Johnson & Johnson Agrees to $4 Billion Metal Hip Settlement

Johnson & Johnson Agrees to $4 Billion Metal Hip Settlement | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recently agreed to pay at least $4 billion to those injured by its metal-on-metal hip devices. There are thousands of lawsuits currently filed, and each plaintiff is expected to receive an average of $300,000 for their suffering. DePuy ASR attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are thrilled to announce this settlement, which is the first of many to come for hip implant plaintiffs.

The settlement – the largest ever in the U.S. over a medical device – will cover plaintiffs who were injured by DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System. These models were recalled in 2010 after a study revealed that 13% of the devices failed and required revision surgeries within five years. Internal J&J documents reveal that the failure rate is actually closer to 37%. Failure rates in Australia have reached 44%.

Who can Take Part in the Settlement?

It is important to note that the settlement allows all ASR implant plaintiffs, present and future, to file claims and receive compensation. This means the $4 billion is only a rough estimate of an uncapped total settlement amount – anyone injured by a DePuy metal-on-metal hip device is eligible to receive some of the money.

One of the ASR plaintiffs, Robert Ottman, received a total hip replacement in 2008. The ASR device caused him severe pain and made it difficult for him to walk, ultimately requiring a revision surgery due to its premature failure. Most plaintiffs have similar stories. Although DePuy knew the devices were failing at high rates, the company decided to keep selling them until the 2010 recall.

According to a Bloomberg News report, the $4 billion will provide financial restitution for patients based on numerous factors, such as the extent of injuries, age, and number of surgeries. Logically there will be more compensation available to those who suffer extensive or severely debilitating injuries.

High rates of failure in a device as invasive as a hip implant would be bad enough. There are an array of injuries patients suffered in addition to failures as well, however, including metal toxicity, tissue death, immobility, and bone fractures. In January 2013 the FDA released a Safety Communication regarding all metal-on-metal hip devices, in which they outlined the risks of these devices.

The FDA affirmed that most injuries are caused by the metal cup and metal ball sliding against each other during movement, which releases metal ions into the bloodstream, bone, and/or soft tissue surrounding the hip joint. Troublingly, the agency also noted that there is not enough scientific evidence to specify the amount of metal ions it takes to produce negative effects, as reactions differ significantly between patients. 

Victims of Other Metal Hip Implants

There are several metal-on-metal hip systems demonstrating the same problems as DePuy’s ASR. These include but are not limited to: Wright Medical’s CONSERVE Plus, Smith & Nephew’s Birmingham, Corin USA’s Cormet, Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABG II, Biomet’s M2a-Magnum, and Zimmer’s Durom Acetabular.

This multi-billion dollar settlement sets an excellent precedent for litigation over these other devices. Due to their fundamental design, nearly all metal-on-metal hip devices, regardless of manufacturer, are defective, and subject to immense litigation. Our team of metal-on-metal hip device lawyers is currently reviewing and accepting cases of hip implant injuries nationwide. Contact our firm today if you have any questions about your eligibility or any other hip implant concerns.