Thousands of people implanted with DePuy's ASR or Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants filed lawsuits against the device manufacturer after they endured painful complications from the devices. DePuy's costs are estimated to be $4 billion.
DePuy faces thousands of state and federal lawsuits over its ASR and Pinnacle hip implants. The ASR cases were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL – 2197) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio under Judge David A. Katz, and the Pinnacle cases were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under Judge Ed Kinkeade. Thousands more state lawsuits are pending. Plaintiffs allege that both devices were defectively designed and that DePuy failed to provide adequate warning of safety risks, some even going as far as to claim that DePuy knew their ASR hip implants were unsafe.
Pinnacle Lawsuits, Settlements and Verdicts
After paying about $4 billion to settle its DePuy ASR hip implant claims, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit faces thousands of lawsuits linked to its Pinnacle hip implant. According to the United States Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, DePuy Orthopaedics is facing more than 8,700 lawsuits claiming the implant is faulty and caused severe injuries.
In December 2016, a texas jury found Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit knew about the risks of its faulty Pinnacle implants but failed to warn the public. The jury awarded $1 billion to six plaintiffs who said metal debris leeched into their blood and tissues from the implant and caused complications.
Claims in the Pinnacle litigation mirror those of the ASR cases. Plaintiffs suffer from a list of complications including metal poisoning — also known as metallosis — infections, severe pain and nerve damage that may lead to revision surgery.
DePuy ASR Jury Verdicts and Settlements
Loren Kransky was the first plaintiff to take his ASR case to a jury. After the five-week trial in California state court in March 2013, Los Angeles jurors ruled in his favor, found the ASR was defective in design and awarded him $8.3 million for his injuries.
Annelise Rundle, Martha Bender and Katherine Guy had ASR implants and suffered complications leading them to file lawsuits in Las Vegas. The three women were forced to have revision surgery. J&J paid them $200,000 each for their injuries.
DePuy ASR Settlements Under MDL 2197
DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, agreed to two settlements to compensate people injured by the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip System or the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System. The company agreed to the first settlement in November 2013 and set aside about $4 billion to settle thousands of claims. According to court documents, this settlement includes plaintiffs who had revision surgery prior to August 31, 2013.
In March 2015, DePuy agreed to an additional round two settlement of $420 million to settle roughly 1,400 more claims. This agreement compensates ASR patients U.S. who had revision surgery between August 31, 2013 and January 31, 2015. The deadline to participate in this settlement was May 1, 2015. But, DePuy may still be reviewing claims.
Why Should You File a DePuy Hip Lawsuit?
A faulty DePuy hip is physically and financially devastating. Filing a lawsuit can help regain some of what you or a loved one has lost because of a defective product and help start you on the road to recovery. Complications from DePuy implants can immobilize people and interfere with their ability to work or take care of their families. Some damages included in lawsuits are:
Revision surgery is more complex and dangerous than the initial hip replacement surgery and can cost thousands more. A lawsuit may help pay for treatment and lost time from work.
Pain and Suffering
Some patients continue to struggle with mobility and cannot enjoy activities they used to participate in. Even something as simple as going to the bathroom can be an ordeal.
Loss of Consortium
Injuries from a faulty DePuy or Pinnacle hip can also damage the relationship between spouses and deprive a husband or wife of companionship and comfort. These damages are also included in a lawsuit.
Tips To Avoid Hurting Your Case
If you were injured by a DePuy ASR or Pinnacle hip and decide to file a lawsuit, there are some things you should keep in mind to avoid hurting your case.
Key tips are:
Be careful what you sign
Talk to your lawyer first and avoid signing any waivers, as doing so may injure your case.
Be careful who you talk to
DePuy representatives may solicit information about your case over a helpline or by contacting you. Only talk to your lawyer.
Don’t turn over evidence
This includes your faulty hip implant and medical records. If you have revision surgery, ask to keep your implant following surgery.
Consider getting another medical opinion
Make sure revision surgery is necessary. You should speak to more than one doctor, if necessary.
Beware of doctors discouraging you from taking legal action
Remember that DePuy may pay your doctor for help. Your attorney can help protect your legal rights while you seek medical care.
People Who Filed DePuy Lawsuits
Loren Kransky’s trial was the first out of thousands of pending DePuy ASR lawsuits. He accused DePuy of negligence and concealing the serious complications associated with the ASR. Lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Depuy unit claim that the company knew the ASR and Pinnacle hip implants were defective, and failed to warn patients and doctors. In the case of the Pinnacle implant, lawsuits also accuse DePuy of failing to recall a defective product.
Peggy Jean Autry
Peggy Jean Autry of Nashville, Tenn., filed her lawsuit against DePuy in 2011, the same year she underwent revision surgery to remove the faulty DePuy implant. Autry had her ASR implanted in 2008 and suffered from “debilitating pain and weakness; significant inhibitions of her ability to walk and move; elevated blood levels of chromium and cobalt; and anxiety, fear, mental anguish and other emotional and physical damages.”
Michael J. Assad
Michael J. Assad of San Francisco filed a lawsuit against DePuy after the Pinnacle hip he received failed and he required revision surgery. He claimed DePuy knew its hip had “abnormally high risks of early failure, and that it generated unusual and dangerous levels of metal debris” in patients’ bodies, along with other complications. He accuses DePuy of concealing the problems with the Pinnacle hip, as well as negligence.
|The complaints allege DePuy is guilty of several counts of negligence, including:|
|Failure to warn|
|Gross negligence and malice|
|Willfully concealing the problems of the implant from the general public|