August 25, 2012

First Johnson & Johnson Depuy Hip Settlements

by Levin & Perconti

Over the past two years our Illinois elder abuse attorneys have closely followed all developments with the DePuy hip implant recall. As usually happens in these recall situations, it often takes a considerable length of time (years) before everything shakes out and those hurt by the products or devices are finally able to receive some recovery. Fortunately, as summarized in a recent story by Bloomberg Businessweek, it looks like those hurt by these defective hip implant devices may soon be receiving the redress they need. The first proposed settlements are soon to be reached, according to the latest reports.

A Refresher on the Situation
The problem first drew major public attention years ago when, in August of 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics--owned by Johnson & Johnson--recalled two types of medical hip systems used in hip implants. They were the ASR XL Acetabular System and DePuy Hip Resurfacing System. Of course the recall itself was not the first sign of trouble, as studies has piled up which showed that the devices were failing in patients are higher than expected rates. It was only when the dangers of the devices became very clear that the company took action to protect those affected.

The consequences of the dangerous implants were severe for some, including many local residents. At times the device loosened from the bone, causing severe pain, dislocations, and fractures. At other times the two metal parts of the device (the “ball” and “socket”) would rub against one another such that tiny metallic particles would be released into the bloodstream. Those patients faced severe reactions to the particle release, causing pain, swelling, and damages to nerves, muscles, bones, and joints.

Many Depuy hip implant lawsuits were filed after the details emerged. In fact, some patients affected by the dangerous hips are still just learning about the situation and contacting Depuy implant lawyers to learn about their legal options. So far there have been about 8,000 suits filed according to court records.

The Settlements
Some of the earliest suits may be close to settlements. Those familiar with the first three cases filed explain that Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve those first three suits. If true, that means that each claimant would receive about $200,000. The cases were set to go to trial later this year.

However, there is some disagreement about the final total, as these figures represent the “low end” of the spectrum that most experts expected. For example, one business professor who follows legal cases in the pharmaceutical industry argued that the company was going to pay $200,000 to $500,000 per case.

Our Chicago senior injury attorneys advise that while these rumors hint at possible legal action down the road, what happens in one case is not a guarantee of what will happen in any other case. One of the strengths of the civil justice system is the ability to ensure that everyone hurt receives individualized assessment. Even though the underlying problem may be similar, the harm to the individuals may vary considerably.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

NIH Website Adds Information on Hip Replacements

Defective Hip Implants Have High Costs for All Involved