Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of the DePuy Orthopedics and manufacturer of the DePuy ASR hip implant has settled their first string of product defect cases related to the product. Although the exact amount of the agreement is undisclosed, sources close to the agreement have indicated that Johnson and Johnson has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle each of the three cases.
In 2010, Johnson and Johnson recalled its Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip replacement systems alluding to “higher than expected revision rates.” Still, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to receive thousands of complaints related to the DePuy hip replacements amid the fact that over 93,000 units had already been implanted.
The three woman involved in the suit, Annelise Rundle, 74, Martha Bender, 69 and Katherine Guy, 60 all had the procedure done by the same physician and filed their lawsuits in Las Vegas State Courts.
Complaints Associated with DePuy ASR Hip Replacement
Patients using the Johnson and Johnson product have long reported problems associated with DePuy hip replacepents. Many individuals have experienced dislodging of the device, which renders the user completely immobile. In more serious situations, potentially toxic metal debris from the device containing cobalt and chromium allow enters the patient’s bloodstream, creating harmful tissue degeneration or even complete tissue loss.
These effects occurred amid the FDA’s warning against the use of the DePuy hip replacement as early as 2009. Johnson and Johnson continued to market the device in spite of these findings.
Johnson and Johnson Expected to Pay Big
According to most experts, Johnson and Johnson got off easy in its initial rounds of settlements regarding its defective device. Most attorneys believe that the company should anticipate to settle these cases in the amount of $200,000 to $500,000. Therefore, the settlement of $200,000 per claim would fall within the bottom end of the estimate.
However, Johnson and Johnson if far from getting off the hook. These 3 cases constitute only the beginning, as 8000 lawsuits have already been filed, and thousands more are expected to follow. Over 37,000 units were used in the United States alone.
Johnson & Johnson has already incurred a cost of $800 million for the product recall in the past 2 years alone, and that number fails to account for the costs of litigation. Many experts estimate that the cost of settlement alone for the DePuy hip replacement claims will amount over $2 billion over the next few years.