Some staggering figures are being thrown around as details of what would be a multi-billion dollar settlement by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson over its failed metal-on-metal hip implant systems are apparently nearing completion in the court system.
Multiple media outlets have confirmed that the settlement involves the company’s subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, in which there is a tentative settlement of over 8,000 consolidated federal lawsuits in which payouts of up to $4 billion may be made to resolve the cases.
The New York Times in a Nov. 12, 2013 posting reported on the huge scope of the proposed settlement saying “The tentative plan, which must win court approval, represents one of the largest payouts for product liability claims involving a medical device.”
If finalized this resolution would be great news for the thousands of consumers who may have been affected by serious health problems caused by that these metal-on-metal hip implants known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR systems, which those suing claim were flawed and caused serious health problems.
These devices were the subject of a nationwide recall announced on Aug. 24, 2010 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which warned consumers about the dangers of metal-on-metal hip implant systems.
In its announcement, the FDA said “there was a voluntary recall of the DePuy ASR TM total hip system because of new, unpublished data from the UK joint registry indicating the revision rates within 5 years were approximately 13 percent.”
The Times, in its settlement report, said that “Many artificial hips last 15 years or more before they wear out and need to be replaced. But by 2008, data from orthopedic databases outside the United States also showed that the A.S.R. was failing at high rates in patients after just a few years.”
“Internal DePuy projections estimate that it will fail in 40 percent of those patients in five years, a rate eight times higher than for many other hip devices,” the Times also reported.
The number of cases involving these allegations against the DePuy ASR systems in this federal consolidation has now climbed to at least 8,330 lawsuits. Those cases are before Judge David A. Katz in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and are documented in the latest reporting period ending Nov. 18, 2013 by the U.S. Panel for Multidistrict Litigation.
There is also a multidistrict litigation in a state multidistrict litigation and many other DePuy cases filed across the country.
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,3 the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, in August 2010.
DePuy is not the only manufacturer of metal-on-metal hip implant systems that have failed and been the subject of FDA recalls and thousands of lawsuits by injured patients.
In a notice updated Jan. 17, 2013 the FDA specifically identified “Recalls Specific to Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants” that included:
• Smith & Nephew R3 Metal Liners of the R3 Acetabular System
• DePuy ASR TM XL Acetabular System
• Zimmer Durom® Acetabular Component
The common problem in these systems, according to the claims in the lawsuits that have been filed, is that the systems were defectively designed and failed, primarily because the metal parts wore out or corroded.
What followed, according to the lawsuits, were serious infections, damage of internal organs and long periods of pain and suffering by the victims. Read more at: http://www.resource4thepeople.com/defectivemedicaldevices/DePuy-ASR-hip-implant.html