The lawsuits filed by thousands of plaintiffs against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics were mainly from individuals who have experienced hip implant failure, news reports say. The recalled hip implant from DePuy might cost Johnson & Johnson nearly $4 billion in payments, according to the article from the New York Times. The said sum of money might be the biggest settlement from a medical device company for product accountability claims. This news on the possible settlement of Johnson & Johnson gives hope to plaintiffs.
DePuy Orthopedics released to the market the ASR Hip Replacement System and it was thought to be better than the previous designs because both the ball and the socket are made up of metal. This means that it will be more durable and may lessen the wear and tear of the prosthesis. Yet, patients have experienced several problems related to this kind of prosthesis and the manufacturer was beset by complaints. The wear and tear of the prosthesis will result to the release of metal ions in the blood which may even result to metal toxicity. In order to find out the adverse effects of chromium and cobalt ions, researchers are continuously studying these metal ions.
The said product was then recalled by DePuy in 2010 because of the exceptionally high failure rate. About 93,000 hip implants were recalled. The failed hip implants would often result to a complicated secondary surgery which may or may not be as successful as the primary surgery. There are also different states that may be included in this settlement from Johnson & Johnson. Around $300,000 or more might be expected to be received by plaintiffs, according to an article from the Bloomberg Businessweek.
An agreement needs to be signed by eligible plaintiffs to claim the settlement. There still might be a second round of settlements because there are some plaintiffs that are awaiting for a possible hip revision. After the recall was started by DePuy, the company also offered payment for the medical costs of the hip replacement operation. In short span of time, DePuy will be able to resolve more lawsuits through this settlement. A revision surgery for hip implant failure might put them at more risk, hence, most patients opt delay the procedure or find other means to resolve their hip pain.