Analysts at Wells Fargo estimate that the global American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson could be liable for approximately $1 billion in liability and other costs.
Almost 1,000 cases have piled up against Depuy, which is a part of the Johnson and Johnson family of companies, The Street reported.
J & J could spend the money settling lawsuits regarding its DePuy Orthopaedics and the metal-on-metal hip implants that release minute metal particles into a patient’s bloodstream over time.
Lawsuits over the implant have lined up across the nation, claiming that DePuy produced a defective product, by failing to warn patients and doctors of problems with the implant.
The lawsuits also state the company was negligent in its design process, as well as when it manufactured and sold the product.
The lawsuits state that when DePuy introduced the ASR Implant in the U.S. in 2005 after winning 510(k) clearance from the Food & Drug Administration, the company was aware of design problems with the cup, but still failed to adequately warn physicians.
J & J said it significantly raised its product-liability reserves to $570 million last year and agreed to assign $280 million for medical expenses of patients directly affected by the recall.
DePuy discontinued the implant, and sent a letter to physicians warning that data from the Australian medical device registry showed a “higher-than-expected” failure rate in traditional hip replacements, specifically in smaller patients or those with weak bones.
Lawsuits began to pile up by June 2010.