Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to settle three product liability cases related to its DePuy ASR hip implant for approximately $200,000 each.
In 2010, 93,000 ASR hip implants were recalled by the manufacturer worldwide. Of those, 37,000 had been implanted in patients throughout the United States.
The artificial ASR hip joints were found to have a 12 percent failure rate within a five years of the initial hip surgery; patients were experiencing severe pain, fractured bones, infection and joint dislocations due to the defective hip implant. Many have had to have the defective implants removed completely.
Another dangerous side effect of the failed hip joints is metal debris that can enter into the blood stream of someone with a defective ASR hip implant. The metal pieces have also been blamed for causing death of the tissue surrounding the implant site.
Despite the need for revisionary surgery to remove the defective implants, Johnson & Johnson has asserted that the implants themselves have not caused life-threatening injury. Attorneys for those who received the ASR hip implant before the massive recall note that even though a patient may not have a life-threatening injury, the need for removal surgery has immobilized countless patients and forced them to endure substantial pain that would otherwise have been unnecessary had Johnson & Johnson not marketed a defective product.
More than 8,000 dangerous and defective medical product suits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson based on complications with the DePuy ASR hip implant. Johnson & Johnson is expected to pay out between $200,000 and $500,000 for each defective hip implant case.
The total cost related to products liability lawsuits for the defective ASR hips is estimated to reach $2 billion.
Source: NJ.com, "Johnson & Johnson to pay $600k to settle suits over recalled hip implants," August 21, 2012