Get Compensation From Defective Hip Implant Settlements
DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, manufactured and marketed defective hip implants known as ASR implants. The abbreviation stands for “articular surface replacement.” The ASR implants failed miserably, and as a result, thousands of people throughout the United States needed revision surgery to address the defective implant. As a result of DePuy’s failure to produce and design the ASR devices with the appropriate care that medical device manufacturers must exercise when designing and manufacturing their products, many people were forced to endure multiple hip replacement surgeries, causing pain, missed time at work, and mounting medical bills.
At Parker Waichman LLP, we believe that no one should have to cope with these losses without compensation, and the lawyers at our nationwide firm fight hard for the rights of those wronged by DePuy. As a client of Parker Waichman, you will receive the benefit of our hip implant attorneys’ vast experience. If you or someone you love suffered economic or non-economic losses as a result of a faulty ASR implant, then you or your loved one might be eligible for financial compensation from a hip implant verdict. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Higher Risk, Less Reward: Grounds for Hip Implant Class-Action Suits
A successfully implanted hip replacement should last about 15 years. However, 40 percent of DePuy’s ASR implants lasted only about five years. Most other companies’ artificial hips only fail within five years, about eight percent of the time. It became apparent that DePuy manufactured a medical device that was substantially below the relevant medical standards, and this opened the door for hip implant class-action lawsuits.
Rapidly deteriorating hip replacements are more than an inconvenience. Because the DePuy implant only lasts for five years, a patient must suffer through two painful and risky surgical procedures within a few years of each other. Recovery from a hip replacement can be long and painful, and any surgery, especially major surgery like a hip replacement, is replete with risks. Patients tend to lose a lot of blood, and there is always the threat of infection, no matter how carefully the surgeon performs the procedure. Additional surgeries often become more difficult due to scar tissue.
To make matters worse, people who need hip replacement surgery are usually older. Recovery becomes more difficult with age, and any number of complications can arise. Also, hip replacement patients receive powerful and potentially addictive prescription painkillers to combat the searing pain they suffer after their leg and hip muscles have been pulled apart and their bones drilled. All of these problems are multiplied with additional surgeries.
DePuy and the Beginnings of Hip Implant Settlements
DePuy’s ASR hip first emerged in 2003 as an alternative to the traditional plastic and metal joint. It was used abroad in a type of surgery called “resurfacing,” in which the top of the leg bone is capped with a metal piece, and part of the hip socket is replaced with a metal shell. DePuy began marketing its ASR device in the U.S. for traditional transplants in 2004, and it marketed the resurfacing and traditional versions internationally. Perhaps not coincidentally, DePuy sold almost two-thirds of its ASR units in Australia and the United Kingdom out of a total 93,000 units manufactured and implanted in patients and the remaining third in the U.S.
Australian and English physicians were the first to observe that their patients had experienced complications with the ASR device. DePuy unscrupulously deflected the blame away from itself and onto the surgeons who performed the procedures, claiming that poor surgical technique was the cause of the problems their patients experienced. However, there’s evidence to suggest that DePuy knew in the mid-1980s that the metal-on-metal design that became the ASR could cause adverse side effects.
DePuy continued to engage in deceptive and unfair business practices for more than 20 years. Then, in 2008, a company consultant warned DePuy that the metal-on-metal design was rife with complications and should not be used further. One year later, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected DePuy’s application to market the ASR resurfacing unit domestically. The FDA cited elevated levels of metallic ions in patients’ blood, noting a flaw that DePuy knew about all along. DePuy then failed to inform medical authorities that the FDA had rejected their application because of metallic debris entering the patients’ bloodstreams. DePuy willfully concealed that the implant could poison recipient patients’ blood, and these cases of willful concealment led to hip implant class-action suits still paying out today.
Do You Qualify for Compensation From a Hip Implant Lawsuit?
The metal-on-metal design was once popular with orthopedic surgeons, who initially believed that metal-on-metal hip devices had the potential to last much longer than the accepted plastic and metal combination. But today, the design is no longer in use because of its excessively high rate of failure. DePuy recalled the ASR devices in 2010 and sold off its reserves of them.
In the wake of DePuy and parent company Johnson & Johnson’s deficient design and manufacturing of these products, 8,000 people across the U.S. filed claims seeking substantial compensation for the injuries they suffered from their defective ASR hip replacements. DePuy and Johnson & Johnson did not readily admit that they did anything wrong, attempting to defend themselves in court. But ultimately, fighting these claims was impossible, and a hip implant verdict against DePuy was inevitable. Consequently, DePuy and Johnson & Johnson tendered a settlement to the plaintiffs.
The settlement plan called for DePuy and Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.5 billion in a cash settlement to be divided among every person who had revision surgery due to a defective ASR implant. The defendants also agreed to pay the medical bills for all of the people who needed surgery. The plan was very complicated, and the award was dependent upon numerous factors, like how long the person had their artificial hip before it was replaced, whether they smoked or were overweight, and the age of the patient at the time they required revision surgery. On average, each person could receive approximately $250,000 as compensation for their pain and suffering.
All told, Johnson & Johnson was liable for more than $3 billion in damages, but that amount could go higher. At the time the ASR hip implant settlements were offered, 4,000 people had suffered adverse side effects from the ASR implant but had not had revision surgery. Only those that had the second surgery received a settlement. Johnson & Johnson designated another $250,000 per person for anyone who had to have revision surgery while the defendants were participating in the settlement plan.
DePuy and Johnson & Johnson are likely to continue having to defend itself against hip implant lawsuit claims as more and more of the devices fail. How much of a settlement victims receive depends on the circumstances of their cases, but nobody who has been a victim of DePuy’s deception should neglect to take legal action and pursue the compensation they deserve.
Get a Free Consultation With Experienced Hip Implant Attorneys
Parker Waichman stakes its reputation on securing justice for victims of Johnson & Johnson and DePuy. Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your claim. We’d be glad to answer questions about your personal injury case and how a skilled hip implant lawyer can help you seek justice. Time is of the essence due to statutes of limitations that govern legal claims, so don’t delay: Waiting too long could threaten your right to compensation. Call Parker Waichman today.