Johnson & Johnson Faces First ASR Metal Hip CaseJan 29, 2013
Opening statements took place Friday, January 25, 2013 in the first ASR hip lawsuit that claims Johnson & Johnson (J&J) knowingly marketed a faulty hip implant that left thousands of people with serious injuries. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court for claims of fraud and negligence, is the first of thousands of similar suits to reach trial. This is the first of many metal-on-metal hip lawsuits expected to begin trial this year.
Loren Kransky, a former North Dakota prison guard, claims he suffered metal poisoning and other health problems after receiving the ASR hip in 2007. J&J withdrew the ASR XL hip implant and other metal-on-metal implants in August of 2010, after a U.K. study showed more than 12% failed within five years. Kransky’s lawyer, said in his opening statement “The ASR XL was dangerous and it was defective in design and we will prove it… This hip, this medical implant incorporated dangers to an extent beyond what any reasonable doctor would have anticipated or expected.”
J&J faced 10,000 lawsuits through September according to a regulatory filing. The company offered to pay more than $200,000 a case to settle most of the 10,000 lawsuits, according to five people familiar with the matter. If that settlement was accepted it could cost J&J over $2 billion. DePuy, the manufacturer, sold the device around the world and began to get reports of problems as early as January of 2005. One of the marketing officials selling the defective hip stated in an email that she was “quite concerned about our failure rate.” The company started to realize the scope of the problems when doctors considered “key opinion leaders” began to acknowledge the failure rate and stop using the device.
The outcome of this case will have serious repercussions on future settlements with the remaining 10,000 claimants. Many injured victims are now wondering if they have a possible claim. Law firms, such as Parker Waichman LLP, have been giving free consultations to people affected by this faulty hip implant or other failed medical devices. Knowing your legal rights is the first step a potential recovery.