DePuy ASR metal on metal hip replacements continue to fail prematurely and require painful and risky revision surgery. Johnson and Johnson, the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device maker and its subsidiary DePuy, recently agreed to extend the settlement of its notorious line of failed metal on metal hips, to include cases where the faulty hip was replaced as of January 2015.
Total Number of Settlements Exceeds 9,400 Cases
Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, has agreed to add another 1,400 hip injury claims to a settlement agreement reached in 2013. This new agreement extends the deal to include recalled ASR implants that were revised as of January 31, 2015.
J&J had initially agreed to settle about 8,000 ASR lawsuit cases, that folks brought when their hip replacement failed and had to be removed prior to August 31, 2013. The initial agreement left several thousand DePuy ASR hip lawsuits in limbo.
Settlement Extended to Cover J&J ASR Revisions as of January 31, 2015
On February 20, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal litigation was notified that an agreement has been reached that extended the settlement program to include U.S. citizens or residents who received an ASR hip and had revision surgery on or before January 31, 2015.
J&J ASR Settlement Details
Under terms of the original agreement, plaintiffs will receive an average payment of $250,000 for pain and suffering, with the age of the plaintiff, the length of time the implant was in place, the weight of the plaintiff, whether they were a smoker, will be considered prior to a final award.
Patients who developed “extraordinary injuries”, and complications associated with the revision surgery, can also obtain additional compensation and all medical expenses will be covered by the manufacturer.
Thousands of Defective J&J ASR Hips in Americans
Despite the settlements, there are thousands of people throughout the U.S. who still have a defective implanted DePuy ASR hip.
August 2010 J&J ASR Recall
The metal-on-metal implant was recalled in August 2010, because of a high rate of failures associated with the flawed design. This defective hip released cobalt and chromium metallic debris into the body and the hip joint as the components grind against each other during normal use. This accumulation of heavy metals is known as metallosis.
DePuy Hip Failure Rate
The metal-on-metal hip replacement system was recalled from the market after medical data found that about one out of every eight would fail within five years.
More recent data has suggested that the DePuy hip failure rate may be substantially higher, ending up in the 35% to 45% range.
Latest $2.5M Oklahoma Jury Verdict
Andrea Smith, from Oklahoma has been awarded $2.5 million after suffering metal blood poisoning from DePuy ASR hip replacements. The state court jury found the DePuy ASR hip to be defective and unreasonably dangerous.
Smith, received ASR hip implants on each side in October 2006 and February 2007. According to Smith, she had to undergo revision surgery to have the implants removed in 2011 and 2012, after high levels of Cobalt and Chromium metal ions were found in her blood.
6,500 J&J DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuits
J&J is continues to deny, delay and defend thousands of cases involving similar metallosis and premature failure problems from the DePuy Pinnacle hip. The DePuy Pinnacle is an older model that features a substantially similar metal-on-metal design.
There are currently more than 6,500 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits pending throughout the U.S. In the federal court system, all complaints involving problems with DePuy Pinnacle implants are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade as part of a multidistrict lawsuit (MDL).
DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trials
The Dallas court has identified ten different cases that have been selected to be prepared for early trial dates. These early trials are known as “bellwether” cases. The trials help the parties gauge how juries may respond to similar evidence and testimony that is repeated throughout the litigation.
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).