Thousands of people who received a DePuy ASR or Pinnacle hip replacement and suffered complications may receive compensation from a settlement or jury verdict. The company put aside more than $4 billion to settle claims.
Design flaws from metal-on-metal hip replacement systems have caused severe, painful injuries for many people. The Pinnacle and the ASR have been linked to life-altering, and sometimes life-threatening, injuries.
Thousands of people have filed lawsuits to help pay medical expenses, recoup lost wages and other economic losses, and hold DePuy and its parent, Johnson & Johnson, accountable. If you’ve been injured by a DePuy hip device, a qualified device attorney can explain the potential benefits of filing a legal claim. An experienced attorney can also help determine if you’re eligible to file a claim.
Although there is no guarantee that a lawsuit will fully restore your quality of life prior to the injury, you may be eligible to obtain financial assistance to help treat and make it easier to cope with your injury. Such assistance may be available in the form of a trial verdict or a settlement.
Compensation for DePuy Hip Injuries
If you file a successful DePuy hip implant lawsuit, you may be eligible for compensation through a trial verdict or a settlement. In recent years, more than 12,000 people have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy unit in U.S. state and federal courts alleging injury from metal-on-metal hip devices. As the first cases have gone to trial, some plaintiffs have won trial verdicts while others have settled.
It is important, however, to remember that a lawsuit victory is never guaranteed. Each lawsuit has different facts that affect the outcome. But DePuy hip device plaintiffs share similar allegations, including claims that the manufacturer was negligent in designing, testing and marketing its metal-on-metal hip devices. They also allege that despite knowing about risks related to its devices, the manufacturer failed to warn patients and their doctors.
Plaintiffs claim that had they been properly warned about risks associated with ASR and Pinnacle devices, they would have chosen other treatment options. According to a report by The New York Times, internally, DePuy projected that ASR devices would fail in 40 percent of patients within five years, which was eight times higher than the failure rate of other devices.
Publicly, DePuy claimed that the devices were safe, effective and could help patients maintain active lifestyles. Instead, the people who relied on those assurances have suffered debilitating injuries that have drastically reduced their quality of life.
For this reason, claimants sue to obtain compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.
Early Verdicts and Settlements
In 2012, the federal judges presiding over multidistrict litigation involving DePuy devices ordered the parties to select cases for bellwether trials tentatively scheduled to begin in 2013. Several cases have since settled.
In August 2013, Johnson & Johnson settled the claims of three Nevada women who received ASR implants from the same surgeon. The cases were filed in state court and settled for $200,000 each.
The first bellwether trial for ASR multidistrict litigation (MDL) was scheduled to begin in September 2013 in federal court in Ohio. That case settled for an undisclosed amount. Within weeks, Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle more than 7,000 additional ASR claims.
The agreement, reached in November 2013, would pay about $250,000 to settle each case that required revision surgery. The total amount of the settlement could reportedly top $4 billion. According to sources cited by Bloomberg News, the agreement will be the largest settlement of U.S. claims involving a medical device, pending court approval.
Meanwhile, federal bellwether trials for Pinnacle claims are scheduled to begin in September 2014. The judge overseeing federal multidistrict litigation for Pinnacle claims stayed proceedings in the remaining cases in September 2013, pending completion of the bellwether trials. Bellwether trials are also scheduled to begin in early 2014 in Maryland and in New Jersey, where about 650 ASR cases are pending.
The cases that have gone to trial so far have achieved mixed results. In April 2013, a Chicago jury rejected claims filed by an Illinois nurse. Just a month earlier, a California jury awarded $8.3 million to a retired prison guard from Montana. He received $338,136 for medical expenses and $8 million for pain and suffering.
More settlements involving DePuy metal-on-metal hip devices are expected as bellwether trials continue. The large-scale $4 billion settlement is also an indicator that Johnson & Johnson is motivated to resolve claims rather than incur many more years of litigation costs. The results of the early trials and ongoing settlement negotiations give the parties a reference point that will likely encourage resolution of more cases.
It is important to remember that each hip device lawsuit is different, so there is no guarantee that you will receive a favorable verdict or a settlement if you file a claim. But a qualified hip device attorney can explain your legal options and help you file a claim.