Settlement Negotiations Finally Land on $2.5 Billion Payment to Victims of J&J’s DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Device
After much back and forth, pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has finally agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle personal injury claims involving its all-metal hip replacement device, the DePuy ASR.
J&J, its subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics, and a team of lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the DePuy ASR personal injury cases announced on Tuesday, November 19th, that the medical device manufacturer would pay $2.5 billion, rather than previous estimates of $3 billion or even $4 billion, to settle the lawsuits. That amounts to about $250,000 per plaintiff who has already suffered revision surgery or medical side effects – an estimated 8,000 claimants.
Part of the agreement stated that J&J would compensate those who had received revision surgery for the faulty all-metal implants by August 31st of this year. About 4,000 of the 12,000 claimants have not had revision surgery yet, even though they have suffered other side effects such as metallosis. Several plaintiffs in the bellwether cases against J&J have had multiple revision surgeries.
This part of the settlement negotiation is independent of the $2.5 billion settlement amount.
“We are committed to the well-being of ASR patients, as demonstrated by the voluntary recall and the program providing support for recall-related care,” said Andrew Ekdahl, worldwide president of DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction. “The U.S. settlement program provides compensation for eligible patients without the delay and uncertainty of protracted litigation.”
The settlement must still be approved by at least 94% of the eligible claimants before it can move forward. Some of the plaintiffs could face small payouts, while others might see a “users fee” on the award. Plaintiffs could still potentially seek further individual damages independently.
The agreement to separately compensate claimants for revision surgery is an unusual one; normally, settlements for personal injury include estimates of insurance backpay that the average plaintiff might be responsible for.
“It isn’t completely over, but this is a step in the right direction,” said Peter Flowers, a lead counsel for the hip patients.
History of DePuy ASR Device Failure
J&J introduced the DePuy ASR all-metal hip replacement device to the United States in 2005, after the DePuy ASR received FDA approval in 2003. However, in 2010, the company recalled 93,000 units worldwide, including 37,000 in the US alone. The company claimed initially that the recall was due to low sales figures, making the continued manufacture of the all-metal hip devices unappealing, but it turned out that 12% of the devices failed within the first five years after hip replacement surgery. The failure rate is much higher than other hip replacement devices, at double the industry standard, which can be a combination of metal and plastic, ceramic, or entirely plastic.
According to the New York Times, DePuy Orthopedics launched their metal-on-metal hip implant without thoroughly testing and researching it. It became cleared through a narrow pathway called the 510(k) approval process, which did not require it to undergo clinical trials.
J&J had marketed the devices as safer and sturdier than their plastic counterparts, which last over five years. The FDA has, so far, received over 300 complaints of device failure and personal injury directly related to receiving a DePuy ASR implant.
- Side effects of DePuy ASR device failure include:
- Pseudotumors from metal debris
- Allergic reactions
- Permanent muscle and tissue damage
- Loose hip cups
- Hip dislocations
- Bone fractures
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DePuy ASR Personal Injury Cases
If you or a loved one has received a metal hip replacement device, specifically such as the DePuy ASR, and have since suffered painful side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.