J&J to Announce $4 Billion DePuy ASR Hip Implant Settlement TomorrowNov 18, 2013
Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson will formally announce its massive $4 billion settlement over allegations related to its recalled metal-on-metal hip devices tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 19. The accord is expected to resolve thousands of lawsuits, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg.com reports that U.S. District Judge David Katz in Toledo, Ohio, will hear the settlement’s terms, which are planned to be presented by plaintiff attorneys and J&J, said the three sources, all of whom requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Court records indicate that Judge Katz scheduled an “open status conference” early next week.
J&J will pay about $300,000—in some cases, more—to each of the 7,500 patients who underwent revision surgery to have their defective DePuy ASR hips removed and replaced, the sources told Bloomberg.com. DePuy Orthopaedics is the maker of the ASR hip implant and is a unit of J&J.
The accord also provides additional funds to those people who suffered from “extreme injuries” due to device failure, or who underwent long hospital stays following revision surgeries. The accord does not bar people who suffer hip device failure in the future from seeking compensation, the sources told Bloomberg.com. Also under the terms of the accord, 94 percent of eligible claimants must sign up for the settlement; if that figure is not reached, J&J can withdraw from the deal, the people told Bloomberg.com.
DePuy and J&J are facing some 12,000 lawsuits that have been filed in federal and state courts in Ohio, California, New Jersey, and Illinois; Judge Katz is coordinating the federal litigation.
Because of the settlement’s potential for future compensation, the massive accord is not capped in terms of its total value, the people recently told Bloomberg.com. Prior to this accord, J&J lost one trial, won a second, and had scheduled seven more over the ASR devices. The devices were constructed in two similar models—the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System.
According to Bloomberg.com, the settlement covers the more than 7,500 patients who have undergone revision surgery to have defective DePuy hip devices removed. The remainder of the nearly 11,000 claims were filed by those patients who may be experiencing pain from the devices, but who have not yet undergone revision surgery, according to Bloomberg.com.
DePuy spokeswoman Lorie Gawreluk declined to comment for the Bloomberg.com report, which noted that J&J and DePuy issued a worldwide recall of 93,000 ASR devices in August 2010. Internal J&J documents revealed that 37 percent of the devices failed after just 4.6 years. In 2012, the failure rate recorded in Australia was much higher—44 percent within seven years. Meanwhile, the metal-on-metal devices were marketed as being more durable and longer lasting than earlier devices, providing improved range of motion for at least 20 years. Yet, device failures mounted, injury reports continued to climb and alleged an array of issues, including device dislocation, pain, increased metal ion levels, and the need to undergo revision surgery; and litigation grew.
According to those familiar with the matter, wrote Bloomberg.com, the settlement is the largest in the United States involving legal claims brought over a medical device.