Medical device and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to resolve thousands of hip implant lawsuits in a multibillion dollar settlement, but it remains unclear whether the requisite number of claimants will agree to the settlement.
According to the New York Times, under the settlement agreement, Johnson & Johnson would pay nearly $2.5 billion in compensation to an estimated 8,000 patients who suffered medical complications from the company’s all-metal hip implant and needed the device removed and replaced with a different device. In a separate agreement, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay all medical costs related to the revision procedures – which could raise the settlement amount to$3 billion.
Most claimants covered by the settlement would receive approximately $250,000 before legal fees, but because the proposed settlement imposes a user’s fee on awards based on how long a claimant had the implant, some patients would receive a relatively small amount and others would receive reduced payouts.
The proposed settlement was submitted to an Ohio federal judge on Tuesday, November 19, but 94 percent of eligible claimants must sign off on the settlement in order for it to receive court approval. Whether the proposed settlement will receive the requisite claimant approval remains unclear given that some patients might choose to seek additional compensation via individual lawsuits.
Earlier this year, a Los Angeles jury returned an $8.3 million verdict in favor of a Montana man who was injured by one of DePuy’s hip implant systems, but a second trial in Chicago resulted in a rejection of the plaintiff’s claims against the hip implant manufacturer.
Problems Associated with All-Metal Hip Implants
The settlement seeks to resolve thousands of claims filed against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics regarding injuries caused by its ASR hip implant systems. The all-metal DePuy ASR hip implant was recalled in 2010 due to higher-than-normal failure rates associated with the devices and amidst several complaints from patients who were experiencing serious side effects from the hip replacement systems. Many doctors believe that the cup of the DePuy ASR him implant was too shallow, which led to improper implantation and other health complications, including the release of potentially dangerous levels of chromium and cobalt into the body.
Metal-on-metal hip implants like the ASR hip implants, as well as the Stryker Rejuvenate, have been associated with significant risk of developing serious complications including tissue damage, device failure, bone and muscle deterioration, necrosis, hip and groin pain, inflammation, numbness, metallosis, or the buildup of metallic ions in the tissues of the body, dislocation of non-cemented implants, pseudotumors, and other medical problems.
What to Do If You Have an All-Metal Hip Implant
Patients who have received a recalled metal-on-metal hip implant should consult with their doctor immediately. According to Bloomberg, the FDA recommends that patients receive radiographs at least every two years even if they aren’t experiencing any symptoms that would indicate that the metal-on-metal hip implant is failing.
You may also wish to consult with a skilled hip implant attorney since you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, in a product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact the Chicago product liability lawyers at Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about the dangers of all-metal hip implants.