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The DePuy Case: Thousands of Defective Medical Device Lawsuits

Posted on January 13th, 2014 by Staff

Johnson & Johnson and lawyers for patients injured by flawed hip implants announced a multibillion-dollar deal in November 2013 to settle thousands of lawsuits.

Currently, it is not clear whether the deal would satisfy enough claimants, as an estimated 8,000 patients have been forced to have the all-metal artificial hip removed and replaced with another device.

Under the agreement, the medical products giants would pay nearly $2.5 billion in compensation.

Separately, the company also agreed to pay all medical costs related to such procedures, thus raising the deal’s cost to a staggering $3 billion to Johnson & Johnson. Before legal fees, the typical payment for pain and suffering caused by the defective medical device would be about $250,000, under the plan. The settlement was submitted to a federal judge in Toledo, Ohio and must receive the support of 94 percent of eligible claimants to go forward. If approved by the court, this settlement would be among the largest involving a defective medical device.

The Recalled Devices

The recalled device, known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR, ranks as one of the most flawed medical implants sold in the past decades, as many of the patients suffered severe pain and injury from metallic debris generated by the device. Approximately one-third of the 93,000 metal implants sold by the DePuy Orthopedics Division of Johnson & Johnson went to patients in the United States. The division estimated in an internal document in 2011 that the device would fail within five years in 40% of the patients who received it. Although the patients spent years trying to convince doctors that there was a problem, Johnson & Johnson continuously denied one.

Amid rising failure rates, DePuy recalled its device in mid-2010. 93,000 ASR hip implants worldwide have been recalled after the company stated that 12% failed within five years. Internal Johnson & Johnson documents show 37% of ASR hip implants have failed after 4.6 years. Under the terms of the accord, only plaintiffs who had an ASR hip implanted in the US and had it removed by August 31 are eligible for this settlement and must have had the implant for at least 180 days before having it removed, as Susan Sharko, one of the company’s lawyers declared.

Along with the DePuy ASR hip implants recalled in August 2010, other hip implants have created discomfort and pain among patients. Some of the most common types of hip implants with high premature failure rate include:

  • Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Hip Implant recalled in July 2012
  • Zimmer Durom Cup recalled in July 2008
  • Sulzer Inter- Op Shell Implant recalled in December 2010.

These devices are no longer implanted to new patients, but major complications have arisen for the people that used them. If you have faced problems regarding defective medical devices, the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm can help you receive compensation. Our lawyers are dedicated to representing victims injured by defective medical devices.

John M. O’Brien & Grant Zehnder Advocate on Your Behalf

At the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm, we are well aware of the injuries defective medical devices can cause to patients. Although these devices are intended to help improve health and prevent illness, they can also cause serious complications, injuries and even death. As failures mount, patients complain in lawsuits that the metal-on-metal implant caused severe pain and injury from metallic debris generated by the device, dislocations and follow-up surgeries.

Medical device manufacturing companies such as Johnson & Johnson have the legal and moral responsibility to provide their customers with safe and efficient devices and to warn patients about potential risks properly. If the company fails to do so, it can and should be held legally responsible for the injuries their products brought upon patients. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics, each year more than 22,000 deaths are associated with defective products.

Dedicated to Representing Victims Injured by Medical Devices

Elk Grove-based John M. O’Brien & Grant Zehnder know how devastating injuries can be when caused by a malfunctioning medical device and are well aware of the financial and emotional costs involved in the challenges that a patient is facing. Dedicating their time and energy in pursuing the compensation you deserve, Mr. O’Brien & Mr. Zehnder work together with medical experts and other specialists to determine the exact cause and extent of injuries and long-term recovery costs.

We handle a great variety of Sacramento and surrounding counties cases involving defective medical devices such as:

  • hip and knee replacements
  • eye devices and contact lenses
  • medicine pumps
  • dental implants
  • vaginal meshes
  • respiratory devices
  • artificial disc implants
  • bladder slings

Different factors can affect each person’s settlement amount, including:

  • the emotional impact the event and injury has on the person
  • the type and severity of the injury
  • the total amount of medical bills
  • whether long-term treatment is required
  • whether the injury prevents the person from working temporarily or permanently

Working together with experienced product liability attorneys, John M. O’Brien & Grant Zehnder work tirelessly to provide the victims with compensation for their injuries and trauma, medical expenses, pain, suffering, loss of wages and loss of quality of life. Representing individuals and their families in the Sacramento, Elk Grove areas, Mr. O’Brien & Mr. Zehnder advocate on their behalf so that clients can focus on recovering and moving forward with their lives. Call toll-free 800.722.4176 or our local line 916.714.8200 for advice and information about building your case.