Chicago, IL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/27/2014 -- Johnson & Johnson has settled 8,000 hip replacement lawsuits for $2.5 billion.
The lawsuits involve allegedly defective DePuy hip implants. An additional 4,000 to 5,000 lawsuits remain unresolved, as the settlement covers only patients who underwent surgery to remove the devices.
“The size of the settlement in this case is a reflection of the severity of the injuries and the large number of plaintiffs,” stated Paul Greenberg, a Chicago personal injury attorney not involved in the litigation.
DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, began selling the ASR XL metal-on-metal devices eight years ago. The current plaintiffs are patients who had to have replacement surgery after implantation, and their settlement amounts are based on the amount of time the devices lasted before they were replaced.
Plaintiffs who had replacement surgery five years or less after implantation of the devices will receive the maximum settlement amount of $250,000. For five to six years, the amount will be a maximum of $225,000; six to seven years, a maximum of $200,000; and seven to eight years, a maximum of $175,000.
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay medical expenses separately, and experts say this could add an additional $500 million or more to the total settlement cost. The cutoff date for replacement surgeries covered by the settlement is August 31, but patients who receive replacement surgery after that date still have the right to sue.
Before the devices were recalled in August 2010, the British Orthopedic Association, British Hip Society and Australian National Joint Replacement Registry gave multiple warnings to DePuy about the failure rate of the devices. DePuy's own internal documents indicated that for 40 percent of patients, the hip replacement devices would fail within five years.
Non-replacement health hazards are excluded by the current settlement. There are allegations that the abrasion of the implant’s metal parts sheds metal into surrounding soft tissue and bone, possibly causing poisoning of major organs and damage to the central nervous system. These and other issues will be addressed in the lawsuits that remain outstanding.
Learn more at http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/practice-areas/medical-malpractice/.