggressively marketed the ASR as a long-lasting and superior product, compared to traditional ceramic or plastic hip devices. The metal-on-metal design was a new technology, which the company believed would last 20 years in patients and give them improved range of motion.
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It is important to note there are still thousands of cases pending against another of J&J’s metal-on-metal hip implants, the Pinnacle. There are over 5,000 claims related to the Pinnacle, which allege similar injuries as the ASR. The settlement comes as a relief to thousands of families affected by the inherently dangerous, defectively designed metal-on-metal hips.
There are several other metal-on-metal devices surgeons used apart from those manufactured by J&J. Among the other, more popular metal hip implants include the Stryker Rejuvenate, which is subject to an immense amount of litigation (over 20,000 lawsuits), with thousands more expected. Lawsuits alleging injury from the all-metal Biomet M2a-Magnum were recently consolidated in a multi-district ligitaiton (MDL), which now has over 800 claims filed.
Medical experts are now confirming what patients and surgeons have known for years: that the metal-on-metal hip devices were not properly tested before being put on market, are unreasonably risky, provide no real benefits compared to more traditional hip devices, and are at risk of premature failure and health complications from the release of metal ions in the blood.
Our team of metal-on-metal hip device lawyers continues to accept and investigate claims of injury from these devices, which are manufactured by many different companies. If you or a loved one received an all-metal hip implant and required revision surgery or suffered injuries related to the device, contact our firm today for a free legal consultation.