Johnson & Johnson and DePuy to Begin Settlement Talks

November 6, 2013 by Ryan Simmons

More than three years after removing their defective ASR metal-on-metal artificial hip implants from the market, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, are currently in talks to begin settlement negotiations. According to sources, J&J is discussing the possibility of paying more than $300,000 per case in order to settle the nearly 11,500 product liability lawsuits. This would result in J&J paying over $3 billion in total to resolve the dispute.

Such a settlement is, however, contingent on the outcome of several lawsuits currently pending. Seven trials scattered across five states are scheduled to occur before January of next year. While two verdicts involving the ASR devices have already been reached this year, the two juries reached different conclusions. A jury in California found that the ASR device was defective in design and awarded an $8.3 million verdict to the injured plaintiff. However, less than two months later, a Chicago jury found in favor of J&J, declining to hold the company liable for any harm. In addition to these seven pending suits, 8,000 federal cases have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Ohio, and 2,000 cases are pending in the California Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding.

Despite the numerous claims, J&J and DePuy have never accepted responsibility for selling a defective product. The ASR devices—the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System—were placed in the market in 2005. Before their recall in 2010, more than 37,000 of the chromium and cobalt metal implants were sold in the United States. Patients who used the device have complained of severe pain and a condition called metallosis, both caused by the release of toxic metal debris into the hip joint. Metallosis is characterized by a harmful increase of metal ions in the bloodstream and tissue death. Some medical studies have linked the condition to cancer.

If you have experienced complications after having an ASR artificial hip implant surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and we encourage you to contact a Tennessee attorney to discuss your potential claim. The Higgins Firm would be happy to answer any of the questions that you may have related to your potential ASR metal-on-metal artificial hip implant claim.