J&J Jury Urged to Award $5 Million for Failed Metal Hip ImplantApr 16, 2013
An Illinois nurse should be awarded $5 million, at least, for the harm caused by the failure of Johnson & Johnson (J&J)’s DePuy ASR all-metal hip implant, her lawyer proclaimed before a jury in Chicago.
According to Bloomberg, the attorney for plaintiff Carol Strum told the jury that DePuy had knowingly sold the defective metal-on-metal implants – until J&J finally recalled all 93,000 of them in August 2010. The attorney added that the company should also award extra damages to Strum, to punish the company for its actions.
The Strum lawsuit is the second of almost 11,000 around the U.S. to reach trial. On March 8, 2013 a Los Angeles jury – having found that the implant’s design was defective and that DePuy had failed to warn about the product’s risks – ordered J&J to pay $8.3 million in compensatory damages.
Jurors for the Strum suit began deliberating this afternoon, Bloomberg reported.
DePuy’s lawyers have blamed Strum’s biology and own health problems for the issues she has had with the implant.
But Strum’s attorney pointed out that there was evidence of blackened tissue, coupled with a leap in the presence of metal ions in her bloodstream, which “does not just happen,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying. These factors, he added, proved that the DePuy device implanted inside her was poorly designed and shedding metallic debris inside her body.
The attorney also pointed out that, according to one study, 47% of ASR implants failed after seven years, while another report indicated there was a 37% failure rate after four years.
J&J faces more than 10,750 ASR lawsuits. About three-quarters of the total were consolidated in federal court in Toledo, Ohio; in fact, the next trial is scheduled for federal court in Ohio in May. More than 2,000 are in state court in California; other lawsuits are set for state courts around the U.S.
Bloomberg quoted Strum’s attorney as calling the ASR all-metal hip implant “the biggest public catastrophe of any hip implant ever put on the market” in the U.S., and “a public health disaster.”