Among the startling claims made by lawyers for thousands of patients who have filed DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits over failed devices is the huge number of victims who were forced to undergo second operations to replace the original implants.
For instance, in the DePuy multidistrict litigation in which several thousand of these lawsuits have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio, estimates are that as many as 8,000 patients had to undergo operations to have an ASR system removed and replaced.
The huge number of DePuy lawsuits that have been filed have forced DePuy’s parent company, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, to offer a multi-billion dollar settlement to resolve these cases.
DePuy may be on the hook for a much larger payout to victims because many of these victims may choose not to accept the settlement and other DePuy hip implant lawsuits may be filed in the future. In addition, there is also the specter of foreign litigation pending in other countries in which the ASR system was sold.
The New York Times recently focused on the DePuy ASR litigation and settlement with these details:
“Some patients, many of whom suffered severe pain and injury from metallic debris generated by the device, spent years trying to convince doctors that there was a problem while Johnson & Johnson was denying one.
“The now-recalled device, known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., ranks as one of the most-flawed medical implants sold in recent decades. The DePuy Orthopaedics division of Johnson & Johnson estimated in an internal document in 2011 that the device would fail within five years in 40 percent of the patients who received it.
“Traditional artificial hips, which are made of metal and plastic, typically last 15 years or more before requiring replacement. DePuy recalled its device in mid-2010 amid rising failure rates.
“The A.S.R. was sold in two versions, one for use in traditional hip replacement and the other for an alternative procedure known as hip resurfacing. Beginning in 2003, it was implanted in about 93,000 patients, about one-third of them in the United States.
“The A.S.R., which had a metal ball and a metal cup, sheds metallic debris as it wears, generating particles that have damaged tissue in some patients or caused crippling injuries.”
DePuy and Johnson & Johnson are currently defending themselves in at least 12,000 DePuy ASR lawsuits in state and federal courts with most of the federal consolidated in the Ohio federal court.
Media reports say that if approved, Johnson & Johnson’s settlement officer would cost the company nearly $2.5 billion in compensation costs to an estimated 8,000 patients who have been forced to have the all-metal artificial hip removed and replaced with another device.
Other parts of the settlement involving other victims could raise the total to as high as $3 billion, according to the media reports.