It’s common when a giant company is sued by thousands of people over claims of a defective product for the company to test the legal waters of these cases by seeing what the results are in a couple of cases.
That’s what pharmaceutical heavyweight Johnson & Johnson did when it faced thousands of lawsuits over defective metal hip implant systems manufactured by subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics.
One of the lawsuits went to trial and a jury found in favor of the victim, awarding $8.3 million in damages. Soon afterward, Johnson & Johnson announced that it was halting sales of metal implant products.
However, there are still over 8,000 DePuy hip implant lawsuits pending in a special multidistrict litigation in Ohio in which claims from plaintiffs from across the country have been consolidated before a single federal judge.
So, Johnson & Johnson is now proposing a settlement of those cases in which the company would avoid having to face juries in future trials in this litigation by paying out an estimated $4 billion in compensation to settle the cases.
Such a settlement would not block other victims of defective DePuy metal hip implant systems from filing lawsuits in the future but it would clear Johnson & Johnson from possibly having to pay substantially more than $4 billion in this litigation.
The allegations stem from failed metal hip systems sold by DePuy that were implanted in patients and then wound up failing at rates of up to 13 percent. A massive recall of the devices was then made by DePuy and many patients who were harmed by defective devices sued.
he number of cases involving these allegations against the DePuy ASR systems in this federal consolidation has now climbed to at least 8,330 lawsuits, according to figures provided by the U.S Panel for Multidistrict Litigation..
The federal cases, and another multidistrict consolidation of state cases that now numbers over 600 lawsuits involving the same allegations are progressing on parallel tracks.
Here is a description of the common allegations taken from the federal litigation court file:
“The actions share factual issues as to whether DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular Hip System, a device used in hip replacement surgery, was defectively designed and/or manufactured, and whether DePuy failed to provide adequate warnings concerning the device, which DePuy recalled along with another ASR device, the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, in August 2010.”
Legal help for Depuy hip victims here: http://www.resource4thepeople.com/defectivemedicaldevices/DePuy-ASR-hip-implant.html