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Johnson & Johnson Settles Another DePuy Hip Implant Lawsuit

Oct 16, 2013

Johnson & Johnson has settled another of the thousands of lawsuits it faces over the recalled DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, according to court records.

The lawsuit, MacDonald et al v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. et al, filed in New Jersey Superior Court’s Bergen County division, will be dismissed once the court receives formal notice from both sides, MassDevice reports. The case "has been resolved," wrote Judge Brian Martinotti, according to court documents.

Johnson & Johnson pulled the DePuy ASR device from the market in 2010, prompting thousands of personal injury lawsuits across the country, according to MassDevice. Last month the first bellwether trial in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) over the DePuy hip was delayed for a second time. Bellwether trials, for which representative cases are selected from the larger group, can indicate trends in the litigation and sometimes help the parties reach a settlement. The first case against DePuy Orthopaedics was settled in August 2012 before it could go to trial. In March, a jury awarded plaintiff Loren Kransky $8.3 million after deciding that the device was defectively designed.

Plaintiffs have brought cases against a number of metal-on-metal hip manufacturers, raising concerns about the entire class of hip devices. The suits allege the device’s design is defective and the hips were brought to market without adequate testing. Most all-metal implants have been recalled worldwide after high early device failure rates and complications. Metal-on-metal hip recipients have experienced hip dislocation, bone fracture, infection, nerve damage, device loosening or breakage, bone loss, tissue damage, and excess metals in the bloodstream. Many patients have needed complex and risky revision surgery to remove and replace a failed implant.

In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines for patients with all-metal hips. The agency advised physical examinations, diagnostic imaging, and metal ion testing in symptomatic patients. The FDA is considering changes to the device approval process so that all implants would require clinical testing before reaching the market.

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