The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that around 1,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson in federal and state courts in the wake of the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular and Hip Resurfacing Systems recall of August 2010.
According to the WSJ, Johnson & Johnson faces up $1 billion in liability costs and put $570 million into its liability fund last year to cover potential DePuy ASR lawsuit costs.
DePuy, in an attempt to limit their liability, has offered to pay out-of-pocket medicals costs of patients. When patients opt for this, they limit their ability to obtain compensation for other damages such as lost wages and for pain and suffering.
DePuy recalled the ASR hip devices after patients suffered a higher than normal revision rate — 12-13%. A hip revision involves removing and replacing the original hip implant and replacing it with another. This is not an easy surgery as the implant has been hammered into the patient’s bone. For most patients, this is an expensive, traumatic and dangerous surgery.
There is also mounting evidence that cobalt and chromium used in the devices was being released into patients blood stream and tissue surrounding the implant causing poisoning and a condition called metallosis. Some patients complained of pain, infections and inflammation.
Evidence shows that Johnson &Johnson knew of the problems with the metal-on-metal hip implants for a year before they recalled the product. If victims can argue this in court, they may be able to justify punitive damages.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are a product liability law firm and we represent patients who have suffered injury due to defective medical devices.
British orthopedics group estimates DePuy ASR hip implant failure may reach 49%
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